THIS week's Advertiser letters page features a comparison between the regeneration of Hermitage Park in Helensburgh and Levengrove Park in Dumbarton, along with views on recycling, praise for Argyll and Bute Council staff in Helensburgh, and memories from a former school in Shandon.

To have your say on any topic of local interest, just 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We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In 2014, your readers may remember that plans for the regeneration of Hermitage Park received £2 million of lottery funding.

At the time Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for amenity services, Councillor Ellen Morton, said: “This approval to progress the project forward is great news for the people of Helensburgh and joins up with the exciting regeneration work already going on in the town, funded by Argyll and Bute Council’s CHORD scheme.”

Two years later, in 2016, Levengrove Park in Dumbarton received £2.8 million of lottery funding for the same purposes.

Let’s contrast the progress of each of the park photos in the gallery above – Hermitage in one, Levengrove in the other – and question the competence and ability of Argyll and Bute to deliver on the generous funding provided through the Big Lottery.

Which community has got better value for money from their respective councils as well as the competence of those responsible for project implementation?

The Pavilion at Hermitage remains vacant, whilst that at Levengrove, until lockdown, was thriving as a food outlet.

In the year of coronavirus the accountability for spending public funds has become more focused than ever.

Why does Hermitage Park, after having had so much time and money spent on it, look like a dystopian landscape and who is accountable for this?

Ian and Isabel Bone, 22a Suffolk Street, Helensburgh

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: June 25, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I WRITE on behalf of Helensburgh Community Council to commend, yet again, the Argyll and Bute Council staff at the Blackhill household waste and recycling centre for their initiative.

When the centre recently opened up again to the community, they conjured up a novel and very sensible solution to the potential for traffic congestion at the site by providing a makeshift mini-roundabout in the depot – thereby avoiding a traffic jam of cars on the main road.

It is a very practical solution which works well. The community appreciates your work.

Norman Muir (Convener, Helensburgh Community Council)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: June 18, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Are our best efforts at recycling actually poisoning the environment?

In countless homes around the planet, we wash out used food containers: milk cartons, takeaway boxes, beauty product bottles, tinfoil, etc, and place it in the correct bin for collection and recycling, happy that we have done our bit to save this world for all species.

If you do this, stop. First of all, milk products should never be washed down the sink; they kill the bacteria in the sewage treatment plants.

How much extra detergent are you using just to wash trash? How much extra energy to heat the water? How much fresh purified water are you using?

Is this a cost-effective use of our finite stock of materials?

In Argyll and Bute, the only plastic item that is actually recycled is soft drinks bottles. A typical one-litre bottle weighs less than 35 grams, but many plastics have specific densities close to 1. Each of these bottles therefore costs as much to transport as one kilogram of other plastic waste.

I recently visited the recycling centre at Blackhill in Helensburgh to dispose of some UPVC guttering that I had replaced on my conservatory,

I was told to put it in the landfill area. I was told that the only plastic material that was accepted for recycling was plastic drinks bottles. I assume this also applies to the blue bin collection.

I contacted Argyll and Bute Council asking if it was the case that only cardboard, paper, tin cans, aluminium, cans and plastic drinks bottles should be collected for recycling.

The council confirmed that the only plastics it collects for recycling are clean plastic drinks bottles, detergent or cosmetic bottles, plastic pots, tubs and trays.

I was told that while other plastics may have ‘recyclable’ labels attached, there are “no recycling facilities available for these products within easy and affordable reach”.

That is an exchange I had with my local authority but, I guess, it could be the same anywhere.

Rodney Snook, via email

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: June 11, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You have recently published two letters from my wife Trish and I, seeking to re-establish contact with former staff and families of the old St Andrew’s School in Shandon.

We were heartened by the response and to hear from old friends was great. Understandably, some would prefer to keep their privacy.

I enclose a photograph (see gallery at the top of this page) of the winning team from St Andrew’s School who defeated a number of Royal Navy teams in a version of ‘It’s a Knockout’ which took place in the summer of 1979.

In the back row, from left to right, are John Donnelly, Jack Cocker, Kevin Hursty, Brian Kelley and Jim Monteforte, and in the front row, from left to right, are Anne Donnelly, Wendy Boyer and me.

It was a great day and we greatly enjoyed our surprise victory!

If any of our friends at Faslane from those days who assisted in organising our sports days at St Andrew’s, and in putting together many other events, are reading this, I would like to pay tribute to them all.

Good memories are worth holding on to, and we have so many from our days at St Andrew’s.

If this latest letter stirs any more memories, and anyone else who remembers us would like to get in touch, we can be contacted at or on 07879 256073.

Len Thomson, Balfron, Stirlingshire

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Click here for all the latest news headlines from around Helensburgh and Lomond