From our postbag


Old pics stirred gala memories

Sir, - I am writing concerning the nostalgia photos of December 6, 2013, and March 21, 2014.

The photo in December is when Janette Foster was the Queen and I, Margaret Anne Balfour (nee Martin), was the Chief-Lady-in-Waiting, my dress is scalloped at the bottom.

The girl on the right of the photo is Margaret Leslie who is now deceased.

The girl on the left of the photo was the Queen of the Fairies - Mary Grant?

The girl standing behind Janette’s right shoulder is Jessie Dunsmore.

I do not recognise any of the others in the photo.

My friend Betty Galloway says the photo on Friday, March 21, is the Dowager Party for the year Janette was Queen, possibly 1959.

I hope you find this information useful. – Yours etc.,

Margaret Anne Balfour

86 Acredales, Linlithgow

Sir, – I’m all too aware of the devastating impact that bowel cancer can have on people’s lives; my mother successfully beat the disease, but sadly my grandfather lost his battle.

This April, during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, I’ve signed up to Beating Bowel Cancer’s Lift the Lid Day. On Wednesday, April 16, the charity is encouraging everyone to start up a conversation about bowel cancer. By lifting the lid on the condition, we can help beat the taboo surrounding it.

If caught early over 90 per cent of cases can be treated successfully. That’s why it’s so important to spread the word about symptoms. Whether it’s a chat over coffee with your family, putting up a poster at work, or encouraging an older relative to take up their screening invitation, every conversation you have could be lifesaving.

So help me Lift the Lid on bowel cancer and let’s beat bowel cancer together. – Yours etc.,

Matt Dawson MBE

Patron of Beating Bowel Cancer

Sir, – I wish to thank everyone for uniting behind Meningitis Now’s Beat it Now! campaign to get the UK’s first lifesaving Meningitis B vaccine free to all babies on the NHS, subject to price negotiations.

Beat it Now! shows how people uniting can create a strong voice to urge change, and this reversal will save thousands of lives from death or disabilities such as limb loss, brain damage and epilepsy.

Meningitis B is the most common form of bacterial meningitis in the UK and, together, after years of fighting, we are a step closer to a future without the deadly disease.

The decision is the most monumental news in the 31 years I’ve battled to eradicate meningitis after losing my baby Spencer to Meningitis B.

For many, it’ll be some comfort that, although they cannot change their experience, they played a crucial role bringing in the vaccine.

But we cannot become complacent, there are many strains without vaccines, and this one will wipe out the majority of Meningitis B, but not all.

So we must strive for new and better vaccines and ensure we continue to reach the millions of people needing our support.

Finally, let’s remember that for many the vaccine comes too late and there will still be people unprotected in the future.

So, I ask everyone to keep supporting Meningitis Now, the UK’s largest meningitis charity.

Stick with me, there’s a lot to do and we can do it together.

To help call us on 01453 768000 or visit – Yours etc.,

Steve Dayman MBE

Founder, Meningitis Now

Sir, –March 27, 2014, is a date that may have passed many of us by.

However, for the 1.8 billion people living in Asia, it’s time for them to officially celebrate living without risk of polio.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) announcement comes as the result of years of work, delivering millions of vaccinations to people in need and with this being the latest region granted polio-free classification, it means 80 per cent of the globe is now officially rid of the killer.

120,000 in Britain are still living with the effects of polio and post polio syndrome (PPS) and it is our hope this breakthrough will raise awareness of the day-to-day struggle many still face on home soil.

We along with The Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign immediately took to Twitter, using the EndPolio hashtag, to spread this fantastic news to the world in a move that will further raise awareness of both the disease and the success the human race is having in fighting it.

For Polio survivors facing PPS, The British Polio Fellowship is a call or a click away. Visit or call us on 0800 018 0586.

In the meantime, take to twitter and play your part to #EndPolio. – Yours etc.,

Ted Hill MBE

CEO British Polio Fellowship