Carluke and Lanark Gazette Readers’ Letters

READER Jean Boustead took this picture of the hay gathering through the side window of a moving car as her husband drove them back from Queensferry. Quick snapping Jean! If you would like to share a picture, send it to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL, or email
READER Jean Boustead took this picture of the hay gathering through the side window of a moving car as her husband drove them back from Queensferry. Quick snapping Jean! If you would like to share a picture, send it to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL, or email

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


Dear Ed, – The recent launch, “with the utmost fanfare”, of the Great Tapestry of Scotland hit the headlines just as The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry 1745 did in 2010.

Both of these were produced by tremendous communal efforts. They can serve as a timely reminder of a lone Clydesdale brodinster.

Around one hundred and fifty years ago a local tailor had an inspirational dream; the creation in stitches and fabric of a vivid record of Victorian life.

A comprehensive visual representation of everyday life in that age, from royalty to peasantry, it was to be his legacy to posterity.

Menzie Moffat (1829 -1907), born in Carnwath (a white craw) but living in Biggar, was a man of many pairts. Painter, photographer and political radicalist, he embraced the movements of his age.

On his death he left two masterpieces – The Royal Crimean Hero Tablecover and The Star. Working alone, he laboured for seven years with the meticulous, painstaking commitment required of inlay patchwork. The result was two wonderful works of art.

Alone he died, often a figure of fun to the local children, a pauper who required a parish burial. His dying wish was that he be buried, “wrapt roond wi’ the gairment I wove lang syne frae the depth of my sinfu’ soul”.

Fortunately the council which met the burial costs, ignoring his plea, put it on display in the town hall. The tablecover that had marched on the Franchise Marches of 1880 – 1892 bearing the motto: The Franchise Bill Is the Tailors’ Will was saved.

Thanks to Brian Lambie, both now hang in Biggar’s Moat Park Museum along with other reminders of this remarkable man. Earlier this year they featured in the museum’s exhibition “Quirks and Quilts”. – Yours etc.,



dementia stats

Dear Ed, – I wish to alert readers to the worrying fact there are still too many people who are living with dementia but have never received a diagnosis.

New figures reveal that across the UK, only 48 per cent of people living with dementia ever get a diagnosis. This is an increase of just two per cent on last year, despite government efforts to improve this.

I ask for your help as I am supporting the Alzheimer’s Society campaign to raise awareness of this key issue.

A diagnosis is just as important to people who live with dementia as the key to your car or your own front door. It unlocks access to support, information, and sometimes treatment. With the right help it is possible to live well with dementia, and a diagnosis allows people to plan for the future.

These shocking new figures show that dementia is still yet to be given the same priority as other conditions. The Government, the NHS, local GPs, and the wider public all have a role to play in helping people to get the support they need. Help us change things for the better and sign up to stay in touch at

Finally, I would urge any readers who are worried about their own memory or that of a loved one to find out more at but also visit their GP. – Yours etc.,


Linden Lea,


NEW JOb for MP?

Dear Ed, – In the week in which Scotland faced the most serious industrial relations crisis in recent times, with the independence debate really starting to get into gear and with people facing going to foodbanks for Christmas lunch it’s good to see our MP David Mundell is using his well paid position of power to address weighty matters of state – like the

position of the post box in Biggar!

Taking up this sort of issue is exactly what is expected of local councillors. But Mr Mundell is an MP not a councillor and is being paid £66,396 a year compared to a councillor’s salary of £16,234.

If he wishes to act as a councillor he should either accept a salary cut to the appropriate level, or let someone else who has an interest in representing their constituents on major national issues act on our behalf in Westminster. – Yours etc,


Gas Works Rd,


common good

Dear Ed, – With regard to your front page feature “This Tribute To McRae is Just A Waste”, we wish to comment on the article and its inflammatory and misleading headline.

In response to Ms Brownlie’s comments, we should like to offer an alternative opinion by way of a letter: surely a more appropriate place to give a personal point of view than the front page.

The Playparks Action Group’s first task on formation was to conduct extensive research involving opinion polls and public meetings from as broad a cross section of the community as wished to comment. The cycle path has stemmed from this research. Having walked in these fairly extensive woods on many occasions, on paths already made and having witnessed mountain bikes in use, it seems a logical step to provide a facility which will encourage a healthy activity in all age groups and continue to bring visitors from further afield to our wonderful town. Surely, this is a true definition of Common Good.

Similarly, inviting the Community Payback Team to become involved can only be positive: land skills, teamwork and hopefully a sense of achievement in creating a lasting and requested community asset may even engender pride and satisfaction. Again, we would consider this a physical and financial contribution to the Common Good.

Tens of thousands of pounds have been raised by the Group’s voluntary efforts over the last four years. There are many groups in Lanark who contribute to making this a good town to live and raise children in. We believe that articles such as this demean and undermine their efforts, and cause unnecessary distress. Community effort is never a “waste” and Our Common Good would be much the poorer but for them. – Yours etc.,



charity ribbon

Dear Ed, – Honour Loved Ones This Christmas With Charity Ribbon Appeal.

Meningitis Now, the new name for the merged charities the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK, has today launched its 2013 Ribbon Appeal, which gives everyone an opportunity to remember loved ones this Christmas – and we’d like to invite your readers to dedicate their own ribbon.

Each year the charity helps people to honour those they have lost with a ribbon inscribed with their family member or friend’s name. These are placed on our Tree of Remembrance at our Christmas Concerts, being held this year in Liverpool, Llandaff and Gloucester. A permanent tribute is also made in our Book of Remembrance.

To dedicate a ribbon visit our website at before November 25. Ribbons can be placed by anyone left bereaved, regardless of the circumstances or cause of their loss, and all donations received in exchange for a ribbon will help Meningitis Now save lives and rebuild futures, through research, awareness and support.

It’s only through the generosity of individuals that we’re able to offer our lifesaving and life-changing services, and your support really does make a difference. For example, the funds raised from donations to our ribbon appeal last year meant we could make nearly 300,000 extra people aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease, taking the first steps to protect themselves and their family and friends.

I hope your readers will be able to help us again this year as we continue the fight against meningitis.

If anyone would like to know more about our fight against meningitis and our Ribbon Appeal, or get tickets for one of our Christmas Concerts being held during December, please visit our website. – Yours etc.,


Individual Giving Fundraiser, Meningitis Now.