I AM so sad to read of the death of Michael Tumelty ("Michael Tumelty, influential critic of classical music, dies aged 73", the Herald, May 21, and Letters, May 22). I followed his concert critiques with great interest; in fact I owed a him lot when a few years ago my then concert-going friend and I would often leave the Usher Hall or Queen's Hall in Edinburgh, spitting feathers over particular performances. Usually the symphonies were by Sibelius or Beethoven. It wasn't often that Mr Tumelty's criticism differed from mine over those particular performances of the works of these composers.

I can remember one performance of Beethoven's 7th Symphony when the disagreement was really heated. "Okay", I said to my friend, "read Michael Tumelty in The Herald tomorrow and you will see. He will agree with me." Thank you, Michael, you did. You came up trumps.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.

EVERY day The Herald contained a piece by Michael Tumelty, that day was a bonus. His piece became the first item read.

Through his writing, our much-loved RSNO cheerfully became “the band”, with not a jot of loss of dignity on either side.

Without him, the city’s Royal Concert Hall might still have been stuck with the parochial-reeking moniker of “Glasgow International Concert Hall”.

Michael the wordsmith was a musical maestro. We have been so fortunate to have been uplifted by his output.

Gordon Casely, Crathes.

Lockdown gaffe

AN email arrived from a neighbour who has a lovely Cavalier spaniel, but with whom we rarely communicate: "After I'd been talking to your missus today, my wife mentioned she's going to Lidl tomorrow morning at 8.00am, so if you need anything, let us know and she'll get it for you."

We were a bit surprised as herself hadn't seen or spoken to this neighbour for months, but, touched that anybody would think about us in the current situation, we made a short list and shoved it through their letterbox with the cash.

The next morning, I met the lady at the prearranged rendezvous point. She seemed taken aback at seeing me, but quickly recovered her composure and handed over the messages. I assured her we really appreciated their gesture and that we wouldn't abuse their generosity.

Then it dawned on me: her husband had got his email addresses mixed up and thought they were doing a good deed for another neighbour.

Needless to say, they haven't passed our home while walking their dog since.

John F Crawford, Lytham.

Fool cycle

A LITTLE scene witnessed by a cyclist friend inspired me to write the following:

Ah wis on ma bike gettin exercise

in Greenock the ither night.

A wumman came ooty Tesco

as Ah stopped at the traffic lights;

a poly bag clutched in baith hauns,

stravaigin alang the street,

mibbe nippin oot fur somethin

tae gie the weans tae eat.

Ah wis pleased tae see she wis intent

on dae'in whit she'd been asked,

fur roon her nose an mooth

she wore the regulation mask.

But ah hud tae laugh when Ah looked again

as she stopped an put doon her bag,

an through a hole in the fronty the mask

the wumman lit up a fag.

Kate Gordon, Brookfield.

Betty’s reputation

YOUR "Those were the days" feature on Glasgow's docks area ("Silent witness to a changing waterfront", The Herald, May 21) was a nice reminder of when ships still came into Glasgow. Betty's Bar and Peter Keenan's next door were very popular with lots of merchant seamen, not too far from the ore terminal and the other docks. The Finnieston ferry must have seen some very interesting sights at closing as the party girls and friends headed home.

When I was at sea, if you got talking to sailors from another country anywhere in the world and they asked where you were from, if you replied "Glasgow", you would get a response of "Ah, Betty's Bar", an international reputation that did not say much for the city. In those days – the 1960s and 70s – every port had its notorious go-to bar, the kind your parents warned you not to frequent.

I enjoy Those were the days. Please keep them coming.

Rab Neilson, Ayr.

Do you know?

ANENT the recent correspondence on the repetition of words: listening to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, I heard an interviewee, admittedly scattered through a long and rambling sentence, say “you know” 12 times. Is this a record?

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.