THIS week's crop of letters from our readers includes your views on the closure of Hermitage Park's zip-wire, anti-social behaviour by young people, the closure of the Logie Baird pub in Helensburgh, railway safety in Cardross, and more.

To have your say on any topic of local interest, just email your views to or get in touch via the Send Us Your News section of this site.

Please keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can, and remember to include your name and address.

We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.

Happy writing!

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I WAS sorry to read that a little girl has injured herself using the zip wire in Hermitage Park (Helensburgh Advertiser, August 8).

But I am equally sorry that this incident has resulted in the closure of the zip wire, which has been of great joy to the children since the play area was opened.

The remarkable success of the new play area in Hermitage Park has been exactly due to the fact that it has something for all age groups.

Of course this means that parents and guardians of smaller children will have to judge which activities are appropriate for their particular child.

This is the case wherever children play, whether it be in a play park or out in the wild.

We cannot demand that a boulder is removed on the beach because we happen to fall over it, any more than we can demand the closure of a very joyful activity in a play park because a child or parent has over-estimated the child’s capacity to cope with that particular activity.

Accidents happen everywhere, even in our homes. We learn from them and do our best not to repeat them.

I carried some of my childhood scars with pride, and I hope that the little girl who was hurt while using the zip wire will do the same.

She was having a go. Good on her, even if she, in this instance, failed.

And of course I am sorry about the consequences of that failure.

Berit Vogt, Helensburgh (via email)

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – August 8, 2019

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May I ask what the local council and community police are doing about the anti-social behaviour that is ongoing at the stairway to the car park above the Co-op?

It is a daily occurrence that commuters are being exposed to groups of kids who are drinking under age, taking drugs, urinating on the stairwell, intentionally placing glass bottles under the car tyres and generally intimidating commuters trying to get to their parked car.

It would be good to have a presence from the community police or British Transport Police to try and discourage them from congregating here during peak times, but I have never seen such a sight yet.

Craig King, Helensburgh (via email)

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – August 1, 2019

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WITH regard to the closure of the Logie Baird, as reported in the Advertiser of August 8, I feel I have to make a comment.

I have no personal vendetta against Cara or Milan Nikolic – indeed, I remember Cara as a youngster, running about with her brother at Knockderry Hotel in Cove.

However, I would say this to them. Since your lucrative business had restricted hours imposed earlier this year, those of us who had to endure the shouting and screaming from young females clearly the worse for wear, and the silly acts of placing parking cones, half eaten kebabs etc on our cars up John Street and Colquhoun Street, feel no sorrow for your case.

You guys can cash up and return to your lovely peaceful retreat round in Kilcreggan.

Come on, guys, you’ve got other businesses which provide you with a handsome living. Either sell up or abide by the hours. Leave us in the town in peace, which is all we ask.

As I said, this isn’t personal. I wish you both well in every new enterprise, but please spare a thought for what your business can transfer to town streets come closing time.

Alex Winter, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – July 25, 2019

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NETWORK Rail issued ‘railway neighbour notification’ notices to residents of Cardross on July 17 regarding essential track maintenance, commencing on Monday, August 5 and continuing intermittently until Saturday, August 24.

This made no mention of the work which commenced on Sunday, August 4, with the suspension of all commercial rail services on the line.

At noon on August 4, I noticed a long ballast-carrying train blocking the Bainfield pedestrian rail crossing (a right of way). It was straddling the crossing, and moving occasionally, I believe to facilitate work involving use of the ballast trucks by workers and vehicles further up the line (east of Bainfield Crossing) in the vicinity of the Ferry Road bridge.

At around 12.05pm, a young woman tried to use the Bainfield crossing from the north side. She opened the gate, went through and stood near the trackside, waiting for the ballast train to move. After about five minutes she realised she was not going to be able to cross and left the crossing to go back on to Bainfield Road.

Just as the woman left the crossing, two young lads – aged, I would estimate, around nine and 11, and carrying skateboards – approached the crossing from the north side. They would have been heading for the cycle path on the south side of the railway.

They, too, opened the gate, but instead of standing clear of the line, they crossed to where the stationary train was blocking their way. They appeared to be looking for a way of crossing between or under the ballast trucks. After a minute or two, they either spotted a Network Rail worker further up the line, or simply realised that trying to cross the line was not one of their better ideas.

The boys came back to the Bainfield side and left the area before I had a chance to go down and warn them of the risk they were taking.

I was astonished to realise that Network Rail had not placed any notices at the crossing to inform the public of the temporary closure and warn of the dangers, no attempt had been made to lock the crossing for the duration of the works, and no Network Rail safety officer was present to ensure the safety of the public.

At about 12.15pm I phoned the number on Network Rail’s railway neighbour notification letter to report a dangerous situation on the railway. The man I spoke to told me that it was not normal practice for Network Rail to post safety officers at pedestrian crossings during situations such as this.

He said something along the lines of “people should be more responsible”.

I pointed out that you cannot always expect kids to act responsibly and surely it was the duty of Network Rail to ensure safety was maintained.

At 7pm that evening, I received a call from a British Transport Police officer in Scotland asking for details of the incident I had reported earlier. I fully explained the situation and commented that I had reported the problem nearly seven hours previously and that work was still in progress in the vicinity of the crossing.

He apologised for the delay which he explained had been caused by my report having been passed to an office in Wales instead of Scotland, and only having been passed to Scotland a few minutes before.

This is surely a very serious error given that it involved the safety of children on a railway line.

John F. Robins, Bainfield Road, Cardross

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – July 18, 2019

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Would you get involved in a physical challenge if you knew it would help some of the most vulnerable people in the UK?

Here at the British Red Cross we believe that every refugee matters. That’s why we are asking everyone across Scotland to get active and take part in Miles for Refugees, our brand new fund-raising challenge that will help refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK to get the support they need to rebuild their lives.

People make desperate journeys because they are truly desperate. In the face of conflict or persecution, refugees are often forced to travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to reach a place of safety.

Miles for Refugees allows you to pick the distance of one of these journeys and cover the miles during the month of September.

Cycle the distance of Damascus to Athens (1,000 miles), run the distance between Calais and London (108 miles) or select another one of the journeys you’d like to complete, either individually, or part of a team.

Whether you choose to walk, run, cycle or swim, the money you raise will help the British Red Cross to ensure that all refugees are made to feel welcome in their communities and are given the support they need to rebuild their lives in safety.

Your miles can change the lives of refugees this September.

Learn more and sign up at

Jillian McBride (Refugee Services Manager, British Red Cross)

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – July 11, 2019

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Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland and the country’s second biggest cancer killer. However it shouldn’t be because it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.

Walk Together is a sponsored walk that brings people together to show our support for those undergoing treatment, remember loved ones and help stop people dying from bowel cancer.

Bowel Cancer UK have a great fundraising pack to help you arrange your own special walk or you can take on our virtual option, where you walk five miles at your own pace and time throughout the month of September.

Join us in any way you can and Walk Together to help stop people dying of bowel cancer. Sign up at

Eilidh Doyle (Olympic, European and Commonwealth medallist), c/o Bowel Cancer UK