ANYONE living in Mearnskirk, like myself, in the past or at present could not have failed to notice the delightful bronze statue of Peter Pan in the grounds of Mearnskirk Hospital. The hospital, built in 1929, was originally a sanatorium and was opened in 1930 for children under the age of 15 suffering from TB, which was rampant at that time. The building has been sold and is currently empty. Many have voiced their concerns regarding the fate of the statue as the building is now due for demolition.

Councillor Caroline Bamforth also has concerns for the future of the statue. She has contacted NHSGGC, who sold the building, as well as the new owners of the site, to ensure the statue would be preserved. The councillor informs me that the new owners have agreed to remove and store the statue before demolition begins and discussions are ongoing with various East Renfrewshire Council departments, including planning and the local studies librarian, as well as the son of the original sculptor, Fred Ellesworth, who is an East Refrewshire resident. Ideally the statue should remain in Mearnskirk.

READ MORE: Covid: Nicola Sturgeon hits back at journalist for indyref2 comments at briefing

Personally, I feel a small unoccupied piece of ground next to Hazeldene Nursery School, opposite the old Mearnskirk Hospital, would be perfect and the councillor agrees with me, but to date know one seems to know who owns the land. On the wall by the main door of the nursery school there is a bronze plaque depicting the characters in Peter Pan, by Scottish writer JM Barrie. Apparently there were originally four plaques round the plinth of the statue but only one was salvaged and it portrays Peter, Wendy, the boys and Tinker Bell flying to Neverland.

I think relocation of the statue with a small garden round it, available to the public, would be a fitting reminder of the many young children who lost their lives to TB and other incurable infectious diseases at that time. It would also be a tribute to the advances medical research and science has made in the field of public health in the past and in the future.

From the 1950s the BCG vaccine has virtually eradicated TB. Who remembers swallowing a cube of sugar with drops of Salk vaccine which meant the end of polio? I do, and I still have the scar from smallpox vaccination on my arm. Whooping cough, diphtheria, rubella, mumps, measles et cetera, a thing of the past? Measles can have serious consequences for the unprotected. Measles encephalitis can lead to serious long-term physical disabilities and even death.

I feel it is important we find a suitable location to re-erect the statue of Peter Pan as a reminder of its past and how lucky we and our children are today. As a health visitor, my mantra was “prevention is better than cure”.

Meg Kapasi

HAMISH MacPherson may well be correct that “Unionist parroting of the ‘once in a generation’ phrase is indicative of how terrified they have become of a second referendum” (Scotland Back in the Day, November 10), but I have been disturbed, over recent years, at the perceived failure of the SNP/Yes movement to properly nail that careless figure of speech which has dogged us since 2014.

Even the ventriloquist’s dummy that is Alister Jack has twigged that there is still mileage in it and wonders if a “generation might be 40 years”! Nothing is surer than that Unionists will parrot this hostage to fortune ad nauseam.

READ MORE: Back in the Day: How the sun began to set on Britain’s empire

How indignant we have been in recent years when the Tories brazenly used every electoral test – from council by-election to Scottish Parliament election – to ask voters to “Say no to another referendum/independence”, even as we insisted “that is not what you are being asked to vote on!”

Well it is now, or will be in May, so it is crucial that the SNP manifesto does two things: 1. Makes a clear case for another referendum (“Vote No to stay in the EU” and The Vow were only one of the lies we were told...) and knocks “once in a generation” out of the park (as Hamish MacPherson does in his piece); and 2) Makes clear and simple our policy on currency, pensions and potential prosperity once free of the dead hand of London.

We can rely on this appalling Johnson government – or, if he gets the boot before then, the oleaginous Gove is standing by – to do the rest.

David Roche

I NOTICED in Friday’s edition we have a monarchist using the tern “chip on- the- shoulder egalitarianism” to describe the views of a republican. When you have to use insults you know the argument is lost.

N M Shaw

THE annual John MacLean/St Andrews Day rally will take place at 1.30pm on Sunday, November 29 at John MacLean Cairn. Speakers and musicians will be announced nearer the time. The event will socially distanced. There will no march this year from MacLean’s grave at Eastwood Cemetery and no social is planned for afterwords. AOUB is helping with stewarding and planning.

Donald Anderson