Carluke and Lanark Gazette Readers’ letters

Crosstalk 13 6
Crosstalk 13 6

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

Team did well!

Dear Ed, – Through the auspices of your newspaper we would like to convey to the Carstairs Junction Primary School how really proud we were of our wee team, who took part in the Rotary Club Inter Schools Quiz at Robert Owen Primary School.

Samantha Riley, Katy Kerr, Lucy Steele and Graham Jess were all very smart in their school uniforms with its new logo. They were, as always, well behaved and polite.

Competition was fierce and congratulations to the drafters of the questions because they fairly stretched the kids’ minds, not to mention some of the parents in the audience.

Carstairs Junction Primary Team jockeyed for position and by round six were in the lead, when they were overtaken by Robert Owen Primary, who had two teams in the competition? One of the questions which we felt our team were a bit unfairly marked down on, in our opinion, was on “identify sources of green energy”.

Our kids answered “windmills” and they lost points for not saying wind turbines. This surprised us because windmills were used as the power source to grind corn and pump water long before the term “green energy” was ever invented.

The Rotary Club adjudicators should have known that, so just shows how smart they were! These criticisms aside, it proved to be a very good and well organised event. Well done anyway kids. You were a credit to Carstairs Junction Primary School and the village of Carstairs Junction. – Yours etc.,


Coronation Street,

Carstairs Junction.

Smellie wisdom

Dear Ed, – From Witchcraft to Wisdom, a textbook on the history of obstetrics and gynaecology hails him as “the greatest obstetrician in the history of British obstetrics”. March 5, 2013 was the 250th anniversary of the death of William Smellie, born in Lanark in 1697, a remarkable man buried in St. Kentigern’s.

After attending Lanark Grammar and Glasgow University, he set up practice as a surgeon and pharmacist in the town. Later, together with William Hunter, East Kilbride, 1718-83, he found fame and fortune in London.

There, both progressed the teaching of anatomy and midwifery. Like most anatomists of their day, the greatest challenge was a shortage of cadavers.

Enter the notorious Scots body snatchers, Burke and Hare, who allegedly supplied the great Robert Knox with corpses for demonstration. In London did the two Williams resort to ‘burking’; the murder of people to order for medical research?

In a true attempt to remedy the lack, William Hunter was so impressed by the muscular physique of a recently hung felon that he skinned that he removed the body fat and had a plaster cast made of the skeleton.

Nicknamed Smugglerius, he used this in anatomical demonstrations. Incidentally Smugglerius is still used today in Edinburgh College of Art by students of life drawing. But as has been suggested, did they resort to ‘burking’ – becoming serial killers?

Whatever the truth, their researches led to the ‘howdie’ wife’s attendance often being supplemented by an obstetrician.

Worldwide generations of women have reason to be grateful to these two Scotsmen. – Yours etc.,


Castle Yett,


Mother of arts

Dear Ed, – Two stories in the Gazette last week reminded me of an old quote that ‘agriculture is the Mother of all arts’.

The food chain is ignored until it is in the headlines. I am sure many other Gazette readers send thanks to Liz Barthram, Bryan Kerr and all the folk who set up the Food Bank for the Clydesdale area.

I have listened to reports over time about food banks elsewhere; it’s shocking that it is a necessity here.

Our local elected representatives want to resolve this, I am sure, but they need our help to make changes in policy. We need to let them know that we want change – writing to them stating our views and suggestions would be a start.

Seeking out local food producers would also help as local businesses create local jobs.

We, the public, need to inform ourselves about the complex issues that affect our food supplies.

Lanark Community Development Trust’s hard work on Castlebank is really worthwhile as it would give Lanark a Horticultural Training Facility and the opportunity to introduce a new generation to a fact of life – it comes from the soil. – Yours etc.,


via email.

Bank thank you

Dear Ed, – On behalf of New Beginnings Clydesdale and Clydesdale Food Bank I want to thank the management and staff of Tesco in Carluke and Lanark for allowing us the use of their premises for the launch of the Food Bank on Saturday, March 9.

Also a very large “thank you” is due to all the members of the public who took the time to talk to us and who were so very generous in their donations of food and cash.

The response was magnificent and will be a huge help in our efforts to help those throughout Clydesdale.

Many people expressed the thought that it is so easy to find yourself in the position of not being able to afford food because of redundancy, illness, unexpected bills etc.

And they said they were happy to be able to help.

We will repeat the exercise in Tesco Lesmahagow on Friday, March 15, and we look forward to meeting the public there. – Yours etc.,


Clydesdale Food Bank.

Knitting request

Dear Ed, – I have holidayed many times in your part of the country and find the local people lovely.

I was wondering whether anyone has any used/unwanted dolls’ clothes and toys crochet or knitting patterns they don’t use anymore?

My daughter is learning to knit and crochet and we are finding these really hard to find. – Yours etc.,


1 Hillcrest,


North Yorkshire,

YO7 4JJ.