Not all dentists “up north” were rough, tough and frightening (Digested week, 17 September). I was five in 1941 and started primary school at Earby. The school had a dedicated medical room used by a dentist who came regularly. He was known as the “magic dentist” because he caused no pain. I have a recollection of him waving something like a red toothbrush in front of my face. Perhaps he used hypnotism.
• In 1944, when agricultural labour was short, there was an extra school holiday so that children could work in the fields. As a 10-year-old, I was paid 6d an hour to pick potatoes. Crops are now rotting because there is no one to harvest them. Another special school holiday? Just an idea.
• Adrian Chiles’s grief at his daughters leaving home for university (Proper sobbing and perspective – what I learned when my younger daughter left home, 23 September) is not confined to parents. Our son, who was born with Fragile X syndrome and has severe learning difficulties, surprised us at the age of seven by bursting into tears and speaking his longest sentence at the time: “I miss my sister.”
Christine and Steven Bowditch
• The prospect of a UK-US trade deal must be really remote if Boris Johnson isn’t even prepared to lie about it (Report, 21 September).
Prof Trevor Curnow
• “Watchdog to clamp down on ads falsely claiming green credentials” (Report, 23 September). First stop – the Tory government.
North Anston, South Yorkshire
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