Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.
Dear Ed, - Your very interesting article in a recent edition about the Clyde Valley in the Golden Days made reference to Milton Lockhart House and its amazing history. It was of course dismantled stone by stone and shipped to Japan by a famous Japanese film star and director Masahiko Tsugawa.
He was impressed by it when travelling along the A72 in 1987. This being before the days of container ships, in 1988 it had to be transported overland by the Trans Siberian Railway through “Cold War” Russia to Japan.
He intended it to be a Fairytale/Santa Claus Castle. After many years of storage it was finally rebuilt and “enhanced” with turrets and ramparts with an array of Scottish Saltire flags.
The modern 21st Century history is even more unusual. It has been rebranded as Lockheart Castle - a 25 acre European/Scottish theme park for lovers and a very popular venue for weddings near Tokyo. There is also a Santa Claus Museum holding Mr Tsugawa’s famous collection of Santa Claus figures.
Inside the Castle reproductions of the British Royal Throne with a copy Stone of Destiny can be viewed as well as Highland outfits worn by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The flag of “Sir Windsor” is on show. From an arcade of shops, tartan tins of oatcakes are sold as well as shortbread and whisky.
This unusual collection includes a blue Rolls Royce apparently used by Princess Diana when she visited Japan and Jackie Kennedy’s costume jewellery.
There is a Lovers Sanctuary and a Spring Bell presumably unrelated to our own “Wee Bell” at Lanark’s Whuppity Scoorie on March 1!
A more detailed story of Milton Lockhart was published in an article by myself in the January 2008 edition of “The Scots Magazine”.
Milton Lockhart House is enjoying its own unique Golden Age. - Yours etc.,
T HENRY SHANKS,
Dear Ed, – We’d like to clarify the NHS Lanarkshire position following the article which appeared in your newspaper on February 10 entitled ‘Service at Risk’.
The counselling service in Lanarkshire is one of a number of psychological therapies which are offered to patients through NHS Lanarkshire’s mental health services.
Improving access to psychological therapies is a key Scottish Government commitment which is underpinned by a new waiting time target to be achieved by December 2014.
NHS Lanarkshire has provided a variety of psychological therapies for a number of years but acknowledges that there have been issues of variance and a lack of uniformity, further characterised by lengthy waiting times.
A service review carried out in conjunction with key stakeholders, concluded with a new service model ensuring every locality in Lanarkshire will have its own psychological therapies team with a single access point for referrals, ensuring that any referral is allocated to the most appropriate professional.
In recognition of the additional priority which we have given psychological therapies, there has been an increase in the level of funding to that service.
We are confident that these steps, as well as providing an improved service to patients, will also lead to a reduction in waiting times across Lanarkshire.
We hope this reassures your readers of NHS Lanarkshire’s commitment to improving psychological therapies across Lanarkshire. – Yours etc.,
Director North Lanarkshire CHP.
Manager Lanarkshire Links.
Voters have say
Dear Ed, – Labour MSP Karen Gillon says that she is disappointed by the decision to approve the incinerator at Dovesdale Farm.
Many of her constituents will be even more disappointed that she was not able to persuade a single Labour councillor to vote against the proposal.
Projects in this area seem to get the go-ahead no matter what local people think – the quarry at Mainshill Wood went ahead, and the Overburns proposal has not gone away.
When will local Labour representatives stop taking voters for granted?
Maybe when voters send them a strong message at the next election! – Yours etc.,
JANICE H JESS,
Fairer cash splash
Dear Ed, – I was dismayed to read that South Lanarkshire intends to continue the OAP Christmas Party Grants.
In the days of cuts in public services and job losses it seems a misguided generosity with tax payers money!
It might not be a banker’s bonus amount, but it could be put to better use, rather than providing food and drink.
If you are a member of a club/group and it has a Christmas Party, they can apply for £7 for each member who could attend. If you belong to more than one Club/Group you can claim £7 towards the cost of each meal.
BUT if you are not a member of any club/group and do not go to any Christmas Party then you get £0! Not fair!
There is no check on numbers when clubs apply and no refunds wanted. Surely, it would be fairer to give all OAPs a £7 voucher to spend as they wish? - Yours etc.,