THE lion was sleeping, or so I was told. I was good with that and the discussion went no further ("End of an era for historic Scots brand", The Herald, February 21).

After a syrup tart treat we were revitalised for our healthy energetic outdoor life. It was not the contents that we fought over, it was the distinctive strong tin with tight-fitting lid that captured our imaginations.

Mother had the advantage of knowing when the tin was nearly empty and we had to be ready to pounce before she commandeered it to store buttons. We were much more enterprising… two and a piece of string would make a phone system, or if reception was poor a pair of stilts, a worm tin for fishing the burns, kick the can if friends turned up, keeping treasure in and so on. Put a piece of coal inside and place on a bonfire and stand back; it would fly into the air like a rocket. I remember two joiners working in the house passing through two tins with wire handles to the kitchen to place on the stove, “for tea” they said.

A half-filled tin was great for studying physics. Roll it along a table and see what I mean. I got 25 lines from a prefect for conducting this experiment at the dining table.

A sad day indeed for the removal of this iconic container now confined to the memory bank. How I will weep when my granddaughter takes me to the Repair Shop with the last remaining battered tin with the fading lion which they will find in the loft when we are downsizing.

John Marshall, Auchtermuchty.

Read more: World's longest running brand gets revamp after 150 years

Poor service from the banks

IT is not just power of attorney over which banks require to raise their game ("Banks ‘must raise game’ over power of attorney", The Herald, February 21), though I did have some difficulty in this respect when my mother passed away. It is their entire level of service.

Recently we were trying to transfer a liquidated stocks and shares ISA over to a cash ISA with the very well-known bank which we use. The amount of money involved was highly meaningful to us and was to support our pensions. Our own bank branch couldn’t see us personally for three to four weeks. They told us how to effect the transfer on the internet, though this still involved posting a form onto them, a process that we’d have preferred was face to face.

Firstly, and after about two weeks, during which our anxiety increased, they told us via letter that we’d used the wrong form, even though we’d used a link on their website. The letter included two forms to fill in, one of which was the form we had already filled in. After deciding we would stop dealing with our bank for the ISA, we then got a further letter from them saying they had indeed requested the transfer, based on the original form. On phoning the bank to cancel the transaction they were unhelpful. We had no confidence at all in either the bank’s level of service or that the staff cared for us as individuals.

Although the banks notionally compete, the consumer receives little benefit from this. They have a monopoly in that it is impossible to manage without them and very inconvenient to swap over. Worse, they keep telling us to look out for scams when their poor service provision forces transactions, meaningful to the customer, online. There are times when even the most computer-savvy customers, in which we include ourselves, wish to see somebody, and not a month hence.

At least we live in a city. The situation is much worse for those in not even particularly rural areas. There requires to be a watchdog who absolutely ensures that the banks provide a satisfactory minimum level of service.

Angus MacEachran, Aberdeen.

The Herald: Is the level of service we get from banks acceptable?Is the level of service we get from banks acceptable? (Image: Getty)

Paying price of bad parenting

I NOTE your report on the appalling violence and misbehaviour in Scotland's schools as highlighted by Aberdeen teachers ("Teachers are suffering broken bones amid rising pupil violence, union says", The Herald, February 21).

Undoubtedly education managers and authorities could do a lot more to contain the problem, protect staff and allow well-behaved pupils to continue their work undisturbed, but the root causes are more difficult to fix.

A November 2023 Scottish Government report on the problem said "participants in the interviews and focus groups focused on societal factors such as poverty and deprivation, and challenges associated with home and family life such as trauma and adverse childhood experiences and parenting, as the root causes of disruptive behaviour".

Poverty and deprivation are factors but don't explain why, in countries with real, desperate poverty, including Scotland in the early 20th century, pupil behaviour is and was not an issue and education seen as vital by parents and children.

The answer lies in the second part of my quote: simple bad parenting, and social changes in the last 30 years.

The number of single-parent families in the UK rose six-fold from 570,000 in 1971 to almost three million now and the number of families with both parents working full-time to fund the real-terms doubling of housing cost, plus child care, has also risen.

I don't know the answer, but I do know that until we honestly identify the problem and cause there will be no solution, and not only will we have a generation of rootless, unemployable, depressed young people, nobody will want to join a once highly-sought and valued profession: teaching.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

Read more: We urgently need a treasure trove system that matches England's

Flower is blooming great

FLOWER of Scotland has come in for repeated criticism by some media pundits and letter writers. It is therefore pleasing to report that the song is now a firm favourite as the “best” anthem among coaches and players in the 6 Nations rugby tournament; “special” and “unbelievable” among the epithets. As a song chosen by the terraces hoi polloi it has earned its place as Scotland’s sporting cri de guerre, though I would personally choose a “belter” for a new national anthem, once we are free.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.