I WAS working offshore with a major oil company in the later 1980s, during the period that the Piper Alpha disaster occurred. Many of my workmates were convinced that the advice always to stay put and wait for help in these situations was flawed and it was better to take your chances in any Arma-geddon-type conflagration. I agreed. A couple of years later my own platform had a serious incident and I had made up my mind and was ready to go. Many had died on Piper Alpha huddled in a module awaiting help. Better a long plunge into the North Sea and take your chances.

This all came to mind with the Grenfell Towers report. The standard advice of staying put is demon-strably not always correct.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh EH6.

Expand slavery tale

THANK you for publishing Tomiwa Folorunso's essay regarding Scotland's history in the slavery trade and its part in the generation of our country's history and wealth ("Scotland is not this anti-racist utopia that we pretend it is", The Herald, October 28). This is very important but it deserved expansion to in-clude the attitudes of the time – even a comparative discussion on the industrial revolution's misuse of indigenous people and the "slave" labour that they were forced into. The living conditions of the time speaks for itself.

In completion of such an expansion of historical slavery, there has to be a chapter on the history of those who captured their own people in African countries and sold them into slavery.

Times change and history must be understood in the presentation of the whole of it. The demand for cheap labour and the providers of it has not really changed. Today's examples include the smuggling of people and the risks involved and even the rise of zero-hour employment.

I have counted people of colour among my friends, here, in Africa and in the Far East. I have learned from them as they have from me and want us all to move on with the knowledge of the past that has made us.

Ian Gray, Croftamie.

Helping footballers

UNDERSTANDABLY the recent medical revelations on football head injuries have occasioned considerable comment. Sports writers in particular have highlighted the resultant plights of several high-profile players. There have been strong suggestions that the SFA and by implication the FA should be addressing the problem. Perhaps if a scheme similar to the Injured Jockeys Fund, funded by the football industry, was created a focal point for examination and treatment would be provided. Such a centre should be available for all grades of players and not just the elite within the sport.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

Capital sums

I AM increasingly exasperated at the moans of self-styled "conservationists" about essential economic development in Central Edinburgh whose latest complaints arise from some temporary scaffolding in Princes Street Gardens, the effects of which will have long since gone when it comes time to re-erect it for next year's Xmas Market.

When will these dinosaurs realise that as so few locals now live in the city centre due to Airbnb (and even fewer bother shopping in Princes Street on account of the council's exorbitant parking charges), visual amenity is irrelevant. Instead, if Edinburgh is to flourish financially in the current Brexit uncer-tainty, we must encourage tourists (and day visitors from elsewhere in Central Scotland) to come and spend their money on whatever tawdry items may appeal no matter what it does for the city's ap-pearance.

Vegetation can easily be replanted, but unemployment and poverty can blight entire lives.

John Eoin Douglas, Edinburgh EH7.