Letters: Death of family man a grim reminder of road dangers

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LAST week, doting dad and husband Gavin Fulton died after being knocked down at the Dundas Street/Heriot Row junction.

His picture has been hanging alongside flowers on a nearby lamppost, with a large police sign urging witnesses to come forward also prominent at the traffic lights.

All the more reason then for drivers in the area to be vigilant. At least, so you would think.

But not so for the taxi driver my two-and-a-half year-old son and I encountered there on Thursday afternoon. Crossing Heriot Row at the green man, and when halfway across the road, we saw a taxi heading our way.

On remonstrating with the driver that there is no left turn, he rolled his window down to shout “sorry”.

On reminding him that a man had died here just last week, he retorted gruffly: “I apologised, didn’t I?” A shortcut to a job can never be worth the risk of a life cut short.

The rules of the road are there to keep us all safe. Taxi companies would do well to remind their drivers that they expect compliance and that a throwaway apology is going to be of little or no comfort to someone injured, or to the family of someone killed, just because ignoring the rules was more convenient.

Louise Taggart, Inverleith, Edinburgh

City pet shop was around in 1940s

Regarding the article about the sale of Dofos, which was described as being the oldest established pet shop in Edinburgh having opened in 1953. There was a small but busy pet shop in Cockburn Street, just off the Royal Mile, in the 1940s and from then on for many years.

I often visited as a small child and watched the rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and hamsters.

In those days pet shops were allowed to sell pups and kittens (thankfully not now) but it was there we got our first pup for 7/6 around 1950. We took him home in a shopping bag.

He was supposed to be a Jack Russell – but turned out to be a Fox cross Bull terrier. He was a grand lad and lived to be well over 17.

Mrs Pat Morris, Gullane, East Lothian

Archives are open and free for all

There seems to be a widespread misconception that Columba House at 16 Drummond Place, the home of the Scottish Catholic Archives since 1958, is closed for the foreseeable future.

In fact, the opposite is true. Columba House, with its incredible storehouse of historic documents, is very much open for business, but, due to staffing shortages, offering a reduced service for the present.

Researchers and historians (whether professional or amateur) should have no problem accessing the collection. There is no entrance charge.

I was there last week. The service was professional, the reading room cosy, the wireless connection excellent and the documents, as ever, fascinating.

The presence of other researchers from many parts of Scotland and overseas added to the positive experience.

Michael TRB Turnbull