Readers’ Letters: There’s nothing wrong with a cafe named Redcoat at castle

Edinburgh Castle, where the decades-old name of a cafe is suddenly shocking some of the SNP's top people to the core (Picture: Scott Louden)Edinburgh Castle, where the decades-old name of a cafe is suddenly shocking some of the SNP's top people to the core (Picture: Scott Louden)
Edinburgh Castle, where the decades-old name of a cafe is suddenly shocking some of the SNP’s top people to the core (Picture: Scott Louden)

Scottish soldiers have worn the red coat all over the world. I suggest objectors watch the film Waterloo made in 1970 for some splendid aerial views of the squares of Highlanders (one of whom was an ancestor of mine), fighting off the French cavalry with great success. Such nationalists can have a drink at the Ensign Ewart pub on the High Street on their way to the Castle to protest. Ensign Ewart captured a French Eagle at the Battle of Waterloo. He was wearing a red coat and was a Scottish hero.

If nationalists, whose knowledge of history is usually suspect and extremely limited, wish to make a point about Culloden, please bring it on. The British Army[1] (please note, British) at Culloden had proportionately more Scots than the present-day British Army. It included such regiments as The Royal Scots, The Royal Scots Fusiliers, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers and more. They wore the red coat with pride too. Calling the cafe The Redcoat Cafe is not “tone deaf”, whereas calling an extreme, left-wing party the Scottish National Party certainly is.

The name of the cafe must remain.

Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh

Two halves

The storm in a teacup over the name of the Redcoat Cafe at Edinburgh Castle[2], with much of the outrage being driven by nationalists posting hate mail online via Twitter/X, illustrates the ridiculousness of the “cybernat” phenomenon.

Not only has it been called the Redcoat Cafe[3] for over three decades without any controversy, all those denouncing the name are evidently unaware that it’s half of a pair with the Jacobite Room dining and function venue. The two are literally next door to each other. It illustrates that there are two sides to every story – which is a sensible, universal principle, unless you’re a ranting ideologue who brooks no dissent.

It is clear that none of the cybernats crying oppression on social media have ever actually experienced Scotland’s cultural and historical treasures and have never visited Edinburgh Castle to see this for themselves.

Robert Frazer, Dundee

Buy a coffee

Just read that prominent SNP[4] figures are getting all heated up about the name of the renovated Edinburgh Castles Redcoat Cafe name, despite it having had that name for over 32 years. Sounds to me like the SNP cyber keyboard warriors are just practicing their skills for the coming elections.

If they are serious about their dislike for the renovated cafe’s 32-year-old name, they can show their dislike by buying a coffee from the portable coffee stall on the windy esplanade… then again, that would mean they have to physically to get up from their PC stations and use their legs rather than their fingers.

J Moore, Glasgow

Read some history

Although many of the Redcoat soldiery shamed themselves in their mode of suppressing the Jacobite forces it is a fact that a large proportion of Redcoats were Scots recruits in Scottish regiments, reflecting the large number of Scots citizens who favoured the government, or were indifferent to either cause. Again we have an example of SNP spokesmen ignorant of, and biased in, their history and eager to exploit those failings for their own ends.

James Allan, Edinburgh


Andrew Stevenson’s article on the Horizon post office tragedy is wrong in almost every aspect (Law, 12 February[5]). There were certainly errors in the Horizon system. Any system of that magnitude will have errors, and it is the duty of the vendors to find them.

However, the Inquiry has shown that the communication between the Post Office[6] and Fujitsu was complex, and left many communication gaps; that the Post Office investigators made an assumption of guilt; that they misrepresented and concealed evidence from the defence; and that each victim was falsely represented as the only person with a problem.

It was the State that gave the Post Office the right to initiate prosecutions without going through the police, although its relevance to the Royal Mail was by then little more than selling stamps and taking in parcels. It was the Post Office that put their investigators on bonuses to get money back from the presumed criminals. It was the Post Office that worked from the highest levels to cover up, when the truth started to come out.

Our court system and our legal profession seem unconcerned that our adversarial trial system gave the party with the long purse an overwhelming advantage over the party without.

Mr Stevenson drags in the red herring of a pardon. Does he not know that a pardon means that the crime stays on record but is forgiven, not that there never was a crime in the first place? In his peroration he laments the failings of institutions and computer software in general. I see no mention of the hardship prolonged by the slowness of the legal system to reduce the suffering caused by so many miscarriages of justice. And his solution? Better funding for the legal system.

John Wade, Newington, Edinburgh

Numbers game

There are figures, and there are other figures. Catriona Clarke (Letters, 12 February[7]) heaps praise on Michael Matheson in saying we should reflect on the last constituency election in which he took 54 per cent of the vote.

Looking at it another way, he took the votes of just 33 per cent of the electorate – 66 per cent did not vote for him. Hardly a resounding endorsement of his achievements.

Bruce Proctor, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Triage nation

George Herraghty seems to be suggesting we follow the French and get the tractors out over “green” issues (Letters, 12 February[8]). Agreeing to allow solar panels on Cumbrae against all logic is just an example. What is the point of the Site of Special Scientific Interest tag when Government just overrides them.

An article by Ilona Amos in The Scotsman on the same day highlights the situation in Moray, where a disproportionate number of wind turbines are planned at a site designated as being of outstanding beauty. Say no more. VisitScotland will be challenged to do a reprint of their brochures, no doubt, as it is quite clear that our Scottish Government is not going to be content until there is not a vista to be had across our land that does not contain turbines.

Government are like obsessed lemmings pressing on regardless, obsessed over the arbitrary date that has been set for so-called net zero. Out of control steamrollers come to mind.

Surely it is time for a bit of triaging in Government so it gets priorities right. If we had a Department of Common Sense this would surely decide the fixing of our NHS was, without doubt, number one on the list. The expenses involved in promoting and subsiding, for example, alternative home heating systems should instead be funnelled to our hospitals to give us the sort of NHS that is needed.

We are cutting the numbers of police and firefighters, school budgets seem to be increasingly stretched – where is the logic?

In equating the area of Scotland to the whole of Lake Superior in Canada, were Scotland to be 100 per cent net zero this is not going to save the planet. Scotland is such a tiny part of the whole and such will only make the Green lobby feel so nauseatingly smug, muttering to themselves, “Didn’t we do well?”

James C Orr, Pathhead, Midlothian

Save the birds

The rising number of seabird deaths (your story, 13 February[9]) should come as no surprise, as it was widely known some time ago, even if discussion of it was discouraged. As you briefly mention, this has had a considerable impact upon domestic chicken populations too, the real reason there were precious few eggs available for an extended period. Millions of laying chickens have been lost across the USA for the same reason.

For credibility, RSPB should be more reticent about climate change posturing. A clear and obvious threat to bird populations and our food supply requires an objective approach, not one driven by unscientific political agendas.

If, for example, the disease was brought to this country by imported food or breeding stock, standards must be more effectively policed.

Hamish Hossick, Dundee

Try, try… not?

We drew the short straw at last year’s Rugby World Cup in having to face two of the world’s top ranked sides (Ireland No.1, South Africa No.2) in quick succession, ending our participation at the Round Robin stage[10]. Now a game-winning try is disallowed in the 80th minute by the Australian match referee on the back of an Irish TMO bloomer (Television Match Official)!

Apparently the match protocol was followed correctly and to the letter. What does that mean? Under the laws of the game the TMO needed to be 100 per cent certain before he could advise the referee to reverse his on field decision of “no try”! So where does the element of doubt lie? Could the refereeing authorities (or whoever), please explain! Albeit through a narrow TV camera angle peering deep into a body pile-up, the viewing public saw the rugby ball over the try line and grounded with a Scots hand and arm applying downward pressure – the very definition of a try! Painfully baffling for the Scots. A “get out of jail card” for the French – courtesy of the match officials.

Ewen Peters, Newton Mearns, Glasgow

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  1. ^ British Army (
  2. ^ Edinburgh Castle (
  3. ^ Redcoat Cafe (
  4. ^ SNP (
  5. ^ Law, 12 February (
  6. ^ Post Office (
  7. ^ Letters, 12 February (
  8. ^ Letters, 12 February (
  9. ^ your story, 13 February (
  10. ^ at the Round Robin stage (
  11. ^ [email protected] (