Letters – week 31

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Hard but fair shinty culture

As a sports fan who believes firmly in the maxim of ‘play hard but fair’ I get rather upset by millionaire soccer stars who perform cartwheels while screaming in agony after tripping over a blade of grass.

You might think they have broken a leg or something but, of course, after having their fevered brow splashed with cold water by a team of medics, they are soon sprinting around the pitch again.

It was different in the ‘old days’. One of the toughest blokes I’ve ever known was Harry, the boss of a club in the lower reaches of the English football league who demanded his players stay on their feet, no matter how hurt they appeared.

When one went down during a cup-tie, Harry jumped off the coach’s bench, shouting at him to get up only to admit later he had been a little harsh, after all, the poor lad had fractured his ankle.

I have always enjoyed the ‘hard but fair’ culture of shinty, even more so having left behind the soccer hot-bed of the north west of England for the sunnier climes of Argyll so I was interested to learn in The Oban Times of the Oban player who returned to the game minus two teeth after suffering an accidental blow from an opponent.

I read the report while waiting for an appointment at a dentist in Shore Street and, thinking of the shinty player, gritted my teeth, or what is left of them, and managed to desist from screaming while in the dentist’s chair for my clean and polish,

My old mate Harry would have been proud of me.

Colin Evans, Taynuilt.

Lived to tell the tale

I read with interest the article on jellyfish ‘A cautionary tale for dog owners’.

After an enjoyable day coastal walking, including playing on the beach, our Border Collie took seriously unwell. She was choking and could not breath. We managed to get emergency veterinary care.

She had stood on a jelly fish and was experiencing an anaphylactic shock after cleaning her paws.

Thankfully she recovered and had many more beach walks.

David Bell, Lochwinnoch.

Country at rock bottom

The monies that oil/gas companies have made should be put back into the general public’s pockets, not given to company directors and shareholders.

The charges should be massively reduced to affordable rates. Our country is at rock bottom. It’s a case of heat your home and starve or vice versa.

Hugh Maclnnes, by email.

Replace gas boilers before 2030

Scotland has an insignificant 0.15 per cent of global emissions, yet the SNP-dominated Scottish government will ban gas boilers in all new homes, offices and new builds by April 2024.

From 2030, existing homes will not be able to replace their existing gas boiler with a new one but be forced to install far more expensive heat pumps, solar energy or electricity.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, ground source pumps cost between £24,000 and £49,000. Air source pumps will cost between £7,000 and £13,000, but larger radiators may be required. Recently my replacement gas boiler cost £3,000.

Modern gas boilers can last for anywhere between 10 to 15 years but many are still efficient after 20 years.

Tell the Scottish government what to do with their climate diktats by buying a replacement gas boiler before 2030.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Problems of under-age drinking need addressed

I am appalled but unfortunately not surprised by the comments in Martin Laing’s At Random column regarding behaviour after pub closing time in Oban.

The under-age drinkers are learning well for when they become pub users.

The noise in the small hours and litter left in their regular haunts including the Hydro, Gallanach, Jacobs Ladder, Ganavan and behind Oban and Lorne Rugby Club is bad enough, but they often smash bottles leaving children and dogs at their mercy.

I have had two trips to the vet with my dogs because of this and now avoid these areas.
I have spoken to people that have reported some of these incidences to the police with no response.

I know we won’t stop young people drinking, and rational thinking leaves many people when they have consumed alcohol, but there comes a point when it has to be addressed. But how?

Name and address supplied.