Letters to the editor

First class mail needs to be posted by Friday, December 20, to arrive in time for Christmas
First class mail needs to be posted by Friday, December 20, to arrive in time for Christmas

Sir, – I was interested to see the piece in last week’s Gazette about the proposed statue of Mary Queen of Scots. I wish the Marie Stuart Society well in their fund-raising efforts.There is already, as is acknowledged, a statue of Mary in Linlithgow. It was paid for by public subscription and a 
generous donation from 
Johnston Press.

Sir, – I was interested to see the piece in last week’s Gazette about the proposed statue of Mary Queen of Scots. I wish the Marie Stuart Society well in their fund-raising efforts.There is already, as is acknowledged, a statue of Mary in Linlithgow. It was paid for by public subscription and a 
generous donation from 
Johnston Press.

I must confess to being somewhat puzzled by the reference to this statue, which is one of the features of the Annet House Garden, being an “unofficial” statue. If it is a reference to accessibility then there has obviously been some misunderstanding. Annet House Garden and Museum is open and is freely accessible every day each year, from April until October. In addition, the garden and the museum can also be opened during the winter months by prior arrangement. If, indeed freedom of access is the criterion for “official” status, then presumably, when the statue has been installed, Historic Scotland will be making arrangements for free admission to the Peel for visitors who wish to see only the statue, on days when jousting and other events, for which a charge is made, are taking place? - Yours etc.

Alan Young

Linlithgow Heritage Trust

Sir, - On September 18 the people of Scotland will decide if our nation is to become a sovereign state once again or remain a constituent part of the UK.

Many, if not most, have yet to make up their mind one way or the other.

For those who are still undecided and feel that they would benefit from discussing the issues concerning Scottish independence in an informal, relaxed basis, a discussion group is being set up here in Linlithgow.

The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 21, 10.30 to 11.30am, at the Glass House Cafe in the Burgh Halls.

The facilitator is Eddy Cornock who can be contacted by phone at 843075 or by e-mail at e.cornock@blueyonder.co.uk

Eddie Cornock

by email

Sir, – If any of your readers are planning on making New Year’s resolutions this year, I’d like to make a suggestion. Maybe now is the time for us to look beyond our own lives and think about what we can do to help others.

As we emerge refreshed from the Christmas break, please spare a thought for all those who were unable to take any time off at all. For people with disabilities and those who care for them, Christmas was most likely the same as any other time of year – a hard, unrelenting struggle just to get through the day.

Did you know that two thirds of carers did not get any time off at all this Christmas and four out of ten have not taken a single day off from caring in the last year? This impossible situation is driving them to their wits’ end. Just imagine yourself in their position – how would it make you feel?

I work for a fantastic charity called Vitalise, and I’d like to offer your readers the chance to do something really rewarding in 2014. Vitalise provides desperately-needed respite breaks for people with severe disabilities and their carers. The breaks they take at our accessible centres around the UK enable them to regain their strength and restore their ability to cope. They tell us that the breaks we provide can make the difference between coping and despair, between just existing – and really living.

But we couldn’t do what we do without the energy and generosity of our supporters, who volunteer at our centres, take part in fundraising events and donate to our cause. So I’d like to ask your readers to support Vitalise in 2014 and make a real difference to the lives of others.

There are so many ways you can support Vitalise and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that every ounce of your energy, every minute of your time and every penny you raise will make a difference.

So go on, resolve to support Vitalise in 2014! Find out how at www.vitalise.org.uk or call 0303 303 0147. –Yours etc.,

Colin Brook, Vitalise

Sir, – Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27 is an opportunity for us to remember the millions murdered in the Holocaust under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides.

The number of people involved in the day grows every year with individuals and groups across the UK coming together to reflect not only on the past but on its lessons for the future.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. We must all share responsibility for maintaining the memory of these atrocities to ensure they can never happen again.

This year Holocaust Memorial Day will be marked at over 2000 events. I would urge everyone to find out what will be happening in their community and to take part. Visit www.hmd.org.uk for more information. – Yours etc.,

Olivia Marks-Woldman

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust