I THINK John NE Rankin (Letters, April 2) is correct. For as long as I can remember I have considered that a criminal trial is akin to a sporting event between rival verbal athletes. The judge is the official who ensures the competitors remain in the correct lane. The truth is invariably injured, and limps the course or retires. The jury is the finishing line that defines the outcome, Guilty, Not Guilty or Not Proven (dead heat).

At the conclusion, people leaving the court are like supporters departing any competitive event, they are either elated or deflated.

Maybe, just, maybe, it is time to have a look at the rules of engagement in this rather serious “game”.

Dan Edgar, Rothesay.

Gardeners question time

IN my back garden I am fortunate to have a fair-sized lawn, or rather an area of what appears to be patches of differing species of grass, and as spring has now sprung, I have just given it it’s first cut of the year.

As in some patches the grass had grown thick and tall, my mowing has produced a lot of grass cuttings on those patches as I chose not to collect them because my council, due to staff shortages caused by the coronavirus, has stopped the collection of garden waste for the time being and has asked instead that the bin normally used for that should be used for other general waste. This leaves the problem of dealing with the grass cuttings now and for the foreseeable future.

Can any of your more green-fingered readers tell me if my preferred course of simply leaving the cuttings on the lawn, or raking them over it, will do any lasting damage to it, or must I pile them up in a corner hopefully ultimately for them to turn into compost?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

A sad loss

JUST over a year ago the original members of Radio Clyde met in a city centre eatery as we had done every 10 years since the inception of the radio station. Lord Gordon (Jimmy) made his usual speech but, looking round at the dwindling numbers, suggested that we set the next reunion date for five years' hence as there was a better chance that the majority of us would still be around then.

How prophetic were his words! Not only has this terrible disease robbed us of a true gentleman but has also denied his many friends and colleagues in both the world of politics and business the opportunity to pay their last respects to him. We must conquer this monster of a disease.

Neil M Dunn, East Kilbride.

Eternal Hope

I NOTE with interest your Those Were The Days feature on Bob Hope ("Bob Hope flies in: 1952 and 1956", The Herald, March 31). Hope appeared on stage in Scotland again in the mid-1970s. The show was in the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh.

It opened with an overlong pop group, possibly Bucks Fizz. After an also-long interval , the lights went down for Hope himself. But he did not stroll on in his usual impeccable casual self. As a reminder of his age, he was pushed on relaxing on a chaise longue The packed audience erupted.

There followed a monologue of stand-up comedy that puts modern stand ups to shame in content and well-timed delivery, and not a swear word. A truly memorable evening.

Ian Lyell, Mauchline.

Tin man to the fore

THE sock drawer is immaculate, the nasal and ear hair has been coiffured to standards that were unthinkable a few months ago, so what to do next?

Over-exposure to daytime TV offers an opportunity to come up with an idea for new programmes. And who better than the tin man who appears before some Channel 4 transmissions?

His collapsing in a heap after being unable to keep up with the wheelchair racers is only surpassed by him fleeing the scene of the crime after kicking a ball through a window, pursued by an irate householder. He deserves his own series.

John Crawford, Lytham.

Thank you

I HAVE been an avid reader of The Herald for many years and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Letters Pages, though never having been a contributor till now.

During these very trying and testing times your paper has been a lifeline for me. I can spend a good hour and a half perusing it from start to finish.

I am always amused by R Russell Smith, while Thelma Edwards can raise a chuckle and Ruth Marr’s political comments are thought-provoking (even if one doesn’t always agree).

Later in the day I turn to the puzzle pages and those keep me well occupied for another hour, giving my brain a bit of exercise.

So thank you, well done. Keep up the good work.

Janette Steven, Kilmarnock.