AS SOMEONE who went through primary school using jotters which had a list of "safety dos" on the back and went on to teach primary children various versions of road safety I am somewhat perplexed at the recent correspondence over various rules in the Highway Code as they apply to the interactions between pedestrians and motorists (Letters, November 8, 9, 12 & 16). The message I taught and was taught was simple and applies to motorists as much as to pedestrians: “Check your surroundings and proceed when safe to do so.” At no time was I expected to suggest that a detailed knowledge of Rule 59 subsection (z) would be an absolute lifesaver or that crossing the road was an assertion of one’s basic rights and entitlements.

Another fundamental rule was “find a safe place to cross”. By no stretch of the imagination does this include the mini roundabout that seems to exercise Thomas Gray (Letters, November 16) so much. The use of our roads is a shared experience and they would be safer if we were to apply the principles of tolerance and understanding (and common sense) rather than the asserting some unalienable human rights.

Robin Irvine, Helensburgh.

That’s a celebrity?

MAYBE it's just me and my friends but your Name the Celebrity picture with the tagline "... and just for fun" is anything but funny to those of us who have reached the wrinkly stage of life. It tells us that we are out of touch with modern society and that our idea of a celebrity is way off-beam. Who are these people we ask ourselves? It's depressing to have it reinforced, daily, that we're maybe not as "woke" as we once were but we're still functioning and in possession of our marbles. I know because I remember someone telling me. Furthermore, we seem to be the ones who still buy a newspaper. Pause for thought.

As I said, maybe it's just me and my contemporaries, but for myself, your celebrity space filler "sucks", as the young ones might say.

Patricia Allison, Giffnock.

Bully for me

THANK you to Thelma Edwards for a trip down memory lane stirred by her reflections on conker-playing day (Letters, November 15), although in my part of Ayrshire they were known as more down-to-earth “chessies”.

I recall the thrill of finding a big gleaming beauty inside its prickly shell, the attempts to harden them by steeping them in vinegar or warming in the oven, with the really hard ones coming from the previous year's ranks if prepared to wait, the status of having a “Bully” in the teens, aided by creative arithmetic, and the loss when one’s champion was eventually vanquished by some hardy upstart.

Rather sadly a ban imposed by some schools on the grounds of health and safety was reported in recent years, with the loss of one of life’s lessons: “you win some, you lose some”.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.

Happy days

FOR someone getting on in years, the news these days is a bit of a dampener. On the other side of the coin, how positive has been your "Those were the days" feature.

Your photographs have brought back many good memories. All wasn't perfect in my youth, but there was always a nugget to uplift the spirits – smiling faces in the photographs, a cheeky grin from a mucky face, a feeling of serenity.

Thank you.

James Watson, Dunbar.

So, why?

I HAVE noticed a relatively new, but increasingly common, tendency for people in broadcast media to preface their answers to questions with the word “So…” and just wondered why this was. Do they, perhaps, think that it makes them sound intellectually superior (rather than the opposite) or is there another reason?

Barry Lees, Greenock.