Boatshed could be fitting tribute

A MEMORIAL to all RNLI crewmen who have given their lives to save others was unveiled recently in Poole, Dorset.I am reminded of the private lifeboat volunteers at Gorleston who were associated with the Rangers, Storm and Young Flys companies who predated the RNLI and made similar sacrifices.

A MEMORIAL to all RNLI crewmen who have given their lives to save others was unveiled recently in Poole, Dorset.

I am reminded of the private lifeboat volunteers at Gorleston who were associated with the Rangers, Storm and Young Flys companies who predated the RNLI and made similar sacrifices.

My great grandfather, William Dawkins Farman, was drowned along with 11 others whilst a crew member of the Ranger Company private lifeboat “Rescuer”, launched from Gorleston in January 1866, to assist a vessel in distress. On passing over the bar the “Rescuer” touched the ground, unshipped her rudder and overturned, trapping the 16 crew underneath. The tragedy left nine widows and 27 children.

Is there a memorial for these brave men and other private lifeboat volunteers who have lost their lives in similar circumstances? If not, might a fitting tribute be the restoration of the Elizabeth Simpson boatshed which could become both a memorial and museum?

I was born in Great Yarmouth in 1929.


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AFTER reading articles and letters in The Mercury many people have approached us stating there should be a public inquiry into the way Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Great Yarmouth Port Authority negotiated with EastPort over the outer harbour.

Some residents aren't happy with what the council has given away and how they have allowed EastPort to close the South Pier car park despite massive public objections; close the road on South Denes; pick over the Port; announce job losses instead of the promised increase in work, and a container service instead of a RoRo.

Our elected councillors are not supporting those who are concerned but wiping their hands of the situation and ignoring problems being caused. Answers to questions of what has happened should be given.

After trying unsuccessfully to get answers, several of us would like to arrange a meeting to discuss the many concerns people have with a preliminary get together to force a public enquiry.

We would like to stress we aren't against the Outer Harbour. Please contact us if you also have concerns, you would like to join us or would like more information. Email John L Cooper on pr Dennis Durrant on


Burnt Lane


REFERENCE a letter from the chairman, Great Yarmouth and District Archaeological Society (Mercury, April 17), entitled Keeping Memories for the Future, and requesting names of local inhabitants whose life's work warranted a blue plaque of remembrance.

In proposing the late Dr Kenneth Hamilton Deane Senior, I speak for many who quite affectionately remember him. Most were safely brought into the world by him, in their homes, and they also got to know that he would “always be there” for them.

He practised continuously from his home at 225 High Street, Gorleston for over 60 years (1923-1985), a span in one practice, I think, never equalled in this country.

Throughout the war years he continued in single-handed practice to care for those remaining following the evacuation. He held twice-daily surgeries at home and branch surgeries at Belton and Hopton. Medicines dispensed at his surgery were delivered by the medicine boy. As physician and surgeon at Gorleston Cottage Hospital, he admitted and treated cases promptly near home. When duties allowed, he instructed St John's Ambulance members in first aid and acted as medical officer at local boxing tournaments and swimming galas.

Uninterrupted evenings and weekends were rare, as were holidays with his family. His generous donations to worthy causes helped many. A fitting testament to the love and respect in which he was held was shown by the vast number of people attending his funeral service held in the church of St Andrew, Gorleston.

Incidentally, I was one of Dr Deane's patients, being delivered at home by him in 1924. As a lad, I was one of his medicine boys.


Sussex Road


IT would appear from last week's Mercury that the lessons of poor procurement, poor risk appraisal, poor project sustainability and poor governance have not been acknowledged by Councillor Plant. The excellent report by officers to the Scrutiny Committee of some 120 pages, outlining this lack of governance, contract and project management, produced nine key recommendations from the Scrutiny Committee which were accepted and endorsed by the Cabinet in October 2007.

It would appear that Councillor Plant fails to understand that the lessons learned from the inadequate management and control by Cabinet members should have resulted in a more robust plan to make the screens a sustainable resource for the seafront and tourist industry. If the screens were never going to be a susatainable option, why were they purchased as a key part of the regeneration of the seafront and town centre? Why was tax payer's money wasted?

The Scrutiny Committee exists to robustly investigate, hold to account the Executive and root out inefficient and inadequate practices for the benefit of local residents and council tax payers. I am disappointed that, as a Cabinet member, Councillor Plant is defensive and unwilling to own up to the mistakes of the original procurement, contract and management of the screens. Instead he chooses to hide behind the recession of 2009.

Of course, none of the questions raised in my letter of early September have been answered. Perhaps Councillor Plant would like to respond next week with a compresive reply addressing each question.

Questions .....but no answers yet!

Why has no sustainable business plan been developed to ensure long term use of the screens?

How are other Councils able to have effective and sustainable large screens as an integral part of their Town Centre and commercial experience?

When will the seafront screens be fully used with a sustainable plan?

Why has the Market Place screen not been repaired to the original high standard to allow its use in this key location?

How will these screens be run in future without dedicated officer support?


Chair GYBC Scrutiny Committee

I TOOK the opportunity afforded by Heritage Open Days to view the medieval figures within the rood screen of All Saints' Church, Filby. When comparing the lives and legends of these saints, or the manner in which they have been portrayed, there is a repetitive theme of one plus seven, and this is a huge clue to interpretation.

The religious message is that the path to heaven, for which Peter holds the keys, is achieved by upholding the seven Christian virtues. At the right are pictorial allusions to justice and fortitude. The grouping around Peter demonstrates the traditional higher status of charity, faith and, to his left, hope (on the same side as Michael weighing souls!). Temperance and prudence complete the virtues. The artist has been careful to show the figures as components of an ensemble. They are not individual “graven images” and that accounts for them surviving Cromwell's lot. Filby is fortunate to have such an asset.


Tan Lane


ARE you an iDo? As advertised, there were over 30 professional acts, 90 performances and 600 performers. The Great Yarmouth Out There Festival was entertaining and something to behold.

Sadly, what wasn't advertised was the fact you might have (some did) stepped in 600 pieces of dog excrement, from 30 different dog breeds, owned by about 90 irresponsible dog owners, or iDo's.

When traveling on the London underground you hear “Mind the gap” as a public service message. Perhaps Great Yarmouth Borough Council could similarly broadcast “Mind the crap” as a public service message. I would not want Yarmouth to be known as the dog-fouling capital of Great Britain. That reputation would stink.

Come on GYBC, it's time you started prosecuting these iDo's.



LAST week I went to a meeting a meeting of dockers desperate for their jobs. Jobs lost because EastPort had taken them away in favour of casualisation, that is going back to the old days when men wait at the gates to see who is to work that day. Is this what our borough has come to in 2009?

Great Yarmouth Borough Council who negotiated the project should have been present at this meeting which was important to these men, experienced and fit men with families to support who from Monday have no job. I say negotiated, but was it what EastPort wanted and they gave into them? We just don't know because they keep us in the dark. EastPort weren't there either but so it wasn't expected, they seem to be happy to be seen as the town pariah by dismissing the community as surplus to requirement.

Our MP was there prepared to give any help he was able via parliament so was Mick Castle who seems to be the self-appointed defender of EastPort (just to clear a point this isn't about the outer harbour but their owners) who was reluctant to answer probing questions put to him.

There is little comparison between the vision we were presented with to the one which is reality. Ro-Ro equals containers. How noisy will they be at night? All you who live within earshot think about it. How many jobs are now projected and how long will it remain jobs lost?

The outer harbour grants were gained on the premise of regeneration, they wouldn't have been possible without. Benefits to our borough and its residents, more prosperity, more business for traders and the resort from the thousands of extra tourists, and of course those 1,000 jobs plus all those weekends we could have on the continent. Were the givers of these grants prepared for it to all be given away plus more from GYBC and Norfolk CC? Would the same grants have been available if the application had been the project we now have? Should the outer harbour grant have gone through before the third river crossing.

The third river crossing is now turning into a financial nightmare - can we trust a council with a not very good score from the audit commission to get value for money. How much would we have needed it if the bypass was improved as it should be? It is EastPort who need it most so how much will they contribute? I don't feel I want to pay for it!

The only answer must be a public enquiry where we can all learn the facts they won't give us.



I AM writing to tell you about the wonderful service I received from one of your local businesses recently, which I think deserves a mention in your paper.

My husband and I were on a boating holiday on the Broads and we spent a lovely day in Great Yarmouth. I had not visited the town for over 30 years and although, obviously, there were a few changes, I was glad to see it was still a good, 'old-fashioned' seaside resort.

The following day, as we were set to leave our mooring at the Yacht Station, I broke an arm of my new glasses. As I am very short-sighted this was a disaster as far as enjoying the rest of my holiday was concerned, and I was very upset.

I could just about still wear my specs with just one arm but was afraid they would fall off and break even more. So, very carefully, I walked into the town and found a Specsavers in the Market Place. Encouraged by all their media advertising I was confident they would be able to help me. I explained my predicament and was more or less told that because I hadn't bought my glasses from them they couldn't help. I then tried the opticians at Asda, recommended by one of the men at the Yacht Station. Unfortunately they couldn't help either as Asda do not make glasses on the premises, but the lovely young man there told me about another optician in the Market Place practically opposite Specsavers.

When I arrived at Just Specs, part of the Eye Warehouse chain, and explained my problem, the gentleman there said straightaway he could help me. I almost cried with relief. Because my glasses were so new Mr Paine could tell just by looking at them what lenses I would need. He was able to supply me with replacement lenses to tide me over until I got my varifocal glasses mended at home.

He and his assistant were so kind and understanding and my new glasses were ready in two hours! The charge for this fantastic service was just �29! I was able to carry on and enjoy the rest of my holiday in your beautiful area.



East Yorkshire

THIS is an email to thank everyone at the Pleasure Beach for the fantastic behind the scenes visit in association with English Heritage on Sunday, September 13. Myself with my wife Donna and friend Shane attended and from the moment we walked into the park we felt welcome and that they really did appreciate us being there.

As regular visitors to the Pleasure Beach we know of course that this is the 'norm' but what they had put on for us wasn't!

The presentations given in the meeting room with all the artefacts and memorabilia on display were thoroughly enjoyable and extremely interesting. The photograph of the Pleasure Beach, especially the roller coaster are priceless.

It is so heartening to know everyone takes great pride in the Pleasure Beach and that they really are as enthusiastic about the place as we are! Allowing visitors access to areas that are normally strictly out of bounds to guests was a real privilege and absolutely fantastic to experience. At the end of the visit we were lucky enough to sit in the meeting room listening and discussing issues and stories about the Pleasure Beach and the roller coaster. Believe us, we could have been there for hours!




SARAH Connolly with her versatile voice and good looks made a perfect Lord Nelson at the finale of the Last Night of the Proms.

What a pity that Sir Henry Wood's famous sea songs (Home Sweet Home, Tom Bowling and The Hornpipe) were omitted, as they have been over the last few years: these would have made the whole thing unforgettable.


Lovewell Road


GREAT Yarmouth and District Trades Union Council was proud to attend an emotional and torrid public meeting in defence of local dock workers at the town hall last Thursday.

The fact that none of the Tory leadership of the council had the courage to attend was a total disgrace and shows us how much they care about the stevedores and their families. In their view the crisis at the port is a commercial matter between EastPort and its workforce. As such they have washed their hands of any responsibility in dealing with the death of Yarmouth docks.

Perhaps they may have been embarrassed to answer questions on the abolition of the dock labour scheme in 1989 which guaranteed full time working at the ports.

In any case, dockers from several ports expressed their solidarity with the Yarmouth dockers and also their frustration that the repressive anti-union laws we maintain prevent ports supporting each other in struggle.

Ports up and down Britain are suffering the cancer of casualisation and workers are becoming increasingly desperate in the face of such cynical attacks. The likelihood of unofficial or illegal action becomes ever more possible as these attacks continue.

EastPort want the dockers to go away and be quiet but this isn't going to happen, the resistance will continue.


President GY&DTUC

IS there anybody out there in the same position as myself. After reaching that grand age of 65 I was told I would have to finish work as I was now classed as natural wastage, not a very nice terminology. One day doing your job with no problems another day older and classed as useless.

The next insult was to find I wasn't being replaced, yet another way out of paying redundancy, so don't tell me there is no such thing as age discrimination. I worked for a long standing family firm in Great Yarmouth.

I have since applied for numerous jobs, asking firstly if they have an age limit and they all say no. By giving an interview they can be seen to not be discriminating. I then get an interview getting down to the last two and you can tell straight away which from the tall willowy blond and the short little lady who will get the job. Experience does not count for anything nowadays. Some of these jobs I could do with my hands tied behind my back.

I have now taken my age off my CV as I get told I don't look my age and people are surprised when I tell them how old I am.

It is just unfortunate I still need to work due to circumstances throughout my life. The only jobs they think you are capable of doing are cleaning jobs, they seem to think that your brain suddenly dies and your computer skills disappear over night. No disrespect intended to all those cleaners out there. I've done my fair share and I know what hard work it is.

To all you other young 65 year olds out there don't give up, I'm not.


High Road