Letters to the editor

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From our edition of March 23, 2012

Railway heritage

Sir, – Two railway accidents on either side of Linlithgow have more than local importance in the history of railway safety, as illustrating practices which were eventually refined, superseded or outlawed – at Winchburgh in 1862 and at Manuel Junction in 1874

The latter featured in the Journal and Gazette, (February 24). Winchburgh is a story of honest error – but lax observation of the then rules made error all too likely. Manuel presents a curious mixture of contributory factors, with no definite conclusion.

Regarding the erection of memorials, especially for accidents well beyond public memory, whilst this might be construed as commendable, one would suggest that if this were so, then all serious accidents should be so remembered, and that it should not merely be a case of picking and choosing. In our opinion, it is significantly more important that such accidents, and their economic and socio-political implications, are properly recorded for posterity.

A narrative of the Manuel crash has been lodged with the History Library, which already holds some materials on both accidents. - Yours etc.,

JOHN MCGREGOR and

HARRY KNOX

No hypocrisy

Sir, – Alison Linton (Letters, 16 March) speaks of the “utter hypocrisy” of Springfield residents who have objected to the Burghmuir proposal. In doing so, she misses the point. The Springfield estate (dating from late 1960s) has a primary school right at the heart to help to meet the educational needs of its children.

Moreover there are very few retail facilities within the estate, meaning that most residents continue to make use of resources in the town centre.

On the other hand, the Burghmuir proposals include 600 new homes with no additional school provision, an unnecessary fourth supermarket that would destroy the retail fabric of the High Street, and the nonsensical relocation of the health centre. These are among the very real concerns that not just Springfield residents, but many others from around the town have.

New homes in the town are not necessarily a bad thing but the plans must be better thought through.The views of the vast majority of Linlithgow residents are clear: This development is NOT welcome. - Yours etc.,

David Manlove

Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Toddle thanks

Sir,– We would like to thank all the toddlers in West Lothian who took part in 2011’s wild safari animal-themed Big Toddle for Barnardo’s Scotland. As we look to this year’s superhero walk, we would also like to take the time and thank the nurseries, childminders, parents and grandparents, guardians and carers for joining in the fun.

In the West Lothian region alone, children raised £1,676.27..

As summer approaches, all under fives are being encouraged to put their best feet forward for their own ‘Superhero’ toddle, or to take part in Edinburgh’s official event being held at the Botanical Gardens on June 13. More information will be announced shortly.–Yours etc.,

PAULINE CLARK

Big Toddle Promotions Team,

Barnardo’s Scotland,