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PUBLISHED: 16:58 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:45 30 June 2010

WITH reference to the article in last weeks Mercury regarding efforts to preserve the character of the Promenade in Gorleston, I regret to inform the community I was refused permission to apply for planning permission to demolish the former lifeguard hut and replace it with seating and shelter.

WITH reference to the article in last weeks Mercury regarding efforts to preserve the character of the Promenade in Gorleston, I regret to inform the community I was refused permission to apply for planning permission to demolish the former lifeguard hut and replace it with seating and shelter. The Planning Department referred me to Property Department to seek permission to apply for planning permission to do something on council property (the Promenade is owned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council as custodians of community assets). I was told that the council had designated this particularly property as an income earning property and therefore it was unable to grant permission for a planning application to demolish it and replace it with leisure seating for Promenaders. I was also told they were not able to tell me when this decision was made by our councillors, nor if Gorleston's councillors had consulted with their electorate in order to represent their interests. I am bitterly disappointed with the way the principal of democracy is applied here.

PHILIP GUNN

Gorleston

WHILST as a community we all value the new additions to the Great Yarmouth College, I'm bemused that Gordon Brown didn't find time during his all too brief visit to speak with employees at the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. He could have met with them, heard their problems, perhaps even explained why he's moving their jobs to Norwich, but of course his motorcade just whistled straight by without a second thought. Our politicians are supposed to be accountable: I think Gordon's visit would have been much better if he'd spoken to some real people with real concerns and answered their questions. Instead he was cordoned off, detached and we didn't even know he was here until he left - much like our current Labour government.

MATTHEW SMITH

Hawthorn Road

Gorleston

ANYONE who has endured Gapton Hall roundabout at its worst will sympathise with the frustration shown by B Standen (Letters, February 12), but please don't blame the county and borough councils. This is a national trunk road and it is the government's Highways Agency that is responsible for the roundabout. The county and borough have pressed hard for something to be done and we all fervently hope that the current changes will bring real improvements. The cost of the project is being borne nationally, and not by the local council tax payer. Even so, I'm not sure that a trip to Cairo (as your correspondent suggests) would be seen as a good use of public money! But I can promise more trips to Great Yarmouth for Highways Agency engineers to explain themselves if the current works are unsuccessful.

ADRIAN GUNSON

Cabinet member for planning & transportation

Norfolk County Council

THE correspondence about the state of Great Yarmouth railway station has just come to my notice and I think it worth pointing out that the present station was the least impressive of the three stations that we used to have. Before Dr Beeching we had Vauxhall station - now the only one - Beach station and Southtown station. Of these, Southtown station, now demolished, was the only one that seemed capable of development into something worthy of representing the town. It also provided a direct line to Liverpool Street, which we have now lost. Not having a convenient link to the capital does seem to be a serious failing in a major resort town. Beach station, now the coach station, was on the old M&GN line and did provide a useful dropping off point in the town as well as an alternative route to the Midlands. Yarmouth seems to have been very badly treated by the planners!

NIGEL J CUBITT

Nightingale Close

Scratby

TO quote Norfolk County Council's website on the benefits of street lighting: “Effective lighting has a key role to play in cutting crime and the fear of crime and making it easier and safer for people to get around at night. Improving community safety and reducing accidents on the road are top priorities for Norfolk County Council and feature as such in our community strategy and medium term plan”...so why is NCC proposing to jeopardise our safety by switching off/reducing street lighting after midnight? I have already started a petition in my neighbourhood against these plans - let's hope others will follow and we keep our lights on during darkness.

MARY BAKER

Sea View Rise

Hopton on Sea

COME on people....if it means that much to you and you have the time why not club together and look at popping down to the station and do something about it. Action is obviously what you are debating. So I will commit to organising an event at the Burrage at the James Paget Hospital on a date agreed by David Fowler and I will commit to raising £1,000 which I'm sure will cover the cost of a face lift, hopefully helped by Matthew Smith. And I will volunteer myself and my friends to take a day out of work to clean up the station - and I don't even use the train but am very proud of living in Great Yarmouth. And while doing all this hard labour we can all spend some money at Mr F Harding's Station Snacks Kiosk as I'm sure he would welcome the business. Please contact me at the Burrage on 01493 452684 to arrange a date to discuss the above. Here's to making the station a better place.

SPENCER McCORMACK

Great Yarmouth

IN reply to the report about the mural from the Cap and Gown in last week's Mercury. I do hope the storing in a safe place of the mural is not the same safe place as the giant TV from Yarmouth Market Place or the cannon from the bottom of the Market Place. If so, I doubt whether we will ever get to see it again. Does anyone know where the TV and the cannon went or where they are now? Can anyone from the council tell us? The cannon went to be repainted but surely it would have been better to do this in situ? The way the council spending and wasting money we will end up like so many councils broke. I'm hoping more people of Yarmouth ask questions about what the council are spending our money on rather than meeting to discuss a meeting. I've been to several meetings and nothing gets done except eating and drinking and this costs tax payers lots of money.

SUE THOMPSON

Queens Crescent,

Gorleston

SO, the truth is out! The reason the council is not interested in saving the jetty is that they are hoping to flog yet more of Great Yarmouth's assets to private enterprise. Isn't it comforting to know that Great Yarmouth will be keeping its borough council status after all?

PAULINE LYNCH

Mill Lane

Bradwell

THERE are times when that well worn phrase "the end of an era" is particularly apt. And that's true of the passing of John Wells, whose death leaves such a gap. As someone local like myself it seems as if John Wells was always there, and I'm sure I speak for countless others. As a youngster when I was first aware of him, incredibly getting on for 50 years ago, to me John was the public face of Palmers. I didn't know him personally at that time of course, but there was brand of obvious and impressive showmanship and professionalism he brought to his role there. I remember him masterminding the arrival of Father Christmas to the store but also recall the flair with which he launched some new bed or other. He had a stage built on the first floor, complete with curtains which, with considerable flourish, he opened to reveal both the bed and, if I'm not mistaken, shapely females too! It was worthy of the unveiling of a new model at the motor show and certainly stuck in my mind years later when I had the pleasure of interviewing John on BBC Radio Norfolk. During my years at the Mercury we had regular dealings with John and I well recall the special spoof front page of the paper which was produced to celebrate his 50th birthday. And then of course he later moved on to almost a second career as the chairman of the James Paget Hospital where, once again, all that personality and ability was put to such good use. Again another of those phrases comes to mind. This time "cometh the hour, cometh the man". It was not an easy role to take over yet he was totally devoted to the task, utterly genuine, and showed an appreciation and understanding which was recognised beyond the JPH. I had the pleasure of working with him quite closely on the fundraising for the Intensive Care Unit appeal, and it was a real joy to do so. We'll miss him - but he certainly made a lasting impression.

TONY MALLION

I REFER to the article February 12 re "Failed plan for railway revolution". Should this plan have come to fruition it would have made rail travel more convenient for changing trains and might have concentrated the commercial centre of Yarmouth. The plan also envisaged a new line running north with a new bridge over the Bure going west of Caister Village and connecting to the line near Ormesby. As one of the main reasons for closing the line, known between 1893 and 1936 as the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway, was the high cost of maintaining the track at Caister because of erosion by the sea the scheme may have prolonged the life of this part of the railway but it was losing £640,000 a year in costs above revenue.

There were also plans to make the line running north a twin track and land was acquired. The bridges at Jellicoe Road and Barnard Crescent were built wide enough for this purpose. The former was began in 1936 and not finished until 1948 which may have discouraged planners from thinking strategically. This is only of academic interest today but it is an indication of how things have changed since the second world war when private cars were very much the exception and much of the holiday traffic came by train. Also farmers loaded their crops such as sugar beet by hand onto trailers to be taken to the railhead where they were transferred to a railway truck to their final destination. The Government of Britain was very short of money for investment when it took over the LNER as British Railways in 1948 and it's transport priorities did not run as far as east Norfolk, but the romance of the railway and it's ability to move people in large numbers and in bad weather still fascinates.

ANDREW FAKES

Lawn Avenue

Great Yarmouth

I HAVE just read the article in the Mercury regarding the "adoption" of HMS Dauntless. Whilst I welcome this news, I am at a loss to see how the ship being in the outer harbour would "draw people from miles around". The outer harbour is as reported in the Mercury on many occasions, out of bounds to locals and visitors alike, with the closing of the road around the harbour's mouth. The only place people maybe, will get a very limited view of HMS Dauntless is from the South Pier at Gorleston. Oh dear, I had forgotten that this is also owned by EastPort UK and they have closed the car park as well, with only people on foot allowed. Perhaps people on the cliff top at Gorleston will get a limited view. I notice from your article we may have to wait until October for the ship to come to visit, after the holidaymakers have long gone home. However this might not be such a bad idea as by then the outer harbour will probably have appeared on a church jumble sale's white elephant stall.

TERRY STRINGER

Burgh Road

Gorleston

I BELIEVE Brandon Lewis's petition to Fix Great Yarmouth Railway Station is all in vain was all in vain. First it was addressed to tenants under eviction, who lost their franchise at the end of the year and need to satisfy their shareholders and get a good bonus than to worry about the station. Then there was a response from landlords Network Rail to do a bit of weeding and plant a few flowers. Big deal. WI's and other organisations do this for them free of charge at other stations. It upsets a dedicated staff that do their best to keep the station clean. There is also the case of Mr Harding, who runs a very good catering unit there. Brandon Lewis did not do any homework to learn of Mr Harding's future plans for the reopening of the unused kiosk nor did he report this following his meeting. Personally, as an ex-daytripper and holidaymaker ( before becoming a resident ) when arriving at the station what struck us first was the lack of buses to the town centre and seafront. If the petition was to First or Anglian buses to run a proper connecting bus timetable from the station I would be willing sign it. I remember the walk from the station through the crowds to reach the seafront and then having to leave an hour before the train departure to get back. As the second largest seaside town we must be well down the list for transport. Will Brandon Lewis be asking the new franchise company to improve the station after the election. I think not.

A EDWARDS

Caister on Sea

I, LIKE, many other residents, will no doubt applaud the affiliation to HMS Dauntless. What a shame we won't be able to see her berthed in the outer harbour as the road is shut to non-port traffic. Let's hope the borough council can organise some boat trips to see this magnificent ship - that's if EastPort don't stop non-port boat traffic from the high seas.

SIMON GRAY

Gorleston

THIS is a message to the irresponsible dog owners that constantly allow their animals to foul the footpath between St George's Park and Caister Junior School. Are you not aware that this is an access point for children and their parents? Would you like poo trodden over over the carpets in your home? I should think not! Shame on you for being so selfish and lazy!

KYM ROBSON

On behalf of the parents of Caister Junior School

I FEEL I must write this mail, as after living in Broome Gardens, Belton for more than 15 years, the parking situation has become unbelievable. During last week's cold snap with snow and ice, Moorland Way, the road that leads directly to the school, was treacherous to say the least and Broome Gardens was no better. Parents parked cars wherever, on blind corners, pavements and across drives, leaving pedestrians struggling to find a space to cross the roads and residents unable to leave their driveways. No sign of a gritting lorry, even though these roads are on a hill that leads directly on to a main road.

One morning, after several attempts to leave my property, and exiting into Moorland Way, my husband and myself encountered the most charming of mothers who subjected us to a barrage of abuse - she must be very proud to use language as descriptive as that with small children in the back seat.

Please through your columns can I appeal to parents to park more responsibly - as Broome Gardens/Moorland Way is an accident waiting to happen.

Mrs T READ

Broome Gardens

Belton

FOLLOWING a visit to Northgate hospital my father, who is 91, caught the bus home. Unfortunately when he got on the bus at Beaconsfield Road it was completely full. Not one person got up to offer their seat to this elderly gentleman with a walking stick, so he had to stand until the bus got to Caister. It is absolutely atrocious that this should happen on one occasion, however, this is the second time in a few months that he has experienced this problem.

He is not steady on his feet, hence the walking stick, and so this has not given him any confidence to use the bus in future. We know full well if it was the other way round he would not think twice about offering his seat to a young mother with a child, so has the age of good manners and common courtesy gone for good? Do you think the readers of your paper would agree?

Mrs JACKIE ALEXANDER

email

I WAS very interested in the picture of the lady Alderman Leach (Mercury, February 5). I am like many lads of my era grateful to have attended that great school, leaving at 15 in 1953 to start my apprenticeship with R G Carter. For the respect and dedication that was prevalent during my youth I thank the following teachers as well as my late parents, for great times at the Leach. Teachers who I recall at the period were Mr Walker, the headmaster - the man who caned me more than any other teacher; Mr Edward Ted Land, history; Mr Newman, general; Mr Martin, metalwork, Mr Blogg, woodwork; Mr Beckett and Mr Burns, sports; Mr Jones, science; Mr Hemmings, English. Mr Reynolds was our form master. And I still recall the fight between two lads at break times, two good sports that we all goaded on in the playground. Yes, what a great period to grow up in. Thanks for reviving great many memories with that one photograph.

MALCOLM POTER

Great Plumstead

I READ with interest that HMS Dauntless will shortly be visiting the town which I am sure will cause a great deal of interest in the borough, and rightly so. A council official said: “It was impossible to underplay the significance of the affiliation and that the sight of the formidable new ship at home in the new outer harbour would draw people from miles around,” and Robin Hodds “hoped locals would give the ship and crew a warm welcome”. Like many others, I agree and would take a great delight in seeing at close quarters one of our new warships. This makes me presume that to add force to this, not only will EastPort welcome the Royal Navy but also the residents who will be subsidising the outer harbour project for years to come. I might also say the ship's motto, Never Despair, is fitting for the occasion

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue,

Gorleston

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