Your Letters and Opinions, January 12, 2018

Roundabout and lights are no-go

With reference to the so-called improvements to the A47, I see the planners have agreed to traffic lights on the Links Road/Beaufort Way roundabout.

This has been sanctioned by GYBC which is investing £2.8m of public money for the project as stated by the leader of the council Graham Plant.

I would like to bring to the council’s attention that roundabouts were designed to maintain a steady flow of traffic coming from adjoining roads and were never intended to include lights. This has been proven to having a detrimental effect to drivers causing unnecessary build up and delays which we have been experiencing for a number of years at the Gapton Hall roundabout during peak times and through the holiday periods.

There actually have been a few occasions when these lights have been out of action which resulted in a steady flow of traffic and not creating tailbacks to the Harfreys roundabout, much relief to motorists at the time! GYBC and the highways agency should have learnt from this, but sadly not.

This project at Links Road will still go ahead anyway without any previous public consultation especially with people who have to commute along this road on a day to day basis. I can foresee in the future traffic queues will possibly be backed up to the Hopton roundabout during peak times, also I feel that ambulances trying to get to James Paget will also be delayed which could have tragic consequences.

This so-called upgrade is to accommodate the 700 houses being built in the vicinity; that does raise further issues with regard to the overall housing development taking place in the area, but I am confident both county and borough councils have already got plans to increase the infrastructure including expansion to the James Paget Hospital, increased schools, doctors surgeries etc to maintain and improve the quality of life within the region!

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Perhaps the local press could challenge the council on these issues.



I can predict summer weather

With the year only just starting, may I stick out my neck and forecast a rather uncomfortable summer to come because of high pressures pushing deeper into the northern hemisphere.


Gonville Road,


Put beach huts back on beach

Beach huts at Gorleston, what a great idea. How about putting real beach huts back on the beach. It would make Gorleston unique and very popular again, anything else would have the opposite effect and spoil the look of the prom again.



Let’s have news of the positives

I often wish that newspapers had a small section headed ‘News to upset you’ which I could then miss altogether, along with those other things I avoid like the plague, like Brexit, the Royal Family, the latest film releases and so on.

The new section would include such things as forthcoming major roadworks, shop closures, cancelled operations, hospital parking charges, dangers that drivers face, Third World travel on the railways, that sort of thing.

This might also free up more space for pieces lauding the many positive local initiatives and endeavours which are taking place in different fields, sporting and otherwise, all of them helping to make the community a much better place in which to live.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Hospital review was ‘excellent’

Amidst all the recent drama of over-full NHS hospitals and misery, justified in most cases I admit, this little story came to me from an elderly friend of mine. It was Christmas Eve and my friend had enjoyed a day with family and friends. She was safely delivered back to her Grouped Homes bungalow and having assured her relative that she would be fine, she was left to make the promised cup of tea. Unfortunately, she slipped from her armchair to the floor and, unable to reach her necklace alarm or any alarm cords, there she remained all night until 11am Christmas Day when she was due to be collected for Christmas lunch. Seeing her through the window, this relative sent for an ambulance and my friend was rushed off to James Paget A&E and then into a ward for assessment.

Following treatment, a short time in Lowestoft for rehabilitation, she is now back home and well on the way to recovery. When I called on her, she had just filled in the hospital evaluation sheet with a row of “excellents” and was full of the wonderful, kind staff who had helped her. The physiotherapist had shaken her hand and told her he had enjoyed working with her.

She is a lovely lady and would have been a good patient but even so, I emphasise that this was Christmas Day 2017 and I don’t think we hear enough about this side of the NHS.



Using wonderful town Minster

The winter series of lunchtime recitals at the Minster commenced on Wednesday, January 3, with a piano recital given by John Farmer.

About an hour before the recital our usual press reporter contacted us to that she was unable to get into Great Yarmouth. It would be a shame if no review of this excellent recital was recorded. I am not qualified to give a music review but I am able to tell you about the recital, so I am sending this as a Letter to the Editor.

We were treated to a variety of wonderful piano music, Prelude and Fugue in G major (Bach), Sonata in Bflat (Mozart), 1st Bacarolle (Faure) Prelude in c’minor, (Rachmaninoff) Clair de Lune (Debussy) and finally the extremely tuneful and uplifting Jasmine (Billy Mayerl), with a few short, very interesting, introductions before each work.

It is true to say this was a happy occasion, the audience enjoying refreshments before the recital followed by the musical feast, and yes, keeping warm in the heated part of the church.

Martyn Marshall, our new director of music welcomed everyone to the Minster and afterwards thanked John, for giving of his time and talents. The next recital is on Wednesday, February 7, details will be in the press and Facebook (Music at the Minster).

These Wednesday recitals have become a traditional part of the Minster Life (first Wednesday of the month until June, when they will be weekly), it is good to see and get to know the people who attend, and usually new faces each week. All part of using and making known our wonderful Great Yarmouth Minster.



Disappointed at allowances vote

On Monday we lost our Labour and Lib/Dem motion to rescind last month’s decision to increase Norfolk county councillors allowances by an above inflation rate.

Again I spoke out against this increase, because at a time when so many services, jobs and lives are at threat - I believe that any other decision is morally incomprehensible.

I was truly disappointed to see the number of empty seats in the chamber and listen to the various self-protecting speeches and comments. Most of all I am angry at the fact that Norfolk’s residents have been let down.

I hope that those residents across Great Yarmouth remember this week when it comes to making important decisions in May’s Borough Council elections.

We all deserve better.


Labour, Nelson and Southtown

How will we find this extra money?

What on earth is the leader of the Tories at County Hall, Cliff Jordan, thinking of to agree with the six per cent rise in the council tax. How are the pensioners and lower paid going to afford £70 or more per month, yet Cliff Jordan and some of his councillors want to raise their expenses, they are all greedy.

How can they expect the rest of us to find this extra money? It’s peanuts to them. Yet Cliff Jordan and his cronies want to raise their expenses.

If he did not put their expenses up our council tax would not be put up by so much. Maybe the voters come this year’s elections will remember what he has done and not vote him in again or his fellow councillors as they are not thinking of their electorate.


Groomes Close,

Hopton on Sea

Reconsider town bowls facilities

Now the sale of Browston Hall has been finalised we have learned the new owners will no longer be providing a bowls facility at the venue. This leaves Great Yarmouth Indoor Bowls Club, at the Marina Centre, as the only club in the borough.

In a few years time when the new leisure centre is completed, and the Marina demolished, we too will cease to exist, as we have been told there will be no provision of a bowls rink in the new build.

The council must now reconsider its decision and either include a bowls facility, or provide the people of Yarmouth with a bowls venue elsewhere. The Sport and Leisure Strategy Report stated there was a requirement for at least 10 rinks in the borough, and this situation would leave us with none, so something must be done.

The club at Browston Hall has roughly 300 members so after this April they will be seeking somewhere to play the sport they love. Hopefully Great Yarmouth Indoor Bowls Club will have its membership increased considerably, making the statement we are not viable financially null and void.

Obviously some of the players will choose to go outside the borough and join either Acle or Lowestoft, but we should still gain enough bowlers to swell our ranks. The borough council surely has an obligation to provide its citizens with the opportunity to take part in the various sports they enjoy, keeping fit and healthy at the same time and avoiding being a burden on the NHS.

Come on Great Yarmouth Borough Council, have a rethink and do the right thing!


Chairperson, GYIBC

Congratulations to panto team

Having once again attended the last performance of St George’s pantomime, Dick Whittington, I would like to congratulate all of the cast, stage and production members. And of course, not forgetting all the voluntary helpers.

This was another wonderful production of the old favourite, with lots of ad-libbing from the cast, and indeed even setting the condition within the theatre to a cold, nearly freezing condition as that of Ye Olde London Town at the time.

Looking forward to next year’s show of The Wizard of Oz.


Alderson Road,

Great Yarmouth

My father was Harold, not Horace

In his column last week, Peggotty wrongly called my late father Horace Reynolds. In fact, his name was Harold (“Harry”) Reynolds who was head of the North Denes school, then the “special school” which included the Swindell.

I was at the Swindell from 1942 while my father was head of a “comprehensive” school in the old Grammar School buildings.

He was rather more than the “supremo” for the National Savings in the borough because he was actually on the national committee representing Eastern England. Because of this, he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

He lived in Blake Road, and was the senior football referee for Norfolk, always refereeing the Norfolk Senior Cup final and often on the line at national Division One matches in London and elsewhere.

In those days this was an amateur activity; I think he got a travelling allowance... and a free seat for me!

My wife Maureen and I really enjoy Peggotty’s articles, so often reminding us of our younger days.


Arnott Avenue,


Anniversary of the circus invention

Roll up! Roll Up! This year is the 250th anniversary of that great British invention, the circus. A whole series of events around the UK will celebrate Circus 250 in which Great Yarmouth with its world famous Hippodrome will play a leading role having been such an important part of the story for almost 120 years.

What better way to start the year than the annual Christmas and New Year show which was such a superb example of the fact that circus never loses its appeal or fails to amaze and surprise?

Jack Jay and his family once again came up with a show of the highest possible quality which included the debut of the unassuming yet vastly talented and original Spanish clown Hugo who was both amusing and touching at the same time.

As someone who has enjoyed the Hippodrome for well over 60 years I can honestly say this was a magical and spectacular experience which bodes well for this special year and the pride we can all share in having Yarmouth in the spotlight.


Lowestoft Road,


No bus service for seven weeks!

I have just noticed a sign on a bus stop on Mariners Compass, Gorleston stating that there will be no buses for seven weeks. The bus service normally runs along Gorleston Marine Parade onto Yallop Avenue onto Links Road, onto Mariners Compas then onto Kennedy Avenue then into the James Paget Hospital.

I find it is a disgrace that this service has been suspended for seven weeks due to the roadworks on the A47.

What is stopping the bus running along Kennedy Avenue onto Bridge Road and turning right onto the A47 and back along to the hospital.

A lot of elderly people living on the Cliff Park estate rely on the bus service.

What are Great Yarmouth councillors thinking allowing this to happen? Oh sorry, it does not affect them so they don’t care only when it comes to elections. Well all I can say is quite a few councillors better look out as they will be voted off the council come the May elections



It’s councillors who serve us!

I don’t often feel the need to write to a newspaper but in the case of the mass of roadworks happening in our borough – well I must.

Why is it all going on at the same time? My elderly neighbour was in tears today as she allowed herself an hour to get on the bus on Southtown Road to go to the James Paget for a hospital appointment, but the bus was stuck in traffic for miles she said, crawling along.

She couldn’t get off and walk to the hospital because she isn’t medically able to do so. She was in tears by the time she reached the hospital – 15 minutes past her allotted appointment time.

Fortunately the staff were caring and considerate and she was slotted in when they could so she didn’t have a completely wasted journey.

There are roadworks all around Yarmouth and now in Gorleston. And I hear the Cliff Park estate bus service is being suspended for seven weeks for the roadworks on the A47. Surely there must be a diversion that could be put into place.

It’s all very well for councillors to tell us it has to be done ie the roadworks but how many councillors catch a bus? I use them all the time and have never seen a councillor on any of the buses I travel on, nor see them waiting at a bus stop. I suppose with their allowances they just take a convenient taxi!

Who is supposed to be serving who? I suspect councillors feel we should be serving them!

I can’t wait until the next borough elections come around and have my say with my vote.


Great Yarmouth

Stuck vehicle in Sophie search

I am just replying in defence of the picture of the jeep on Caister beach last week,

The letter writer was saying about the tracks she had seen and how the authorities should be informed, Since Boxing Day the jeep had gone each day from

the harbour to near Caister checking for signs of missing Sophie Smith. It makes me feel

sad when people look at something and always assume it has to be

bad without trying to find out what’s really going on, is this a reflection of how people think today?