WITH all that has gone on with the coronavirus epidemic and the probable subsequent major loss of jobs, it is long past the time to review the state of the UK's manufacturing base. There are too many areas to mention where our manufacturing skills have been lost however, recent articles in The Herald bring them starkly to mind.

ScottishPower, a Spanish company, is about to replace/upgrade many of its wind turbine generating heads at Hagshaw Hill. The UK doesn't even manage to achieve being anywhere near being in the top 10 of large wind turbine manufacturers. We once upon a time were the major world shipbuilding nation and what are we left with now? A scattering of yards nationwide, including Ferguson's in Port Glasgow which is unable to complete even one ferry despite millions being pumped into the now vastly over-budget project. What hopes do we have of economic recovery if we have to keep relying on importing goods and technology instead of having those skills and jobs in-house?

George Dale, Beith.

Laird’s benefits

W LINDSAY, commenting in his letter (May 8) on Neil Mackay’s article “ Coronavirus kills the poor, the rich must be brought to heel” (The Herald, May 7), asks for consistency in the reporting of benefits for the poor and grants for the rich.

An early adopter in this regard was the late Davey Rowe, farmer and tattie merchant in Braco, Perthshire. One sunny autumn weekend of 1975 one of his lunch guests was a laird who had extensive hill and upland sheep farms further north in the county. Later, his son, Tom, excused himself as he had to run the lifters back to Raploch in Stirling.

The laird said that he supposed that most of the tattie lifters would be claiming Social Security whilst earning their cash wages. Davey Rowe replied: “I pay the lifters the Agricultural Wages Board Rate and employer’s contribution to their National Insurance and whatever they might claim is their own business but, come to think of it, you, with your headage and intervention payments and DAFS hill sheep development programme grants, must be drawing more Social Security than all of my lifters put together.” The laird was not amused.

Stuart Swanston, Edinburgh EH9.

An eagle dare

HOW delightful to read of Catriona Stewart's adventures with yoga ("Exercise more than once a day? That's optimism, eh?", The Herald, May 12).

I joined a Yoga class in the mid 1970s; 20 women and one man. He enjoyed the bit at the end where we all lay on our mats and relaxed, and he slept. The "poses" were very interesting, to the point of being a tad dangerous for mostly middle-aged ladies and one portly chap. I recall the poses of "being a baby", "being a plough", "being a tree" and "growling like a lion". I had to work hard on "being an eagle".

So I practised a lot at home. Wrap the left leg around the right one; slide down until you are balancing just above the ground on the right leg; place the left hand onto the right knee; place your right elbow on top of the left hand and tuck the bent right hand under the chin and pretend that you are an eagle perched somewhere suitable for perching ... and in my case hope that the dog did not come charging into the room.

My husband did once come in and ask what I was supposed to be doing – "being an eagle", I gasped, as I wobbled. "Being a bloody nutcase", was the reply.

I kept up yoga for years, now I just walk in the wood and keep an eye open for real eagles.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.

Geordie still going

IT was fascinating to see the photo of handsome Bill "Geordie" Travers in your Those were the days feature ("in Wednesday's Herald ("1954 & 1955: Bill Travers, the hammer movie star", The Herald, May 13).

But what? No mention of Jamieson Clark or Molly Urquhart who played his parents, and what about "young" Geordie, the actor

Paul Young still alive and working. He was just eight when he played Geordie as a boy.

And to be honest, even Stanley Baxter would admit he only had a "cough and a spit" as the postie, arriving on his bike, who delivered the "Make Yourself a Man" parcel to young Geordie.

Stanley is still working too ... maybe it was something in the water in Aberfoyle where they filmed.

Sheila Duffy, Glasgow G12.

Deer, deer

I NOTE your photograph headed "Buck stops here" (The Herald, May 14). The presence of deer at Rannoch station is not an unusual occurrence. Similarly, deer are regular visitors to the Kinghouse Hotel in Glencoe. Even in my home town of Dunblane I have seen deer casually sauntering up the High Street.

Maybe we are experiencing the dawn of the urban deer.

David Mercer, Dunblane.

Treble three

ANENT the unprecedented use of the word "unprecedented" and your correspondents' treble use thereof (Letters, May 14 & 15), can anyone explain why the correct grammar, apparently, for a football team winning an unprecedented three trebles in a row is a "triple treble"?

The words appear interchangeable in my dictionaries.

Steve Brennan, Coatbridge.