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A street artist tribute to Trigger might have moved commuters, but it seems staff at Southern didn't share their appreciation

Letter: Honourable end in Hong Kong

Sir: In reporting the end of British rule in Hong Kong there has been little mention that the event has finally brought about the end of a proud Crown Service, the origins of which can be traced back to 1837 before the first British presence there.

Ready to wear: Give 'em the bold shoulder

One-shoulder tops, where did this trend come from? It is our duty, of course, to show you the major looks, but this is one I am not impressed with. Who can wear them apart from the very young, slim/toned and small of bosom? You can wear a multi-way bra of course, but unless you have quite a small bust - in which case you can probably forgo a bra for once - they just don't work. Then you get that flabby bit of skin under your arms, that most women get unless they're really fortunate, and that doesn't look great with OSTs. I think exposing one shoulder is a cute idea, it looks great on fashion pages and it might just work for evening. But if you wear one to work, take your sense of humour with you.

Competition winners: from mung beans to Blackpool rock - the essential travel items

When I was a security guard frisking passengers at Gatwick airport, The Independent had not been born. If it had, perhaps I would have discovered mung beans, screwdrivers or empty wine box inners among readers' cabin baggage. After my request for your travel essentials (besides passport, ticket and cash) these exotic items were among readers' responses.

Election '97: The best education money can buy for Cabinet members' children

John Major (Prime Minister): Both son James and daughter Elizabeth went to Kimbolton independent school in Cambridgeshire.

Letter: Mellor's style has its merits

Sir: I disagree with Matt Tench's comment in his article on Danny Baker (8 March) that David Mellor's style on the Radio 5 Live phone-in programme Six-0-Six is "patronising" and disagree with his comparisons of Mellor to "a lord of the manor" talking to "his estate workers".

LETTER : Tortoise and hare

Sir: Your supplement on primary school league tables was illuminating. Who would have thought that among Bolton schools, Top-of-the-Brow would have been beaten by Plodder Lane?

How Bamber Gascoigne ruined our youth Bamber took the challenge and stole my show

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

LETTER : Casualties of the fight for animal rights

Sir: Polly Toynbee ("The Relative value of mice and men", 10 December) invokes the pro-vivisection group Seriously Ill for Medical Research. This organisation was a response to an earlier-established group called Disabled Against Animal Research and Exploitation, whose members - many of whom are profoundly disabled - object to the use of animals on both moral and scientific grounds.

Insurers give gay couples an even break

Gay couples and unmarried heterosexual partners can often have problems getting the discounts available to the married on annual travel insurance policies, writes Steve Lodge. These discounts often amount to a couple paying just one-and-a-half times the single person's rate.

Letter: Music lessons are for art's sake

Sir: On Saturday I found myself in the company of four young teachers ("Labour warns of acute teacher shortage", 2 September). One, an art educator, had already left school work to undertake further training. She will not return to teaching "if she can help it". All the other three, one primary and two secondary, are considering leaving the profession.

dilemmas; Generation gap

Divorced, 43 and with two teenagers, Clem is in love with a devoted, kind young man of 25 who virtually lives with her and is very anxious to marry her. They've been together for 18 months and he says it doesn't matter if they can't have children. But when he's 50, Clem will be over 70. Would he still care, she asks? And would this be the right move for him?

Letter: Rationalists on the run

Rationalists

Ex-wife asks for more

Dilemmas: Money troubles led to David's divorce - his wife said he was mean; he said she was profligate. He pays generously, he feels (just over the CSA estimate), towards his 13-year-old son's maintenance, but now his ex says she can't afford her share oed-for school trip. Should David make up the pounds 50 difference - he can afford it - or should he draw the line now?dilemma

College 'unfair' to public schools

It was a claim to make comprehensive headteachers chuckle. After years of struggle against the public school bastion that was Cambridge, it appears the tide has turned in their favour. This time it was a public school's head who was crying "Unfair!"

Letter: Blake's 'Cymru'

Sir: R Beynon (letter, 21 May) will be surprised to learn that a considerable body of Welsh souls are inspired to sing "Jerusalem" - and in Welsh as well.
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