Readers' letters

Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.


Dear Ed, — We hear daily from the government, and through the media, that it is taking longer to climb out of this recent recession than expected.

We have also just come through an extremely severe winter, leaving many with much higher gas and electric bills.

Yet a local bowling club has now decided at its Annual General Meeting (passed by one vote only) to increase only its senior citizens fees to the same amount paid by its members who are in employment. (Take into account that the membership is half made up by senior citizens.)

It is also fair to say that the council and councillors are desperate to show that they are trying their utmost to keep costs down across the board. Especially coming up to an election.

You just have to look at the leisure benefits awarded by the council to its senior citizens through the opening of the new Leisure Centre.

We are also being reminded daily about Getting Out and Getting Active and I feel this is a step in the wrong direction, to raise funds.

It is also about the community of a social network for the elderly.

It can only be detrimental to the dedication and enthusiasm of the seniors, who, by the way, are in the majority when it comes to having represented the club many times by qualifying and reaching the Lanarkshire Finals and the Scottish Finals at Northfield, bringing a lot of pride and recognition to the club and Lanark.

This is a Public Green, which is council owned, and its citizens would still be able to play their bowls, paying a nominal Pay as You Go Fee to the council.

But their loyalty over the years to their club in competition games ie. Clydesdale, Lanarkshire and Scottish, would be greatly missed.

We hope the committee will re-think its actions and common sense will prevail. There are surely other alternatives to raise funds!

Lanark Thistle Bowling Club has a long history, celebrating its 250th Anniversary this year; it does not make a very good start to the season. Yours etc.,



Dear Ed, — The name and address withheld correspondent, in the Gazette of February 25, complained about the new rail station car park at Carluke because it was damaging to the environment.

We are aware that car parks are not particularly good for the environment but there are car parks at shops, schools, community centres, sports grounds, hospitals and even at some bus park and rides so it is hardly sensible to ban them at railway stations.

We could not go on with train users parking on pavements, blocking accesses, getting cars damaged, towed away with a 150 penalty or deciding to drive to their destinations rather than use the train.

Clydesdale only has two stations with anything like a good service and a lot of people are bound to have to drive to get to the stations.

It's a pity that British Railways was forced to sell off station goods yards years ago but that is what happened.

So South Lanarkshire Council looked for the best solution possible.

It was unable to persuade the railway authorities to open new stations or start new train services or even, because of deregulation, run bus services connecting with trains.

It is a pity we have to tarmac over even more green land but nobody else is willing to fund an alternative. — Yours etc.,

RALPH BARKER,Clydesdale Rail Action Group,

Hope Street,



Dear Ed, — After reading your report on the shocking attack on Naveed Ghani, and then his brother-in-law Shazad Hussain, and the subsequent fallout from it, my intention today was to write a message of support and encouragement to the private and decent Ghani family.

Over the years, as a neighbour and customer, I have found them to be totally without rancour.

Then I remembered this insightful quotation: ''When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or an European or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.

When you separate yourself by belief by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.'' (Krishnamurti 1895-1986) India. — Yours etc.,


Stewart Street,



Dear Ed, — I read with interest the latest instalment in the ongoing saga of the Lanark Silver Bell in the Lanark Gazette.

After two years of staging the Silver Bell Race as part of the Cash For Kids Charity event, the ancient trophy now seems to have regained enough of its previous status and reverence to be the centre point of its own card.

At first, that appears to be good news. The fact there's so much interest in the old trophy from top trainers and owners around the country shows there is respect for the Silver Bell's history.

But perhaps money is the real reason for this scheduling change. As part of the Cash For Kids night, proceeds from the Bell meeting went to the charity.

But with its newly restored popularity, maybe it was thought that a standalone event for the trophy would mean a full house where the money didn't have to split with a charitable organisation.

So what does this mean for the Cash For Kids night? Will it be a lesser standard of races and horses that are lined up, therefore failing to attract as many punters through the gates, losing out on much-needed funds? I would like to hope not.

Another way that revenue could be maximised at these charity nights is to ensure that every single person through the gates actually pays an entrance fee — no freebies for politicians, councillors, dignatories or any other hangers-on.

It's great the Silver Bell has received such interest once again, but let us not forget what is important in all of this — that is the money that's raised for a very worthwhile cause. — Yours etc.,