I was fascinated to read your obituary of Frank Giles (7 November) which contains the following: “His father died when he was 10, leaving the family in straitened circumstances … even so, enough money was found to send Giles to Wellington college.” As the current fees for Wellington seem to be approximately £30,000 per year, and presumably were the equivalent in the 1930s, could we please have the Guardian definition of “straitened circumstances”?
Hinton St George, Somerset
• My son’s bassoon fell out of the open back door of a minibus transporting members of the National Youth Choir across Westminster Bridge many years ago (Letters, 6 November). It was recovered by a kind person, who reported finding “a big flute” in the road.
Great Barford, Bedfordshire
• Thank you, Gary Younge, who observes that Emma Barnett “does get answers but rarely really listens to them” on her Radio 5 Live show (Opinion, 8 November). I thought it was just me who finds her to be so patronising.
• Tragic news about the billionaires (Global downturn takes toll as 57 billionaires fall out of the rankings, 9 November). Imagine having to get by on, say, $900m.
• Sad to see turtle doves heading for extinction (Report, 8 November). I haven’t seen many milkmaids or leaping lords recently so I’m worried about my Christmas list.
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