Catch the next tram to bright new future for city

Tram being put through its pace. Picture: Neil Hanna

Tram being put through its pace. Picture: Neil Hanna

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Have your say

After years of complaining, moaning and boring all my pals in the pub about the farcical £1 billion white elephant destroying the most beautiful world heritage site, destroying small businesses all the way along a route that will never ever see a tram, I’ve come round to their way of thinking.

I have now formed Edinburgh Generating Integrated Transport Systems – EGITS. We shall have monthly meetings at Harthill service station, which is much more convenient than the city centre and parking is free.

I suggest our next project after completing the tram line from Edinburgh Airport to the Gogar roundabout should be to restore Princes Street Gardens to their former glory . . . the Nor’ Loch! Yes we should flood the gardens and allow gondolas and pedalos to transport people the length of Princes Street.

Of course we will need to enforce a strict one-way system with no right turns or pedalos in the gondola lane, with cameras to fine selfish pedalo drivers and of course the whole loch will be patrolled by parking attendants on supercharged jet-skis to punish selfish pedalo drivers by making them resit their test.

We would then of course demolish the eyesore of a castle and replace it with a more fitting building for our beautiful city. I would suggest a multi-storey glass tourist attraction selling traditional plastic kilts and “see you Jimmy” ginger wigs while serving traditional Scottish cuisine such as deep- fried Mars Bars.

Or we should at least adorn the Castle in similar outdoor displays of plastic kilts that are promoted outside most of our traditional shops in the High Street and Princes Street.

And as for that Arthur’s Seat waste of space, that will be bulldozed to make way for a super stadium for the Capital’s most successful football team . . . that’s right, Spartans.

Tom King, Edinburgh

Book library lift in for repairs

edinburgh people are pretty well served by the public facilities provided by the council, but an annoying exception is the state of the public lift in the Central Library, pictured.

For upward of six months now, this has been marked as “out of order”, cutting off that access to the reference library and the art library upstairs, and to the Scottish library and the toilets downstairs.

The result is that those of us who find it hard to deal with the steep flights of stairs which now have to be negotiated are deprived of access to these important library facilities, which are intended for all the Edinburgh public.

There is talk of restructuring some major parts of the library, but hopefully the simple task of repairing the lift will not have to wait for this to be completed.

Jack Mahoney, Lauriston Street, Edinburgh

‘No’ campaigners are the real separatists

Angus McGregor (Letters, August 22) appears overwhelmed by everything we’d have to do if Scotland were independent, such as establishing embassies around the world to represent our interests and values (rather than UK embassies representing Westminster’s interests and values).

What an awful development! Oh, the paperwork! It’s clearly too much for poor little Scotland to cope with!

It makes you wonder how on earth other small countries such as Norway, Denmark and New Zealand manage.

Having their own voice in the world must be such an expensive drag for them. They must be clamouring to give up their independence and be ruled from a larger country!

Fortunately, there are a growing number of people in Scotland who reject the pessimism of the “No” campaign and have a more positive, can-do attitude towards our wealthy, talent-rich country. Self-government is always a better recipe for a nation’s wellbeing than self-loathing.

The “No” campaign are the real separatists. They want to keep Scotland hidden away from the world, with Westminster doing all the talking for us (or killing in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan). The “Yes” campaign wants Scotland to be independent so that we can actually join the world community in our own right. In other words, truly rejecting separation means voting “Yes” in 2014.

Angus Coull, High Street, Prestonpans

How light went out for the candlemakers

In reply to Nicholas Davis (Letters, August 21), the Convenery is very grateful for his kind remarks about its exhibition, Flodden and the Blue Blanket, at Ashfield, Melville Street.

He asks if there were ever incorporations for gardeners, wool merchants or cabinet makers. There was a Society of Gardeners from the 18th century but they were never an incorporation; they appear to have had Masonic overtones. Wool merchants were merchants, not tradesmen; the wool was pulled from the skins by the freemen of the Incorporation of Skinners, who supplied the merchants.

Cabinet makers were also wrights and therefore formed part of the United Incorporation of Mary’s Chapel, in which the Incorporations of Wrights and Masons were co-partners.

The incorporated trades that constitute the Convenery of Trades, in the order determined by King James VI in 1583 are: surgeons, goldsmiths, skinners, furriers, hammermen, wrights, masons, tailors, baxters, fleshers, cordiners, weavers, waulkers, bonnetmakers and dyers.

The candlemakers were also briefly members of the Convenery from 1598 to 1604, when they blotted their copybook and were expelled.

Henry Steuart Fothringham OBE, historian to the Convenery of the Trades of Edinburgh