Letters: Chance blown as venue hits the wrong note for Jazz Fest

I would like to know if there was a justifiable reason for replacing Jazz on a Summer's Day in Princes Street Gardens with the poor substitute put on in the Grassmarket on Sunday.

In the past we had excellent entertainment in a ready-made area that provided seats, a dancing area, toilets and if you had children, you had grassy space for them to play and all with a fantastic back drop for visitors and locals to appreciate.

To move all this into the confines of the Grassmarket doesn't make sense. No seating, no toilets and no space.

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The only people who appeared to benefit from this were the bars and restaurants and stall holders, and of course the council would make money from charging the stall holders.

They have moaned for years that the bandstand is substandard, but it can't be any worse than a bare erected stage with no facilities.

The sheer numbers in the past would tell you how popular the Gardens event was and this was not in the same league. Was this the council deciding what's best for us, or what's cheapest for them?

M Sweeney, Redhall, Edinburgh

Yes, bus drivers do need a hand

LOTHIAN Buses' chief Ian Craig says "We need the help of passengers" regarding buggies on buses (News, July 25). Yes, they do!

I was saddened recently when, twice, fit passengers did not move when a mum with a buggy got on. They were sitting on the pop-up seat where the hood of the buggy should go.

One mum was forced to stand beside the other pop-up seat, while the other was forced to park her pram with the hood against the window. Have a heart! The driver probably didn't notice.

I do take my hat off to them though. They have quite an obstacle race to run in the Marchmont/Grange area with badly parked cars and vans. Thank you for your patience.

HM Rae, The Grange

Close encounter with firefighters

AT the weekend I was visiting someone on the 13th floor of a high-rise block in Moredun when we became aware of screaming from somewhere below us. I went to investigate by going down the only stairs.

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Around the 11th floor I started to encounter smoke which got progressively worse as I descended.

By this time people were passing me in the gloom of the stairs and I was beginning to choke.

By the ninth floor it was becoming too much and I was aware that I was finding it difficult to get my breath. Then suddenly I saw two firemen and they advised me to get back upstairs. I didn't hesitate in retreating, I can tell you!

I got back to the flat and we were very conscious that the fire was below us. We made sure the windows were closed and placed a wet towel across the bottom of the front door. However, soon the smoke reduced and it was evident everything was under control.

I cannot praise the Fire Service enough. To see those two firemen was a tremendous relief. I gather nobody was seriously injured.

As a Fire Board member I would like to thank the Fire Service personnel involved.

Stuart Roy McIvor, Councillor for Inverleith

Please chuck out those check-outs

I WOULD like to remind Edinburgh City Council that civilisation is held together by subtle threads. When the day-to-day interaction between people is no longer valued, those threads are severed.

The decision to install automatic check-outs in our libraries is ill thought out. Replacing library staff with machines is a disaster which in the long term will prove costly on all levels.

Conchita Pinto, Keir Street, Edinburgh

Mystery over the role of Syrians

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SANDRA White MSP tabled a motion backed by record numbers condemning the Syrian government's behaviour.

Questions remain unanswered about Syria's role in the Lockerbie bombing. Did the first President Bush keep Syria out of the frame for Lockerbie for political reasons?

Andrew JT Kerr, Jedburgh