WHEN I read the review of a play about the Tay Bridge rail disaster of 1879 (Herald Arts, September 2) I realised, in connection with the Herald Diary stories about growing old, that you were really old when your father remembered the storm on the night of the disaster.

My father, born in 1874, was five years old and living in Kilmarnock on the other side of Scotland and recounted his recollection as follows: “A curious memory was that of the Sunday night before the Tay Bridge disaster, in the winter of 1879, when part of the bridge was swept away and a whole train with its passengers fell into the gap and the passengers were drowned. I still see myself sitting before the kitchen fire with its tin smoke-board, hearing the howling of the wind in the chimney. Next day came the news of the disaster, and somehow the shock of it fixed the memory of the night before.”

Hugh Boyd, Bearsden.

School of rock?

WE read that, as whales make their way through the seas, they have a whale of a time by engaging in singing (Whales 'have a sing-a-long during sea journeys", The Herald, September 4). This is obviously another interesting part of life's rich tapestry. We learn that this singing could be to do with navigation and that, indeed, they have been known to exchange tunes with other groups. One is left wondering what tunes have managed to get into their oceanic Top of the Pops. What about I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles, or Sailing?

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

Buzz off, wasps

MALCOLM Rankin (Letters, September 5) is right to question the conduct of the warring wasp which recently stung his seven-year-old granddaughter, and I believe this offender would belong to the group of teenage swinging wasps which hang about aimlessly and sometimes get up to mischief, unlike their antisocial, psychopathic and paranoid cousins, the picnic group, hell-bent on disturbance and general mayhem, and which seriously cause one to suspend one’s natural aversion to the death penalty.

There is no place in orderly society for wasps. They should get on their bike and buzz off to the wilderness.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.

Wooly thinking

A POSTER from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) that appeared on buses in Glasgow saying "Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes. Wool is just as cruel as fur" has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority as being "simply false and misleading" and banned Peta from making this claim in future. Peta has surely been trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow

A beamer

I RECEIVED the same advertisement from a BMW dealership (with the slogan "Make the neighbours jealous") through the post as did Hamish JA Scott (Letters, September 3). I reflected as I placed it in the bin that I was always taught that one may be jealous of one's own possessions and perhaps envious of another's.

I hope they didn't overly reward the copywriter.

GP MacMillan, Glasgow G12