YOU have printed some of the best news I have heard in a long time, a real boost to the spirits after all the stress, doom and gloom of the past weeks. The Falls of Clyde could be coming home ("Last of the Clyde-built sailing tankers could return home after major boost", The Herald, June 18)!

Not only does she have a fantastic history to tell as well as being the last of a line that was ahead of its time in design, she is a beautiful testament to the skills of the craftsmen of the Clyde shipyards, and is ideal for the new life planned for her. We visited her twice at the berth in Honolulu harbour, where we learned her story, the rescue from Alaska by public subscription of the people of Honolulu, the contribution of Sir William Lithgow in her restoration, and even the re-casting of her ship’s bell. She was, on our first visit, in good condition and well cared for, but was already deteriorating on our second, with the hull in urgent need of dry-dock repairs.

I was horrified by the harbour board’s plans to scuttle her as a diving wreck and devastated when the original plans to bring her home to Scotland fell through. I sincerely hope that, this time, the money and means will be found to ensure that these new plans can be fully realised. Then we will have not only a beautiful icon of past Scottish craftsmanship, but also of the new, forward-looking, sustainable Scotland towards which we must now strive.

These plans must not fail. If ever there was a cause worthy of public subscription and crowdfunding, this is it.

P Davidson, Falkirk.

Pavement menaces

ONCE again the misuse of the pavement, this time again, by cyclists is raised in your Letters Pages (June 17). Has no one ever noticed its complete takeover by your local cleansing department? And has anyone noted the permanent storage of commercial bins outside shops and restaurants in particular? They like a bit of space, don't they?

Since wheelie bins were spawned and started breeding, in the UK, the pavement is their territory. Despite that, I do not recall a single letter complaining of their effect on the elderly and handicapped, wheelchair users or pram pushers.

There was protective legislation before the footway could be used when these were first allowed, but in the UK I guess all roads authorities do not know it exists, or their councils positively ignore it.

As a civil engineer working before retiral in road planning, safety, design and implementation, I had several duels with former district councils intent on pavement use regardless. Pedestrians, it seemed, were these people who interfere with their use of the pavement apparently completely without thought.

Pity it is not Vancouver, Canad;, any obstruction of the pavement is an offence, car, bin, sign, and will get a reaction.

Look for them next time you take your permitted walk or jog.

John A Taylor, Dunlop.

Beauty and the beasts

CONGRATULATIONS to all our perky wee otters, crowned Scotland’s favourite native species in a competition with 31 other animals and insects from land, sea and air, launched by The National Trust for Scotland three months ago ("Otter beats wildcat by a whisker to be crowned nation’s favourite", The Herald, June 17).

With 60,000 votes cast online, didn’t they do well?

It seems likely that some of their popularity relates to author and naturalist Gavin Maxwell’s book, Ring of Bright Water, published in 1960, and adapted into film in 1969, starring Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna, and in supporting role as storekeeper, Kilbirnie’s Jameson Clark.

In fairness I believe that a competition for Scotland’s least favourite species should follow on.

I expect the voracious Scottish midge, some reputed to have two heads and to sport tackety boots, would fly easily into the lead, followed by the unwholesome and picnic-spoiler, the clegg.

Readers of course will have their own bête noirs.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.

Masking my surprise

I HAVE just witnessed the latest coronaviral absurdity.

A gentleman enters the Post Office wearing a mask. Out of doors is supposed to be safer than indoors. Ahead of me in the queue, he lowers his mask, leaving his mouth exposed while he speaks at the counter.

I decide to mind my own business.

David Miller, Milngavie.

Anyone want a grandad?

IN easing of lockdown Phase 2, as a granny, I had high expectations that I would be able to resume childcare for my family, enabling them to concentrate on work commitments. Grannies living alone can be part of an "extended household" with children and grandchildren but because I live with a grandad, I can’t. After 12 weeks and three days of lockdown with him, I have had to make a really difficult decision.

One grandad free to good home. Click and Collect available.

Margaret Openshaw, Aberdeen AB15.