Readers’ letters

Beautiful Carluke by Kirk Gemmill
Beautiful Carluke by Kirk Gemmill

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

Beautiful Carluke...reader Kirk Gemmill sent in our feature photograph, taken on the Peebles road into Carluke town centre last Sunday around 6pm. And he and his partner Susan were astonished that it turned out so well. “It was an instinct shot, through a rain spattered windshield, of our moving car,” he said. Readers’ photos are always welcome. Submit them, for the attention of the editor, to

Fair way to trade

Dear Ed, – I note Lanark shopkeepers are urging people to shop local, something I’d endorse, although, sadly, nowadays Lanark has too few shops to let people do all their shopping in town.

When I was growing up Lanark, the county town, attracted significant numbers of visitors, people who spent in shops, restaurants, cafes, etc.

I think Lanark, and its business group, should not just rely on Lanarkians shopping locally, but also try to put the town back on the map as somewhere people visit for a day out.

Various national experts are continually saying that traditional town centres need to reinvent themselves, with two of their suggestions being encouraging the evening trade (benefiting pubs, restaurants, evening venues etc) and special events.

I’m not sure how Lanark could reinvent itself for evening trade, but special events should be easy enough.

At the moment the town only has two events which will attract visitors into Lanark - Lanimers (why isn’t it on a Saturday to maximise visitor numbers and trade?) and the Christmas market. Both events attract thousands onto our streets, so why not have some more similar big events at other times of the year.

The mediaeval fair at Castlebank was great and attracted thousands into the town. A couple of years ago there was an Easter fair and continental market which again attracted thousands.

Shopkeepers at the time said they were great for the town and their trade. Why can’t they be revived, giving Lanark events at Easter, June, August and November?

That would at least be a start towards helping put the Royal Burgh back on the map, attracting visitors back to Lanark and helping put much needed cash into local tills. – Yours etc.,


via email,


Poor use of cash?

Dear Ed, – I feel I have to reply to the letters about the Gaelic language. I have no doubt of the sincerity of those who are keen to support Gaelic and indeed I would be the first to support it in the areas such as Argyll and the Western isles where it is important to the local people.

However I have several concerns. The first is the aim to introduce Gaelic everywhere; the first part of this process has been the signs at the railway stations. It is a pity that many of these are bogus names and more alarmingly written in poor Gaelic.

However I am more worried about the amount of money being allocated to it at a time of cuts in the Education budget.

In Glasgow for example a new Gaelic school for 200 pupils is being built when cuts such as the closure of school libraries are taking place. I personally do not think that this is right. The money being allocated to Gaelic would be better spent on maintaining and supporting Educational services especially those targeting Literacy and Numeracy. Young people both need and deserve help to get a foot in the job market.

Finally, I did research all the facts about the cost of the Gaelic project and how local authorities have to put in fifty percent of the money out of scarce Council tax resources.

I looked at papers on the issue and spoke with people both in Education and COSLA about it. As a result of those researches I thought it was important to have a full and frank discussion about all the issues. – Yours etc.,


Hope Street.


Mobile mystery

Dear Ed, – I was wondering if anyone else from the Shand Lane area of Carluke has been in touch with you regarding problems with mobile telephone reception?

Over the last couple of months something strange has been going on with the mobile signal: every time my partner or I try to use our mobile telephone when we are home we have major problems with it. We keep losing the signal and the person at the other end of the telephone can hear us but we cannot hear them.

This is becoming increasingly frustrating for us as nine times out of ten we end up calling the person back on our landline and this obviously costs more money and defeats the purpose of having a mobile contract.

I have heard through the grapevine that people are speculating it is to do with one of two things: either a wind turbine that has gone up recently or the fact that someone has a CB arial outside their house which has apparently been causing disruption to people’s computers and televisions as well.

Can anyone else shed some light on the mystery of the mobile signals? – Yours etc.,


Shand Lane,


Who goes free?

Dear Ed, – Edinburgh City Council said it was committed to integrating Edinburgh’s bus network with the trams and extending the free bus pass scheme to local people.

This suggests that only Edinburgh residents should be able to travel free on the tram system when it opens in 2014.

As a considerable sum of the costs has been put up by the Scottish Government, surely all Scottish bus pass holders should be able to travel free, or is just another kick in the teeth for those who pay their way but live in the sticks? – Yours etc.,


Whiteshaw Drive,


Whup up thanks

Dear Ed, – I would like to thank the Lanark Gazette for its Whuppity Scoorie article last week.

That, along with the dedication of the Community Council for the organisation of this ancient tradition, has given Lanark a unique (lovely) family night out.

A special thank you to Linda and Greta for their assistance in the Whuppity Scoorie workshops. – Yours etc.,