THE awesome sight of the bow section of the new Type 26 frigate, HMS Glasgow, rolling down the slipway in Govan, as shown in many newspapers including The Herald, is reminiscent of the golden days of Scottish naval shipbuilding, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Such images and the dependent jobs are likely to disappear from the Clyde should Scotland become ‘independent’, as Nicola Sturgeon intends.

It’s difficult to imagine the UK government building the considerable numbers of new Royal Navy ships in the pipeline in what would have become a foreign shipyard, and taxpayers in the remainder of the UK would rightly rebel against their taxes being used for this purpose.

I would imagine that the new Scottish navy could perhaps stretch to a couple of new fishery protection vessels but very little else, and with the Scottish government’s much-publicised inability to build two much-needed ferries on time and within budget, it’s doubtful if they would ever be launched.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.


WHY oh why is the message on ventilation for Covid prevention not getting through to hospitality venues? Why is the Scottish Government guidance on ventilation so anaemic?

It has been well-known in South-east Asia and indeed in Europe for a full year that aerosol transmission of the virus was an important transmission mechanism. Eventually the World Health Organisation acknowledged the situation.

Recently, even the BBC has been trying to make us aware that such transmission is probably the main source of new cases.Yet some hospitality venues seem blissfully unaware.

Garden centres are now open and offering take-aways from their restaurant areas.

Two, recently visited, had no obvious ventilation of any kind in their indoor areas and, when challenged as to why no windows were open, they respond either blankly or by saying that customers objected to draughts.

Last year, when hospitality was open, the reactions were the same.

Any attempt to contact the Government directly seems a waste of time. I received a response more than three months after trying with the standard reply, “your enquiry will be dealt with”, despite the fact that no “enquiry” had actually been made.

Others have had a similar experience. Venues are about to open more fully on April 26. We seem to have a surfeit of advice and guidance but why can our Government not highlight this primary risk as a top priority or do we have a death wish?

Professor John Spence, Airdrie.


AS we all know, and are frequently reminded in the media, many local shops have suffered badly over the past year, primarily due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions, but also due to other factors including competition from online retailers and edge-of-town shopping malls/retail parks.

To help local shops survive and to give them a boost on re-opening next week, could local councils discontinue car-parking charges to make it easier and cheaper for customers to visit these shops?

For example, in Milngavie the unrestricted car parks are full to overflowing whilst the two council car parks, where charges are imposed, are generally at about quarter capacity.

In the grand scheme of public finances where hundreds of billions of pounds are freely discussed, the lost revenue would be minimal.

The longer-term potential benefits could be great for the traders, the councils, and the encumbered towns and villages.

Robin M Brown, Milngavie.


AS exercise during lockdown I have been riding an old bike on an old turbo-trainer in the back porch.

A speedometer tracks my efforts by a magnetic sensor that records how often the back wheel turns.

Last week I noticed that my performance had improved dramatically, moving towards the output of a professional road cyclist.

Sadly, the improvement had nothing to do with fitness. Another magnet on the wheel had slipped out of position on its spoke, so that each revolution was being counted twice.

A friend has suggested that I should go the whole hog and fit a complete set of magnetic spokes thus achieving an 18-fold improvement. That would be silly, and cheating.

Gilbert MacKay, Newton Mearns.


I AM disappointed to find The Herald, my favourite newspaper, party to irresponsible journalism. I refer, of course, to the headline above Tom Torrance’s article, “Here’s why we should do household chores. . . they can help stave off dementia” (April 17).

What should have been a carefree weekend, enjoying sunshine and long-awaited freedom, was given over instead to tasks allotted by an imperious spouse, and I fear the moral high ground has been ceded for coming weeks.

My mild response that perhaps this applied to both sexes was perhaps ill-judged, but such articles should come with a health and safety warning.

R Russell Smith, Largs.


JUST how greedy can the owners of Europe’s leading clubs become? Not content with the huge profits from TV deals and merchandising sales, even if match-day attendances have dried up over the last year, the cynical move towards a breakaway European Super League beggars belief.

To point out just one obvious flaw, how can the participating clubs put out their best teams for midweek fixtures in the new league and for weekend fixtures in their domestic competitions?

R. Monaghan, Glasgow.