Great Yarmouth Mercury Letters, August 7

Plans will affect the whole village

There was a meeting of local residents last week with regards the build of more than 100 homes between Ormesby and Caister. The residents that did attend are the most affected by this but the whole of Caister will suffer even in the short term with the noise from HGV traffic through the village as the by-pass is now backed on to the homes already.

The local services can’t cope with the existing residents as you have to go to Great Yarmouth for dentists, petrol, banks, etc.

The build comes under Ormesby Parish Council so none of the 106 money will come to Caister where it will be needed. There is very little for the youth to do in Caister or Ormesby without going to either Hemsby (in season) or Yarmouth, so you can expect youth crime to increase through boredom. The nearest local shop to the build is in Second Ave so again traffic people with coming into Caister to get shopping, it is also the nearest post office and that is it until you’re right down to Lidl the most dangerous crossing in the village. The only way to walk is through a cemetery, again an unsafe footpath because the trees have broken this up with many trip hazards. The nearest petrol station is Reynolds Coaches and that is only part time.

The drainage is going to be a big issue with flooding and foul smells even the Tesco store at the other end of Caister has the problem and at times the smell is so bad some residents will not use, and in the rare hot weather we get it might as well close it is unusable. I am lead to believe they have tried to get this sorted out and failed. The area for this build is mainly grade 1 farming land that is needed for the future of the country OUR CHILDREN. The build is outside the Great Yarmouth strategic plans that already plan 800 or more homes along the bypass. The wild life in this area has not really been studied as there are bats, owls. birds of prey, deer, and who know what small creatures live there.

It seems strange that a rare snail can stop the duelling of the Acle Straight but don’t see any mention of what is living in this area of the build that could well be a protected species: no-one has looked. There is more than enough brownfield sites across the area that could be developed, which is government preferred, but of course would cost more to develop and bring less profit for the builder - not that the infrastructure we currently have would be able to cope with the extra residents.

To inflict this on Caister as well seems so wrong and how Great Yarmouth Borough Council could pass this at planning is beyond belief.

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Mr and Mrs K DANIELS


We deserve what we preached

As a nation, we spent most of the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries interfering and poking our noses into the culture and affairs of those peoples, who are now trying to gain access to the United Kingdom.

We tried to convert those peoples to Christianity and many of those peoples were converted to Christianity. We set ourselves up as a nation of principles to be admired and followed. What does one now expect? We deserve that which we have preached.

These peoples, who now seek our understanding and help, want and expect us to look after them.

We imposed ourselves upon them all those years ago, why should they not impose themselves upon us now?

Why does the Church not involve itself with this situation? It was its missionaries who helped to contribute to it in the first place. Let those peoples from Africa, Afghanistan etc come to us. The substantial number of them can speak, write and read better English than we can.

We, including our armed forces, invaded their countries without invitations. In the 1950s we encouraged those people to come to the UK in order to extend their knowledge and education at our universities etc, on condition that they put to use that which they had learned back in their own countries.

Instead they remained in the UK. What do you now expect? It is time for them to teach us the folly of our ways. So much for politicians and politics.



Centre was left to us residents

It has come to my attention, being a resident of the Magdelen Estate, that the Shrublands Community Centre was left to the residents of the estate to be used as a centre for the community.

How is it that the county council are putting forward the Shrublands House and grounds to be used for doctors’ surgeries and medical offices, while some of the users of the centre wish to use the rooms in the house to extend community activities in line with the aims of the Trust that runs the centre.

There is already a lack of space available in the buildings currently available, and at times regular users have to forego their activities to accommodate occasional extra meetings by non-regular users.

Shrublands House is not currently in use but it could be put to very good use all the year round. I would like to know why the house has not been offered to potential users, and why the building has been left empty for a considerable time.

It should be made available to the community as it was intended to be and not for other purposes.

What is the position regarding the so-called temporary medical building on the site? It is not what the area is supposed to be used for. The statement made to the Charity Commission by the Trust that runs the Shrublands Community Centre states that its activities are “To advance the education of the inhabitants of Gorleston and its neighbourhood and to provide facilities to improve the social welfare, recreation and leisure time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life.”



Chance to buy heritage book

I have had several people from the Yarmouth area asking me, at the fetes I have attended, where can they buy my local history books, as Yarmouth bookshops seem to have gone.

Cobholm Miniatures in Broad Row in Yarmouth now sells them, along with Jarrold and the City Bookshop in Norwich and Reedham Post Office.

I will be at Beighton village hall from 10am to noon on Saturday, August 8 selling my books. Refreshments will be available and Shirley Crosby who is organising a table-top sale there will be selling raffle tickets for the Macmillan Nurses ready for the draw at the village hall on Saturday, September 12. A good place for people to meet up, and have a cuppa and a yarn.



Council should talk to the people

I read with disgust that GYBC have decided to bring in and pay outside consultants to tell us what is wrong with our town centre. It doesn’t take that amount of money to see the problem.

The council should get out of their cosy offices and talk to the real people of the town to find out at grass roots what is needed and lacking.

We all know the issues (parking) that brings people in to town and boosts the economy, whether it is business or pleasure. Toilets, well that needs no explaining or does it?

All the banks moving into the market place taking retail space, no shops = no people.

The high rent and rates charged by GYBC, our long standing Wednesday and Saturday market almost non-existent.

My question to the GYBC is: “Why are we paying the council to do a job and balance the books and sort out this problem if they aren’t able to do it? And will these employees of the town be dismissed when we get the consulting whizz kids in?”



Common sense out the window

What a terrible era we live in when common sense has gone out the window everywhere and real headline news can be discraded by trivia.

A word misinterpreted to do with anything racist, human rights, immigration etc can lead to all sorts of people dominating the headlines when there is really nothing to dominate.

Swarming - of course the English dictionary will tell you it refers to insects and animals but it will also include the following - moving mass of people, to move quickly and in large numbers, and to be overrun. Can it be that the objectors have less knowledge of English spelling than the PM (or most of us). Would any lorry driver over there disagree?

As for the Calais problem and the sticking plaster help now offered by the PM because it would need a full Parliament to be able to OK a more serious response, I would suspect that there are still quite a few people alive that will remember Second World War Pearl Harbour when the place was heavily bombmed and the American fleet sunk because the military were away for the week end! Do we ever learn?


Middlestone Close


Shocked by lack of market stalls

My wife and I were in Yarmouth last weekend and decided to do a bit of shopping in the town.

It was raining so our first stop was Palmers for a coffee, delicious as usual, and sitting there we recalled the days of the Kenya Coffee Bar, which we Grammar School boys were not allowed to visit in school uniform!

After coffee a visit to the market was on the cards and, if the rain held off, a portion of delicious market chips. However we could not believe our eyes when we found there was no market!

My immediate thought was that was another nail in the coffin of Yarmouth, shops closing left right and centre and the sea front most dismal, what a difference from the 60s when we grew up in the town, shows galore and the town was alive for most of the evening. When enquiring at the chip stall about the market we were told that Health & Safety decreed that if the wind reached a certain speed the market could not proceed, I think I’ve heard it all now. And why couldn’t M&S have used their existing store for a food store on the ground floor and a coffee shop on the first floor?

Ah well I suppose it’s what you call progress



I still love the A47 marshes

Don’t worry Mr Odetola, I’ll still love the Halvergate Marshes even if the Acle Straight is dualled.


Falcon Court

Great Yarmouth

Do you give your car a nickname?

If you have a car does it have an affectionate nickname? Many of us enjoy browsing through the Advertiser on Thursdays. We can check on entertainment or somewhere different to eat out. Something else may just catch the eye and be worth finding out about . To see the photo of the 1935 Morris 8 Tourer named Nancy on page 69 had just that effect on me. Vintage cars may be of wuite some interest. My dad’s first car in 1928 was a new baby Austin. After the First World War, which he only just survived, he was proud to drive it around a bit in north London. Later in 1938, moving to Luton, probably saved out lives from the following blitz. In peacetime 1946 he bought a Ford. It was good to take a first trip to the seaside at Gorleston.

Perhaps ‘Following in Father’s Footsteps’ as an old music hall song suggested, the Morris 10/4 was bought for £50. That was from a grant of £95 towards becoming a primary teacher. Previously being a clerk in a timber merchants was interrupted. As a clerk on compulsory national service the RAF certainly widened my horizons. Some people think it could, should, still happen. Many 18 year olds naturally hated being in it but some realised the value of experience. They flew me to southern Rhodesia where driving lessons were taken. On the strip roads drivers had to move off to one side for any oncoming traffic. After passing drivers dusted themselves down!

With no car, on demobilisation, with nothing in mind as a teacher training student, in two summer holidays the Morris I’d bought helped me drive down to Torquay. Working for Devon General as a bus conductor helped earn some cash twice for six weeks. Staying at the YMCA, long since closed, helped with the cost of living. The car was sold in 1958 for the same price, £50!

Luton became Mundesley in April 1977. A Ford Popular was inherited from dad who died in 1960. This car was followed in turn, as many people do, with improved makes of second hand ones. As well as to work daily from 1960, a Volvo took the family from almost Land’s End to John O’Groats. When a rare fault developed in the present car, seeing all the electrical wiring behind the dashboard, almost made me wish I’d kept the first one!

Of course a car may mean different things to different people if they have one, Even without any famous connections like that of Christopher Timothy in All Creatures Great and Small, it can be more important for the fleciability fcator compared with public transport. Two famous comedians someone may also remember, Flaners and Swann, used to sing about ‘The Status Symbol’. My first lady first rather surprisingly said ‘I’m glad your car isn’t your god!’. Apparentely her first boyfriends thought his was. Is there more to a car than meets the eye? The famous comedian Dave Allen always used to end his performance with ‘goodnight and may your god go with you!’.


Mill Lane


Look out for fire service pictures

I have been a Norfolk Fire Service enthusiast for twenty five years next year. To mark my twenty five years as an enthusiast I’m planning to write a book on Norfolk Fire Service over the years. I’m looking for some old photographs of appliances, fire stations past and present. Also some old fleet list and any photos of any major fires in the county over the years. Please contact me via email or 26 Weavers Croft, Harleston, Norfolk IP20 9PY



Get out of the office council!

I read with disgust that GYBC have decided to bring in and pay outside consultants to tell us what is wrong with our town centre. It doesn’t take that amount of money to see the problem. The council should get out of their cosy offices and talk to the real people of the town to find out at grass roots what is needed and lacking. We all know the issues (parking) that brings people into town and boosts the economy, whether it is business or pleasure. Toilets, well that needs no explaining or does it? All the banks moving into the Market Place taking retail space, no shops = no people. The high rent and rates charged by GYBC, our long standing Wednesday and Saturday market almost non existent . My question to GYBC is; why are we paying the council to do a job and balance the books and sort out this problem if they aren’t able to do it? And will these employees of the town be dismissed when we get the ‘consulting whizz kids’ in? And don’t get me started on permit parking, what a shambles that is, they take your money and it’s pot luck if you can find a parking space...!


Shops are open long enough

I think shops are already open quite long enough as it is it is without adding any more hours to their schedules. Such a move as the chancellor suggests will only add more pressure to family life in an already critically stressed society. Community ‘down time’ is good for us all.Amongst other thinks it gives us time for our loved ones and helps to remind us that there is more to life than acquisition and making a buck!


Chilli sauce to solve gull havoc

As the seagulls continue to wreak havoc, I have come up with ten possible solutions to the problem, some of them tried and tested and others a little more fanciful. In Devizes in Wiltshire the local authority is funding programmes to remove and smash the eggs on the one hand and to use hawks to drive the seagulls away from populated areas on the other. In Bath they use eagle owls and several authorities in other parts of the country are considering the use of special paint to stop the birds settling and building nests. Aerial drones, metal birds to attach to rooftops and spikes on roofs, as currently employed at Market Gates to solve the pigeon problem, have also been mooted. Hot chilli sauce on food and issuing all children of school age with high-powered water pistols, which I gather the birds don’t like at all, are other possibilities. My particular favourite, courtesy of Father Ted, is loudspeakers on roofs and in trees playing songs by Val Doonican and Max Bygraves day and night to really scare the critters away. MIKE SPRAGG Collingwood Road Great Yarmouth

Upgrades are not rocket science

Well done to the campaigners in Winterton raising £15,000 to overhaul the children’s new play area. Shame on the local council for not providing the rubbish bins and charging to have them emptied. These people raised the money for play area equipment, saving the council alot of money, but oh no, that’s not enough they cant even provide rubbish bins for free. I have only lived in the area for six months and I get the impression the local council don’t want to do anything for the local people, look at the public toilets fiasco getting local businesses to take over the running of them and then charging them for doing so. They have tens of thousands of pounds to give a company to tell them how Great Yarmouth can be improved, just ask the people, it’s not rocket science and it’s free. MALCOLM COLEMAN Hemsby

Consultants add to local sense

I would use consultants to review and report back as to how to improve the Market Place area. I would suspect their (consultancy) contract will have a terms of reference that will require them to engage with business, public and users. It will also require them to comment on the experience of other similar towns seeking revitalisation of the high street, what funding is available from UK and European bodies, demographics and transport links etc. ‘Just asking the public’ is only part of the overall exercise, you want competent consultants to collate and present the wide range of issues in a comprehensible report, rather than relying on a council employee with good Excel skills and ideas from the Mercury letters page to cobble together a ‘fag-packet’ report. An example in just looking inwardly at a problem when a wider view of similar problems is the issue of free parking, a good read is the recent experience of Cardigan Council, where the whole pay and display stopped working this month because of vandalism [which resulted in people spending more time in the town centre]. I offer this as an example as to whilst we think we know what is best for us, perhaps employing outside agency to use their wider vision and experience just might add something to that local common sense.


Ta Cilla, for all the laughter

Another great artist from the baby boomer era has passed away this week - Cilla Black aged 72. The tributes have been pouring in thick and fast this week for the entertainer labelled the girl next door. I never actually met her but I did see her perform at the London Palladium in 1964. Her magnetic personality shone through the performance when she said: “Join in or I’ll murder ya!!” One could go on endlessly about the songs she sang including two number one hits; Anyone Who Had a Heart and You’re My World. Although the first was a cover of a Dionne Warwick standard, Cilla stamped her own personality all over it. Not many singers could achieve that and at the time it was the biggest selling single by a British female artist in this country. Some younger readers may not even have realised she had been a singer before becoming a television personality. Her Saturday evening shows like Blind Date and Surprise! Surprise! at their peak hit 22m viewers, a figure unheard of today. She once appeared on the Eammon Andrews TV show on ITV in 1965 where Bing Crosby was the guest star. He wished the best of luck for her future as she had said “I’m not young I’m 22!” And can anyone remember her appearing in Great Yarmouth in 1984? In conclusion all I can say is, Cilla you brought us a lorra lorra laughs and a lorra lorra love, why everyone loved you a lorra lorra. Ta-ra chuck..and thanks. ALAN THOMPSON Webbs Close North Walsham

Don’t follow the littering trend!

Oh dear, how sad. Yet once again we read about the ongoing problem with litter etc on the streets of Great Yarmouth, that was highlighted in last week’s Mercury where readers expressed their concerns that the council in not addressing the problem, they are legally obliged to keep the streets clean. I appreciate that litter is a national problem and it is the inconsiderate public who drop their rubbish, but does Great Yarmouth have to follow the trend? You will not attract visitors to the borough if all they see is untidy places. I am aware that with financial cuts the council has to budget carefully, but we pay our council tax and it is not too much to ask for the borough to be cleaner? It must be very disheartening for residents to have to live like this. If the salaries of the highly paid executives and managers was reduced and that saving spent of employing more operatives on the ground then maybe we can, once again, say GREAT Yarmouth, but this is unlikely to happen. I spend a lot of time picking up other people’s rubbish, this is not my job but I take pride in the environment. If a town is kept clean and looks good then it sets an example which could stop people dropping rubbish. I have had my moan! R SMITH email

Register office needs to move

Being a registrar for ten years I do feel that I am in a position to add insight into the major problems with the registry office in Great Yarmouth library. The story told by the Great Yarmouth Mercury, Radio Norfolk and the letters and comments page in the paper are all true and it is no point pretending it is not happening. I have watched as people have used the outside of the library as a public toilet and no matter what they do to cover the cracks it will not improve the situation. The staff that work at the Registry office are some of the finest colleges I have ever worked with it is not there fault they are let down by higher management that believe that saving money is more important than looking after the needs and caring for the customers. The staff that work in the library do a wonderful job but the marriage of library. Salvation Army. and Registry Office doesn’t work and never will work. I am well aware that councillors from GYBC and NCC are working overtime to resolve this situation and give the once best run and organised part of the civil service back to its right full place. We need accommodation that is more suitable where when major moments in people lives can be conducted in a building which truly reflects the importance and gravitas of the occasion. The cost if nothing is done and a major incident happens in or outside the library doesn’t bare thinking about. To all the party’s involved make this move happen and show that there are people in power that care and want to give Great Yarmouth people what they deserve. MALCOLM LAKE Stokesby

Snails should take home move

I read with interest about the residents living on the Acle New Road, I really feel sorry for them with all the noise of the traffic, obviously they are not in a position to have double glazing and should accept the free offer of allocating to a new home.