YOUR article in Monday’s paper “Veteran honours pioneering surgeon” brings back some interesting memories.

A former “victim” of Sir Archibald McIndoe’s wonderful work in the earliest days of plastic surgery was a former RAF pilot by the name of Dick Worn. He had been on a routine fighter pilot training course in Rhodesia in 1945 just before the cessation of hostilities when it all went horribly wrong and he crashed in flames.

The results were serious indeed and in time he ended up in McIndoe’s care to have his face reconstructed – using, as he said, a fairly large area of his nether regions! He would go on to a complete, but far from invisible, recovery, marry one of the nurses who had cared for him and make a huge success of the family apple-growing business in the south of England.

READ MORE: Veteran honours pioneering surgeon who rebuilt his life

We met up during the sixties through a common interest in what would become known as the vintage car movement. I regularly stayed at his family home in Essex when down south and often he told stories about the huge and varied things that the members of “The Guinea Pig Club” got up to. He was never seen without its silver badge on his jacket.

One morning he said “I’m going to show you where it all happened; we’re going to East Grinstead”.

And so, after a couple of hours or so we parked up in front of the hospital. He proceeded to give me a complete tour of the complex where McIndoe’s work had been done; not just ordinary wards, exercise and recreational areas, but including several of the operating theatres. We just opened doors and pressed on regardless.

When I suggested that maybe we should get permission from someone he just tapped his silver badge and said “That is all the permission I need!”

And so it was; even fully kitted out and occupied surgeons and staff did not call into question the well-known “guinea pigs”. They were all so looked up to and respected by everyone there.

Sadly Dick is no longer with us but the memories of our long friendship survive. These were the days!

George M Mitchell

AS we approach the celebration of the Sandinista triumph over the Somoza dictatorship, your readers should note that many Scots who had lived or worked in Sandinista Nicaragua signed the public letter drawing worldwide attention to the dictatorial Ortega regime as this autumn’s presidential election approaches.

Hundreds of Europeans who had been active in solidarity with the revolution also signed, as a rejection of the Ortega/Murillo regime’s lie that the opposition was only part of the USA’s dirty tricks department left over from the 80s.

This followed the initiative of people from the USA who had been active in solidarity and opposed the CIA’s deadly activities.

Readers should challenge (and encourage) their elected representatives to denounce the pre-election arrests.

Norman Lockhart
Ex-nurse volunteer, Scottish Medical Aid for Nicaragua

ON Channel 4 news yesterday evening “Lord” Frost, the one who negotiated the Brexit deal, backed up by blustering Johnson claiming “there would be no border in the Irish Sea”, has now declared that it doesn’t work and needs to be renegotiated (whether the EU agrees or not). In Frost’s own words: “It is perfectly normal, if a treaty isn’t working, for it to be renegotiated”.

Well it’s time for the Scottish Government to apply his words to the 1707 Treaty of Union which hasn’t worked (except in England’s favour) for 314 years!

Paul Gillon
Leven, Fife

I WOULD like to thank you and in particular Robbie Mochrie for the article in Saturday’s National (Here’s what started civil war in the Tory Party, Jul 17).

At the bottom of the first column it mentions Britain in 1990 faced a deteriorating economic position. It would appear we are in a similar position now, but having implemented Brexit and looking at economic recovery after Covid, possibly a far worse position.

READ MORE: Here’s what started the Tory Party's civil war over Europe

I can’t see that there would be anything other than panic in Westminster as a result of an independent Scotland. The obsession with the attempted manipulation of markets and avoiding imposed financial regulations from anywhere other than Westminster has created the monster.

The dilemma they now have is that they can’t risk the devaluation of the pound by losing the GDP input from the Scottish economy. Yet they still crow about “what currency will you use?” They still ask through fear that we would not continue to use Sterling.

William H Boyle
via email

MONDAY’S Picture of the Day was not Gretna, but Carter Bar, God’s country.

Ken McCartney