IAN W Thomson (Letters, October 10) makes a fair point about trivialising great national figures like Robert Burns.

However, the greatest trivialisation of all would be to allow these people to be forgotten.

Explaining their significance requires new and ingenious ways to make their thoughts and deeds relevant and accessible to new generations with ever-changing cultural norms. For a charity like the National Trust for Scotland, which protects so much of our nation’s historic and natural treasures, achieving this requires investment. The only way we can make this investment is to seek donations and we make no apology for doing so.

Yes, the card readers built into the bust of Burns and the reproduced painting of Colonel Gordon are fun (and the Bard was never averse to pleasure or fun). But they are not trivial. After the initial chuckling, we have already seen that they inspire curiosity about the people depicted. This, and the donations elicited, help preserve the memory of those great Scots who went before us, and not just the physical artefacts they left behind.

Mark Bishop,

Director of Customer & Cause,

The National Trust for Scotland, Hermiston Quay, 5 Cultins Road, Edinburgh.