GOOD to see Russell Leadbetter in his Those Were The Days feature ("The Queen at the General Assembly", 1977, The Herald, January 15) mention Rt Rev John R Gray, minister of Dunblane Cathedral, and Kirk Moderator.

In 1966, Mr Gray visited London to see the then exhibition marking the 900th anniversary of the foundation of Westminster Abbey.

He noted one item in the exhibition: “The 20th century jemmy used in the theft of the Stone of Scone in 1950”.

On his return, Mr Gray was quoted in the Scottish Daily Express: “The jemmy should have been described as ‘The tool used in the recovery of the Stone’. The story goes that this remark nearly cost Mr Gray the Kirk Moderatorship.

The removal of the Stone from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1950 proved an uplifting, entertaining and enlightening incident in the cold dark days of post-war Scotland.

With the Stone now safely back home in Scotland since St Andrew’s Day 1996, we’d all agree that it rightly belongs here. It may not be the actual Fia Lail, nor the Stone of Scone, nor Jacob’s Pillow – but the importance of the Stone lies in what it represents.

It would however be the worst expression of synthetic victimhood for us Scots to deny the Stone a return passage to Westminster Abbey for the next Coronation.

Gordon Casely, Crathes.

Keep betting off TV

IT was my understanding that in 2018, betting companies had voluntarily agreed to stop advertising on live TV events by April 2019 – that didn’t happen. We now have multiple adverts shown during sporting events and many of these adverts are endorsed by so called celebrities. These people should hang their heads in shame ("Ex-gambler warns ban on credit cards not enough to tackle problem betting", The Herald, January 15).

Football clubs and competitions are sponsored by the large firms. The head of mental health services in England has now written to five major gambling companies demanding urgent action on gambling addiction. TV is not allowed to advertise cigarettes, is restricted in how it advertises alcohol and yet we see incentives shown in betting adverts – free spins, introductory offers, £10 when you bet £50 and so it goes on. It is about time someone put a lid on this.

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.

A clueless closure

IN the month of Burns Suppers throughout the world, and in the same week as it was said Robert Burns brings £200 million to the Scottish economy, South Ayrshire cancels its support for the local Burnsfest festival ("Bard luck… council pulls the plug on annual Burns music festival", The Herald, January 16).

It's what they do in these parts – close things down. Like the day centre for adults with mental health issues, which the Court of Session ruled was closed illegally. The unrecoverable costs of that mistake was around £300,000.

The next thing to go apparently is the air show. This is the biggest event in these parts by a country mile, where of course the signposts are all in Gaelic.

What’s the Gaelic for “the council simply has not got a clue?”

John Dunlop, Ayr.

Ad nauseum

FURTHER to Alexander McKay's observations on the Oscar nominations (Letters, January 15), I should like to make my own with regard to television advertisements. Almost exclusively, any couple depicted will be of different races unless, of course, they are in a same-sex relationship. (In the latter case, generally only white people are shown as gay or lesbian.) Stop trying so hard.

Brian Johnston, Torrance.