Carluke and Lanark Gazette readers’ letters 16-04-14

Reader Lee-Anne Brotherstone kindly submitted this stunning shot of a sunset in Biggar High Street. Who says you need to go abroad to see a beautiful sky? We have them right here! Thanks Lee-Anne! Submit pictures to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL, or email
Reader Lee-Anne Brotherstone kindly submitted this stunning shot of a sunset in Biggar High Street. Who says you need to go abroad to see a beautiful sky? We have them right here! Thanks Lee-Anne! Submit pictures 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, – I would not disagree with anything Dr Groves says in his letter regarding the priorities of the SNP government and its insistence on the national promotion of Scottish Gaelic through the implementation of The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, which enshrines Gaelic as the only official language in Scotland. As the Act itself boasts, no other language in Scotland has this official status.

However, there is still a good case to be made for hosting the Royal National Mòd in Clydesdale, especially if it to be centred on New Lanark.

When David Dale first established his mills, he found it impossible to recruit enough workers in the locality. He therefore had to import foreign labour. In 1791, a ship carrying emigrants from Skye to America was storm-damaged off the West Coast and forced to put into port at Greenock. Dale sent a representative to offer these would-be emigrants work and houses in his new mill village.

Dale, who like many of his contemporaries, sought to exploit the drift of population away from the Highlands and Islands, pledged to build houses for 200 more families and advertised for more workers. Later, when the Clearances got properly underway in the north, many more economic migrants came from non-Gaelic Caithness, but the original workforce would have been predominantly Gaelic-speakers.

Given the historical existence of this sizeable colony of Gaelic-speakers in the industrial heart of Clydesdale, New Lanark would provide as natural a ‘home’ for the Royal National Mòd as - say - Glasgow or, indeed, Nova Scotia has done in the past. – Yours etc.,


Boghall Park,


lord braxfield

Dear Ed, – “When our ashes shall be scattered by the winds of Heaven the impartial voice of future time will rejudge your verdict”.

A trial of strength between two protagonists, the “Hanging Judge” and the “Father of Scottish Democracy”. “My crime is for having dared to be an advocate of Reform… advocate for equal representation in the House of the People”. The words of the accused, Glasgow born lawyer Thomas Muir.

Arrested January 2, 1793 charged with sedition he came before Lanark’s very own Robert McQueen, Lord Braxfield aka the “Hanging Judge”, persecutor of the “Rabble”.

His term for those of humble origin who had the affrontery to seek political justice, universal suffrage. After the most “ruthless, biased and venemous trial of the century” Muir was sentenced to an incredible fifteen years transportation to Australia. Amounting to a death sentence.

People were thunderstruck by the savagery of the sentence. It reverberated around the world, a world that after the American War of Independence and the French Revolution was ready for political reform.

It is even alleged that Burns himself was moved to write “Scots Wha Hae”.

This judgement gave impetus to the Radicals’s campaign for the vote; commemorated by a granite memorial to the Scottish Martyrs for universal suffrage in Nunhead Cemetery south London. Unfortunately as usual no memorial in Scotland to this remarkable man. At least in the coming elections when we exercise our right to vote we can remember him and perhaps Braxfield’s unwitting contribution. – Yours etc.,


Castle Yett,


owenstown no

Dear Ed, – Such a shame to learn of the rejection by South Lanarkshire Council of the Owenstown planning application.

With George Osborne crowing about the new town development in Ebbsfleet, Kent, how good it would have been to have the rival Owenstown attracting people who want to be there and make it work rather than the Kent commuter belt development doomed to Surbiton. An opportunity lost for all those prepared to make a go of it for the benefit of an independent or Union Scotland alike.

Further words fail me at this present time. – Yours etc.,



forth eco site

Dear Ed, – We were grateful for your coverage of our Eco Site in Forth : however there are certain anomalies we would like to correct.

The project is being funded by a number of differing organisations in addition to the Coalfield Regeneration Fund. The complete listing of funders is; Levenseat Trust, South Lanarkshire Renewable Energy Fund, South Lanarkshire Rural Communities Fund, Lottery Awards For All Scotland and Coalfield Regeneration Fund. These funders have provided a combined value of £70,252.00.

This is substantially more than the funds mentioned in the article and we felt it was important to mention this to you as we appreciate all our funders and supporters.

In addition we have been supported locally by business providing substantial non cash contribution works such as transport, storage and roadways. They are Tennant Transport, the Forth Masonic Lodge, Brown and Wilson Steels, Fraser Dunlop, Mackenzie Transport, Muirhall Energy, Donald McNee and South Lanarkshire Council.

Also it is important to mention the support from the substantial number of local people such as the poly dollies who have given up their time to assist and to the shops who allow us to collect donations from their customers .

Again, thanks for your coverage. – Yours etc.,



Forth & District Initiative.

The great war

Dear Ed, – Monday, August 4, 2014 marks the Centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. On Monday, August 4 until Saturday, August 9, I will lead a coach party from Scotland to the First World War Battlefields.

En route, we will visit war-associated sites in London including the Cenotaph and the Imperial War Museum and once in Belgium Mons where the British Army fired the first shots in the War. We will follow the retreat of the ‘Old Contemptibles’ from Mons to the Marne and the Armistice Carriage at Compiegne and attend the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres.

We will visit sites associated with the Scottish Regiments and it will be possible to pay personal respects to a family member’s grave or memorial.

We have a few places left and I will be happy to supply full details to your readers if they contact me at Beach Cote, Golf House Road, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1LS, telephone 01368 866826 or mobile 07710 270640.– Yours etc.,


Beach Cote,

Golf House Road,


animal aid

Dear Ed, – Spring is here, and that means wild animals will be searching out safe, warm, dry places to nest and raise their young. Inevitably, this means that some will come a little closer to people than they might like.

There is no need to panic and call in pest controllers. There are simple measures that can be taken to encourage unwanted guests to leave without harming them.

And it is best to do this as soon as they are seen to be taking an interest in attics or garages, rather than waiting until there are babies to evacuate, too.

Animal Aid has a series of free information sheets that give useful tips on deterring birds, squirrels, rodents and foxes. You can order these from or by calling 01732 364546. – Yours etc.,


Animal Aid

Old Chapel

Bradford Street,