Train ticket joke was not remotely racist

·1 min read

Kevin Clinton (Letters, 17 August) has got the wrong end of the stick. My Welsh father’s version of the railway journey story had a second world war demobbed British soldier in India needing to get back to Wales, and being asked by the ticket officer: “Upper Cwmtwrch or Lower Cwmtwrch?” The point was very clearly the omniscience of even a minor official in the Indian railway system, dealing with somewhere not merely distant but, in anyone’s terms, parochial. The joke long predated mass immigration into the UK and wasn’t remotely racist.
Harry Gilonis
London

• In my 80s, increasing instances of memory loss made me pounce with delight on Gaby Hinsliff’s article (Stop drinking, keep reading, look after your hearing: a neurologist’s tips for fighting memory loss and Alzheimer’s, 17 August), until I came across the tired old mantra of making picture associations in your mind. How on earth is this of help to the not-insubstantial minority of us who have no mind’s eye? Please can somebody give me some useful tips that do not involve imagining things?
Deirdre Sutton
Evesham, Worcestershire

• Royal Mail plans to offer its doorstep parcel collection for free as part of “the daily post round” (Royal Mail to extend free doorstep parcel collection amid pay dispute, 16 August). Could it also offer a daily letter delivery? We haven’t seen a postie on my street for nine days and counting.
Sue Ball
Brighton

• Oh dear, the answer to “speculate” is “theorize” (Quick crossword, 18 August). We aren’t American – it should be “theorise” surely?
Helen Clutton
Bristol

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