ANENT the letter from Mr Jim Lynch on Hogmanay about the “copy” of the Stone in the church in Dundee.

In the early 1970s I was teaching at a now long gone secondary school in Drumchapel and the builder/mason, Mr Robert Gray, made the speech and presented the awards to students at the end of the session. The story Mr Lynch tells is exactly that which Mr Gray told in his presentation. He told how the Stone had come to be broken, how it had been brought to his yard for repair and that he made not one but TWO copies.

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He claimed somewhat teasingly that his copies were so good that he he actually could not distinguish them from the real one and that was possible that after the three were had been lifted on to the lorry, he could not remember which stone was which because his helpers had shifted them about on the lorry to distribute the load evenly. Someone asked him at the ceremony if the stone, then (c1973) in Westminster Abbey was one of the copies. Mr Gray paused for a long time, smiled ... and went on with his talk!

I did not know Mr Gray personally, but I had been born and brought up in the Anderston/Finnieston area, where his builder’s yard was located, and I knew of him because he had been a councillor in the area. He was what was not an uncommon species at that time, a working-class Tory.

I am sure he knew which Stone was the real one, but, I have always consoled myself with the belief that real stone was somewhere in Caledonia. When the great day comes, we can restore the real one to Edinburgh Castle and, as a nation once again, to decide if it should be restored to Scone.

Alasdair Macdonald

I WAS very interested to read the letter from Jim Lynch concerning “The” Stone. I had been given a very similar account of events by my old neighbour Bill Hamp-Hamilton in the late eighties. He also recounted to me how it had been stored, concealed, in a quarry yard after coming to Scotland.

Bill was a very interesting man, who was just beginning to tell of his wartime experiences when, along with his wife, he was killed in a traffic accident on the A9.

He worked at the offices of the Anchor shipping line in Glasgow and consequently was well connected in the city. The holder of a pilot’s licence between the wars, he was turned down for flying duties around the outbreak of war but was eventually taken into the RAF with the rank of lieutenant, based in Glasgow.

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While thus employed, one of his assignments was being put in charge of concealing a secret shipment of material from USA – many tons of arms and ammunition plus a few Pratt and Whitney aero engines – to be available for use in the event of an invasion. To achieve this a very large warehouse near Glasgow was commandeered, army engineers moved everything in and, stacked high at one end, a false wall was constructed totally concealing the equipment. The only way its presence could be ascertained was by accurate measurements taken both inside and outside the building. The engineers were then shipped off to the campaign in North Africa.

George M Mitchell

THE UK claim to have EVEL (English Votes for English Laws) when acts pertaining to England only are discussed or voted upon at Westminster. Can it be claimed there an equivalent Scottish Votes for Scottish Laws in Westminster for Scotland?

If the question of a Scottish independence referendum arises again, what equivalent constitutional rights do Scottish MPs have in such a debate? If Scottish MPs ask for a vote on independence should rUK MPs be barred from voting?

Bob Cotton