Letters, April 13 2018

Lots of readers’ letters this week covering a host of subjects from coastal erosion to mobility scooters with two people on board!

Plenty skywards to keep our interest

I cannot honestly say that I can get too excited about the prospect of the forthcoming Air Show in June (Mercury, April 6).

The cost of the whole thing beggars belief. A disclosure of information request in 2010 revealed that RAFAT (The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team) had a budget in excess of £6m, of which over £1m is spent on aviation fuel.

So the cost to the taxpayer is enormous. Factor in the environmental and safety aspects and I am not convinced it is such a good deal at all.

There is plenty more to interest us as we gaze skywards.

The British Trust for Ornithology has just divulged the fact that, on April 6, PJ the cuckoo had successfully crossed the Sahara Desert and is currently in Morocco, just west of Meknes. The suggestion is that he will spend some time there before crossing the Mediterranean on his way to Spain, as he nears completion of his journey back to these shores.

Most Read

You can track his progress on bto.org

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Become a Festival Friend this year

Spring has arrived and, although harvest time is a long way off, this may be a good opportunity to consider reaping the benefits of becoming a Festival Friend for 2018.

This year’s Festival takes place from June 8-17 and the subscription remains at £10. For this each Friend receives a £1 discount on each of a maximum of four tickets for every event. Brochures, leaflets and Friends’ application forms will soon be widely available in the local area – Great Yarmouth Minster and other churches, St George’s Theatre, libraries, colleges and schools, and many venues where societies and clubs meet for their various activities.

Should you be unable to pick up an application form in the coming weeks, please send your name, contact details and remittance of £10 with SAE to Friends’ Secretary, 7, Green Lane, Bradwell, Great Yarmouth, NR31 8QH.

On behalf of the committee, may I say we will look forward to seeing you and welcoming you to the various events.


Festival Friends’ Secretary

Damage to bench is not a pretty sight

My sister and I would like to say well done to whoever planted all those beautiful crocuses on Gorleston Marine Parade. They look so pretty. A lovely display which brightens up a drab day.

On a sadder note I have a bench up there and the grass cutters have damaged its legs. I wonder if they know how much those benches cost? If they did then maybe they would be a little more careful.

I’m not a very happy lady, please take more care, thank you.



Driving into the town is a horror

The traffic in and out of Great Yarmouth is a horror. At weekends and bank holidays it is even worse.

Who is responsible? Who is listening or reading the complaints on social media? What are our local councillors doing about it because I bet all of them travel by cars and not like us who most times have to reply on public transport?

Coming into Yarmouth from Gorleston and reaching Harfreys roundabout and queuing traffic towards the Gapton roundabout made my cousin sigh, and we spent 35 minutes crawling along until we reached the roundabout. We were going to M&S and honestly, it would have been quicker to drive to Lowestoft, something we are now considering.

People queue to get out on both the Breydon Bridge and Acle New Road ways, and queue to get in on the Acle Straight and A47 from Gorleston.

Does any local councillor ever talk to the Highways Agency (I suppose it is them who make the decisions) and tell them what utter useless traffic flow we have here.

No. The answer would be to shop out of town; as I said it’s easier to get to Lowestoft and park up and shop than get from Gorleston to Yarmouth. Or get the bus and shop in Norwich – don’t rely on the trains, they seem to be cancelled a lot.

I would be interested to read what other people think.



Thank you to angel who paid my bill

As a ‘born again Christian’ I believe in angels, and on March 18 I experienced the presence of one.

I needed to fill my car up with petrol as the needle was almost on empty. This I did and proceeded to pay for it at the cash desk. To my horror I was without any method of payment (changing over handbags is fatal).

I explained the situation to the cashier whereby she produced a form to read and fill in. I said I would go home and come back immediately when a voice beside me said: “You are not to come back, I will pay for this.”

A tall lady stood beside me, so I said “but how am I going to pay you back?” She said again, “You are not to come back” and paid for my petrol.

At this I had tears in my eyes and when I turned to thank her, my angel had disappeared. The cost of the petrol was something over £40.

The bible says in Psalm 91 v 11 that “God will give His angels charge over me, to keep me in all my ways”, and certainly on that Saturday He kept His word.

On one of the coldest days I have experienced in a long time the warmth of God’s love surrounded me. Thank you my angel.


Address withheld

Seven-hour wait for an ambulance

My wife Christine has been suffering with MS for many years and has had various falls resulting in fractures to the vertebrae.

On April 4, Christine fell in the home which was identified by us as a fracture to the hip. She was in immediate pain and any movement exasperated the discomfort. I telephone 999 about 8.15pm and answered all the questions asked of me to be told there was up to a five-hour wait.

When I uttered my disbelief I was told it was “up to five hours and we hope to be with you sooner.” Christine was lying on the floor at the point of her fall and could not move. I made her as comfortable as one can with pillows and blankets.

About three hours later I received a call from a clinician who asked the same questions and reiterated the ambulance would be with us as soon as possible.

After another three hours I received a further call from a clinician who reiterated the ambulance would be with us as soon as possible. I made my anger known and the clinician allegedly spoke to a colleague having noted the wait was now over seven hours.

She repeated the ambulance would be with us as soon as possible. When it did arrive with two paramedics they apologised for the wait and commented they had been picking up drunks and not attending to my wife, 71, with MS who had a hip fracture.

The paramedics were professional and clearly miffed and outraged they had not been sent to us earlier.

Christine was taken to the James Paget where it was confirmed she had in fact fractured her hip and at this moment is a patient.

We are not the sort of people to complain as in 2016 I had pleasure in praising James Paget paramedics, A&E and staff on the ward for their professionalism and kindness shown to me.

On this occasion I have made an official complaint as it is my belief that the NHS emergency system has in fact gone backwards and is no longer to be trusted in ensuring the best speedy treatment to the general public. I make this complaint without mention of friends who have also been in a similar situation.

There is something gone badly wrong over the past two years that has resulted in a second rate NHS which cannot be trusted to provide a service in saving lives.



Roadsides north void of rubbish

Having just spent three days in North Norfolk, a suburb of Chelsea, maybe I am a bit cynical in thinking the councils in that area think more of trying to impress visitors, than our local council does, or do they have a larger income for expenditure?

The road surfaces were excellent, with only one pothole experienced. Each village had a speed monitor to inform drivers of the speed they were travelling and the roadsides were void of rubbish.

With Summer months fast approaching, would it please be possible for our borough council to get its act together and tidy our town in order to try and attract more visitors.

At the moment I can understand why the north of the county is so popular.

Name and Address withheld

Kind lady with me after I tripped over

I would like to say a very big thank-you to the very kind lady who looked after me on Good Friday afternoon when I was on my way to church.

I tripped and knocked myself out on the Lowestoft Road and when I came round this lady told me that an ambulance was on its way to collect me.

She stayed with me until the ambulance arrived. Unfortunately, I do not know her name but would like to let her know I am fine now having been very well looked after by the ambulance staff and the James Paget Hospital – thanks also to them. My grateful thanks.



Grandfather never spoke of his family

I am looking for descendants of George William Lindsey/Lindsay and Maria Ellen Robinson Eastick, who were married in 1900 in Great Yarmouth.

Their children were George William (d1988), Hilda Hannah (who married Donald Grimble in 1929 and died 1987), Catherine Ellen, Joseph James (who migrated to Australia in 1926 and visited Yarmouth once in 1973), Alfred Charles and Marjorie Eva Georgina (who married Edward Bartram), who were all born between 1899 and 1911 at 33 Tower Street, Yarmouth and then later at 11 St Lukes Terrace, Cobholm. Joseph James was my grandfather and he never spoke of any of his family although he did visit them once in 1973.

I am trying to track down any living family in the Great Yarmouth area. If you have any information please contact me at brendan.lindsay@outlook.com.

Thank you.



Tides are fuelled by sand extractions

As unconvinced as some people are of inshore deep water is the resultant conclusion of aggregate extraction.

After more than 20 years in the belief the removal, by vacuuming millions upon millions of tonnes of stabilised shoreline leaves you in a situation where you feel you can still talk of silt and sediment. I feel you are miles from the inshore plot.

Deep inshore water strengthens currents by velocity, breeding tidal surges and where nature exposes aggregate under the sand base which has long gone.

The flat beach that was a bed for coastal defences has now turned into a downhill slope into a deep water area; as the gabions depict at Scratby as they lurch toward the deep water.

Material is now being moved, altering the whole foundations of the coastal sea area.

I say again, where millions upon millions of tonnes of material has been taken away, never to be replaced, there is a void which the movement of the sea area will recharge with material given to it by our efforts in trying to right a wrong.

Ballast is not the material we have been robbed of. I hope nature doesn’t frighten us too much in her efforts to retrieve it!


Gonville Road,


Memories of work at railway station

At the age of 16 in 1945, I was encouraged to apply for a clerical position with the newly-named British Railways.

I had a written and oral examination at Norwich Thorpe station and later an interview, and was offered the position of clerk at Gorleston on Sea Station.

The stationmaster was Harry Lamb, the goods agent was Bob Randall assisted by George Hinchcliffe. There were two regular porters and one other clerk, Bobby Amiss.

My duties consisted of issuing tickets, weighing parcels, giving out train times, arranging collection of passenger’s luggage by railway van and from particular boarding houses. There was a system which comprised CL (collected luggage), DL (delivered luggage) and PLA (luggage collected from various hotels and boarding houses and also delivered to passenger’s homes).

Boys with home-made carts would be readily used to transport luggage to and from Gorleston Super Holiday Camp.

I became a relief clerk because the wage was more and I worked at Yarmouth Beach station, Southtown and Vauxhall, also Acle, Pulham Market, Belton and Lowestoft.

My last duties with British Rail were at the information bureau on Yarmouth Marine Parade, that would have been in 1949, the year the bureau was built. I had a very nice report from The Mercury during that 1949 season.

MURIEL GIBBS, nee Bradnum

Meadow Court,


Predictable reply over NHS failings

I read Brandon Lewis’s column with interest (April 6) and was rather annoyed at his comments about the predictable annual story of the NHS winter pressure.

I think this implosion during last winter, where people languished in ambulances and clogged up corridors amounted to a much more than a little expected difficulty. The NHS is constantly under every seasonal pressure and the Government is ‘hopefully’ sorting this out, either with more sustainable funding or a completely different take on the matter.

I know he is Party Chairman now but a little less spin and a more consummate weighing up would be appreciated. Yes, as he states, there is the merry go round of annual political events and yes, the last few years have indeed been anything but predictable.

His unnecessary swipe at the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn was uncalled for because his own party in fairly recent times have been less than enamoured with their leader, who casually threw their majority away in a ‘vanity’ general election. She has now more credibility but how long this will last is anyone’s ‘crystal ball’ guess.

What I am trying to say is a more insightful rationale behind this country’s ills should be expected from our local MP, where at this moment in time violence on our Capital’s streets is exponential and extremely concerning, and in some legitimate quarters attributed to the cut in police numbers due to ongoing austerity.

I realise too that in another one of those pesky referendums, people did vote for the election of councillors to take place every four years in “all out elections”. I personally think this is a shame and maybe a short-sighted decision, although I take the point about saving money.

The turnover of elected members meant for a necessary refreshing and getting men and women with all the right attributes on board. Time will tell if this does indeed work and saves the requisite amount

of finance.

By the way Mr Lewis, many voters do not take a leisurely saunter to the polling station but make use of very convenient postal voting. Perhaps by next year when this upheaval occurs, our young politically savvy 16 and 17 year olds might be enfranchised but I am not holding

my breath on that one.

Shame because to get these young people on board with the extreme necessity and importance of using your vote would I feel reap huge benefits for the future of this country, whose immediate Brexit future they have a very real and credible stake in.


Winifred Road,


Story of ‘twinning’ between schools

I have just returned from a family visit to my father, who at almost 95 years old has perfect recall of his youth in Suffolk and later in Norfolk.

He has just told me a story I had never heard before, and I am wondering whether readers might be able to help me flesh it out.

He went to school in Somerleyton in the 1930s, and was reminiscing that up until 1936 or 1937, a selection would be made from among the boys of the Lowestoft area to make up an under-15 football team to go and play against a team from Frankfurt.

Apparently the Germans would come to Lowestoft one year and the English boys go to Germany the next; perhaps some form of early town twinning?

He remembers lending his football boots to a classmate who was a wizard on the pitch. The boots (but sadly not Dad) went to Germany.

In those pre-war days it was an amazing thing to go to another country - especially for a schoolboy from Lowestoft - and Dad was saying how sad it was the war came and put a stop to these friendly matches. In the space of just a couple of years, lads who had been playing soccer against each other would have been told the other side were now their sworn enemies and they might be sent to kill them.

I would love to know whether any other reader has any recollections of these matches. Perhaps there might even still be someone alive who actually played in them.

Who knows, someone might even remember borrowing his boots!



Idiot steals the disabled handrail

At some time between 4pm on Friday, April 6 and 11am on Sunday, April, some mindless idiot stole an eight foot length of tubular steel from a handrail outside my mother’s house on Church Road, Gorleston.

The handrail was installed little more than two years ago, as part of works funded by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, to help my elderly disabled mother get to and from her front door safely.

With a significant part of the handrail missing, the support it was intended to offer is no longer available.

The handrail was constructed from scaffold-type tubing and fittings which are fixed in place using an Allen key. The thief just happened to have such a key with them at the time!

Whilst I doubt the thief will read this, I wonder how they would feel if they or someone in their family needed to use equipment such as this and to find it suddenly taken away?



Praise and thanks for NHS actions

I would like to praise and thank the NHS for the service that my husband received on Easter Saturday.

I had to resort to calling 999 for an ambulance that arrived within a very short while. The two gentlemen were so proficient, calm and reassuring and within a short time he was admitted to A&E at the James Paget Hospital.

The service there was second to none in all the departments he came into contact with. What a great service he was given. Thank you so much to all concerned in his diagnosis and care.



Who is dumping rubbish in laybys?

Last week I had occasion to travel along the A 47 stretch of Road between Rackham’s Corner and the Beacon roundabout on my way to the hospital and was appalled at the amount of rubbish and litter in the laybys and along the verges.

I ask is it because of the construction work going on at the Beacon Roundabout and the delays caused people are finding it easier to dump their rubbish instead of taking it to disposal sites, or consuming their takeaways along the road so depositing the wrappings on the roadside?

Who’s responsibility is to clear it up? The council or the construction company carrying out the work?

Shame on people who find it necessary to litter our roadside in this deplorable way instead of taking their rubbish home and disposing of it in their wheelie bins.

Strikes me it is plain laziness and a don’t care attitude or they have no respect for our countryside.


Ashburnham Way,


Groynes will solve erosion problem

Re coastal erosion at Hemsby , Scatby and the Norfolk Coastline generally.

It’s not rocket science. We’ve known for hundreds of years, what causes coastal erosion, and how to prevent it.

We don’t need to spend £35,000 on another study. We need action. The money will be better spent on building groynes to prevent further erosion.

Sand is stripped off the beaches by fast running north-south tidal flows. The Norfolk coastline forms an obstruction to the massive volume for water trying to flow south from the Northern North Sea into the narrower Southern North Sea.

The Norfolk coastline acts like the side of a funnel, and the force of water being squeezed into the southern narrows can virtually pressure wash millions of tons of sand off the coastline in a single night. Properly constructed and spaced groynes will prevent further sand being stripped away and allow wave action to rebuild the beach.

We know this works. You want an example? Look at Gorleston beach. Changes to the pier construction plus the outer harbour construction, caused the tidal flow to completely strip the beach away, until the sea was lapping against the promenade, and granite blocks had to be used to protect the structure.

The construction of groynes stopped further erosion and allowed wave action the rebuild the beach. It’s tried and tested. It works. So let’s do it. Stop messing about and wasting money on “another report”. Just get on with it.

V SMITH Gorleston

My mum typed the script for Fury film

I read with interest the article about I’ve Gotta Horse.

My mum typed the scripts for this, in fact I have part of the script. The film company took over a floor at the Queens Hotel (now The New Beach) and she met all the actors, and Billy Fury used to make her coffee!

I used to go to see her in my lunch hour hoping to see Billy but no luck. She really enjoyed being there, seeing the article brought back those times for me.



Mobility scooters had passengers?

It’s not very often I feel cause to write to the newspaper letters pages but two sights in Yarmouth shocked me today. Both are connected.

It involved two separate occasions about an hour apart when I saw mobility scooter riders with young children on their laps. They were not going slowly either, one scooted across the road obviously in a hurry to get somewhere.

Surely this is illegal? Are they insured to carry passengers? What would happen if they had an accident?

The incidents disturbed me but I don’t know how to report them. They don’t have registration plates if I had managed to get a photo. Advice please?