Letters to the Editor - May 29

This weeks Letters to the Editor. You can send yours to news@mearnsleader.com

Excellent tribute - Johnny Turner: A fitting memorial

Madam- The bench (Mearns Leader May 22) is an excellent tribute to the late Johnny Turner. Johnny was an outstanding engineer/millwright.

I recall seeing Turner potato harvesters in the Ironfield yard, now Turner’s Court, around the late ‘50s or early ‘60s, Johnny and his father were pioneers in potato harvester technology.

Stonehaven should be proud of that.

Johnny’s technical ability was recognised by a German farm machinery manufacturer, who were keen to employ him in their design office.

I was employed as Horticultural Officer by the former Kincardine and Deeside District Council during the ‘80s and ‘90s, when as owners of Benholm Mill they were carrying out restoration works.

A contractor had been employed to replace the roof on the mill building, unfortunately during the removal of the roof they also wrecked the mill machines.

Pullys, drive shafts - the whole works, were thrown in a heap, no one had bothered to take photographs of the works, nothing was marked, or numbered to aid re-assembly.

Confusion ensued - no one knew anything about water mills!

I knew Johnny was working with Grampian Regional Council roads department, and I knew he was the man to rebuild the mill machinery, and get it working.

Ken Whittaker was re-building the water wheel and sluices and agreed to sub-contract Johnny from the Regional Council until the mil was restored.

On completion of the task, Johhny said: “It’s nae perfect, but it goes”.

It was perfect, everything ran like a sewing machine after Johnny’s meticulous restoraion. Next time you are down to Benholm Mill, think of Johnny Turner, millwright extraordinnaire.

Yours etc.,

Edward F. Valentine

15 Napier Place


AB30 1XE

Politicians! - Why can’t you leave us alone!

Madam, – After the endless referendum campaign, the Smith Commission and the General Election it would be a relief to be shielded from our politicians who are never a pretty sight. Sadly with the Holyrood elections next year and the EU referendum on the horizon, such relief must be put on hold and they will appear again on television mouthing platitudes. Now that I’m in my 70s, I find the antics of politicians less amusing than I once did and that busload of 55 nobodies and a ‘roaring lion’ are just making all their nowhere plans for nobody. We are the most over-governed, centralized nation in Europe and yet I suspect most people just want to be left alone and in particular not to have a wind turbine built next door. – Yours, etc.,

Dr John Cameron

(by email)

Help wanted - Marie Curie Nurses

Madam, – Marie Curie is here for people living with any terminal illness, and their families.

We offer expert care, guidance and support to help people make the most of their time.

As a Marie Curie Nurse, I see first-hand how vital this hands-on care and emotional support is.

This is why I’m asking people to host or attend a Blooming Great Tea Party between June 20 and 29.

Last year across the UK the Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie raised £667,000, which pays for 33,350 hours of vital nursing care.

With your support we can do more, for more of the people who need us.

You can sign up to host your Blooming Great Tea Party at www.mariecurie.org.uk/teatime

Please do share your event details, photos or get involved on social media using #BloomingGreat. Thank you for your support. – Yours, etc.,

Sally Mack

Marie Curie Nurse

North-east Scotland

Tory government - Labour should not complain

Madam, – If everyone in Scotland had voted Labour and returned 59 Labour MPs the Tories would still have gained a majority to form the Government Westminster.

That’s because the reality is, that if people of England decide they prefer to have a Tory Government rather than a Labour one then that’s what you get – a Tory Government!

And as for those Labour party members who are winge-ing about the return of David Cameron, well isn’t that what they spent two and a half years as part of the Tory organised and funded Better Together campaign, ensuring would happen.

Also didn’t Ed Miliband make it clear during the General Election that he would rather have a Tory Government at Westminster than a Labour Government of his supported by the SNP? Well he has got his wish hasn’t he.

So let’s hear no complaints from Labour about the Tories. – Yours, etc.,

Peter McCulloch

(by email)

LOGISTICS SECTOR - Freight industry’s message to govt

Madam, – I have just launched a major report outlining issues that have been affecting the transport and logistics sector over the past year.

I will be calling on the new government at Westminster to make investment in transport infrastructure one of its top priorities.

The Freight Transport Association’s Logistics Report 2015 uses data from a number of sources, including our own in-house analysis, to help members plan for the 

Whether it’s filling supermarket shelves, supplying hospitals with essential medicines or emptying our bins, logistics affects all we do and plays a huge role in our everyday 

Without an adequate infrastructure, the industry cannot carry out this vital work.

Our message to the new government is that the needs of the logistics industry should not be ignored. From the factory floor to the kitchen table, it is logistics that will deliver sustainable growth. The government will ignorethis obstacle at its peril. – Yours, etc.,

David Wells

Chief Executive

Freight Transport


Cancer Research - Student singing group praised

Madam, – I’d like to thank the student a capella group, The Other Guys, and congratulate them on the launch of their charity single It’s Raining Men in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and, by 2030, is predicted to be the most common cancer overall.

Prostate Cancer UK is 
determined to one day beat the disease completely, which is why we’re so grateful to all of The Other Guys, and others like them, who 
go to such lengths to raise money to help us do just 

Men United is our latest call for men, and their loved ones, to join together in a movement to help us beat prostate cancer and keep friendships alive.

Men are being asked to sign up for Men United by visiting www.prostatecanceruk.org/menunited or by searching Men United today.

Anyone concerned about the disease can call Prostate Cancer UK’s helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org for further information.

Many thanks again to all those who took part, and to all those who have downloaded the single so far, for their commitment to this worthy cause.

You can still view and download the single for as little as £1 by searching “The Other Guys – It’s Raining Men” on YouTube. It’s worth a watch. – Yours, etc.,

Emma McGowan

Fundraising Executive

Prostate Cancer UK

Dementia report praise - Interesting and informed

Madam, – Thank you for including the recent two page spread on the issue of dementia.

It is a condition which affects the individual with dementia, their family and the ripple effect is felt as far out as the national economy.

I believe that in a few years, the effect that the numbers of people with dementia will increase and will have an impact on people who don’t personally know anyone with dementia.

Additionally, there is much to improve in how carers are supported.

As an unpaid carer of five years, my biggest struggles lay with stigma which was attached to me by health and social care staff who did not understand why I wanted to ’care for someone like that’! As a sole carer of an elderly non-family member, I suffered many indignities and breaches of ethical standards, even crossing over to criminal.

As a researcher (doing a PhD in dementia) of illnesses which tend to affect older people, I have always been interested in how we treat people who are vulnerable and are likely to remain so until death.

My area of research is analysis of people with dementia who write their own autobiography.

It may be of interest to the community to know 
that many people with dementia recover from a diagnosis to lead even more accomplished lives than before.

There are so far, a few examples of people with dementia (PwD) who have very busy lives travelling worldwide to lecture, write books and inspire professional health care audiences who thought they had dementia sewn up in writing off those who were diagnosed.

Some PwD sufferers with fairly significant damage to their brains, shown in scans, can function in ways that defy the medical images. Christine Bryden, to name but one.

However, we are still light years away from understanding how we should treat PwD and their carers.

We are still a very selfish society and the reaction to suffering is often to set up charities with ready-made ‘politically correct poster children’ favoured by the NHS, compounding the narrow view and ownership of the condition.

My hope for the future would really lie with ‘person-centred care’.

This is a fashionable term often talked about within health and social care these days although it rarely reaches practise.

Thank you for your informed and interesting article. – Yours, etc.,

Wendy Steele

(by email)

OUTGOING MPS - Not given credit they deserve

Madam, – Whichever political party they belonged to, the previous 59 Scottish MPs have not been given the credit they deserve.

For years they worked hard for their constituents, but listening to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, one would think the new 56 MPs are the first to work for the people of Scotland.

This is patently untrue. Scotland has always been well represented at Westminster.

It seems a pity that in the euphoria shown by the new class of 2015, there was no acknowledgement of this given. – Yours, etc.,

Joan Corney

(address supplied)

Can you help - Grant a veteran’s wish

Madam, – My husband was a spitfire pilot during WW1 and in his later years was cared for at Erskine.

Since then, my beloved Scottish Veterans’ charity, Erskine, has been my family.

I volunteer every week, and this week I have been sending out letters asking supporters to get involved in Erskine Veterans’ Wishes Week. This is the charity’s fundraising event which takes place from June 1 to June 8.

Erskine is looking for people to help raise vital funds to care for our country’s veterans, continuing to ensure For further information about Erskine Veterans’ Wishes Week or to request a fundraising pack or other materials please contact 0300 123 1203 or email us at fundraising@erskine.org.uk.

You can also visit our website at erskine.org.uk/erskine-week or text “WISH” to 70660 donate £5* to Erskine. – Yours, etc.,

Isobel Kirkwood

Erskine volunteer