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PUBLISHED: 17:43 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:08 03 July 2010

OUTER harbour sceptics and hidden agenda theorists will have been pleased to read that Shaun Layton has kept the pot boiling. (Letters, October 24).

If Yarmouth is to become a casino town then it might be appropriate to open a book on what will prove to be the eventual purpose of this development.

OUTER harbour sceptics and hidden agenda theorists will have been pleased to read that Shaun Layton has kept the pot boiling. (Letters, October 24).

If Yarmouth is to become a casino town then it might be appropriate to open a book on what will prove to be the eventual purpose of this development. Here is a review of suggestions so far.

The liberation of land for residential development or the outer harbour as a mooring for a floating nuclear power station both seem plausible given the UK's housing and energy crises.

The cost of the harbour would hardly be justified by using it as a yacht basin but it might be justified if the harbour were to be used to alleviate the refuse disposal crisis by importing refuse for transferral to incinerators and re-cycling plants on the South Denes.

The risk of a major war has been so remote over the last sixty or so years that a possible strategic purpose for the harbour may have been overlooked. If talking up war between America and Europe does succeed then the harbour will be an additional entry for men and material which the UK, as Europe's aircraft carrier, will be required to accommodate. No need then to worry about congestion at the Gapton roundabout; local traffic will be off the road.

It would be interesting to hear other proposals for the eventual function of this harbour, it's a good game. To real sceptics nothing much can be more unlikely than that it should succeed purely as a container port or that such should have been its sole intended purpose.

J F LAMBERT

Elmgrove Road

Gorleston

I READ with some interest that the police are stopping drivers going down Regent Street. I would first like to say that I do not understand why there is any restriction at all on driving down that street. Buses go down there, taxis do, and delivery drivers do, so why not ordinary drivers?

I note that it is the South Yarmouth Safer Neighbourhood Team trying to enforce this, which seems ironic, as I would think that with the current traffic situation on South Quay, North Quay and Hall Quay, it would be far safer for motorists who want to get to Stonecutters Way or Palmers car park to drive down Regent Street and along Howard Street, rather than drive all the way round St Nicholas Road, down North Quay and up The Conge.

I would also like to comment on Shaun Layton's letter in which he criticises the outer harbour development for having no hard standing or buildings. I think if he has a little patience, he will see these things being built as the contractors progress.

DEREK BROWN

Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

I AM currently endeavouring to research and record the history of this firm (HKB Wiltshires) and of the various firms with which it has merged and of those which have been acquired, taken over or otherwise incorporated, and particularly to try to obtain a picture of all of the former members of the firms involved.

One such person is Henry Robert Harmer 1823-1896, admitted an attorney of the Court of Kings Bench in 1845, and practised initially on his own account and then in partnership with Richard Turner Ruddock.

In the quest for an image of the late Mr H R Harmer, I am trying to trace any of his descendants in order to ask if they might be in a position to, and willing, to assist me.

Mr Harmer had a daughter Edith J, who married Richard E Dowson and had children, Harold (born c1872), Reginald (born c1873), Jessica (born c1875), Phillis (born c1877), Alfred (born c1879) and Edith Mabel (born c1883).

I write to ask if any of your readers are able to help in any way in my efforts to try to locate a photograph of H R Harmer or trace any of Mr Harmer's descendants.

GUNTHER YOUNG

HKB Wiltshires

South Quay

Great Yarmouth

AS one of the founder members of The Friends of St George's way back in 1977, I was delighted to read that a bid is being made at the end of the month to fund the restoration of St George's - a building which is unique to our area.

I was greatly privileged to serve as fund raiser and booking secretary and general factotum for 10 happy years between 1977 and 1987. We began with a completely empty shell, the fabric of the building having been restored in 1974. It stood empty and unused until Councillor Harry Miller during his mayoral year began campaigning for it to be re-opened to the public.

As the building had been built as a Chapel of Ease to our parish church of St Nicholas in 1714 and continued to be used as a chapel until March 1959, special permission had to be granted for a change of use. This was done by an order in council signed by HM the Queen for it to be used as a centre for art, music and drama. It was part of my job to see that it was used for that purpose.

In 1981, I took it upon myself to raise the necessary money to re-landscape the Plain. Tony Matthes, a landscape architect, submitted a scheme to the planning department which was accepted. Every tree, plant, shrub and rose bush, as well as the paving slabs and the granite sets were paid for by public subscription, the first time this had happened since 1819!

During this time, I was approached by Eric Williams, a local supporter of the Ghurka Welfare Fund. He told me he knew of nowhere there was a plaque dedicated to the heroic service given by these gallant and courageous men.

He asked if it would be possible for him to commission a bronze plaque to be placed on St George's Plain. I readily agreed and in May 1981 the newly landscaped Plain was declared open to the public. A Ghurka band was due to play at the event, but sadly on the very day they were to visit the town, they were embarking to join the fighting forces in the Falklands War. Just two Ghurka pipers came especially from Buckingham Palace to play for the opening ceremony.

Seeing the article (Mercury, October 24) regarding the bronze dedication plaque being discovered, I have been in touch with Eric Williams' son David, and he has indicated the family would be delighted if the plaque could find a new “home” near our War Memorial in St George's Park and I too, feel this would be a much more suitable place for it to be.

VALERIE HOWKINS

King Street

Great Yarmouth

VISIBLE policing, connected to speeding, does I am sure make many drivers behave better. Visible policemen, or police cars, probably prevent many crimes. But are the real idiot drivers who constantly endanger their own lives and those of others without any thought for anyone, except themselves, getting away with things too often?

I have been driving for 40 years, covering over 750,000 miles in around 30 different vehicles - never an accident; never an insurance claim. For the first 38 of those years, my licence was 100pc clean. My instructor's opinion was that the best way to survive was to expect the unexpected, and even the stupidity, from and of every other driver.

In short, I consider myself a good and safe driver. I always look ahead, minimise possible distractions, drive with prevailing conditions, don't drink when driving, nor drive when overtired, and don't take foolish, unnecessary risks.

Yet in the last two years, my previously unblemished licence has been adorned with six penalty points, for two camera-caught offences. I didn't choose to have my day in court, simply because the letters warned of possible dire consequences if I didn't just accept the points and a set fine.

A feeling of trepidation now comes to me every time I get in my car, and I am aware that my eyes seem to glance downwards to the speedometer more frequently. Surely this means I am not looking ahead, spotting hazards as much as I used to? I am more concerned about not pushing that points tally to nine. Have I become a better driver or am I less safe than before?

NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD

I READ David Woods' letter in the Mercury (October 24) with great interest and every time I read it, the smile got bigger across my face. Absolutely brilliant David!

However all the points he raises should be taken quite seriously, as they all refer to things that should have happened in the first place, but are still happening now.

His point number seven regarding the lorries that are coming next, will make the current fiasco at Gapton Hall and Fullers Hill roundabout seem very insignificant.

There are two ways into Yarmouth and if the projected 400 lorries do appear, imagine what they will do to the holiday and tourist trade that Yarmouth relies on. Holidaymakers will cry “Enough is enough” and never return.

Infrastructure is a word the planners never thought of, because if they had the great white elephant called EastPort would never have appeared. You only have to study the geographical lie of the land to know what I mean. The year 2009 should turn out to be very interesting.

G CASS

Station Road South

Belton

A FRIEND of mine, an upright standing law-abiding citizen, happened to notice a vehicle with an outdated tax disc on the windscreen. So he phoned up Great Yarmouth Borough Council, which he presumed was the correct department that deals with car parking.

He explained the situation over the phone to a lady about this outdated taxed vehicle, where it was, and the vehicle number. Also it was parked opposite a road junction, which is also against the law and had been parked there for some considerable time.

The lady who answered the phone said: “Is the outdated vehicle on the road outside the vehicle owner's residence?” “I don't know,” said my friend. “If it is,” said the telephone lady, “there is nothing we can do about it, so I suggest you contact DVLA,” and put the phone down.

Can anybody explain to me and other road users the law about untaxed vehicles on the road. I always thought the police were hot on these vehicles on our roads. Surely that must be a load of old cobblers my friend was given about any vehicles that are untaxed being outside the owner's property, are outside the law.

A LOCKYER

Silver Gardens

Belton

Editor's note: Would anyone in authority like to reply?

IT was so good to see our dear friend Barry get the praise and recognition he deserves. We also have a Barry house. He has painstakingly transformed our cottage in his own unique way by adding lots of Barry touches throughout. We see programme after programme on how to decorate and how not to decorate your house; it would be so much more refreshing to watch someone like Barry with real talent and passion - now that would be original. “Just like Barry.”

We were not surprised to see the article in the Mercury (October 17), as we have known Barry to be down at Darby's Hard at dawn, preserving the place he loves so much. This is an historic part of Gorleston that could easily be fenced off and forgotten. Let's hope this does not happen, so on behalf of everyone who enjoys and appreciates this area, thanks Barry.

RIC AND DONNA TITCOMBE

Beccles Road

Belton

I READ in the Mercury a couple of weeks ago that you were asking for people's opinions as to where the third river crossing should be. Well I have suggested this one a couple of times, and the first time it was to our local candidate, but we know how they hate change!

I live beside Gapton Hall Road, so you can imagine the traffic problems we encounter here. Not only is the roundabout a nightmare but the "narrows" are too, along with the volume of traffic we have to endure on a daily basis, along with the speeding. Anyway, enough waffling and to the point

My suggestion to ease the congestion in the town and along Gapton Hall Road and Gapton roundabout is to construct a road from the Acle Road new bridge and link it up to the roundabout by the Rainbow Supermarket, with roads going through to Gapton Hall Industrial Estate, and the traffic could then go through Harfreys Industrial Estate (Morton Peto Road) and on to the new bridge, which would be where the old ferry crossing was (well around that area).

This would keep all the heavy traffic from going into the town, and along the South Quay, causing congestion in the town, and it would eliminate the congestion at Gapton roundabout and it would enable people to cut out going down Gapton Hall Road to get to the north of the town, or to Acle New Road, or to get to Norwich, etc.

All lorries and traffic coming into Yarmouth for Gapton Hall Industrial Estate and Harfreys Industrial Estate, the new outer harbour and the south of the town, would have a clear run, avoiding the town completely.

I know this would cost, but something has to be done. Instead of wasting all the money on trying to solve the problems on reinforcing the roads and a new traffic light system at Gapton, sort it out once and for all and create a road which will bypass all of the town and get straight to the outer harbour with the minimum of fuss, and decrease the congestion.

PAULINE PHIPPS

email

WHILST walking along the seafront, at the entrance of the Waterways, I noticed the orange plastic lifebelt and cover were missing. In a seated shelter, a drunk was having his daily intake, with two cans of beer on the ground, and one in his hand.

Walking to the end of the Waterways, I discovered where the lifebelt cover was: in the water along with three other lifebelts and covers. Mindless vandalism strikes again - alive and kicking in Great Yarmouth.

On walking further along to the boating lake, a boat had been sunk. High jinks to the mindless morons, more cost to the taxpayers.

I appeal to the powers that be please come out from behind your desk and office, get outside and walk around the town and see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears what Great Yarmouth has become; ride a bus, walk through St Nicholas' Churchyard or visit a library.

This is a truly historical town, one I am very proud to call home. My ancestors helped build St Peter's Church and along with other Yarmouthians consider myself very fortunate indeed to reside in a town of great architectural merit, as well as having famous people also proud to be Norfolk, eg Lord Nelson.

Please, let the voices of the true local residents be heard and help restore this truly beautiful town to the safe haven it once was otherwise. This lovely town will become yet another causality of the moronic gangs that frequent the buses, cemeteries and town centre. These barbarians have no respect for the living or the dead and by all accounts no respect for themselves either. They are to be pitied!

Mrs E F ALWAY

Falcon Court

Great Yarmouth

I WRITE, like many Yarmouth and Gorleston residents, totally frustrated by the chaos that abounds in Great Yarmouth caused by the roadworks on Hall Quay. I accept the reason for the strengthening works, that's not the issue. It is the control, or more accurately, the lack of any coherent control, over traffic movement.

Anyone who was caught up in trying to move between Harfreys and Gapton Hall roundabouts, onto Breydon Bridge towards Yarmouth, would know how frustrating and time consuming that journey was. Massive delays, caused in the main, by the traffic trying to get onto and across the Gapton roundabout, held up by traffic turning right, off Breydon Bridge towards Bradwell, added to by traffic from Pasteur Road, entering the roundabout unhindered, and the traffic lights.

Yet the solution seemed simple: close off the access to Gapton Hall Road towards Bradwell on the roundabout, sending that traffic along the bypass, where it could turn left at Harfreys roundabout or the slip road off the bypass, easily accessing Bradwell via Burgh Road or Belton via A143 and Gapton Hall estate via Harfrey Estate. This would have then allowed the traffic on A12 to move smoothly onto the Gapton Hall roundabout and on towards Breydon Bridge.

I will not be holding my breath.

S TURNER

Via email

WITH regard to last week's piece on Trafalgar Day, I applaud the fact that Nelson and his achievements are commemorated, but it has to be mentioned that what this great man fought for - a free, independent Britain - has been been betrayed.

Our treacherous politicians have handed over sovereignty to unelected dictators in Brussels and our country is now no more than a region in a European Federal State.

What Napoleon Bonaparte and Hitler failed to achieve by force of arms has been foisted on us by stealth in the worst conspiracy of treason this country has ever known.

DOUGLAS CRABTREE

Gorleston

HOW are we ever hoping to compete? Dover has the M20, Felixstowe has the A14 and Great Yarmouth has the Acle Straight. There is no way we can live with major ports like these under the present circumstances, even if we get the Acle New Road dualled there is still only one single road across the river, so then we have to go to the expense of a dual road bridge to get to the harbour.

Can you imagine operation stack (due to bad weather in the port) at the Stracey Arms, it's so unrealistic it's side splitting.

There is only one answer to give Yarmouth a chance of making this outer harbour work for all of us, trains.

It needs to be looked at, somewhere west of Yarmouth. I am not actually going to suggest a place because that environmentally needs to be looked at, but I am sure we have enough spare space in rural Norfolk for this.

A major freight terminal could be built and all containers brought into the outer harbour, and out again by train. It would not matter too much then about the road system although as time goes on I still think major development can take place and needs to as well.

Is this a silly idea? Don't know, but I can't see why it can't work. Whatever we do, an awful lot of money is going to have to be spent to compete and make Yarmouth a viable alternative.

KEVIN HUGGINS

Mill Road

Burgh Castle

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