16SUMMER 2012Welcome to your letters pages -where you get to haveyour say and to share your experiences.To contact us, write to:The Editor, Scotland in Trust, 91 East London Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4BQor email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLetters may be editedYou can also tweet @N_T_S or find us on Facebook via www.nts.org.uk/facebookYoursayLETTERSEll of a debateYou asked in the springissue for views on theuse of imperial or metricmeasurements. It is aconfused situation outthere. We should clearlyhave moved to metricunits years ago, but nogovernment is preparedto face the wrath ofpeople like yourcorrespondent, RonMunro. We've beenusing metric measurements for a long time: the old one-inch maps had a metric grid. Now all OS maps aremetric, and I find no problem with that. The buildingtrade has used metric for years, as anyone who attemptsDIY discovers. The confusion, for me, is trying to keep aconcept of imperial units, when I've made the transfer tometric. Of course you should give measurements inmetric units, and hopefully the new generation will takethe bull by the horns, because they have no concept ofwhat imperial measures signify. As for the conservation ofheritage, you do that, for example, at the Ell Shop inDunkeld [see picture]: when was the last time yourcorrespondent used the ell as a measurement, I wonder? Ken Allen (1.78m tall)by email I totally agree with Ron Munro about measurements. Yousay feet and inches are no longer used in schools, but Icannot believe any child does not know what a mile is.And as far as heights are concerned I think there wouldbe an almighty outcry if the Trust started to describeMunros as "mountains over 914.4m". If you really thinksome young people wouldn't understand the traditionalmeasurements, why not give metric versions in brackets?Marjory Simmondsby emailThe editor writes: We received many letters on this, thevast majority supporting the use of metric measurements.Many thanks to all who wrote in. We will tend to usemetric, though there may be some occasions, especiallyin historical contexts, when imperial is appropriate. Up-market tenementYour correspondent Ailsa Logue, in discussing her modelof a room at the Tenement House, states that in answer tothe children's question about why there was no adultpresent, she said"mummy had gone out to the toilet,which was not in the house". While I know manytenement houses did not have indoor toilets, many toiletsbeing at the top of the stairs or in the courtyard, this isnot so in Agnes Toward's flat. Tenement flats could bequite "up-market" and Miss Toward's has a spaciousentrance hall, well appointed bedroom, comfortablelounge (or parlour) and lovely kitchen with a coal-firedrange giving permanent hot water. The tiled bathroom,with bath, flush toilet and wash basin, is within the flat.Mummy was perhaps just in another room. Marion L Smith (former Tenement House guide)by emailPoor outcomeI was fascinated by your piece on the William Fettes teacaddy. It was interesting that in his will Fettes decided "tocreate a school for orphans and the needy". I find itironic that it has become a school for the wealthy andprivileged (though no doubt there are still scholarships). Iwonder how many bequests set up to help poor peoplehave gone this way?Katherine Naylorby emailOpen houseI enjoyed the article about the House of the Binns. Itreminded me of the day, many years ago, that my wifeand I visited the house for the first time. On arrival thereseemed to be no one about, just an open door. Onentering I called out, and after a few minutes a lady in awheelchair came to greet us and made us mostwelcome. She asked whether we would like a guidedtour of the house, and whether I would push her chair.Visited @N_T_SGladstone's Landyesterday. Rathertaken with the waythey stop peoplesitting on displaypieces -a holly leafon each one!@dhothersallAlso visited another@N_T_S propertytoday: Angus FolkMuseum. Superbmuseum and staffand saw nice LMSticket.pic.twitter.com/XYmGH8UJ @RadarArchiveThings to marvel at@N_T_S GeorgianHouse: Did youknow people in1790s had fancydevices for makingcheese toasties?bit.ly/J4amYs From:@SkillsRCAHMS@N_T_S Fondmemories ofvolunteering withNTS at Glen Coeyears back stayingat Achnacon bothyand meeting MelGibson inHighlander garb. @bendipper
WWW.NTS.ORG.UKWe had a wonderfully informative and insightful tourand she was full of stories of the family and the history ofthe house. As we were saying our goodbyes Mr TamDalyell arrived at the door and said hello to my wife andmyself. He then turned to our "guide" and said "Hellomum, showing people around the house, I see". Thephotograph of the house that you used showed awonderful display of daffodils, so we decided to revisitthe house to see this year's display. We wandered roundthe garden enjoying the flowers and the views, thenheaded back to the car park. Just as we passed the frontof the house, we noticed Mr Dalyell sitting there. Wesaid hello and Tam asked us to join him in a soft drink. Itold him the story of our first visit and he was quiteamused by it. We chatted for a while, then said goodbye.What a gentleman he is, and what a privilege to be ableto visit this Trust property, which is still a family home. Tom Johnstonby emailWonderful weekendI would like to draw to readers' attention the excellentservice provided by all members of staff at theEisenhower Apartments in Culzean Castle and to thankthem sincerely. My son, daughter, son-in-law andgrandchildren had secretly arranged for my wife and I tostay overnight at the apartments to celebrate my 60thbirthday in April. As a family, we have for many yearsbeen members of the Trust and Culzean was a regularouting for us. In recent years, I have been unwell andeight months ago, was retired because of ill-health. I hadbeen in regular employment since I left school aged 16,so to suddenly find myself "retired" has been a changethat I have struggled to get accustomed to. Although Ihave tried to appear cheerful, inwardly I have been lowin spirit. My birthday weekend changed that state ofmind in a remarkable way and had a most positive effectupon my wellbeing. I have to thank the generosity andforesight of my loving family. But I also must make youaware of the kindness and cheerfulness of your staff. Weenjoyed the most comfortable, luxurious accommodationwe have experienced. The food and waiting service wereexcellent. Staff made us feel at ease in surroundings of astandard to which we were unaccustomed and, at first,found a bit daunting. Thank you one and all.Andrew Bainby emailIn our spring issue, we mistakenly referred to the Trust'sSchool of Heritage Gardening by its former name, theCentre for Excellence in Heritage Horticulture. Weapologise for any confusion.