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

We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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 AM sure that I was not alone in being sorry to read that the efforts to make Helensburgh pier usable appear to have fallen on stony ground (‘End of the road for town’s pier restoration project’ - Helensburgh Advertiser: 15/10/20).

Might there be an alternative approach to attempting to restore the wooden seaward end of the pier?

I attach a photo (above) taken in the 1870s showing two paddle steamers berthed down the western side of the pier.

This made me wonder whether the stone section of the pier might still be sufficiently robust nowadays.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: October 15, 2020

Admittedly the two steamers in the photo were each a good bit smaller than the Waverley and hence probably also drew less water.

Might some form of dredging of the west side be technically feasible and, with a bit of luck, a lot less expensive than replacing the wooden section?

I should be interested to know whether this option had been considered by Argyll and Bute Council in their discussions with the Helensburgh Seafront Development Project.

Over to the experts!

Stewart Noble


READ MORE: Opinion: Helensburgh pier is latest evidence of turning our backs on the Clyde

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THE Scottish Poppy Appeal is Poppy Scotland’s largest fund-raising campaign, which takes place annually in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday in November.

This year is no exception. Our local campaign should see poppy tins and boxes placed in strategic hubs throughout the town over the coming days.

This year, in order to adapt to the circumstances we find ourselves in, we appreciate that not everyone is carrying cash. With this in mind, each poppy box has a handy QR Code (on the top left of the box) and the poppy on the right-hand side is NFC enabled - this means that a contactless donation can be made via any smart phone with these features.

I have to admit until Test and Protect I’d not have known how the QR codes work but I, like many others in the community, have become pretty familiar with it over the recent months.

To learn more about this, or any other contactless donation options, please take a look at our Facebook page.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: October 8, 2020

In addition to this adaptation to allow for contactless donations, Poppy Scotland have created a JustGiving page for the Helensburgh area to assist with those who are unable to get out or have not got a smart phone but would still prefer to donate.

Of course, for those who prefer a more personal poppy interaction there will be street collectors out in the town on a couple of occasions during the Poppy Appeal fortnight and on Poppy Day (depending on any local restrictions and adhering to current social distancing guidelines), and we also have Poppy Scotland merchandise available for sale via the local Facebook page with the proceeds all going to the Helensburgh total.

The presence of local collectors will be scaled down considerably during this year’s appeal due to the Covid-19 global pandemic but our spirits have not been dampened. For those who wish to know more, details of the Helensburgh community Poppy Scotland Just Giving page and our local Facebook group, visit and

Finally, I would just like to extend my personal thanks to the local community. This is my fifth year as the Helensburgh area organiser and each year I am amazed by the generosity and good spirit of the Helensburgh community.

I am ever hopeful that despite the current situation we will still have a good Scottish poppy appeal, and that is all thanks to everyone in our local community, from the shops that kindly accept poppy boxes and tins to the volunteers who stand for hours on a cold November day - thank you all!

Sarah Hawkins

Poppy Scotland - Helensburgh area organiser

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: October 1, 2020

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CAT lovers have a lot to celebrate this Black Cat Day (Tuesday, October 27) with Cats Protection’s news that black and black-and-white cats are no longer overlooked as they once were.

Since we created the awareness day in 2010 to highlight that black cats took longer to rehome than other cats, they now spend 11 days less on average in care than before, prior to moving to their new loving homes.

Around 65,000 black or black-and-white cats have been homed through our adoption centres in the decade since the campaign started, a remarkable 44 per cent of all cats homed through our centres during that time.

We would like to thank readers for their support and for helping us make a real difference. Not only do these cats now spend less time in our care, but each year thousands celebrate the day and engage with our #BlackCatDay hashtag on social media.

READ MORE: Fifth missing Helensburgh cat returns home after two months

Throughout the campaign, Cats Protection has explored reasons why black cats might be less popular, working to change perceptions and buck the rehoming trend. These included black cats being seen as unlucky or not photogenic in selfies.

We would love to invite readers to celebrate and showcase their black cat knowledge by hosting a quiz for friends and family while also raising vital funds for their local branch or centre.

More details about the quiz and Black Cat Day can be found at

James Yeates

CEO, Cats Protection

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