THE pictures of the Queen in Cumbernauld, contained in the supplement Queen Elizabeth: Her Life In Scotland (September 10) , reminded me of May 18, 1977, when she visited the town during the celebration of her Silver Jubilee.
I was among those, as they say, who were presented to the Queen and Prince Philip during their time in the town.
During her reign the Queen must have been faced with thousands of line-ups at home and abroad of what were considered to be local personages deemed worthy of presentation.
What could be viewed, not unreasonably, as a matter of routine, some kind of box to be ticked by her, was transformed by her greeting each person in the line-up (most of whom she would probably be unlikely to meet again_, with her famous smile. Yes, that ready smile which put so many people at ease.
Prince Philip accompanied her, providing support in his own inimitable style.
For a variety of reasons, I have not been a supporter of monarchy as a method of providing a head of state.
However, I believe that the country should be profoundly appreciative for the outstanding service rendered by them both over many decades.
Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.
CHANGING OF THE GUARDS’ CAPS
WE remember Queen Elizabeth for evolving with the times
and, although there had been no stigma attached to wearing fur when she rose to the throne in the early 1950s, for choosing kindness over cruelty in recent years by banishing fur from her wardrobe.
The Queen lived a life in service to British values, and Peta [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] is respectfully requesting that the Ministry of Defence honour her legacy by replacing the bears’ fur used to make the royal guards’ caps with faux-fur fit for the 21st-century monarch of an animal-loving nation.
In this period of transition, a changing of the King’s Guard’s caps would spare these magnificent animals’ lives and represent the continued evolution of our modern monarchy.
Ingrid Newkirk, Founder, Peta Foundation, London.
REMEMBERING ROBERT CLOW
I WAS very moved to read the obituary of Robert Clow in The Herald (September 10).
I met Robert in 1971 when I worked in the library of the University of Strathclyde’s Scottish Hotel School. He came to deliver textbooks for the students to buy for their courses.
He was a lovely gentle man, kind, caring, and he put me at my ease in a new job in the library. I am not at all surprised to learn of all the organisations and good works he was involved in.
Margaret Forbes, Blanefield.
Pleasures of old bookshops
YOUR obituary of Mr Clow brought back many happy memories of my years as a loyal customer of John Smith’s in St Vincent Street.
It was a superb shop, housed in a distinctive building, and the staff were always so helpful. I wept a small tear or two when the old place closed down. Today’s mega-bookstores are fine but don’t have the character nor the enjoyably bookish atmosphere that distinguished Smith’s.
D Martin, Glasgow.
PULLING THE UDDER ONE
READING in Saturday’s Herald that Land Securities will not hire a new COO, I was relieved to find that in modern business, this term does not apply to one of the four-legged bovines visible as I enjoy my corn flakes. Whatever next in the world of acronyms?
Off now to complete the Wee Stinker ASAP.
David Miller, Milngavie.
WHAT’S IN A (ROYAL) NAME?
I AM sure I shall not be alone in pointing out that Willie Maclean (letters, September 10) ought, for the record, to have recognised that “the regnal name Charles has been used twice” following the Union of the Crowns in 1603.
John Milne, Uddingston.
* WILLIE Maclean appears unaware that Charles I and Charles II were Kings of Scots as well as Kings of England and Lords of Ireland. The acquisition of England, Wales and Ireland by James VI of Scotland and his heirs was in 1603, a century earlier than the Act of Union. Therefore the King is Charles III everywhere in the United Kingdom. May he do wisely and diligently for his people as his late mother has done.
Tim Cox, Switzerland.
IN SUPPORT OF THE FM’S RENTS FREEZE
MANY of my friends and associates are second, or indeed multiple, home owners, leveraging their existing properties in order to purchase the next one. A perfectly legitimate scheme, you may imagine, until one considers the social harm caused through such an exercise.
If, like me, you believe in people having the opportunity to own their own home then it must be recognised that generations have been excluded through a wealthier, older cohort buying the existing housing stock. The problem has been amplified with the recent explosion of Airbnb, particularly in Edinburgh, further reducing the housing stock opportunities for first-time buyers.
I understand there must be a mix of owner-occupied and rental properties available. However, as we have seen over the past 30 years, the value of properties has increased significantly, making buy-to-let or buy-to-holiday-let a virtually risk-free investment.
According to a Citylets report, Edinburgh’s rental rates grew by 14.2% year on year during the first quarter of 2022, taking the average rent to a new all-time high of £1,214 per month.
I, therefore, am in favour of the First Minister’s proposal to freeze rents for six months to protect vulnerable tenants. A blunt instrument, I recognise, but the crisis is so acute that whatever measures are within the powers of the Scottish Government should be taken to alleviate the financial stress.
But it should not end there. I would support further measures to make buy-to-let and second home ownership less attractive proposals and allow the younger generation a chance to climb the property ladder. Scotland boasts a highly successful and sophisticated financial services sector which can provide alternative investment vehicles to the housing market.
Michael Ure, Edinburgh.
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