Diners say thanks to mystery man

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Sir, – Imagine the scene – three couples in their late 40s enjoying a meal and drinks in the West Port Hotel on Friday, February 28.

The banter was flowing at full spate, as usual, and, before we knew it, it was last orders and time to settle the bill and return home. The bill arrived – just slightly north of £200 – and we all duly put hand into wallet/purse etc to pay our dues.

The waitress was summoned to uplift payment plus tip – we are a generous bunch – and over she came.

She said: “Don’t worry sir, the bill has been settled,” and off she trotted into the distance.

Well, this was news to us. So, being an honest bunch, we tracked her down and told her that we had not, in fact, paid the bill, only to be told “Trust me sir, the bill has been paid. If it had not, then we would not allow you to vacate the premises.

“And, furthermore, I am not at liberty to tell you who paid for your meal and drinks.”

So there you have it. We would like to thank this mysterious benefactor for this unwarranted act of kindness, which will cause us confusion for many a year.

I would like to categorically deny that one unnamed person in our group said: “If I’d known that was going to happen I would have had a sweet!” – Yours etc.,

Callum Pirie,

Livingston,

by email.

Sir, – We would like to thank all the staff at the leisure centre and residents in Kettilstoun for their patience and support on Saturday when we successfully ran one of the biggest Youth Cycling events in Scotland, with over 130 participants.

Who knows, we may have seen the next Bradley Wiggins or Chris Hoy in action?! – Yours etc.,

David Mason,

President, West Lothian Clarion Youth Section.

Sir, – Research by Action for Children and New Family Social has revealed that one in two gay people in Scotland believe they cannot foster or adopt.

We are writing to dispel this myth, so that safe homes can be found for vulnerable children in the Lothians.

Right now, there are more than 16,200 children in care in Scotland – but if just one per cent of the LGBT community chose to adopt or foster, this could plug the gap and ensure every child has a place to call home.

We believe that being a good parent has nothing to do with being gay or straight. Action for Children runs fostering services and works with all kinds of people to help fulfil the dreams of children who simply want to have loving families.

To mark the launch of New Family Social’s LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week (March 3-9), we are encouraging gay people from the Lothians to find out more about fostering and adopting with Action for Children.

If you think you have what it takes, please contact us by phone (0141 331 0584) or email (fostercare.caps@actionforchildren.org.uk), or visit actionforchildren.org.uk or lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk – Yours etc.,

Carol Iddon, director of children’s services, Action for Children.

Tor Docherty, director of New Family Social.

Sir, – Animal Defenders International is calling on the people of Scotland to speak out for circus animals.

The Scottish Government has released a consultation asking for opinions on wild animals in circuses and ADI is calling for a ban.

Years of ADI investigations in the UK, including Scotland, and around the world have exposed the inherent cruelty to which animals in circuses are subjected.

Even with the best will in the world, the welfare of wild animals in circuses is compromised.

The constant travel and small, temporary accommodation make it impossible for the animals to behave naturally, as they would in the wild.

Training these often dangerous animals to perform unnatural tricks requires dominance and close control, which commonly leads to violence.

ADI’s undercover investigations at circuses have led to several animal cruelty convictions in the UK.

Animal experts, politicians and the public all agree – wild animals do not belong in circuses.

Please speak out today to end their suffering.

To participate, call ADI on 020 7630 3340 to request a response form and answer guide or visit ad-international.org/adi_uk

The consultation deadline is April 16. – Yours etc.,

Jan Creamer,

Chief Executive,

Animal Defenders International,

Millbank Tower,

London, SW1P 4QP.