Letters, August 21 2020

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Childhood memories of Duncan Brown

My pleasure on seeing the short article in your edition of July 31 reporting on the book of memories published by Duncan Brown – which I immediately resolved to purchase on my next trip ‘home’ – stands in sharp contrast to my sadness on reading in last week’s edition of his passing.

How many decades have elapsed since a trip to his toy shop was the highlight of this small boy’s week, whether to buy the latest Subbuteo accessories – including the footballs to replace those inadvertently crushed underfoot in a fit of temper at one of my brothers scoring a controversial last-minute goal – or to marvel at the shelves of boxed games and toys?

I seem to recall a shop in Longrow the size of a warehouse but suspect that my memory is playing tricks. I do recall the Christmas Eve trips with my father to pick up wrapped parcels which we hoped would contain the things we’d asked Santa for…they usually did.

As time passes, the happy memories of childhood become ever more important and Mr Brown’s shop is among my happiest.

My condolences to his family, who should be proud that this lovely man will be so fondly remembered by generations of Campbeltown children. May he rest in peace.

Iain McSporran QC, Edinburgh.

The need for dental treatment

My wife has had to tolerate missing fillings since the beginning of lockdown. She was recommended DIY fillings as an alternative which have proved totally useless.

On Monday we were told dentists are able to restart treatment under NHS guidelines. Having contacted the Campbeltown dentist practice we are told they are still not treating patients who need treatment despite the NHS guidelines.

It is amazing you can go to a pub or eat out with the UK Government paying towards your meal but you can’t obtain treatment for tooth problems. Where is the sense in this and when are dentists going to do the right thing and treat their patients who require not only urgent treatment but need fillings replaced so that they are no longer in total discomfort?

It is a hygiene problem and my wife is in a vulnerable group age-wise.

Keith Abendroth, Campbeltown.

PM back from the dead?

Prime Minister Johnson is keen on saying he would rather die than allow certain things to happen.

In September 2019 he would ‘rather be dead in a ditch’ than agree to extend Brexit beyond October 31, before then having to go cap in hand to Brussels to request a delay until January 31 2020.

Most recently he noted that there would be a trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK ‘over his dead body’.

Bizarrely, that was after Cabinet Officer Minister, Michael Gove, announced funding of £355 million to ease trade over what was, according to the PM, a border that doesn’t and won’t exist.

It appears that Mr Johnson has surpassed Lazarus, not just rising once, but twice from the dead.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

Diabetes UK is looking for cyclists in Argyll

Diabetes UK is looking for people from Argyllshire to get on their bikes and take on the UK Wide Cycle Ride this September.

Take your fitness up a gear and complete our coast-to-coast virtual challenge. You can pick your distance from one of four routes. Beginners may want to tackle the 120-mile Route One – the equivalent of Dundee to Fort William, while experienced cyclists who are after a challenge may find the 950-mile Route Four – the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats – more their speed.

The aim is to challenge yourself – at your own pace – and pedal towards a stronger, healthier you. You can also get family, friends or colleagues along for the ride.

During the past few months, demand for our services has reached unprecedented levels and our own funding has been significantly impacted. People with diabetes need us now, and so we need your support to be able to continue fighting. Join us, and your support can change lives.

There are an estimated 4.7 million people living with diabetes in the UK − a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.

If not managed carefully, both type one and type two diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke. There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes.

Cycling is a fantastic way to help you get fit and healthy, have fun and set yourself a challenge. Whether you’re a novice in the saddle or a cycling fanatic, our team will be on hand to offer cycling tips and fundraising advice.

Every mile you complete and every pound you raise brings us closer to our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm. Sign up and get pedalling – your support can change lives!

To register, visit diabetes.org.uk/ride

There is no registration fee and no minimum sponsorship.

Diabetes UK.