On Sunday, July 31 in Swindon, St Mark’s Church held a service for the Royal British Legion Swindon Branch at 3pm to dedicate its new colours and to mark the 90th anniversary year of the branch.

I would like to thank all those that attended the service, and the Wroughton Silver Band and Cadet Forces who paraded with the veterans.

The Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Ray Ballman, took the salute and reviewed the colours in the GWR Park, Faringdon Road.

Afterwards a buffet and presentation was held in the TA drill hall. I felt honoured that I was made a vice president of the RBL Swindon Branch and would like to thank James Arkell and others in the RBL for bestowing this office upon myself and Cllr Doreen Dart.

Finally, a big thank you to those people that turned out to watch the parade and gave a resounding round of applause as the colours were paraded in the park. A proud moment for cadet and veteran alike!

Cllr Steve Wakefield Swindon Borough Council

Other acts of evil

Coun Bluh opines that he has struggled to think of an individual act of evil equal to that of the killings in Norway.

Perhaps Dunblane, Hungerford and Lockerbie do not feature in his thoughts but I think it fair to say that those individual acts of evil were of the same magnitude to the killings he refers to, particularly to the families of the victims.

In closing his article he suggests a fitting tribute to the victims of the shooting could be “better debates, more thorough deliberation about the choices we face and more grown up politics”, to which I am sure many of us would wholeheartedly agree and we look to Coun Bluh as leader of the council to be in the very vanguard of that much required change. It would indeed be good to see him engaging in constructive debate with open and transparent actions being supported by honest, unequivocal answers to questions being given by councillors and officers alike.

Des Morgan Caraway Drive Swindon

Royal resentment

I thought it necessary to write in support of the recent letter from J Adams in respect of our monarchy.

I personally resent paying even one penny to support this wealthy family.

I suggest that there should be a box on people’s tax returns that they would tick if they wanted to pay the royal family’s benefits.

Susan Constable suggests we have the freedom to express our views – perhaps this would be true if we lived in a democracy – but we don’t.

Witness the protestors at the royal wedding being denied the right to protest, and the draconian sentence given to Charlie Gilmour for daring to touch the car carrying Charles and Camilla.

I might add that animal rights leaders are in prison serving sentences of up to 15 years on spurious charges because they dared to protest against the vivisection industry.

But back to J Adams, who quite rightly mentioned the number of properties the royals live in. If that old chestnut was true and tourists flock to Buckingham Palace, then why not house the whole motley crew there and some could be trotted out each day to wave?

We could flog the rest of our properties to the highest bidder and redeploy all these royal protection people to community policing.

Lastly, does Susan Constable really believe that the royals actually do their job when serving in the forces? I am sorry but it doesn’t happen. The amount of annual leave must have significantly increased since I retired from the forces if Prince William’s absence is anything to go by.

Philip Beaven Merton Avenue Swindon

Not best for badgers

As a former director of League Against Cruel Sports, I want to see the best solution in animal welfare terms to the difficulties many farmers are facing in dealing with Bovine TB.

What is often overlooked is the fact that the infected badgers themselves suffer a miserable death and are a reservoir for the disease.

The League’s current chief executive, Joe Duckworth, states that there will be thousands of wounded badgers if shot.

Yet during the numerous debates in the run-up to the passing of the Hunting Act, the League, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the RSPCA all argued that shooting foxes was more humane than hunting with hounds, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.

How is it that badgers can be wounded, but foxes appear to be immune?

James Barrington Animal Welfare Consultant London

Queen sized rant

What an ignorant rant from the likes of Susan Constable! (‘Try somewhere else’, Adver, July 28).

Our current freedoms stem NOT from the likes of the monarchy but from parliament, in short ordinary folk who fought and suffered for their rights against the tyranny of monarchy which many today take for granted.

Stand by for her next statement: ‘The royals’ palaces belong to the nation’! We pay for them but SHE owns them.

Many royalists question the need for the royal family to live on quite a grand scale at the taxpayer’s expense, especially when compared to the lifestyles of the other royal houses of Europe.

Elsewhere, especially in the Scandinavian countries, the state drastically reduced its financial provision for the monarchy. The kings and queens were given luxurious residences and given the means to impress visiting heads of state, but this was restricted to the immediate family: others not in the immediate line of succession were expected to make their own way in the world like everyone else.

This begs the question: if this system works in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium, why not adopt it here?

Does the Queen really need three palaces when one would surely suffice?

And why do many of the Queen’s relatives receive money from the Civil List, besides grace and favour apartments in the state-maintained Kensington Palace?

Even today, the British royal family receives more from the Government (ie, taxpayer) than the seven other surviving European monarchies put together.

J Adams Bloosmbury Swindon

Dad’s war effort

With reference to the article ‘Remember When’, my father helped to build Wellingtons at Brooklands during the war. He helped to restore the plane ‘R for Robert’ which was built there.

He loved his hobby every Monday and of course he worked with his mates.

I went to the celebrations to see the completed task.

Clare Maton Raybrook Crescent Swindon

Travel sympathies

How I sympathise after reading the story (Adver, July 27), regarding radiotherapy treatment at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford.

I myself was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago.

I had to undergo surgery at the then Princess Margaret Hospital and afterwards it was found that I needed radiotherapy which entailed travelling five days a week to Oxford for six weeks.

I was very fortunate that my husband and daughter shared taking me there by car, but during that time I saw many very sick people who had to use the hospital transport, sometimes arriving early in the morning and then having to wait until almost teatime before they could be taken home.

As the treatment kicks in you become exhausted and the travelling really starts to take its toll.

We could really do with this facility being available in Swindon. My care from staff at Princess Margaret Hospital and Churchill Hospital was wonderful but the daily travelling I came to dread.

Here’s hoping it may not be too long before this treatment is available in our own town.

From a very grateful patient.

Margaret Beale Highclere Avenue Swindon

Tasty advice

May I suggest Mr Hunter visits the WI Markets (Country Markets) at the Church Hall at the back of what was Woolworths on a Friday morning?

They will often make favourite things for you, by order, and give advice on preparing food. Their homemade pies etc are superb.

E Phelps High Street Wootton Bassett