Devastating beach erosion

I AM amazed the Mercury has not received letters from Hopton residents regarding the disappearance of our beach over the last six months. Many people who infrequently visit our shoreline are under the misconception that it is a normal phenomenon which occurs every winter.

I AM amazed the Mercury has not received letters from Hopton residents regarding the disappearance of our beach over the last six months. Many people who infrequently visit our shoreline are under the misconception that it is a normal phenomenon which occurs every winter.

Indeed we do lose a little sand through the prevailing easterly winds, and we get a covering of shingle, but the erosion of our beach this year is of devastating proportions. I have walked this coastline for almost every day for over 20 years and can assure everyone that this is not the norm.

I have some knowledge of the sea and tidal currents, and what has occurred was predicted by many people with similar knowledge and experience. The development of the outer harbour has created a man-made bay which has affected the flow of the tidal stream. Instead of the tide running parallel to the shore, it now sweeps around the new pier head on the flood tide and washes away the sand from along our coastline.

Gorleston is protected by eddy currents from the tidal flow which is actually building sand up in that area. Hopton shoreline is not only becoming an ecological and environmental disaster, it is also going to affect the holiday industry as there is no beach left for visitors to the camp sites to visit.

One of the areas which was important to Hopton residents from the result of a recent Parish Plan questionnaire was the attraction of having a beautiful shoreline and beach to visit.

May I invite all those borough councillors who voted for the outer harbour, and especially those who have visited Hopton beach prior to development, to come and see what a problem they have created. Hopton is not only losing its beach, but inevitably will now be subject to rapid cliff erosion.

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I believe it was agreed that the developers were to replenish any lost sand along our coastline; when you see the amount already lost, and are continually losing, you will understand it would be a totally futile and unrealistic exercise.

There is now nothing that can be done to reverse this process, but next time the council have any more ideas especially with regard to developments on the coastline they may think twice. Perhaps a statement from the environmental officer in the Town Hall may have some comforting words to the people of Hopton!



AFTER weeks of dodging the dogs' mess with my nine-year-old son around the area of Edward Worlledge Junior School, the time has come to say enough is enough.

It beggar's belief how some lazy irresponsible dog owners can allow their pets to foul the school gate area in the exact location where the children enter and exit the school. The children may unknowingly step in the excrement and then walk it into the school.

Toxocariasis is a particularly hazardous disease to young children and can result in blindness. The message to these people is simple Bag it and Bin it!


Lichfield Road

Great Yarmouth

I FULLY support Dennis Durrant in his views on the response to the comments by Cllr Graham Plant on the audit commission report. It beggar's belief what his comment would have been if the report gave top marks.

There is however' another item that needs more information. Why has the parking zone gone into a loss? Another item that will be added to the rates.

This was, from memory, going to be implemented as a “no cost” operation. We only have one parking warden so we should be paying out, in wages, less than planned. Perhaps we should ask for reports using the Freedom of Information Act.

On a related subject, Mr Castle states there are thousands of parking spaces. Would he like to tell us how many spaces there are, free, paid, and those used by people with permits, within the main parking zone A?

Also what has happened regarding the demolition of the old huts on Gorleston's lower promenade?

I repeat what I have said in previous letters, we provide the money, they should supply the answers.


Claydon Grove


I AGREE with Mrs Brown that unused disabled parking bays should be changed into mother and baby spaces. Talking of parking matters, how insensitive of Councillor Graham Plant to dismiss the residents parking charges as cheap! People who pay their road tax and council tax should not have to pay anything to park outside their own homes.

Perhaps if the council got their finger out and built a park and ride facility to go with the posh signs already erected there would not be such a problem in the summer.


Mill Lane


I WAS sorry to see that Pontins had closed. I worked there in the 1970s, 1972, 1973 and 1975. I worked in the kitchen the first and second year I was there. The last year I was there I worked as catering store man but helped out in the kitchen when things were slack. During my dinner break I would go swimming.

I used to return during the evening and go to the disco and watch the cabaret and groups. The earliest memories I have of Pontins is when they opened the camp for a short summer in 1971, from June to September. I have a photograph of myself taken in what was known as the Norfolk Bar in 1973 and a group photograph of myself and the kitchen staff taken in 1975.


St Margaret's Way


I WRITE in reply to Trevor Wainwright's letter (Mercury, January 30), member of Norfolk County Council for Breydon Division, regarding ASDA creating 7,000 jobs. As I have lived in various parts of America I have seen first hand what Wal-Mart (parent company to ASDA) can do to the small shopkeeper, petrol station and mum and pop shop business.

Citizens in the US have come out in their droves to stop these stores from being built.

Be careful what you wish for Mr Wainwright as the creation of 7,000 jobs by ASDA could be the death rattle of the small local business.



REGARDING the article on crime in Acle in December and January in the Mercury (January 30) and the two common assaults that reportedly took place at the Acle War Memorial Social Club on December 2, we would like to make clear that this incident did not take place in our social club but a room that is hired out on part of the complex. Acle Social Club has a zero tolerance to anti-social behaviour of any kind.


I READ with great interest MP Tony Wright's column in the Mercury (February 6), of his great concern for political detainees and international trouble spots. His tribute to the Jewish victims of the second world war, at the site of the concentration camp, is to his credit.

May we now have some of that concern given to the savers of this country of all ages, in particular the pensioners who looked after their money for their old age, to find their efforts have been sabotaged (with interest rates almost at zero) and are effectively being given a very bad financial deal, and no-one seems to care least of all the government which Mr Wright represents. Why are Mr Wright and all other MPs not redressing this absolute scandalous situation that has been allowed to develop.

I'd like to think I speak for all pensioner savers, also younger people getting a raw deal. It's all very well having the troubles of the world on their work agenda but don't forget “charity begins at home” as the saying goes, and MPs would be well advised to remember this.


North Drive

Great Yarmouth

IN reply to Sandra Perkins' letter (Be proud of where you live). We, too, have lived on Queens Crescent many years and totally agree with Sandra about the state of the verges.

I think she may be talking about the verge at the corner of both roads, the trench there must be five to six inches deep and the track from the cars go right on to the road, but it is not just there, there are several of these trenches up and down the road now and just getting worse especially with the weather we have been having lately. When will the authorities going to do their jobs? When are the street wardens, community police and the council use the laws to stop this? People are even parking on the mini roundabout and nothing has been done.

I do believe the state of the verges was brought up recently at the Magdalen Steering Group so let us hope someone was listening and hope we haven't got to wait until someone sues for injuries received from falling down one of these trenches; or there is a road accident, to either other motorists or pedestrian because they can't see because of the thoughtlessness of people parking on the roundabout.

There must be ways to change this, widen the roads, take the verges out, put posts in so people can't park on verges. Many people are very proud of where they live but you always get odd ones, and that's when others have to do their jobs so come on authorities help us to help you.

Name and Address withheld

AN interesting letter from Sandra Perkins (February 6). Pride in one's appearance and that of one's household is I believe a valuable asset.

How about discovering after “10 years” of maintaining one's household and gardens the GYBC have sold the latter to your upstairs neighbour, effectively obtaining a pecuniary advantage, which incidentally is also against the law. With this type of procedure as part of the council's format the current recession should not come as any surprise, though the more astute are of the opinion that recessions do not just happen they are engineered.

I try very hard to refrain from the use of derisory remarks but have difficulty in not equating the council with going to bed clean shaven and waking with a beard. Had it not been for the passing away of my neighbour quite some time ago I would probably still be unaware of this abnormal practice, suffice to say I have been forced to take legal action a responsibility that is quite clearly that of the council, I believe it prudent to remember that where cut-off points are employed.

All factors count, do I now have to assume that honour, integrity and trust are no longer part of the English way of life?


Trinity Avenue,


I WENT to the Marina Centre on Saturday, January 31 to play bowls. No computers were working, we paid and went in; no heating in the bowling greens, we played with our coats on; no bar open, it has been closed all winter.

No wonder they are losing out. In my opinion it needs some tender loving care to make it a better place for residents and visitors to use. Come on council, spend a little of the money you have on making the Marina a better place for everyone to enjoy. I know a lot of people enjoy going to the Marina Centre, it helps you keep you fit and gets you out in the winter.

Young and old people enjoy the swimming pool, which after Christmas was freezing cold; nothing in there seems to run right. I hope something can be done about it.


Perebrown Avenue

Great Yarmouth

HAVING read the letter in last week's Mercury concerning the family who are suffering from the lack of support from this government, I have nothing but sympathy and understanding as to how they are feeling at the moment.

My husband was made redundant last year after working 47 years in this country. He paid into a pension scheme and gets a small pension every month. He is in his early sixties and job prospects are very bleak. For his hard work and supporting his family during that time, he cannot get any benefit from the state.

He bought us a lovely home to live in and saved hard to pay off the mortgage. He cannot get Job Seekers allowance and cannot be recorded as being “unemployed” as he is over 60 years of age and claiming a private pension. We manage financially but the fact that people who have never paid a penny into our system can come and claim more money every week than we are living on, does make you wonder if it was worth all the overtime and extra jobs that he did during his working life.

It seems this country has become one for “losers” and if you work hard and claim nothing you are just overlooked and forgotten. Some reward for supporting yourself and your family.

Name and Address withheld

I FELT impassioned to write in regard to Rachel Moore's ill-founded comment about the lack of responsibility of teachers last Monday on the “snow day.”

Firstly, I would like to point out that teachers themselves have no say on whether or not the school remains open or closed, that responsibility lies with the head teacher, so to say “I wonder how many of those heads and teachers citing health and safety reasons and the safety of their communities for closing checked on the wellbeing of elderly neighbours” is a pointless thought - the teachers had no say in the matter.

It is also highly offensive to suggest teachers would not care about vulnerable residents - surely the very nature of teaching is that you care about the wellbeing and welfare of other people. This comment made no sense, and I found it highly insulting to my profession.

As a teacher at a local high school, my colleagues and I work tirelessly, usually notching up 55 plus hour weeks plus spare time spent marking, planning, taking part in trips and special evenings. Our job is no longer that of just a teacher - indeed, not a day goes past when I must also put on the hat of a police officer, social worker or even, upsettingly, a parent.

I am not saying this for sympathy - I enjoy my job and see it as a privilege to be able to work with such a committed group of staff and such a diverse group of young people. I am saying this because it is very disheartening to hear criticism after criticism when working so hard. Teachers work tirelessly in stressful conditions (the idea of a morning and lunch break for a teacher is usually non-existent) to make a different to young people, and in some cases can be the only people these youngsters come into contact with who seem to care about them. These kind of unhelpful comments can do nothing to raise the morale of teachers.

Fortunately, I don't answer to columnists such as Ms Moore; I answer to my senior management and, more importantly, my students. When they come to me with concerns and requests, I listen and take them on-board and deal with them. When a journalist who sounds like she has never spent a day working in a school makes sweeping statements criticising the teaching profession, I simply marvel at the ignorance of such comments.

Name and Address withheld

AS current National Secretary of our Association I am endeavouring to rectify past errors of omission in the field of advertising our existence to the many thousands of veterans of the Italian Campaign of 1943/45 who, we know, statistically, are still in the “land of the living”. With this task in mind I would esteem it a great favour if you would assist me to get in touch with as many of our old comrades as we possibly can.

We should be extremely grateful to you if you could see you way to assist us to reach out to those of our old comrades who, to date, do not know that w have been around for them for over 25 years. We know we are now all very old but we do not intend to give up until we have “marched right down to the end of the road”! Contact us on 020 8241 0275.


National Secretary

Italy Star Association 1943-1945

I CHECKED the date on the paper, no, it wasn't April 1. Great Yarmouth council is going to spend �50,000 on a new Market Place canopy because of bird s…! Have the people of the town been asked what they think? No. We elected our councillors to look thus town and its money and not keep wasting it.

Perhaps if early maintenance or cleaning had been done it wouldn't be so bad, but as with others things, like the Town Hall and Nelson's Monument, it's left until it becomes a major job. They hope the new canopy will be ready for trippers coming to the town - as usual, it all revolves around the trippers. Do they have long necks to be able to see the top of the canopy?

A reply from the project manager Chris Dove would be nice, but I won't be holding my breath.


Great Yarmouth

COULD someone please answer this question - why are Norfolk County Council Home Care ladies being thrown out of work and their jobs being given to agency staff?

Most of Norfolk County Council carers have been caring for their clients for quite a few years; mine has been coming to me twice daily for 11 years, since my husband died of cancer. I am completely wheelchair bound, having Multiple Sclerosis.

We have come to depend on our carers, they know us very well. They know for instance if our nurse or doctor should be sent for, even if we don't say anything. Why, therefore, should we lose these carers who have been with us for years?

Before any comments are made, I am not criticising agency staff, I know nothing whatsoever about them. A further point, we do pay quite a lot for Home Care and I for one consider it money well spent as it enables me to stay in my own home.

Is there no one who can help Norfolk County Council carers as to me, and to several other people I have spoken to, it seems all wrong that these ladies should literally be thrown on the scrapheap to make room for others.



A LOT has been said about number car parking in Great Yarmouth in recent weeks.

Yet if you drive along King Street you will find large empty parking areas set aside for taxis. Presumably these are for the late night crowd. Is there no way to open up these spaces for day time use to ease parking for shoppers and workers?



AS current National Secretary of our Association I am endeavouring to rectify past errors of omission in the field of advertising our existence to the many thousands of veterans of the Italian Campaign of 1943/45 who, we know, statistically, are still in the “land of the living”. With this task in mind I would esteem it a great favour if you would assist me to get in touch with as many of our old comrades as we possibly can.

We should be extremely grateful to you if you could see you way to assist us to reach out to those of our old comrades who, to date, do not know that w have been around for them for over 25 years. We know we are now all very old but we do not intend to give up until we have “marched right down to the end of the road”! Contact us on 020 8241 0275.


National Secretary

Italy Star Association 1943-1945

I SHOULD like to apologise to all the people that I have told I would be standing for the county council this coming June. I had been asked after Christmas if I was going to stand and I said yes. Imagine my shock when the chairman of the association came to see me just over a week ago and told me head office wanted younger people.

I always though experience came with age, but I am proved wrong.

Having won Lichfield and Cobholm in 1969, and Nelson Ward for the borough in 2004 till 2006, it would appear my 56 years counted for nothing. I don't want to penalise the young man who has taken my place through no fault of his own, I shall support him and ask all Conservatives to vote for him.


Dickens Avenue

Great Yarmouth

I SEE that all the trucks involved in the transportation of the cane sugar to Cantley will be GPS controlled and their speed kept to 40mph and they will not be allowed to travel in batches in other words spaced out so put them and all the other trucks travelling at 40mph (their maximum allowed speed by law) such as Tesco, Asda etc, will this not impose a surreptitious speed limit on everything else? I don't mind this but I know that some of the morons who use this road will. I use it very regularly and am often appalled and sometimes downright frightened by the standard of some drivers. Beware because I think it will cause even more bad driving.



MAY I, through your letters page, convey my thanks to the very kind gentleman who came to my assistance last week in Winterton churchyard.

I was going to look at flowers on a recent grave when suddenly two large dogs - one black and white, one brindle - came running straight at me, barking furiously. They would not stop barking and would not leave. Every time I tried to move they came closer. I was quite alone and can tell you I was petrified. Being a pensioner I could not run and daren't turn my back anyway.

A gentleman was attending his allotment at the bottom of the churchyard, quite a way away. I called to him and he managed to distract their attention long enough for me to escape through a small gate at the opposite side of the churchyard. If he hadn't been there I just don't know what I would have done as there was no one around. If I'd had a child or a small dog with me goodness knows what might have happened.

So, to the irresponsible person who allows aggressive dogs to roam loose in Winterton, please think of others. I shall certainly never dare to visit again. And to my rescuer - thank you so very much. May your allotment flourish!

Name and address withheld.

GOOD news this week: nice to see Sammy Morgan back doing what he was meant to do: running the Academy, albeit for rivals Ipswich Town after the awful treatment he received from Norwich City and Mr Worthington. I wish him all the best down the road. Our loss, Ipswich gain. Well done.


Beccles Road,


IT is the first time in 70 years that I have written a letter to the editor or have ever been in an ambulance. I was interested to read in the Mercury, Friday, February 6, a letter headed “High praise of hospital staff”.

On Friday, January 30, I became ill and later that morning we contacted my GP, Dr K Maleki at the Family Health Care Centre, Gorleston. We were told by the receptionist he had had “a horrific morning” and although he was still busy seeing to patients he would then see if he could pay me a visit. This he soon did, and realised after examining me that I needed to be admitted to hospital as an emergency. He was extremely kind and helpful and I am very grateful to him.

It soon became apparent that the whole of the NHS in this area was under extreme pressure. The James Paget was on black alert and the ambulance service was overstretched. Nevertheless, the two ambulance crew who came to fetch me gave wonderful care. Although the A and E department were under pressure I can't thank them enough for the care I received. We were kept well informed of the latest situation and of any delays. Eventually a bed was found for me in Oulton day care unit.

We were advised that the operating team was stretched to the limit and would do its best to operate on that day. At 10.37pm I had an operation for strangulated hernia. I stayed in the JPH until I was able to meet the medical criteria.

I can only be grateful to Miss Downey and her magnificent surgical team who always seemed to be there monitoring the patients' situations. My grateful thanks to them. In addition I am indebted to the Oulton ward for their wonderful care and for me it was actually fun to be in hospital! We are proud to have such a wonderful hospital in Gorleston with such a devoted staff.


Hill Avenue