READING the Grassroots columns, I recall my re-encounter with schoolmate Charles Ferris with pleasure. Even considering our differing views on the importance of the Newport Ship, I willingly accept his proffered hand of friendship. I should perhaps inform him that I have already taken part in two highly-informative guided tours of the sorry remains which have quite failed to sway my opinions of the enterprise. Councillor Ferris’ offer of “honoured guest” at the next open day, albeit attractive, must regretfully be refused. Even were I to be offered the captaincy for the day, my first command, though sadly given, would be “abandon ship!”.

Julian R Powell, Larch Grove, Newport