Readers’s letters, December 8 2017

Is timed opening a bridge too far?

Over the past 15 years I have entered into discussion with many folk when the raising of bridges as been the topic.

In previous years I have sailed and cruised many inland, coastal and deep sea waters which have required me to plan my passage thereby ensuring for example that there was plenty of water over the harbour bar to get in, and also plenty of air draft above water to below bridges which would enable me to proceed. Planning your passage is paramount.

Continental waterborne traffic operates more in partnership with motorists, than in UK, because the pre-set times for bridges to lift are published in the maritime charts; additionally on the roads which lead to the bridges, there are permanent signs informing drivers and pedestrians that the bridges open at set times and what those times are.

Armed with this knowledge, local townsfolk carry outtheir daily lives, motorists are content and captains of vessels come and go freely, all because they plan their activity around known bridge lift times.

So why cannot we? It would make life a lot less stressful for everyone.

Name and Address withheld

Most Read

Is there a group for the limbless?

I have been asked if there is a support group locally for people who have lost a limb. I have not been able to find one but wondered if any of your readers know of one? Or if there are other people out there who would like to join together to form a support group?

Please get in touch with me if you can help with an existing group, or are interested in forming a group. Contact me on 07747 107910 or email


Great Yarmouth Community Trust

Smooth the path to school merger

I am very much looking forward to seeing work start on the new £7m school buildings on the North Denes Primary school campus. I very reluctantly had to give up my membership of the Labour Party after over 40 years to remain true to my quest to get those 21st century school facilities for people in my area.

I came in for a considerable amount of what I consider to be unfair personal abuse and trolling but I never for once considered giving up on this aim.

All concerned with the “Save our School” campaign for the Alderman Swindell School should now do the right thing by the children of that school. The efforts of all should now be to smooth the path to a successful merger of the two schools on the North Denes campus.

Anything else is useless posturing as the closure of that school is now confirmed. I will be doing my utmost as the local County Councillor to make sure that the Swindell School buildings are used to facilitate the opening of a new Special School to meet the needs of local boys and girls whose needs cannot be met in mainstream schools.

I campaigned for that in the May elections. Time to move on!


County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central

Bridge raising will hold up traffic

In response to Pat Philpott’s letter in the Mercury on December 1, the comment that “all our goods, services and citizens travel by road” means road traffic is more likely to hold up this impatient person than 10 minutes waiting for a bridge to raise/lower!

In discussion with friends, other comments I have heard are that by far the majority of bridge lifts will be for commercial shipping and there is no way around that. The closed bridge height design should allow for passage of most private “pleasure” motor boats and hopefully there will be moorings each side of the bridge for boats to lower their masts or wait for a scheduled opening time.

It is undoubtedly true the river came long before the road, therefore if the road bridge isn’t high enough, the road traffic must as a practical consequence simply give way to river traffic! Of course, an alternative means of transport, eg bicycle (or boat!) might be the answer for Pat Philpott.

Others believe money should be spent taking out the two low, fixed bridges on the river Bure (Vauxhall and Bure bridges) and replace them with a new one which opens, allowing the Broads to be accessible to more visits from coastal mariners, thereby generating more tourism income to Broads’ businesses.


New Close,


Do you know the bus driver Tony?

Owing to illness I have lost touch with a good friend. If possible I would like to try and trace him. His name is Tony Jones.

He was a former resident of Runham Vauxhall. His previous occupation was a bus driver for Eastern Counties Buses. He would often meet up by the market near the chip stalls. I would very much like to hear from Tony. Please call me on 01502 567430 or write to room 29, Oulton Park Care Centre, Union Lane, Oulton Broad, Suffolk NR32 3AX.


Oulton Broad

Thanks to a good Samaritan

This evening a young man knocked on my door returning my purse I had dropped on Gorleston High street, I didn’t even realised I had lost it. In shock I mumbled a thanks and he left. I feel awful as I didn’t thank him properly he has restored my faith as all my money and gift vouchers I had brought today for xmas were all still there. I would like to thank him properly in this letter.



Searching for my cousin Eileen

I am still searching for a Hopton lady, who is my cousin, on behalf of her sister who lives in Perth, Australia. She is Eileen Munday, who was living earlier this year in Anglian Way, Hopton. Her sister, Vera Goodson has asked me to help her locate Mrs Munday. We still have not heard from her. If anyone can help, please contact me on 01483 764788 or 07711923214.


Orchard Mains


Seasons greetings from party

On behalf of the Great Yarmouth Borough Council Labour Group I would like to wish all residents a very Happy Christmas, and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year.


Magdalen Ward,

Leader of the Labour Group

Why can’t we turn right at junction?

Every time I sit at the traffic lights at the end of Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth, awaiting to turn into Temple Road, I ask myself why on earth can we not turn right?

There would be two great advantages that would improve the traffic flow, probably as much as the extensive ones now in progress, but with less upheaval.

1 To reduce the need for traffic to pass through our apology of a bus station.

2 Reduce the interruption to the traffic flow on both Northgate Street and North Quay, caused by the many queue jumpers, using the “rat runs” through both Rampart and Garrison roads.

The modifications to the junction seem relatively simple and it would look very similar that at the top of St Nicholas Road a gap would need to be made through the central island, the south side crossing would need to be moved to the west a little, then the handrail modified to suit.

Comments please.


Lawn Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

Thanks for your Poppy donations

The Great Ormesby and District Branch of the Royal British Legion would like to thank all who contributed to our Poppy Appeal this year. So far we have banked £5,000 with still more to come in.

This is up on our last year’s total, so once again, thank you so much.



Great Ormesby and District RBL.

Time to be kind and more generous

Here we go again, reading another letter from Mr Barkuizen and his misinterpretation of the Bible about Christmas.

He reminds me of the Pharisees, “straining at knats” that Jesus mentioned, the teachers of the law, that nit-picked over rules and regulations.

Mr Barkuizen, I, along with the vast majority of Christians, celebrate Christmas, because we remember it was the time when God gave His most precious gift to mankind, His Son, born as a baby, in a manger, in humble circumstances, not in a palace.

It is only you, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, that do not celebrate Christmas, and of course other faiths.

This is precisely why at Christmas time, we should be kinder and more generous towards one another, it is not just about mass consumerism, and making ourselves bankrupt by too much spending on buying too many gifts, and too much food and drink.

It is a time we all should think of the poor, the homeless, the lonely, those that have lost loved ones, and they now spend Christmas on their own.

Thank you to all the volunteers that give up their time serving meals, not just in the Marina Centre, or Mary Magdalene Church, on Christmas Day, but all over the country.

So look past all the glitter and fairy lights that adorns every other house and remember what Christmas is all about - Jesus coming into the world.

Surely the best gift of all.


Turin Way,

Hopton on Sea

Our village is worth a visit

May I suggest your readers take full advantage of our free winter car park at Beach Road in Caister (behind the lifeshed) from October 1 to March 31 2018.

Enjoy a stroll on the beach then visit our dog friendly pubs for a drink or a meal. We also have restaurants. Take a walk around the village which has many small shops and businesses, or book an overnight stay and enjoy a game of golf on one of the finest links courses in the country or stay in the hotel and spa.

Caister has plenty to offer in summer and winter. Come and ‘sea’ for yourselves.


Clay Road,


Bridge will be a waste of money

I think the third bridge will be a waste of money overall, The only people that will use the bridge will be people coming to work and going home over the new bridge that live in Bradwell, Belton and Burgh Castle.

The lorries that come from the two industrial estates, Harfrey’s and Gapton, will see the benefit of the new bridge as they will not have to use the Haven Bridge, it will just be a short cut for them.

Taking in mind of where the bridge will cross the river the first thing is the Harfreys Road roundabout. If you turn left there is a dual carriageway from there to Lowestoft. If you turn right at the roundabout you have dual carriageway until you reach the Tesco roundabout, then you have single carriageway until you reach Acle, then you have dual carriageway until there is 1.2 miles of single carriageway until you reach the Blofield dual carriageway.

There are no large employers on the South Denes Industrial Estate, just small businesses that usually have 10 or less employees. The new bridge will be a shortcut for them.

When I was a Norfolk County Council contractor in the 1980s I saw a big road map and asked what it was showing and I was told it was a theoretical exercise for dualling the Acle Straight. The present Acle Straight would be the two lane road in to Great Yarmouth and another two land road would be built on the left hand side of the straight.

That was over 30 years ago I do not think that the straight will be dualled in the next 30 years, if ever.


Sturdee Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

Shopping locally can be special

Now I am not usually given to praising Brandon Lewis and sometimes the opposite occurs but in last week’s (December 1) column I found myself agreeing with his comments about the necessary prevalence of small independent businesses on our High Streets.

I also hope that Small Business Saturday was a great success in the country. As he states our shopping habits have changed monumentally with buying gifts on the internet.

I can see the draw of this but it does seem rather soulless and lacking in real Christmas spirit. But I do appreciate that people have so little spare time to browse around the shops and with a click-click and away they go, with the convenience of delivery to their front doors.

Local small businesses do not have an easy time of it but they do often stock more unusual and ‘out of the box’ presents rather than the large flagship stores. It is lovely and engaging to have a chat with a shop owner who is genuinely very pleased to see you, as you walk through the door and will endeavour to help you find that special gift.

They do often stock more unusual items, sometimes hand made and sourced from more individual suppliers than the big franchises.

I also agree that small cafes can lose out to the likes of Starbucks and Costa and I don’t really understand this preoccupation with these gigantuan coffee chains. They are so ubiquitous in our High Streets and largely indistinguishable from one another.

Give me an independent cafe, which is often much cheaper and pleasant helpful staff with not a trendy ‘Barista’ in sight. I personally will not pay a too high price for a cup of coffee how many glutinous shots go into it.

I would also recommend the cake in the library when you can have a very reasonable cup with books and papers to peruse as well. I also appreciate the continuing success of Palmers Restaurant as I have been sitting there for more years than I care to remember and it always has that buzz of families and friends getting together.

So please Mr Lewis don’t get complacent at my unaccustomed approbation but you made very relevant and pertinent points because the individuality of our shopping experience should rightly co-exist with the large chains and not be supplanted by them.

We all need that personal touch and feel good experience from a small business that is trying its up most to succeed in what is a difficult and complex trading situation.


Winifred Road,


Cuts could stop bus users getting out

I write to you to stress our association’s concern over the reports that Norfolk County Council is considering reducing the amount of subsidy they offer to maintain essential bus services.

East Norfolk Transport Users Association (ENTUA) feels however, that as the amount set aside for bus subsidies is only a small percentage of the actual county council budget this is one area where cuts should not be made.

Along with the county council, and provided by the local operators, we do have quite a wide range of services covering Norfolk right throughout the days of the week, however, if these proposed cuts come about ENTUA feels that a large percentage of the travelling public in Norfolk will be denied the opportunity to travel, particularly at night and at weekends.

In their document the county council say that they will maintain bus journeys for such things as getting to and from work, for visits to hospitals, doctors etc. and to enable shopping to be done.

This is all well and good but what about if you wish to go out for the evening to visit a theatre or a cinema or take a trip out on a Sunday to see what the Norfolk countryside has to offer when the weather is nice?

ENTUA feels that we could, in this case, end up depriving many of the ability to undertake leisure activities creating almost a divided society: those who have their own transport and those without access to any form of transport other than the bus!


East Norfolk Transport Users Association

Praise for James Paget Hospital

My dear mother sadly passed away a few months ago in the ACU ward at the James Paget Hospital. It was literally the night before she passed away that she requested that after she had gone could the family please write a letter to the Mercury saying what a wonderful ward/hospital she thought it was.

Her short time there was met by the “best of staff you could want” and were so helpful to the rest of our family at such a bad time. Mum said she had read a lot of “bad press” on the views of the JPH and knew some of these to be justified, but could herself only use praise.

So from my mum and all the family thank you ACU. Mum’s wishes have now been meet.