Re the ongoing controversy concerning the dredging of Falmouth Harbour.

I am an 87-years-old. As a child, living seven or eight miles from Falmouth, I visited it frequently with my family. We were often aware of the dredger working, not a loud noise, more of a dull thud, thud in the background.

Then about 40 years ago, possibly more, but later than 1966 (when I joined the Women's Institute) a Dr Paul Gainey, a local gentleman, who I imagine must have been a marine biologist or something, came to one of our meetings and showed underwater film, and talked of the fish and fauna in the harbour and bay.

Also my son tried to persuade me to go snorkelling to see the treasures in the sea, but I was afraid!

My point is this. If the dredging, which I remember from my childhood, did any damage to the environment, there would not have been any fish or fauna for Dr Gainey to film. Neither would there be any now.

It is a pity that the docks is not used to its full potential, providing work for many, - which it did not so long ago, because of well intentioned, but possibly misguided ideas.

It would mean apprenticeships and careers, leading to employment in other fields, and not total dependency on tourism and minimum wages.

I seem to remember hearing that it was Sir Walter Raleigh, or it could have been Sir Francis Drake, not sure which, who, when visiting, the Earl of Kimberley at Trewenack House, saw the advantages there would be in developing the docks and suggested it.

It was probably the birth of Falmouth as it used to be, a busy, thriving, lively shopping centre, the best probably this side of Plymouth, three cinemas, dancing, hotels and guest houses and very popular beaches. And tourists came. It is sad to see how Falmouth has declined.

Maureen Hill