I THINK William Durward’s view of Jimmy Reid and the UCS work-in, is as expressed in his letter (June 19) somewhat simplistic. The real demise of shipbuilding on the Clyde started many years before the birth of Jimmy and his band of brothers. Just take a look at the houses in the west end of Greenock, Helensburgh and elsewhere in the Clyde estuary. Had a fraction of the money spent by yard owners on such grand edifices been reinvested in the shipyards, just maybe, we might still today be building ships on The Clyde, particularly in the deep water facility that is the lower Clyde.

Jimmy Reid was not averse to supporting development in the lower Clyde but successive governments of whatever hue refused to support this view. Perhaps if politicians had invested in shipbuilding, thus providing employment for thousands of people, the horrendous social problems that today blight many areas of west central Scotland could have been avoided. This would probably have been cheaper in the long term as people contributed to the economy rather than being supported by social security benefits and the demoralising and pernicious effects of long term unemployment.

As a dear friend of Jimmy, I was one of several people who helped organise his funeral, a rare privilege. While the UCS event had global impact it was a relatively brief period in his otherwise eventful life. The idea was to honour a truly remarkable human being. This, I have no doubt, was achieved.

Dan Edgar, Rothesay.

A plea for the Waverley

THE dear old Waverley is much missed this sailing season on the Clyde, where she claims every port as her own. Thousands of devoted weekend sailors and supporters are tasked with raising over £2million to fix her boilers.

I wonder if a certain billionaire who's just been steaming doon the watter in some style might throw a lifeline from his £130 million, 260-foot superyacht Fountainhead. She was pictured off Dunoon, Rothesay, Brodick, Tarbert and Campbeltown over the last week or so before changing course for, presumably, another wee traditional west coast tour which involves the distilleries.

Fountainhead was parked up yesterday off Port Ellen on Islay and surely her US owner Eddie Lampert will be having a snifter or two. Could be an appropriate time to send a signal for a financial lifebelt.

Gerry Burke, Strachur, Argyll.


YOUR "Those were the days" picture on Saturday ("1971: When 'girl barbers' were the long and the short of it", The Herald, June 15) brought back memories of purchasing my first Playtex "projectile" bra, such as the one the girl barber seems to be wearing, taking it home and proudly strutting my stuff before a full-length mirror – only to be deflated by husband arriving home and attempting to hook his bunnet on the very obvious place. His excuse? "Sorry love, thought we'd bought a hatstand." Happy memories indeed.

Irene Woodward, Cumbernauld.

Eh? Who?

MAYBE it's just me but I would be quite interested to know your definition of a celebrity. As it is, virtually on a daily basis, I feel increasingly detached from modern society when I look at the celebrity picture on your puzzles page and realise that, yet again, I haven't a clue. And as for seven things he/ she is known for "just for fun", in my case you're the ones having a laugh.

Patricia Allison, Giffnock.