Bus firms simply ignored request

FOLLOWING the second fatal road accident in Caister on Sea in the last couple of years involving a bus and a young person, a letter was sent on behalf of Caister Road Safety Committee, Caister Parish Council and other organisations in the village inviting the bus providers to attend a meeting with the group.

FOLLOWING the second fatal road accident in Caister on Sea in the last couple of years involving a bus and a young person, a letter was sent on behalf of Caister Road Safety Committee, Caister Parish Council and other organisations in the village inviting the bus providers to attend a meeting with the group.

This letter was sent out almost immediately after the conclusion of the court case in February. The letter invited all the bus companies who service the Caister area to come along and discuss the provision of public transport in the area. The invite allowed the largest of the group of companies, First Bus (Eastern Counties), to select the date of the meeting, start time and also assured them that none of those that would be present wanted to curtail their services in any way.

The proposed discussion would centre on what we could all do together to prevent a similar tragedy arising in the future, and the letter also explained that the meeting would be controlled by a independent chair from outside the area. The organisations who wanted to be represented are all committed to bus services for everyone where those services are needed.

It is now nearing the end of April and sad to say no reply has been forthcoming from any of those invited to the village. It is disappointing to say the least to see the disregard to the feelings of the people of Caister, even a polite refusal would have been better than no response at all. It is hoped the people of Caister will understand when, outwardly it appears that no one in the village seems to have tried to address this very serious matter, and it is hoped that perhaps this letter to your paper may provoke some response from the bus companies.

Better late than never, but don't hold your breath.


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Caister Road Safety Committee

OVIOUSLY the borough council knows what we want! I live on the Barracks and have never been approached or questioned on the parking permit issue.

Firstly, I would not pay. I pay road tax, which entitles me to park on the public highway. If the so-called caring council were to introduce this, then it should be one free permit to every household and then charge for any additional permits required.

Parking with permits should also be for any time of day/night. What's the point of having a permit for the evenings when all the visitors will have left because they have been ripped off over parking and some over-priced venues.

There are quite a few large, open spaces around town which could be cleaned up and used for free or cheap parking - on the quay opposite Friars Lane; Maincross Road; under the bridge at Asda; the old caravan sites past the Pleasure Beach. Oh no, you have to pay there before being ripped off at certain venues.

Some companies have spent a lot improving their attractions - the Wellington Pier and Model Village; Sea Life Centre now having a penguin enclosure - so let's help them by drawing in the visitors, not putting them off.

One more thing - let's get rid of those car park signs on the approaches to town. They don't work and probably won't, knowing this council.


Harbord Crescent


I AM a concerned member of the public who enjoys the lovely Gorleston beach and promenade. I hate to think what is about to happen after seeing that the borough council has the old lifeguard building up for letting offers, suggesting it is suitable for a variety of uses (subject to planning consent).

This, hopefully, doesn't mean some kind of catering business. Apart from being at a quite narrow part of our lovely promenade, this building stands out six feet further than the seats, leaving little room for any business customers likely to form queues at the front. Other problems would be litter and noise, plus the risk of accidents with people squeezing past those folk; and some are disabled, who often sit there enjoying the peace and tranquillity of our beach and prom.

After all the good work the council and business owners have done in cleaning and painting up, the place looks a picture. Children are safe near the pool with mums being able to sit and watch them now the old beach huts have gone. The bandstand and gardens are looking good too.

In this recession our little shops here at Gorleston seafront have tried to keep prices down and look after the needs of locals and visitors alike. We can get our ice-creams, chips or whatever and walk across the prom to sit and enjoy our day.

As a nanny and mum, like many others, I have enjoyed the new bandstand. I enjoy everything on the Lower Esplanade. It needs careful thought and planning. Toilets would be a godsend here, also a first aid centre or information bureau - but not catering.

I hope those people who enjoy our lovely beach and prom will agree with me. We don't need any more businesses. Those already here are ample to cater for our needs, and we don't want to see the shutters going up on what we already have because of excessive competition.


Kingfisher Close


GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council is asking for rental offers for the former lifeguard building on Gorleston's Lower Esplanade. Never! This is an eyesore in a rather delightful area, and wants removing.


Busseys Lane


I FEEL it was very unkind of Labour leader Michael Castle to label blue badge holders as a plague. We know that people abuse their blue badge, but I certainly do not think the majority of badge holders trawl round looking for free parking. You need to park as near to the shops as possible, and it does take a person with limited mobility a lot longer to get their walking aid from the car, go to the ticket machine, and then do their shopping. I know a lot of people who, with sometimes great difficulty, use their car to remain independent, and to get out to enjoy the same things as “normal” people.

Many fit and healthy people can develop mobility problems Mr Castle, and to be classed as a plague is very annoying. I suppose your generous remark saying you have nothing against disabled drivers should be taken into consideration.


Westerley Close

Caister on Sea

WHILST browsing through the display of Easter cards in Market Gates during Holy Week I overheard the following comment from a middle aged woman to her male companion. “I do not think much to these, they are all a bit religious.” Does this not epitomise the current state of the country?



WHAT are our councillors doing? (Mercury, April 10) Do they actually know what they are talking about?

In one report Graham Plant states that “parking problems in the borough would only get worse the longer the town was left without effective enforcement.” He then goes on to state they will employ two wardens, for �45,169, to enforce and monitor the short stay car parks. This is stated as “surplus” money. How much more surplus money is rattling about in the coffers?

In the second report, the same councillor is reported as stating “Making the town off limits to visitors and forcing them into pay and display car parks could put people off visiting Great Yarmouth” and then states “I can see resentment with this.”

So on one hand he wants to enforce parking by monitors and then states that this will “cause resentment.” Of course it will and we will not see the result till next year when the visitors do not return.

I await a report that the money raised will repay the �45,169 and where is the profit, if any, going to be donated to?


Claydon Grove

Gorleston on Sea

THE Outer Harbour Project really is a very impressive feat of engineering, especially the lovely man-made lagoon on the Great Yarmouth side of the harbour. Unfortunately due to the sneakily-issued “stepping-up” order the whole of the harbour's mouth will shortly be off limits to members of the public forever. I guess this is progress! Perhaps it's significant that Britannia on top of Nelson's Monument has her back towards it!


Mill Lane


MULLING over the recent correspondence re Nelson and his monument, something clicked: The Battle of the Nile, 210 years ago, Horatio Nelson did something rather extraordinary.

I don't suppose for one minute it was responsible for his victory, but just possibly may have helped. It's quite likely that Nelson as a child in Norfolk developed the idea used to good effect in the Bay of Akoulin. Machine gunnery is what I'm referring to. Apparently Nelson encouraged his gunners to depress their guns to such an extent that when fired, the cannonballs skipped across the sea as did Nelson's stones hurled low over his local duck pond many years before. The sea would need to be fairly flat, I suppose.

One hundred and forty-five years later, a very clever British scientist remembered reading about Nelson and his experiment at the Nile delta and tried something similar. He set up a long tank of water and fired golf balls along it. His name was Barnes-Wallis, the man responsible for the “bouncing bomb” and the dambuster raids on Germany in second world war.

Yes, Nelson played a part in the 1939-45 conflict.

Barnes-Wallis also designed the Wallington bomber which I had the good fortune to fly in whilst serving in the RAF. A lovely old aircraft, geodetically constructed with twin Bristol Hercules sleeve-value radical engines, quiet and smooth as silk.

Now for more pressing matters, Mr Coles says I haven't grasped the logistics of moving the listed building. I can assure him I have no intention of doing so. It sounds more uncomfortable.

As to the cost, over the years my various wives have moaned about the price of this and the cost of that and we can't afford this, yet oddly a new hat or dress is required or a fancy hair-do, the money miraculously appears. Very strange. Perhaps we should introduce a tax on these things to pay for the sort of stuff us men know are important. After the column is moved and paid for, any money left over could perhaps put a spine back on St Nicholas' Church. That would please me greatly.

As regards the pillar being easily accessible at the moment with parking no problem, the truth is that hardly anybody ventures that far.

Mr Cole wonders about the identity of the student who initiated this correspondence. His name is Joshua (not Ernest). He attends the East Norfolk Sixth Form College, and he chose the name Ernest because one of his favourite authors is Oscar Wilde.


Emmanuel Avenue


I HAD to take my young son to hospital to have a blood test and how wonderful it was to find a clown on the ward entertaining all the kids. It really took his mind off having an injection and a needle and he learned how to spin a plate as well.

I was told by the nurse that he had come from the local circus at Burgh Castle and they came because the ring mistress had spent a lot of time in the war as a kid. It's nice to see people giving something back.


Suffolk Road,

Great Yarmouth

HOW sad it is that we can now hardly afford to have pets because of the cost of treatments. Recently speaking to a neighbour who lost their dog awhile ago, I was so sad to hear that they haven't homed another one as they cannot afford the cost!

This is the same with all pets. Although we can insure them, the insurance does not cover a lot of old age conditions and we now find that people are not homing animals because of the cost.

It is time the government looked into vets fees and the cost of animal medications and make them more affordable. So many of us are struggling to keep our pets and some are longing to have a pet, but have to decide not to do so because they cannot meet the costs. Help is desperately needed to find a solution to this problem.



WE will be putting up three further plaques in the town this year to mark the sites of important places and people who lived here.

We have recently received permission to erect a plaque on the site of Lacon's Brewery which was a large employer of labour in the town and supplier of beer, wine and spirits. They were bought out by Whitbread in 1965 and their last brew was on February 28 1968. I wonder if any of your readers have any memories or objects relating to the firm of E Lacon & Co.

Should this be the case no doubt we could meet to discuss matters of interest when or before we “unveil” our plaque which should be in June or July.

We also intend to place a plaque in Gorleston to commemorate one of its more colourful vicars, the Rev Forbes-Philips.

Also we shall be placing a plaque on 25 Regent Street - the former Mercury office - which was the HQ of the Royal Naval Air Service in Yarmouth. Incidentally Major Edgar Cadbury, who won a VC for shooting down a Zeppelin during the first world war married Forbes-Philips' daughter. Edgar Cadbury was a member of the famous chocolate manufacturing family who were Quakers and as a result, pacifist, but clearly Edgar's principles did not get in the way of his military career.

Great Yarmouth and District Archaeological Society has funded and erected most of the Blue Plaques in Yarmouth to date and we wonder if anybody wishes to suggest further places or people which would be worth remembering in the district. We also wonder if any firm or person who might be willing to provide extra funding for this part of activities.

Henry Ford famously said “History is bunk” during a court case as he considered it not relevant to his needs at the time and perhaps many of us have felt like that, particularly at school. But our own history is of great interest to ourselves and clearly what was happening in Yarmouth when it was a vibrant working town controlled by local people, may be interest to others if presented in a meaningful way.

Granddad and grandma's careers might be of great interest to more than genealogists so I ask people to collect memories, photographs and artefacts which may be of interest to future generations.



Great Yarmouth and District Archaeological Society

THANKS for such a good idea by Mr Mick Castle - the beach huts on North Denes. Pity it has not been taken up. It should have been running now. As for comment that it would spoil the views from the hotels, well it's a pity they don't look at the mess there from the main road or the opposite side of the path. Rose coloured glasses work wonders. But if the beach huts scheme does go ahead please email me because I would love to buy one.


Wolverton Road

Haversham, Bucks

BEACH huts are a good idea for the tourist trade but you will have to put security cameras in that area because of vandalism. Also a no dog zone - parents and children will not want dogs running about in that area.

It's a disgrace car park charges have gone up. This Tory council will drive the tourists away from Yarmouth and the trader will lose a lot of business on the seafront and in the town.

A few weeks ago I saw the letter Peter Jay wrote in the Mercury about the casino. I think Albert Jones has got it right. He has invested a large sum of money on the seafront, so Peter Jay get on with your own business and leave others alone.


Ashwood Close


WHILST reading your article in the Mercury (April 10) on beach huts I felt a sense of d�j� vu. A very similar article appeared in the Mercury on May 2005, a plan by Mick Castle to erect beach huts in the North Denes area. I quote: “People would be able to buy one for around �1,500 and pay a yearly rate of �500.” Mr Coleman was said to be “looking carefully” at the scheme.

I eventually managed to speak with Alan Carr, the then head of tourism who assured me there was no funding available so no beach huts would be erected. A very different excuse to the one quoted in the current article. Is this just another idea to whet our appetites and then put the matter to bed. Beach huts have worked well all over the country and they would add that “bit of something” needed to cheer up North Denes and of course bring more visitors to the waterways and gardens. So, come on GYBC do something positive and make a small investment in the future of a much neglected part of Great Yarmouth.


Court Road


WELL, I think the expansion on Tesco, Caister, has been in the pipeline for sometime now. I have been told they want to buy other land nearby for the expansion, and to also provide a filling station. Caister people may get a new village hall and a new youth centre, which is most wanted, but at what cost to Caister? I wonder what the people think of this.


Braddock Road


MR Barry Coleman taking an Ian Paisley type stance with the Boundary Committee can hardly be described as inspiring or productive and I would respectfully suggest there is very little purity in politics, which is probably why the UK parliament sets this independent body up in the first place, its aim being to restore integrity and public confidence in the democratic process.

The language of St Francis and the Farsi of St Paul are no longer applicable. Unitary change has been on the cards for years, prompted by poor performance of local councils right across the country.

Again, Archant archives are overflowing with examples that do not meet this body's criteria. The time for change is with us - it is real and it is necessary. I believe it makes sense to build on what we have, not what we would wish for, as that type of thinking introduces the fairies at the bottom of the garden syndrome.

Correct me if I am wrong, but was it not agreed that once the East Port project had achieved thumbnail security, the next item on the agenda was the redevelopment of the super casino site on the South Denes, now called the Edge Complex, in conjunction with the refurbishment of the Marina Centre, with the 75pc principle applied to the latter?


Trinity Avenue

Great Yarmouth

THE Rural North Speedwatch scheme is now looking for volunteers to form teams to man speed cameras, operating, initially, in Ormesby St Margaret and Winterton.

Volunteers do not have to live in the operational areas, but be prepared to travel to Ormesby and Winterton at their own cost. All volunteers will be vetted by Norfolk Police.

Teams will operate in threes or fours, in sites pre selected, and risk assessed by Norfolk Police. The aim is to reduce vehicle speed in 30mph and 40mph areas, in mainly a preventative manor, and to help educate drivers to reduce speed.

All vehicles exceeding prescribed limits will have their index details recorded, and passed on to the police. They will act on the recorded information, regarding persistent offenders, by letter or personal visit.

The scheme will be operated by the Rural North Tenants and Residents Association, in Partnership with Winterton Parish Council, and Inspector Teresa Eagleton, Caister Police, in which the support of both has been invaluable in enabling this scheme to start. Community funding has been provided by O2 who have shown great interest in the venture.

It is possible the scheme could be extended to other villages if enough interest is forthcoming, from villagers and parish councils.

Please contact me if you are interested in taking part in this venture, or to register for future expansion of the scheme by calling 01493 733578 or e-mail rural.north@virgin.net



Rural North Tenants and Residents Association

Send this one back if too many

SAINSBURY'S Great Yarmouth is searching for customers who can share their memories of the store as part of the company's 140th birthday celebrations.

The store hopes to find customers who can reminisce about the days before the introduction of self-scan checkouts, Organic food and chip and pin with a view to inviting them to join the forthcoming 140th birthday celebrations planned in store.

“We're looking for customers and colleagues who have interesting and quirky memories of the store, for example; it would be great to find someone who remembers when the store opened or who has been shopping with us for a particularly long time. Better still, if anyone has any Sainsbury's memorabilia which they'd be happy to share with us, we'd love to see anything that's available.

Anyone with memories or stories to tell about Sainsbury's should contact Judy Nichols at the store on 01493 330313.


Store manager,

Sainsbury's Yarmouth