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Questions on harbour's future

PUBLISHED: 15:01 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 July 2010

I FEEL that I must reply to two of the letters in last week's Mercury, that from Mr Cass and from Mr Andrews; some 18 months or so ago I had a letter published under the title “Hidden Agenda”.

I FEEL that I must reply to two of the letters in last week's Mercury, that from Mr Cass and from Mr Andrews; some 18 months or so ago I had a letter published under the title “Hidden Agenda”.

In that letter I highlighted the inaccessibility to the outer harbour via the historic South Quay and to the damage that the lorries would cause to many of the preserved buildings on that quay. This would include the town hall which is now undergoing a multi-thousand pound restoration. The road going south to the outer harbour past Queen's Road is really not fit for large lorries.

During my time at Birds Eye, I was involved in a small way in the transport of trucks and vehicles nationwide from the harbour cold store and these only amounted to some 40-50 per day. These vehicles were only one-third of the axle weight of the modern pantechnicons. If the projected number of lorry movements is correct, we could have as many as 300-400 per day.

The impact on those historic houses on the South Quay, which survived the severe bombing by the Luftwaffe in 1941 will once again be under threat. These pantechnicons will still have to use stretches on the A12 or the A47 to leave the town. Until the A47 Acle Straight is dualled, the outer harbour will not be a viable proposition.

This brings me onto my second point, the “Hidden Agenda”. As I stated in my earlier letter: is the outer harbour a means of relocating the offshore supply vessels thus freeing up riverside land which could be used for the building of upmarket riverside flats and apartments?

These coupled with the proposed casino complex could turn the outer harbour into a gigantic yacht marina and a haven for the continental elite.

At the end of the day, one has got to equate our present road system and port facilities to those of both Felixstowe and Harwich, some 40 minutes sailing time down the coast both with a motorway and rail network to the industrial midlands and the north which is second to none. I also hear that there is a feasibility study to be carried out at the old Thames Haven site on the mouth of the River Thames for a possible terminal/terminus with links to the south and Wales as well as to the Midlands. As I have stated, I'm not sure how our facilities on offer can equate with the above.

A G OVERILL

Caister

I LIVE opposite the Caister family who lost their son in the accident on prince of Wales Road, and know the family very well. Our thoughts go out to them at this awful time. But why do the buses come up this road, when the road is not wide enough and was not designed for these big long double-decker buses?

On Monday morning this week I counted five buses in six minutes just after 8am, none of the buses were even half full. I now hate the buses coming up past my house because they remind me of what happened, and if I feel like this how on earth does it make the family feel? It rubs their noses in it every time, and they don't need to be reminded of the awful accident.

Their son was such a lovely, kind, helpful and very polite young man, and I miss him greatly and still listen for his scooter every morning and evening.

We do not want these buses coming up our road any more. Why don't they bring back the smaller banana buses, or even better none at all? The buses can stop at the bus stop at the bottom of the road then go to the roundabout then up towards Hemsby. They could put a bus stop on the road opposite the junction with the top of Prince of Wales Road and put either a crossing or a bridge across the road.

I know there are a lot of people out there that will agree with me and we need these people to write into the Mercury and put their thoughts about the buses across and maybe we can force the bus company to withdraw the bus service up Prince of Wales Road.

KAREN BAKER

Prince of Wales Road

Caister-on-Sea

I WRITE with reference to your piece on page 6 of last week's Mercury headed “Police Vote.”

I feel that this report is at best misrepresentative, and at worst misleading of the true situation.

The vast majority of serving police officers did not vote “in favour” of the new shift pattern, they were effectively presented with Hobson's Choice. While nearly all would have voted to stay with the existing shift pattern had this been an option, there were only two choices presented; a return to the “statutory default” eight hour shifts pattern, or the alternative shift pattern to which you refer.

Many officers remember the destructive effect the default eight hour pattern had on domestic and social life when this was in place, and were understandably keen not to return to this. So, they voted for the lesser of two evils, a complicated variable shift pattern which sees a loss of over 60 rest days compared with the current shifts, with the obvious disastrous impact on family life.

Morale is currently at an all time low locally in the force, with the effective national pay cut last year, the constant over management, the unnecessary and intrusive targeting as reported in your paper last week, and now the forced introduction of an extremely unpopular shift pattern.

The morale issues within the local police force have not been widely publicised, not least because being a disciplined service, and immune from many of the employment rights which the rest of us take for granted, individual officers are loathe to speak out publicly.

Officers who have spoken out internally against the proposed changes have been singled out and spoken to by senior officers, so it is inevitable that others are reluctant to do so. This results unfortunately in the rather unbalanced information which is passed to the media such as yourselves, not helped by the expert “spin” applied by Norfolk Constabulary themselves!

I urge you to undertake a full independent review of the state of morale and the true feelings within the local police force. The front line officers, their families, and above all the public who they serve deserve nothing less.

Name and Address withheld

MAY I through your letters page say a special “thank you” to the travelling circus float at Martham Carnival. A first class effort, from the lions roaring in their cage to the fabulous apes dancing and aping around, the most beautiful trapeze artist, the funny clown all kept under control by the ringmaster. They smiled and put on a great show bringing a feeling of carnival to brighten everyone's day.

Mrs J A BROOKS

Somerton Road, Martham

I HAVE been holidaying in Great Yarmouth for over 30 years but this year I was disgusted by the total lack of facilities offered by the Britannia Pier. I booked my hotel locally to the pier so I've always enjoyed access both early am and late pm but this year the end of the pier did not open until 11am and the whole pier was closed and shuttered by 9pm.

When we asked the tenants why the short hours they replied it was not economical to open longer, but I beg to differ. We spent two weeks in Yarmouth and each morning we sat outside the Long John's Bar on the pier as we always do and noticed numerous people with kids coming to enjoy end of pier entertainment only to be met by a large closed gate. In fact one day we checked and counted 83 people between 10.15am and 10.45am. So where is the economics if you let these people go elsewhere for entertainment. They won't come back. Even once or twice the bar itself closed at 8.15pm. There were no shows at the theatre for the two weeks.

As this is the traditional holiday time for Scottish visitors it's about time we were catered for. The town is spending a lot of money trying to regenerate the Regent Road and Marine Parade areas but their main pier is letting them down. They should get it sorted.

I love Great Yarmouth but these people are letting it down.

JOHN GREENOCK

Edinburgh

I WOULD like to let Eldo Barkhuien know that some of us don't believe in his God or his Bible.

This is the Bible, which records in the Old Testament that his God killed at least 2,391,421 people. Yes he slaughtered men, women, children, and little babies. Yes really, he murdered little innocent babies.

It is a shame that when mankind finally developed the sense to abandon all the other Gods, such as Sun, Moon, Sea etc he didn't have the sense to drop this last one.

This one God who supposedly created man in his own image (Adam and Eve), yet they immediately went bad, which apparently set the theme of trouble for the rest of us. Not so perfect then!

This same God who later had to destroy all the life he had created (including women and children and newborn babies) except for Noah's family and a few animals, because mankind was not very nice. And yet this is the same God that the Christians, Muslims and Jews believe in, but that has not stopped them happily killing each other over the centuries in the name of that God.

People, open your minds. Have you ever taken the time to consider what eternal life would be like? Not just two lifetimes but a never-ending existence. The thought is too terrible to contemplate so who would really want it? And how evil would you have to be to warrant eternal hellfire. Just imagine the most horrendous torment, and torment that lasts for not just 24 hours, nor 24 days, or 24 years, but thousands and thousands and thousands of years? How many people throughout history have really warranted such punishment?

And in this day and age what can we credit God with, and please don't mention the natural wonders of Mother Nature. Name one of his latest achievements. Where is he when children and babies are being abused and murdered? What excuse do you put forward when arms and legs are hacked off of innocent children, when women are brutally raped, when babies are slaughtered in the most horrendous ways?

Where has he been for centuries and centuries of man's evil ways?

Sorry for having to rush a reply but I had to say something for us non-believers.

No thanks Eldo, you can keep your God and all of your Bibles, I want no part of it.

DAVE GAHAN

Address withheld

I AM surprised there has been no comments from your readers about the achievement of arranging for famous orchestras to give concerts at the Hippodrome during the autumn and winter. After a series of concerts 30-odd years ago arranged by the then manager of the Hippodrome, Bill Dean, who travelled to the capital cities of Europe to book famous orchestras. Unfortunately, these finished when sponsorship by the Eastern Arts Council was withdrawn. The Hippodrome is so unique with its design of a smaller Royal Albert Hall perhaps it could become a centre as well-known as the Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings, attracting audiences from all over the country. No doubt the Lowestoft Marina Theatre where the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays, and recently gave a concert at the Hippodrome has helped to promote the idea.

CECILIA EBBAGE

Lovewell Road

Gorleston

I WOULD like to extend my congratulations and appreciation to Mr Adrian Thompson and his fellow organisers of Filby in Bloom which this year includes a replica of the insignia of the Far East Prisoners of War in tribute to the local servicemen and the sacrifices they made.

RUSSELL FILBY

Norwich Road

Acle

See Village Life section for report and picture

I WOULD like to thank both Mr Tony Wright and Mr A Smith for taking the time to respond to my recent letter. Having met Mr Wright a few years ago I know he is an intelligent man so I will not accuse him of missing the point of my letter. Rather that he has chosen not to comment on it.

So to clarify; the results of General Elections tend to pivot around a relatively small percentage of the total 600-odd seats. These so-called marginal seats have small majorities and Yarmouth is one such.

An incumbent government (Labour or Tory) needs to hold on to as many of these marginal constituencies as it can, therefore it makes political sense to spend a bit of money and have a few high-profile local projects in these seats for the sitting MP to crow about. Hence Mr Wright's original letter and my comments about being bribed with our own money.

As to what Government I would prefer, I just want one that keeps its manifesto promises (think referendum and Europe here), that does not try to tell me how to live my life whilst stealthily increasing the taxes I pay, kidding me that this is all for my own good or necessary to save the planet.

Regarding Mr Smith, he appears to live in a mid 20th century time-warp where “bosses” and “investors” are the evil enemies of the working classes and that we would all be far better off living in some socialist workers paradise such as North Korea or the former East Germany. He's entitled to his opinion, but having visited East Germany in 1991 shortly after the wall came down I can tell you Mr Smith, it was no paradise.

DENNIS J BEAN

Burgh St Peter

MY son and I recently took part in the British Heart Foundation four-day bike ride cycling from Crystal Palace to Newhaven and then from Dieppe across northern France. This was to raise much needed money for the British Heart Foundation. Twenty-four people from all walks of life and from all parts of the country took part. The whole event was very hard work but was lots of fun and well worth doing. We cycled through some beautiful scenery in ideal weather conditions, making regular stops and covering between 50 and 75 miles for each of the four days.

The event has succeeded in raising nearly £35,000 to date for the British Heart Foundation. My son and I were able to raise £2,700 of that total. We were very touched by the generosity, support and encouragement of local people and local businesses. On behalf of the British Heart Foundation may I say a big thank you. Your help has been very much appreciated and I'm sure the BHF will use the money to good effect.

GEOFF WATSON

Yarmouth Road

Ormesby St Margaret

OUR missing cat is a grey, black and white striped one year old male who goes by the name of River. He is so-called because we found him by a river in Norwich when he was only four weeks old; his siblings had drowned; he was the only survivor. He was covered in ticks, fleas, ear mites and had severe conjunctivitis. After a trip to the vet he began to develop into a handsome, beautiful little man. He could not wash himself and struggled to eat from a bowl when we first brought him home so we rescued another kitten (Puddle) from the Cats Protection League to keep him company and be his 'big brother'. Together they were a comedy act and totally inseparable.

He was last seen on Sunday, July 6 and has not returned home since. On Tuesday, July 8 we did a leaflet drop around houses on the James Paget Estate where we live, asking people to check sheds and garages; but to no avail. River is micro-chipped so we have contacted the identi- chip company who have flagged him up as missing on their database. We are beginning to fear the worst, but wanted to make a last plea for help. Puddle is quite lost without him and follows us around the house and garden, crying continually.

JANINE NORRIS

Paget Crescent

Gorleston

MY husband and I went to see the show Musical Magic 2008 at the Marina Centre on Saturday, June 28. The singing and dancing was superb, professionals could not have done a better job. We would like to congratulate the producer of Dusmagrik Productions and everyone else involved in the making of this wonderful show. What a good advert for the youngest of this borough. Keep the good work up; look forward to seeing the next one.

MARGARET and BRYANT ROWLAND,

Nelson Road North

Great Yarmouth

THREE weeks ago, Mr Spencer in his Viewpoint article implied you find Jesus at “church.” But do you?

In a previous letter, I said the Baptist structure and practices clash with God's pattern for His church. Sadly, this is true also of the Church of England, Newfrontiers (Kings Centre), Salvation Army, Roman Catholic Church etc.

Disagree? Then see God's blueprint for His holy church (Acts 17:11): 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 12:28; 14:24-40; 16:19; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Timothy 2:5, 12. Do these texts mirror what occurs at your local church? No? Then why attend? For the Lord Jesus Himself stays away (John 14:21-24; 1 John 1:3-7).

Most people let others think for them. Dangerous! Jesus warns about “blind leaders of the blind” and says “both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:13-14). Instead, if you want to know Jesus (the only way to heaven: John 14:6), you must (1) come to Him (John 6:37), (2) read the Bible for yourself (Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 119:105), and (3) be very careful where you attend on a Sunday. Why drink mud when you can have the crystal-clear water of life, freely, straight from the Source (Revelation 22:1, 17; Isaiah 55)?

Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Will you come to Him?

E BARKHUIZEN

Albemarle Road

Gorleston

THE vote on the proposal for women bishops will have come as a great shock to many people in parishes up and down the country, for those who worship in the traditional Catholic style in the Anglican Church. Many will not have realised the depth of the uncharitable and un-Christian attitudes held by the majority, and in spite of appeals by both archbishops, the majority of so-called liberals were determined to show the rest the door. For the Bishop of Dover, who supports the ordination of women, to say “for the first time in my life I feel ashamed,” shows just how difficult a situation the church now finds itself in. Several months ago in a full page article in the national press, Terry Waite said that the church as we knew it has gone forever. He now worships in the Greek Orthodox Church, with the occasional visit to a Quaker meeting.

It may not be noticed much in the Great Yarmouth parish, which retains only a watered down version of the rite, which is enriched by the regular meetings of the Guild of Servants of the Sanctuary and Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. For those who wish to attend a mass in the traditional rite, as it was 20 years ago when I came to Great Yarmouth, when St Mary's, Southtown was a parish in its own right, with the vicar Fr Stephen Weston; it means travelling to Norwich to attend St John's, Timberhill, St Giles in St Giles Street or St George's, Tombland.

A lot will happen between now and February when the next phase is discussed. In the meantime, war has been declared and I think that the so-called liberals will themselves receive a shock at just how strong the arm of the ecclesiology held by the Forward in Faith Counsel really is.

Dr M PRETTY

Anson Road

Great Yarmouth

CONCERNING this new law the government are talking of; knives cannot be carried around in the street. Have they asked themselves what about the average housewife when they need to buy a knife or set of knives. Some chefs bring their own set of knives into work daily. Where do fishermen stand with this new law? Does the government think everything through before they broadcast their ideas and how it affects the general public? What happens at times when a housewife takes her knives to someone for sharpening.

Mrs WOODS

Leman Road

Gorleston

WHILST walking my puppy to the shop at 5.30am Saturday, I noticed an elderly gent dressed strangely. Thinking that maybe he had escaped from somewhere or needed help, I rang the police. Their first question was had he been to a fancy dress party? They then got in contact with CCTV whilst I followed at a distance so they knew where he was.

To my shock I was told it was okay, as the gent is always doing that at this time in the morning. So I insisted he was picked up for his safety as there were still people about from the night before; they told me they would. It took the police over 35 minutes to attend as I followed the gent to make sure he was safe, and to cap it off a riot van turned up. In these days when there are stabbings, rapes, murders etc, why was no-one concerned? Haven't they got elderly relatives themselves? Are CCTV cameras about to prevent crime, or just about giving evidence after the crime has been committed?

A LEWIS

Nelson Road Central

Great Yarmouth

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