MANY of your readers would have served in the Royal Navy and having left, possibly quite some time back, are now missing the camaraderie they had with their old shipmates.

To relive that camaraderie and possibly meet up with their old shipmates, they should get the monthly mailing list of ‘Royal Navy Reunions’ giving the dates, which H.M.Ship's Association, where it is being held and who to contact. Have a look at and check out the ‘Reunions’ section, there are currently well over 30!

Reunions listings is available by emailing See where the reunions are being held, and then find out what is included; such as a visit somewhere, a Gala Dinner, the ‘traditional’ tot of Rum on most of them.

Of course the wives and partners are not forgotten; they meet up at the reunions and have a good time too!

What does it cost? .... NOTHING. Nothing because the Reunion Listings are all collected, compiled and then sent out by email. There are no subscriptions or donations. But more important, it is also thanks to the hundreds of local newspapers, just like this one and others throughout the UK for printing my letters and subsequently re-uniting 'Lost Shipmates'.

Mike Crowe, RN Shipmates

I WAS at Helensburgh Central station last night (Tuesday, October 31) to catch the 19.26hrs train for Edinburgh.

At circa 19.30hrs it was announced that as the train was running 10 minutes late the first stop would be Dalmuir.

This meant that the first five stations, including my destination of Cardross, would be missed.

A number of passengers crossed the road to the Station Bar (does ScotRail or Abellio have shares in the place?) while myself and another passenger went to the ticket office to ask if an alternative bus or taxi service would be offered. Of course the answer was no.

The other passenger, an older woman on her own who was travelling to Dumbarton Central, was obviously distressed at being delayed. I took a taxi to Cardross at my own expense.

I have only used the train from Helensburgh to Cardross four or five times this year yet this is the second time this has happened.

On another occasion I was at Cardross waiting to board the train to Glasgow when it went through the station at a rate of knots to make up time because of a late departure from Helensburgh.

I no longer buy my tickets at Scotrail stations on this line as I cannot be sure that a train will stop to let me on or off.

Might I suggest that one way to try to meet your seemingly all important punctuality goals would be just to close half the stations on the line.

The fewer stations you have the fewer annoying, time wasting passengers you would have to deal with and those that are privileged enough to get on one of your trains would have a better chance of a seat.

Scotrail Abellio are not providing a fit for purpose service on the Helensburgh/Glasgow/Edinburgh route and the quicker the contract is given to someone else, preferably a public owned company, the better.

John F. Robins, via e-mail.

THE second day of November marks the centennial of the disastrous Balfour Declaration, which, in 1917, the British government gave the Jews of the world a national homeland in Palestine while it was aware that Palestine was owned and inhabited by another people, the Palestinian people.

The Balfour declaration is “null and void” given that it ignored the national and political rights of the indigenous Palestinian people.

The Palestinian people have suffered as a result of this promise as the Nakba, or “catastrophe” in 1948, during which time the state of Israel was created, left some 750,000 Palestinians and millions of their descendants as refugees. Since then, the suffering and tragedies of the Palestinian people have not stopped, whether inside what was left of the land of Palestine, which has now been under occupation for 50 years, since 1967, or in the Diaspora and refugee camps. The “ responsibility for the displacement and suffering of the Palestinian people” belongs not only to the British government that issued the Balfour Declaration, but the current administration of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who , in an utterly disgraceful manner , on Thursday celebrated the centenary in London with the extremist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What is troubling today is that...the British Government insists on celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, persisting to openly confirm its colonial policies against the Palestinian people. Those who attended that dinner should be ashamed of themselves. The British government should publicly apologize to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration and to bear the consequences of making that promise by compensating the Palestinian people politically, materially and morally, recognize the State of Palestine and work toward ending the occupation by Israel off the land just as it sponsored the occupation state, Israel, on the land of Palestine.

B. McKenna, Dumbarton.

AFTER the meeting at Geilston Hall, I had an idea that could be passed on to the NTS at your next meeting, if it has not already been discussed.

The Landmark Trust should be approached to help with funding and planning with the restoration of the house and buildings. They helped the NTS when they first took over the Hill House with a generous donation and in return ran the school room flat for many years as a holiday rental. A similar arrangement could be worked out for Geilston to the advantage of both organisations.

We have used Landmarks, and have found them very well run and of a high standard, but they have relatively few places in Scotland. I am sure they would seriously consider Geilston as it is so close to so many local gardens and attractions as we all know so well.

I strongly feel that the NTS should return the money. Ideally, with that money and the Landmark support Geilston's future could be assured.

Gillian George, Granville Street, Helensburgh.