IT was extremely interesting to read Colin Gunn's letter (September 5) concerning the poor standard of facilities at Edinburgh airport.

When the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) decided to begin the process of breaking up BAA plc on the basis that common ownership of seven of the UK's major airports was not conducive to the future of aviation, the chairman of the OFT specified that the future owners should have detailed experience in the development and management of airports.

The current state of Edinburgh Airport and the overall facilities seem to indicate that where ownership is primarily concerned with "making a fast buck", then the travelling public will be the major losers.

Mike Dooley, Ayr.

A shoddy welcome

COLIN Gunn took the words right out of my mouth re the state of international arrivals at Edinburgh Airport.

My wife and I flew from and returned to Edinburgh on a recent Canadian trip, coming back to Edinburgh last Saturday (September 2). We stay in Gourock but Glasgow was not an option.

Going out was fine. The parking at Edinburgh was cheaper than Glasgow, security was efficient and more or less friendly and other facilities were fine. But on our return it was a different story.

Like Mr Gunn, my wife and I were dismayed at the shoddy corridors from the aircraft. Up and down stairs we went, musing on what we had experienced in Canada.

Passport control was a joke. There was one person who seemed to have English as a second language overseeing 10 electronic gate readers, of which two seemed to be malfunctioning; there were only two manned booths. This for five transatlantic flights that had arrived. I assume that airports know when flights are arriving, so surely they could arrange for extra coverage.

In the baggage hall luggage from five flights was being put on to one carousel. The luggage hall was dirty, the toilets were a disgrace.

On leaving the arrivals the public areas were also dirty with litter everywhere.

What a welcome to Scotland. Shoddy, dirty and nobody cares.

What a message we send to visitors.

Rev David WG Burt, Greenock.

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A sad symbol of today's society

I LIVE in the southside of Glasgow, in Govanhill, and in the past six to eight weeks our local park - small, in the middle of four streets and rows of tenement buildings, beautifully designed and with seating, gardens, grass and two play areas for children - has been completely re-formed, tidied, replanted, and left looking superb; I understand that the update and total refurbishment was partly prompted because of the nasty rat invasion in this area, which was reported in your newspaper. And I notice that the update continues with earth beds being prepared for wild flowers to be planted. And so a thank-you nod to our city council, which I presume was responsible for this make-over; I am very quick to complain about our council, our politicians - not just here of course, but all over our country - for messing up everything in the UK today, one way or the other.

But the sun has arrived here - at last - and our Govanhill Park, in under two weeks, has been turned into one of the most disgusting places in this area, and that's saying something. Graffiti on some of the new items in the children's play areas, and rubbish galore; this past weekend has seen our once-wonderful park turned into a disgusting hovel, not by politicians or council workers or street cleaners, but because of the public: children, teenagers and, sad to say, adults too, who sit walk, drink, eat, smoke and already have ruined the grass areas, the seating areas and pathways with discarded bottles, carry-outs, packets, sweets, crisp bags, cigarette packets, you name it.

So for once, and I include myself in this comment, why even bother to complain about our public services and the people who run them, when it is totally obvious who is to blame for the horrendous state of our local park? Catriona Stewart writes today that National Service may be what teenagers today require ("National service may be what teens need", The Herald, September 5). Good idea, and add some of their parents to that wish list.

Unless we are taught when we are young, when we are growing up, when we are learning, what is right, what is wrong, what exactly our responsibilities are to ourselves and to our neighbours, this downward spiral in standards will continue - as you can see if you pop into our local park.

Walter Paul, Glasgow.

An echo of Yeats

I NOTE a very insightful article from Neil Mackay ("Britain is a Brutalist state falling apart like our schools", The Herald, September 5). It was as though he’d just been re-reading Yeats’s The Second Coming: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity."

Perhaps his solution is a bit simplistic. Perhaps we need a Great Awakening.

Andrew Scott, Milngavie.

Strawberry tarts are not enough

I AM sitting in a flat in the West End of Glasgow reading Daniella Theis’s reflections on the pleasures and pains of what-if dreaming ("Is it time to stop obsessing over my dreams of what if?", The Herald, September 4). Later this week I will depart Glasgow to return to Australia, the place that I went to in 1972 for what was to be a one-year adventure.

Every return to Scotland prompts a flurry of what-if dreaming and even looking in real estate windows as we juggle the greener grass of Scotland. Nevertheless my Australian-born wife and I will jump on the plane for the long hike back to Adelaide.

In the end, the lure of strawberry tarts, lemon sole and haggis, neeps and tatties and much more are never quite enough to get us making the move back to Scotland.

Mind you, we will be back next year and who knows what might happen then.

Stewart Sweeney, Glasgow.