This week's Advertiser letters page includes your thoughts on Waitrose, Trident, road works, football and more.

To have your say on any topic of local interest, all you have to do is email your thoughts to or get in touch with us via the Send Us Your News section of this website.

Please try and keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can, and to provide us with 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We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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Could I please encourage readers to write to Waitrose asking for a postponement of their decision to close their Helensburgh supermarket?

At this time, I believe it would be irresponsible to leave the town with only one large supermarket.

The address to write to is: Sharon White, Chair of John Lewis Plc171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN.

You can also email

Peter Hillis, Rowmore Quays, Rhu

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: March 19, 2020

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At a time of unprecedented disruption, with public events being shut down and social contacts restricted everywhere, it is good to know that some things can still be relied on.

Cost what it may, Trident will still prowl the oceans 24/7 ready to bring hell on earth to millions of people and environmental catastrophe to our long-suffering earth. And we will eagerly blow billions on its replacement, Dreadnought.

Shysters and crooks like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Leonardo and the other Merchants of Death will continue to make eye-watering profits out of selling new machines for killing people. Britain will still be the second largest arms manufacturer in the world.

And in Exercise Defender in summer 2020, NATO will hold the largest deployment of forces to Europe in more than 25 years, with 20,000 soldiers ready to deal with the so-called Russian threat.

But is all this frenetic militarism not beginning to look irrelevant?

It is surely time to reconsider our priorities and concerns. We must ponder the glaring anomalies and unjust structures that have created the unhappy world we see around our (for now) affluent bubble.

Should the gazillions we spend on killing each other not now be diverted to helping each other? Shouldn’t we place humanity before profit?

This plague has biblical resonations, appropriately. We think we are incredibly sophisticated with our dazzling technologies.

The truth is - morally - we are right back where we started. In Deuteronomy (ch30, v19), we read: “I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both you and your children may live.”

Up till now, we have chosen killing to solve our problems. Religious leaders have pleaded we recognize the essential unity of the human family - in vain.

We simply can no longer do this. As Martin Luther King said: “We must live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.”

Our choice is stark. We face speedy extinction in 12 years through environmental catastrophe, or instant oblivion in 12 hours through global nuclear suicide.

Our only hope lies in metanoia, or a change of heart.

Christians used to be very keen on this. They called it repentance.

Maybe now, at the eleventh hour, we should try it. We can still build a better world.

Brian Quail, Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters page: March 12, 2020

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Road surface quality has deteriorated over many years. In 2019, there was an effort to repair potholes and resurface roads in many parts of Scotland.

The work was not of high quality, and little attempt was made to clear surplus grit and tar which is still scattered over pavements.

There is a now another problem: the energy needed to propel motor vehicles has increased.

Fuel or electricity consumption by a given vehicle is affected by many things, including driving style, weather conditions, hills and vehicle maintenance, but two underlying factors are aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance.

Aerodynamic drag is always a dominant factor at high speeds: energy consumption in terms of kWh, or volume of fuel, per unit distance tends to go up sharply with speed around 60 mph.

Rolling resistance is an important factor at lower speeds, say up to 40 mph. That happens to be the speed limit on many local roads.

I noticed that my average energy consumption had increased for local driving and I began to suspect that replacement of previously smooth surfaces with coarse grit and tar was the root cause.

It has certainly increased road surface noise. Fortunately, a two-mile stretch of road between Peaton Hill and Clynder still has its original surface in good condition.

I cannot claim it as a scientific measurement, but I have used my car’s fuel consumption indicator to observe the change as the car crosses from the smooth to the rough surface at a steady speed of 40 mph. I estimate an increase of more than 10 per cent when I cross the boundary.

Translate that into increased pollution and it is an environmental concern.

Did anyone consider that when the road was resurfaced?

Dr Roger Kinns, Back Road, Clynder

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: March 5, 2020

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I WOULD like to thank the ladies’ section, staff and the Monday night bridge members of Helensburgh Golf Club for their kind gifts received on my delayed return from New Zealand.

They are all greatly appreciated.

Carol Calder, Queen Street, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser readers' letters: February 27, 2020

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It is intriguing to note a superb new series on Netflix called “The English Game” which focuses on two footballers in the late 1800s.

Arthur Kinnaird, a player for the Old Etonians, the son of a Scot and Fergus Suter, a Scot who played for Darwen/Blackburn, played a major role in the transformation of football from gentleman’s pastime to professionalism.

However, it is surprising to note that this series is being called ‘The English Game’, when it should of course be called ‘The Scottish Game’.

It was the Scots who truly devised the modern version of the game as we know it. Without Scotland’s civilising intervention, what England might have given the world was just another version of rugby.

When the so-called ‘Football Association’ was formed at the instigation of a young solicitor from Hull, Ebenezer Morley, what he proposed would be seen now as a basis for rugby with extra violence.

Morley’s draft laws provided that a player could not only run with the ball in his hands but that opponents could stop him by charging, holding, tripping or hacking. A more civilised code did emerge but the English game was still mainly a question of head-down dribbling.

It was the Scots who had the notion of artfully distributing the ball among the players. It started with young men, from Perthshire and the Highlands mainly, who gathered at Queen’s Park in Glasgow in 1867.

They obtained a copy of the FA laws and amended them to conform with an almost scientific blend of dribbling and passing.

When they invented passing, these men had invented football.

Far from being an English game, it was one that was conceived to confound the English because the Scots, being generally smaller than their opponents in football’s oldest international rivalry, could hardly afford to take them on physically.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: February 20, 2020

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Three years ago my wonderful mum, Diana, suffered a severe stroke. She died four weeks later.

I had left her that morning; she had walked her beloved dog Pippa, washed her car and was going to garden for the rest of the day.

My mum was the most active, ‘full of life’ person I knew. She loved life. She was my best friend and I miss her every day.

Stroke is cruel. There are no warning signs but when it strikes, it destroys lives.

The sad truth is that I’m not alone - every day, stroke still turns lives upside down in an instant.

This killer disease has been ignored for too long in the UK, and the shocking truth is that stroke is a more common than most people think.

The Stroke Association estimates that every day there are around 280 strokes in the UK and this wonderful charity helps people to recover from stroke. But right now, they need our help to ensure that they can continue this vital work.

So, I’m asking anyone who has lost a loved one to stroke to consider setting up a Stroke Association Tribute Fund. It’s a wonderful way to share precious memories of your loved one, so that their story can live on.

Nobody plans for a stroke, but we can help the Stroke Association be here for every single person affected by stroke.

The money you raise will help to ensure that people can get the support they need while also funding critical stroke research. Visit today to find out more.

Katherine Dow Blyton, for The Stroke Association