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”?
Mike Hoskin
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.
Gillian Bassett
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.
Andrew Kyle
Ealing, London

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.
Adrian Greeman
Tooting, London

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.
Michael Cunningham

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