Readers’ letters

Counting house'New Lanark'2/8/12
Counting house'New Lanark'2/8/12

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

A rich heritage

Dear Ed, – I write to thank you for publishing New Lanark’s Role in Ireland’s History 100th Anniversary in last week’s Gazette.

My name is Ronald GA Jess and I am a direct descendant of one of the signatories to the Ulster Covenant Petition of 1912.

My great-grandfather Joe Jess and his brother Samuel came to work in New Lanark Mills from Dromore/Ballykeel, County Down, Ulster.

My grandfather was Samuel Jess who worked for many, many years for the Lanark Co-operative Society. Driving one of the horse-drawn carts, he delivered the rolls in the morning and the coal in the afternoon to New Lanark and elsewhere in the area.

He was often as a result referred to in the village as “Rollman Coalman” which was a jocular nickname after the famous Hollywood actor of the time, Ronald Coleman.

He was also famous for the way he was able to work with and handle the big Clydesdale horse which drew the cart; this is all the more surprising because my Grandad was not a tall man and as a result of a childhood accident only had the use of one hand.

I have always been very proud of my family connection and history with both New Lanark and the Six Counties and their loyalty to the British Crown.

That loyalty was tested to the limit in World War Two when all of my grandfather’s sons were called to serve. My father James Jess (8th Army) is sadly now deceased, as are his brothers Joe (Parachute Regiment), Sam (Burma Star, POW, Dumfries & Lanarkshire Yeomanry); and sister Winnie.

The youngest son, sadly, did not survive the conflict – Andrew (Rifleman Andrew Jess, Cameronian) was killed in action in September 1944 during Operation Market Garden. His name is on the War Memorial in the under refurbishment Memorial Hall.

However, my Mother Juliette, aged 87 years, still lives in the family home in Hospitland Drive, Lanark.

The house has been occupied by my family since it was built in 1936. There are also Jess cousins, nieces and nephews scattered throughout the community.

It was once said in New Lanark, “that if you threw a stone in New Lanark School playground, you were sure to hit a Jess or one of their connections”. Lol!

So I thank you on behalf of all of us for bringing to light a long forgotten part of our family heritage. – Yours etc.,


Coronation Street,

Carstairs Junction.

Wedding invite

Dear Ed, – There is still time to apply to be invited to this year’s Golden Wedding celebrations.

South and North Lanarkshire Councils are hosting three special afternoon tea dances from Wednesday, September 12, to Friday, September 14, for Lanarkshire couples celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2012.

The 2012 Golden Weddings events will take place each afternoon in the Banqueting Hall in South Lanarkshire Council’s headquarters in Hamilton. If you live in Lanarkshire and 2012 is your Golden Wedding Year, write to: South Lanarkshire Council Administration Services, Floor 2, Almada Street, Hamilton, ML3 0AA.

Please include your name, address and contact telephone number in order that we can put you on the invitation list. With this letter you should also enclose a photocopy of your Marriage Certificate.

A form requesting further details will be sent to all couples as soon as possible.

However, as this event is so popular, invitations are strictly limited to Golden Wedding couples – other family members cannot be included unless there is a genuine requirement for their assistance.

You also have the option of sending us your wedding photo which we will use as part of a presentation and in the souvenir programme. Please provide your name and address on the back. The photograph will be returned.

If you require further information please contact Lynne Wyllie on 01698 455361. – Yours etc.,



South Lanarkshire Council.

DVLA support

Dear Ed, – More than half a million people have backed a campaign calling on the Westminster government to award a new contract for DVLA services to the Post Office.

The huge response to a campaign by The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) launched just two weeks ago has already seen 500,000 Post Office customers across the UK pledge their support by signing postcards addressed to their MP.

There are fears that if the Post Office fails to win the £60m-a-year contract, thousands of post offices will struggle to survive without the crucial income DVLA transactions currently bring. A decision is expected from the Department of Transport next month.

As part of its campaign, the NFSP commissioned a national opinion poll which revealed overwhelming support for DVLA and other government services at the Post Office.

Key poll findings include:

* 88% of Scots say it is important that vehicle tax discs and driving licence services remain at post offices;

* 89% in Scotland and the UK say it is important to have face to face access to a full range of government services such as pensions and benefits;

* 75% of Scots say the Post Office is the most appropriate place to receive face to face government services.

* 63% of people in Scotland said they or someone they know would be affected if DVLA services were no longer available at the Post Office.

The huge public backing for our campaign shows that key government services such as the DVLA are vital to Post Office customers, and to the future viability of the network.

The DVLA contract must be awarded exclusively to the Post Office. Failure to do so would result in catastrophe for our post offices and would leave in tatters the government’s policy of using our post offices as the ‘front office for government’.

It is clear from our opinion poll that the vast majority of people trust and respect the Post Office and consider it to be the natural home for accessing government services.

No other organisation can offer the same level of professionalism, expertise and security to the public.

A total of 1,030 people across the UK were interviewed for the NFSP’s opinion poll by ICM research. – Yours etc.,


NFSP General Secretary.

‘Elderly’ exercise

Dear Ed, – I have recently read and watched news on TV regarding the benefits of exercise for the “older” person.

I would like to point out that LEG in Lanark has been running a class in St Nicholas Church Hall which is now approaching its 21st anniversary. It is mainly aimed at the “older person”.

I would invite readers to join us this Thursday from 6.30-8pm to find out more about a long established group which benefits the health of locals. The class is supervised by fully qualified physiotherapists.

I look forward to meeting readers and answering any of their questions. – Yours etc.,


Chairperson LEG.