Readers’ Letters

Crosstalk 40 12
Crosstalk 40 12

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

2012 challenge

Dear Ed. – I am writing this as the latest storm with winds gusting to at least 80mph and the police sirens blaring as I think about the article in last week’s Gazette about the delays regarding the work on the Murray chapel.

This story is symptomatic of just how bad things are in Lanark.

On Monday January 2 I came back into Lanark from Livingston and the car was almost shaken to bits by the dreadful state of the road surface in Cleghorn Road.

I was quite angry about this considering for months there have been traffic lights at this spot and the road surface is considerable worse than it was before !

I also noticed that a fine Victorian house nearby had been demolished which formed part of the Victorian streetscape extending from Hope Street along Cleghorn Road.

But that is just part of a general malaise affecting Lanark and Clydesdale in general.

On New Year’s Eve I went to have a look at the state of the old St Kentigern’s Church and the castle.

Nothing has been done to either place bar the work undertaken by Lanark in Bloom on the Smellie memorial at Old St Kentigern’s.

It has been at least six years since I was involved in alerting the authorities about the need to do something about St Kentigern’s and two years about the castle.

What then is the state of play?

Old St Kentigern’s was shored up to prevent it collapsing but now the shoring is beginning to fall away and the Cleghorn Aisle is losing more of its roof to the elements as no steps were taken to ensure that it was made wind and water tight.

Why should we be concerned about St Kentigern’s?

St Kentigern’s, with its connections with William Wallace, should be one of Scotland’s premier tourist attractions.

Wallace is far more iconic than Robert the Bruce and indeed on a trip to Libya in 2006 my taxi driver knew about William Wallace, stopped his taxi and bought me a drink!

The point of this story is that Lanark has heritage of worldwide significance but it is not cared for.

The same applies to Lanark Castle that has had two major landslips in the past two years but nothing has been done about stabilizing it.

Finally, on the subject of Wallace, Lanark does have the original monuments connected with Wallace.

Stirling has nothing – not even the sword belongs to Wallace’s time.

So here is the challenge for 2012 for the Scottish Government, Historic Scotland and Visit Scotland: restore and conserve an important part of our Heritage and help to put Lanark on the map. – Yours etc.,


Hope Street,


Christmas cheer

Dear Ed, – On December 25, the community dinner, for anyone in the area who felt the need of company, was attended by 27 people ranging in age from one year of age to 90 years of age.

The guests met in St John’s Church Hall at 1pm where a full Christmas dinner was served by a willing group of helpers who had worked hard decorating the hall and cooking the meal.

Ramsay’s of Carluke generously donated the turkey and trimmings, Clarks Bakery donated the mince pies and cake and Occasions donated the helium balloons to decorate the hall.

The guests voted the afternoon a success and requested a repeat next year when they would feel the need of company on this special day. – Yours etc.,



Family album

Dear Ed, – I am writing to tell you about a special new book that I hope will be of use to some of your readers, especially at this time of year.

When a child joins their new adoptive family it is always exciting, but it can also be an unsettling and confusing time.

Getting to know a whole new extended family can be daunting for a child who may have experienced neglect, trauma and loss.

“Me and My Family” is a unique book intended for children and their new adoptive family to use together to help them get to know each other better.

This colourful, interactive and fun workbook is designed to be written, drawn and coloured in by the child.

It has plenty of room for photos and mementos of days out, as well as spaces for thoughts and feelings – both happy and sad.

Family members can also contribute to the book with their own writing and drawings as well as talking about it with the child.

Devised by children’s social worker Jean Maye and published by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), this fun and engaging book is a great resource.

It should help build confidence and give reassurance to children when they become part of their new family, as well as a book to reassure for years to come.

For further information please visit – Yours etc.,


Chief Executive,

British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF),


Train that pup

Dear Ed, – A third of children will have asked for a dog for Christmas this year according to Dogs Trust research. And, despite our slogan “A Dog is For Life, Not Just for Christmas®” there will still be some families who found a puppy under the tree this year.

It is often rescue centres such as Dogs Trust West Calder and Dogs Trust Glasgow who have to pick up the pieces after the novelty of a new puppy has worn off.

If any readers did receive a puppy as a gift this year, we would really like to encourage them to take time to invest in training and caring for their new friend to ensure many happy years together.

We run puppy training courses at many of our Rehoming Centres so do sign up, or download our new puppy training app ‘You and Your Puppy’. The app is packed with videos and covers everything from the responsibilities of ownership to introducing dogs to children, and training advice.

All of the information is on our website – Yours etc.,


Dogs Trust Head of Canine Behaviour and Training,


Volunteer now

Dear Ed, – Whether it was Big Society or riot clean ups, there was undoubtedly a spotlight on volunteering during 2011 and, as we enter 2012, the need for local support continues.

Volunteering in 2012 is not about committing huge amounts of time; it’s about finding the opportunities that suit and make a difference.

Our charity runs the national volunteering database,, where there’s around one million opportunities to volunteer with charities across the UK. A little time can make a big difference. I would implore your readers to log onto Do-it and volunteer. – Yours etc.,


Chairman of YouthNet.