Carluke and Lanark Gazette Readers’ Letters

LANARK reader Jack Alston took this atmospheric photo of Lanark Racecourse Tote Tower at night. Jack, of Gavel Lane, Lanark, caught the scene on a cold, frosty January night. Submit your pictures to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL, or email them to
LANARK reader Jack Alston took this atmospheric photo of Lanark Racecourse Tote Tower at night. Jack, of Gavel Lane, Lanark, caught the scene on a cold, frosty January night. Submit your pictures to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL, or email them to

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


Dear Ed, – Ian Arbuckle presumes the writer of whom he complains is male. Perhaps women aren’t expected to voice opinions; “..for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). A Christian apologetics site says: “I would quickly leave my church if it started to have women preach from the pulpit.”

I admit the “context” of slayings and genocide committed by “God” in the Bible does mystify me, but then a Bible site says: “Killing is a means that God utilizes to ensure that His will is done…”

Arbuckle repeats the assertion that extreme weather and, by extension, other punishments result from “God’s” anger.

If we have free will, as Christians assert, why does “God” punish us with floods, diseases, etc when the “Day of Judgement” awaits us? Does “God” need two bites at the cherry? Do these divine floods and earthquakes only afflict ‘bad’ people? Tell all the flood victims in Somerset what they’ve done to annoy “God”.

If “God” really wants to go after someone, why not victimize a Colombian drug baron or a paedophile priest?

The “End Days” are coming as foreshadowed by the “increase” in wars, extreme weather, political unrest, etc. Measured by whom over what period? Political unrest and wars have been around, believe it or not, ever since humans formed sizeable settlements. Floods and earthquakes have occurred for millions of years – unless you “believe” the Earth is 6,000 years old (as Biblical fundamentalists assert).

If the world is going to end “soon” – as has been wrongly predicted so many times - then there’s no point in legislating anything is there? Thomas Jefferson considered the Book of Revelations “..the ravings of a maniac..”.

Religionists tend to be indoctrinated in whatever sub-sect their parents belong to which means their beliefs and practices are necessarily arbitrary. Had the circumstances of their birth been different they could hold equally ‘devout’ but different beliefs. Religious pressure groups constantly seek to interfere with democratic legislatures but are happy to accept tax breaks for prosyletizing and the teaching of creationism.

Modern secular democracies enact policy based on experience and rational debate rather than the arbitrary “beliefs” religionists espouse. How many competing religious ‘voices’ should our legislators give an ear to?- each utterly convinced they know the absolute “truth”, like the Christian Scientists who protested against compulsory smallpox vaccinations in the 19th century.

Religionists can’t even agree what they believe and what they practice in their sub-sects. When a rape victim in Sudan is fined for ‘adultery’ and threatened with death by stoning, when a young girl is shot in the head for seeking an education, when a mentally-ill UK citizen faces the death penalty in Pakistan for blasphemy, we see what happens when religious extremism threatens the secular state.

And I withhold my name to prevent extreme religionists from physically assaulting me in “God’s” name (it happens). – Yours etc.,


drinking poll

Dear Ed, – I was surprised to read in your article on page six of this weeks Gazette that a poll of public opinion, had been taken on the subject of Lanimer public drinking.

I was so interested to find out the technological details of these futuristic machines that I rang South Lanarkshire Customer service desk. Not surprisingly the lady who answered had not the faintest clue as to what I was enquiring about.

However she rang Lanark office to be told that the machines were in the Q&A for two weeks for local people to express their views and that this had been well advertised.

I have spoken to quite a few people on this subject and have yet to find one who was aware that this service had started.

I back tracked and I’d missed it! A six line paragraph in the Gazette of February 12 did note to the effect that “the consultation via ‘Opinionmeters in several locations around the town”.

Several locations!

Where were these locations or were there several machines in one location? Who advertised where the machines were located and how they should be used? Should the populace be trained in use of these machines? Who has paid for these machines? If they are council machines who is to be charged with compiling trustworthy reporting?

As Lanimers is so embedded in the whole of South Lanarkshire and attracts visitors from the entire county, were these machines distributed, to cover the views of Lanarkians everywhere?

Perhaps the answer to the delayed results has been influenced by these questions. Or was it not well thought out in the first place?

In future the council might inform the press and the likes of the Gazette might then with confidence inform the Public to enable the Public voice to be heard loud and clear.

Maybe there should be an Opinionmeter on the council website, or have I missed that too. – Yours etc.,



Car park closure

Dear Ed, – I can only say that I was shocked and angered at the story in the Gazette regarding the closure of the RBS car park to supposedly ‘help’ RBS customers.

I have been an RBS customer for over 50 years and have used the Carluke branch regularly for the 30 years I have lived here. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been unable to find a space in the car park during the normal week and at the weekends the car park is almost empty.

I would like to make the following points:

1 How will opening the car park only between 9am and 5pm stop local workers using it as they will almost certainly work the same hours as the bank staff?

2 How will customers using cars be able to access the ATM machine between 5pm and 9am? Will they also close the ATM machine or will customers have to try to find car parking spaces?

3 How will closing the car park stop the anti-social behaviour taking place there? There is no gate on the front and the gates which are already installed are very easily jumped over or crawled under.

This action will not ‘help’ customers but only hinder customers, who use the bank regularly. If the RBS wish to help customers why do they not try to fix permanently the potholes – or should I say craters – at the entrance to the car park?

If they have a problem with unauthorised parking, which I doubt, there are many other methods used in thousands of car parks without resorting to the draconian method of only opening the car park during branch opening hours. – Yours etc.,



Calendar girls

Dear Ed, – In all of my years of directing I have never been so impressed with the audiences on Friday and Saturday nights.

The people laughed and applauded all through our production of Calendar Girls with such generosity that delighted the cast and me and made all the hard work worthwhile.

There was such a warmth and appreciation that radiated from the audiences that I would like to thank them very much.

Not only did they inspire our cast and crew they gave to our chosen charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma by buying calendars and donating for programs or putting money in the bucket. Friday night raised £920 from donations and calendar sales; with a smaller audience on Saturday night we raised £450.

We still have to receive our share of the ticket sales from Graham at the Memorial Hall.

When all the funds have been tallied a picture will be taken by the Lanark Gazette of a representative from Leukaemia and Lymphoma receiving the final amount raised by us. A great thanks again to the Lanark people and anyone else who attended our production of Calendar Girls. – Yours etc.