From our postbag

SGD. 21721
SGD. 21721

Defending the Loony Dook

Sir, – As one who has been involved in all 29 Loony Dooks since it first took place on 1 January 1987, I write in reponse to the piece written by “Your Man in the Know”(Loony rules spoil the Dook, Queensferry Gazette, January 9).

Firstly, and with due respect, on this occasion your Man in the Know has got it wrong.

Far from the Dook being “spoiled” it was once again a successful and enjoyable experience for many hundreds of participants and spectators.

I was present before, during and after the event and heard many favourable comments and not one single dissenting voice.

Regarding timing, the Loony Dook has for many years been dependent on tide times, not solely in the name of Health and Safety as you stated but in terms of pure practicality.

Furthermore, the numbering process is not an “attempt to limit the amount of people in the water at any one time” but is designed so that the organisers can keep a track of the total number of participants.

The “human security barrier” is not a barrier to swimmers but volunteer lifeboat crew who are there to oversee safety and do not restrict anyone.

This is also why the lifeboat patrols the waters.

Nor am I aware of people “having barely entered the water before being encouraged to leave it”.

Finally, may I say that we have cause to be grateful to all those involved in the organisation, Unique Events, CEC, G4S, the Red Cross, Police Scotland and of course the RNLI all of whom will ensure that The Loony Dook will next year celebrate its 30th anniversary. Yours etc., –

David M. Steel

34 Springfield Terrace

South Queensferry

Ferry dip has lost its fun

Sir, – While still enjoying the spectacle along with my two young grandsons, I have to agree that the South Queensferry Loony Dook did lack something of the exuberance and spontaneity of past years.

The “beach marshall” ushering spectators along the crowded shoreline had obviously been given his instructions – and he carried them out to the letter, despite being jovially reprimanded about his officiousness by two “dooking grannies” (in drag).

They continually tried to remind him that it was intended to be a fun event.

The sight of a line of lifeboat personnel entering the water and forming a narrow, strictly supervised bathing cordon also removed a little of the extemporaneous impulsiveness of previous events.

An off-shore lifeboat no doubt added to the safety angle but it did seem as if, once again, “health and safety” regulations had taken over.

Many participants were no sooner in the water than they were summarily ushered out.

While realising the need for the well-being of the participants, especially in an event that may have outgrown its origins, surely there is a place too for the exuberant energy and liveliness for which the event was always noted?

Bruce Jamieson


Via email

Electric hook-up welcome

Sir, – I was very interested in the article in last week’s Journal and Gazette about the electric car charging points at the Water Yett.

I was lucky enough to have a week’s trial with an electric car in October last year.

I used to drive into town and park the car, charge it up and do some shopping, which meant I was spending money in the town as it was easy to park and get the car charged at the same time.

I was so impressed at this service I decided to order an electric car. A few weeks before the article there was a letter in the letters page of the Journal and Gazette complaining that the writer hadn’t seen anyone parking in the spaces and they were such a waste of money.

Well I can only ask the question, did the writer sit in the car park all day and every day? As I was in that car park almost every day and spending money in the town I certainly used it and hopefully will be able to still use it when I collect my car. There are other places I can take my car and park also taking my money elsewhere but I would rather spend it in my town. – Yours etc.,

Name and address supplied

Council must support traders

Sir, – Further to your front page article (Linlithgow Gazette, January 17), regarding BIDs.

As someone who has just had a business fold and lost my life savings, I can understand how the traders are angry at West Lothian Council demanding more money when they clearly voted against it happening.

You only have to drive along our High Street to see how sad and tired it has become.

Businesses have NO extra money to hand over on demand. The council should be trying to keep, rather than frighten off, businesses .

I tried to research figures for BID but found it very difficult as they are not subject to the transparency and accountability requirements that apply to public bodies.

However, there are very few traders in the UK happy with the outcome citing that they were not made aware of how the voting system worked. For Linlithgow’s sake I hope traders stick with the town and the council sees sense – Yours etc.,

T. Elliot,