WHILST we can blame Covid and the Ukrainian situation for food and energy costs, these problems did not cause the lack of suitable housing to rent or buy for our poorest or young couples getting their first homes ("Renting shouldn’t have to be game of snakes and ladders", The Herald, March 29). That problem has existed for many years.

Margaret Thatcher started the sale of local government housing stock. At the same time banks and building societies eased lending by relating it to the earnings of both spouses. With more money available, developers built larger houses, with, for example, en suite bedrooms. Our ambitions grew along with the increase in long-term debt, but unfortunately the days of almost-zero interest rates have gone.

Residential developments at present include only a small percentage of economic or affordable housing. Surely planners at both national and local level must insist on a much higher proportion of "starter homes" as a matter of priority?
JB Drummond, Kilmarnock.

Basic question for the Kirk
THE Church of Scotland does not ask the most basic question about Christian life ("Minister in threat to leave Kirk over cuts plan for deprived areas", The Herald, April 4). It is "Why does the Living Lord of the Church Jesus Christ not call sufficient people to its ministry?"

The answer lies in the Church of Scotland’s institutional hostility to the personal evangelical faith which gives birth to ministry vocations.
Rev Dr Robert Anderson, Dundonald.

Why are our potholes so bad?
WHY do politicians and others always talk of the need to repair potholes ("Roads have ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’", The Herald, April 4), but never demand from our road engineers a credible explanation as to why the original road surfaces are clearly far less fit for purpose and so much worse in terms of effective lifespans than in other countries with similar climates, weather, traffic levels and types of vehicles?
John Birkett, St Andrews.

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Round of applause for the Pavilion
THE Pavilion, Glasgow's iconic theatre at the top of Renfield Street, is now in what we must hope are the safe hands of the vibrant Trafalgar Entertainment concern ("Showtime: Bright future vow for Pavilion and its loyal audiences", The Herald, April 3).

It has long been considered the last theatre to cater to the more low-brow and earthy humour associated with Glasgow. Also it is seen as the natural home for pantomime with all the trimmings Glasgow brings to that much-loved seasonal genre.

Sadly there are few home-grown performers to fill the theatre like Tommy Morgan, Lex McLean and Glen Daly, to name but three, who sent their audiences home delighted by their performances and kept coming back for more.

The time for a change of ownership had been on the cards for a few years to bring the venue into the modern world, which is surely what Trafalgar hopes to do.
We can only wish it well in its enterprise and hope that the the theatre does not lose the popular touch which has kept its audiences thronging to its doors.

It would be sad if the venue ended up having to be sold off to become city centre flats with little more than a name to remind us that there once stood there a giant of the Glasgow entertainment industry. Our city centre can ill afford to lose such a substantial attraction and so we wish Trafalgar every success with its venture in acquiring its first Scottish venue.
Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

Letters: First look inside the new £45 million Paisley Museum

Mating call of Paisley mill girls
WHAT splendid news for Paisley, and indeed elsewhere, is reported about Scotland’s biggest cultural heritage project with the £45 million refurbishment of Paisley Museum, which will reopen next year ("New print for Paisley as £45m museum revamp is revealed", The Herald, April 3).

As part of the town’s regeneration, Paisley Town Hall is to be brought back to public use after major refurbishment. In addition there will be the opening of a new Learning and Cultural Hub in the High Street and the refurbished Paisley Arts Centre. Thomas Coats Observatory, the oldest public observatory in Scotland, is to play its role. It is indeed an impressive list of public works and displays.

Reference has been made to Paisley’s industrial past and its worldwide importance in textiles. The shawl was the main product of the town for many years. The shawl trade had a number of by-products which became significant in the development of the town, such as thread and starch. Cotton thread eventually replaced silk and linen thread and was used all over the world as manufactured by Clarks and Coats. A starch paste was utilised in the weaving of a shawl to reinforce the warp: the starch was manufactured by Brown & Polson, who later developed cornflour.

Benjamin Disraeli once observed that anyone who wished to understand the ways in which national political opinion was swinging should "keep their eye on Paisley". Mark Smith has developed that idea a bit further by asking: what about Paisley Woman ("If SNP wants to turn things round, ‘Paisley Woman' is key",The Herald, April 3.)?

He maintains that the SNP will ignore Paisley Woman at its peril. In that contention, he may well be proved right. Paisley women are not to be trifled with. Indeed, when the thread mills were the main industry of the town, there were thousands of mill girls, and apparently they had their own singular romantic call – "I’ll get ye".

Here's to Paisley – onward and upward.
Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

Gaelic in the wind
MAUREEN McGarry O’Hanlon’s letter (March 29) confirms what I was told about the name of a farm on a windy hillock in Wigtonshire, Thundergay. A retired museum manager said this was an anglicisation of “Tondergay”, which in turn was a corruption of the Gaelic “A***s to the wind”, referring to the behaviour of cattle. The older generation pronounced it thus.

Wigton was then a very long way from anywhere, but it’s probably just for that reason that Gaelic persisted in small pockets in the glens long after Scots was the language of the Law the Kirk and the schools.
Alison McAdam, Dundee.