Letters: Have respect for the troops and give the Grey a spray

THE magnificent memorial to the Royal Scots Greys in Princes Street Gardens has been allowed to fall into a shamefully filthy state.

The bronze of a trooper astride his charger is not just a work of art in its own right but is also a memorial to those who lost their lives in the world wars.

It is also one of the most photographed sights in the Capital. Yet the trooper’s bearskin is covered in such a thick layer of bird droppings it appears to have had a bucket of whitewash thrown over it.

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The council has form in this area. In 2000, after a campaign by those of us at the Royal British Legion Scotland – which reminded them that they had an obligation under the War Memorials (Local Authorities’ Powers) Act, 1948, to maintain such memorials – the council quickly cleaned it up and, vitally, placed several tiny wire spikes atop the memorial which prevented birds alighting.

These spikes have disappeared and the mess is a direct consequence. Would it be too much to ask that, the next time the monument is cleaned, the spikes were replaced?

The council is currently proposing both a Princes Street Gardens memorial to the 30 Edinburgh-born VC holders and another to all those who have died in conflict since 1945. We’d be happier if these good intentions were backed up by a better record of war memorial maintenance.

Neil Griffiths, Royal British Legion Scotland, New Haig House, Logie Green Road, Edinburgh

Football teams in the minority

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I HOPE that Edinburgh City Council will ignore Leith Athletic FC’s complaints that their pitches are a “write-off” following damage done by the Edinburgh Mela and other important cultural events on Leith Links (News, September 3).

After all, their claimed membership of under 1000 is tiny compared to the masses of people who have enjoyed these events.

John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh

Nuclear power is safe and clean

Dr Richard Dixon’s claims about nuclear power (“Torness’ first visits since 9/11 attacks”, News, September 1) are wrong. It is the cleanest thermal generation system known, producing hardly any greenhouse gases while operating.

As for being “dangerous”, if that’s measured by the number of people killed and injured per kWh produced, then it is the least dangerous. Nuclear power is certainly necessary; it is the only reliable and efficient method of meeting base load without altering the climate. Renewable methods cannot meet base load and do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh

Pity Polo Fields got chukka’d out

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citizens of Edinburgh in 100 years will be grateful to their forebears for saving the training trenches in Dreghorn Woods, and will appreciate the profile given by the Evening News to the issue.

However, they may be puzzled that at about the same time, just over the fence, the Polo Fields, the last bit of semi-wild, easily-accessible open green space inside the bypass in this part of Edinburgh, was finally lost, covered in concrete and tarmac.

Our descendants will be particularly grateful to the landowners, the MoD, for graciously agreeing to “endeavour to find a way forward” to preserve the Dreghorn training trenches.

However, they may be extremely ungrateful to the MoD for selling off the Polo Fields to developers, when a community buyout of this asset was a distinct possibility.

Nick Cheales, Edinburgh

Capital should represent us all

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In response to Stuart Mitchell’s letter (Keep Gaelic away from the Capital, News, September 1), I would like to remind him that as the capital city, Edinburgh has a duty to represent the whole of Scotland.

Gaelic was the language spoken by the majority before horrific events took place to quash a rich part of Scotland’s culture.

Stuart is correct in pointing out that Gaelic was never the main language of Edinburgh. However, I challenge anyone native to Scotland for generations, living in Edinburgh, who cannot claim Highland or Western Isles ancestry.

Sean Dolan-Osborne, Dunfermline