I REFER to Bill Brown’s letter (June 12) about Gaelic. Mr Brown is, of course, entitled to his view about the use of Gaelic language as inappropriate. However, I am happy to say that there has been very clear support from people in Scotland for Gaelic. Social surveys undertaken in recent years have shown that 81 per cent of the population are positive about the language and culture.

For information, the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was passed by a Labour/Liberal Democrat Executive, with cross-party political support. This undermines somewhat the assertion that the drive to spread it through signage is political subterfuge.

If Mr Brown or other readers would like to understand better the place of Gaelic in modern Scotland, we would be delighted to provide them with more information.

Shona C NicIllinnein, Ceannard [CEO], Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Inverness.

Good old days?

THAT grim picture of Glasgow’s Gaiety cinema at Anderston Cross (“1963: Cinema is temporary replacement for blaze-hit concert hall”, The Herald, June 11) brought back a few equally grim memories. A cigarette butt cast away after a boxing match destroyed the magnificent St Andrew’s Hall on October 26, 1962. I have a recollection of hearing Beethoven’s Ninth there as a child. Now all that remains is the impressive façade on Granville Street. Lord Provost Jean Roberts may have congratulated Glasgow Corporation for refurbishing the Gaiety in double-quick time, but a satisfactory replacement for St Andrew’s Hall had to wait 28 years until the Royal Concert Hall opened on October 5, 1990.

The fact is that Glasgow Corporation, like the rest of the UK, and indeed the world, was in thrall to the motor car. The Buchanan Report, Traffic in Towns, published on November 25 1963, which foretold the devastating effects of congestion and pollution on urban life, was lauded and then quietly buried. The last Glasgow tram had reached its terminus on September 4, 1962, and The Reshaping of British Railways, Dr Beeching’s plan to rip up the rail system, was published on March 26, 1963. The M8 began to cut its swathe through the heart of Glasgow. Sauchiehall Street has never recovered.

I remember going to an SNO afternoon concert in the Gaiety for schoolchildren, conducted by Julian Dawson. They performed – unbelievably – Anton Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra, Opus 6. It was impossible to distinguish the percussion section’s contribution from that of the pile drivers outside. Halfway through the funeral march of the fourth movement, with its enormous crescendo culminating in a deafening silence, Maestro Dawson stopped, put his baton down, turned to us in the audience, and declared that it was impossible to continue. The concert was abandoned. The pile drivers had won.

“Those were the days”? I don’t think so.

Dr Hamish Maclaren, Stirling.

In lieu…

SINCE toilet doors and graffiti have been introduced (Letters, June 12th), I’d like to recommend the ladies loo in the Royal Oak, Edinburgh, where a much-graffitied door was removed and then replaced, having been painted with blackboard paint. A small box of coloured chalks is also supplied. Happy days.

Rachel Martin, Musselburgh.

Down sizing

TO add to the correspondence on shop slogans, in the 1950s McNeish the Drapers in Cumnock had a large poster in their main window: “McNeish’s trousers down again, So good, they won’t last”.

Amy Kinnaird, Ochiltree.