Great Yarmouth Mercury Letters, November 21, 2014

Can you shed light on Rotary?

In December 1924 a group of Great Yarmouth businessmen applied to establish a Rotary Club in the town. At that time Rotary was a new and expanding world organisation.

Among the early members were Edward Walter Taplin (president), Frank Robert Boyd Howard (vice president), George Reginald Talbot (secretary) and Spencer Arnold (treasurer). Committee members were Messrs F E Baird, E C Bellamy, P M Elton, E H Johnson and G P H Poll. When the club was first formed it was the 174th Rotary in the UK and the 1,885th in the world, there are now thousands in the UK and millions in the world. Yarmouth must have been an active business centre in the 1920’s!

In March 2015 the club will be celebrating its 90th anniversary and we would like to contact any local people who may have a family, business or other connection with any of our founders.

If you can shed any light on the early days of the Rotary Club or its members please contact me on 01493 732460 or email



Most Read

Crackdown call on school run

Recent local news reported on irresponsible parking by parents driving children to school.

Taking my grandson to Woodlands First School every morning I always park on Green Lane and we walk the rest of the way through St Nicholas Gardens, taking us five minutes at the most.

Every morning we find what I can only describe as lazy, arrogant young women, often driving 4x4’s or similar large cars, driving onto the grass verges along this narrow entrance road, and even across the pavement, making us walk into the road, or across the churned up muddy grass.

One morning last week the situation was very much worse, as with the heavy rain all were pushing their way through to get a space as close as possible to the school entrance, and with total disregard to the safety of parents and children who were walking in the rain.

May I suggest a PCSO should be positioned in this area on school days pointing out to these drivers their inconsiderate and possibly illegal driving/parking is a danger to other parents and children who are walking to school.

Name and Address withheld

Dualling alone is not the answer

In 2001 the Norwich to Great Yarmouth trunk road improvements study was released for consultation. The average flow of vehicles along the Acle Straight then was 17,000 daily and 71 accidents in the previous five years.

The recommendations then were to dual the A47 from Blofield to Burlingham with a junction strategy at the White House. To improve the capacity of traffic onto the A12 at the Breydon junction by dualling the road from the Vauxhall bend.

It also considered a A149 link road from Vauxhall to join the A149 at the Caister roundabout which would also open an area for potential employment land. I have lived in the Acle area all my 65 years and know this road very well and still see these recommendations as relevant today.

Dualling the Straight without these improvements is a waste of time and many millions of pounds. The 20-minute queue into Yarmouth every day is traffic going over Breydon Bridge not into the town, and creating an extra lane for this would make big improvements.

Average speed cameras at Acle and Yarmouth would slow down the idiots who travel over 60mph and overtake at any opportunity, which is the major cause of accidents on this route. Yes, moving the dykes back 10 metres may help, with very little effect on wildlife and creating more laybys to allow farm traffic to pull over is a must.

A third river crossing on South Quay will help dilute the lorry traffic but it will send much of it onto the A143 and A12, so Gorleston and Bradwell beware.

The A149 link road if built will dispel some local traffic and create another bridge through an area once annexed to Acle and known as “Nowhere” and could be utilised in the Bure Loop area for water sports if a shallow broad was constructed.

The bottom line is calling to dual the Acle Straight is not feasible unless major other work is carried out first.




Jobless figures are not full story

In his recent Mercury column, Brandon Lewis claimed a 33pc drop in the unemployment count for this area. He did not state explicitly that these people had found work but that was the implication. A couple of weeks ago, Chris Wright raised a series of questions which suggested all is not what it seems regarding the jobless figures.

None of his questions appear to have been answered by either Brandon Lewis or the DWP/Jobcentre.

I would like to pick up one of Mr Wright’s points, namely that people are being forced off the claimant count regardless of whether they have work or not. The fact is that the DWP is deliberately making it difficult for anyone to comply with the conditions to receive Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and is applying disproportionate sanctions for those who put the slightest foot wrong.

Examples include claimants being ordered to traipse from store to store asking for work and asking the manager to sign a note to confirm they had been there. To their credit, all the managers refused to do this.

In another case, a claimant had to sign in every day and carry out several hours of job searching online. Every minute of this time had to be accounted for including journey times.

I know of a case where a would-be claimant experienced such rudeness in the Jobcentre that he couldn’t face continuing his legitimate claim and didn’t go back.

So where do people turn when hit with these harsh penalties? Apart from family and payday lenders, the answer is the foodbank. I believe there are currently five of these in this area, run by local churches, Salvation Army and other charitable organisations. The fact that The Jobcentre is aware of the details of these foodbanks suggests these are part of government policy.

By stealth, the social security safety net is being removed and people are forced to rely on charity.

I challenge Brandon Lewis and the managers of Yarmouth Jobcentre to deny that a large percentage of the drop in claimant figures is due to the above facts. Give the figures for unemployment before the current regime began and let’s see what effect it has had. There is simply no way that so many jobs could be created in this area. I would also ask Jobcentre staff to blow the whistle on these practices. They have an individual responsibility for their actions, whether or not employed by the State. I’m sure the Mercury would respect anonymity.



What is cost of police presence?

Further to the article in a recent edition of the Mercury from the head of the Great Yarmouth High School. What a sad indictment of the comprehensive education system, that a once proud Grammar School’s discipline is so poor that a police presence has to be maintained at the school, presumably to keep order, as evidenced by a police vehicle permanently parked outside the school during school hours.

Surely this is a shocking waste of very scarce police resources, as evidenced by the comments of Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, regarding the budget cuts he is having to make. It would be enlightening to know how much this regular police presence at the school, is costing the ratepayers of the town and county?



Very nice except for the graffiti

Whereas they don’t get everything right the council has gotten most things right about Gorleston seafront. However, we are told the newly refurbished Roman shelters are 100 years old, well graffiti is a great deal older than that so why didn’t they finish off the build in anti-graffiti paint, or is this a social project encouraging freedom of expression that I’m certainly not aware of?



‘Friendly, quirky’ town a delight

On the weekend of November 7, myself and five friends came to Norfolk for a weekend away to celebrate one of our numbers 40th birthday. Whilst there we spent a day and evening in the town of Gorleston - I wanted to write to express to you both how much we loved this town!

Not only is the beach stunning, but Gorleston seemed to retain a special charm. From beautiful buildings and independent businesses to quirky streets and eclectic decorations - we just loved the place.

Obviously we could also see that parts were a little in need of repair and some TLC but which town isn’t?

However the most important part were the people. Between the six of us we have travelled far and wide but the people of Gorleston maybe the friendliest we’ve ever met. From the two kindest taxi drivers (they showed us where the police station was just in case!) who came back out at the end of the night to take us back, even though their shifts had finished; to the lovely staff at the Number 1 Bar and Kitchen who made us so welcome (not to mention their gorgeous food and cocktails!); and finally the amazing night we had at the Pavilion - what a venue and again such kind, helpful staff.

We didn’t set out to end up in Gorleston for the birthday outing, but how glad Helen, Liz, Claire, Shell, Angie and myself are that we did. We are sure to be back!



Plea for a bit more planning

Having read the befitting coverage the Great Yarmouth Mercury gave this week to the Act of Remembrance Parade, it seems that the general conscience of opinion is that the people who organised the event are in denial. Most of the letters support the article by Lucy Clapman and confirm the disappointment the general public felt at the unannounced change of venue which left “hundreds” stranded in St Georges Park and all because of no “forward planning”.

Twenty years of complacency could, however, not have predicted or catered to the estimated three thousand that turned up at the Minster. This was in contrast to the usual thousand, at most, that attend the Cenotaph each year on Remembrance Sunday. But please British Legion can we have, as Rev Terry is quoted as saying, “a bit more planning” next year? (In case it again rains).


West Caister

Not convinced over 180 homes

Through your paper I would like to make a public apology to Brandon Lewis’s “little helpers”. In a letter from me, printed in the Great Yarmouth Mercury some weeks ago, I was a little condescending regards the lack of reply from that direction to a request of mine. They have now supplied the information I sought, although it contains a proviso!

I had originally asked the Town Hall for information to justify the need to build the 180 homes in Caister but was told by them that I would need to apply for that information under the “Freedom of Information Act” as it was “confidential.”

The letter I have received from the Brandon Lewis Office has a copy of the reply from the Town Hall which contains the information I sought.

Unfortunately I am unable to share this information as a clause in the letter says “Unauthorised disclosure or use of such information may be a breach of legislation or confidentiality.”

Suffice it to say that the information contained in this letter does not convince me that the proposed 180 houses to built in Caister can be justified unless the infrastructure is improved first.

David G Morrice


West Caister

Parents should be ashamed

Who are the idiots who vandalised the emergency phone at North Denes on Saturday evening?

What goes through the mind of these youngsters, ripping the phone out and throwing it on the dunes, attempting to get into the Coastwatch tower?

Why can’t they find something worthwhile to do with their time?

They know who they are, they and their parents should hang their heads in shame.



In and out within

twenty mintues

This week I attended the Fracture Clinic at the JPH.

I arrived twenty minutes early, to find the waiting area almost full. I have to confess that I anticipated a very long wait, so I made myself comfortable on one of the few unoccupied chairs, grateful that I had thought to bring a book.

To my surprise, my name was called exactly at the time of my appointment. The doctor checked my x-rays, and recommended that the plaster cast on my wrist should be replaced with a splint. Using a fearsome looking gadget, a member of the Plaster Room Team quickly and painlessly removed the cast and fitted the splint. I was walking out towards my bus within twenty minutes.

Well done JPH. That was absolutely brilliant.

Peter Upton


New buses will improve service

I write in reply to Carol Baldwin’s letter (Why does our bus not arrive? Friday, November 14).

I am sorry to hear about the problems you have encountered with our service 6.

On Tuesday, November 4, the bus operated to time and completed the full route picking passengers up. This has been confirmed via our comprehensive vehicle tracking and ticket machine information.

On Friday, November 7 the bus failed to operate due to a mechanical failure, which we would like to apologise for. We have recently launched six brand new state of the art vehicles in the town which operate on routes 4, 5, 6 and 7. This represents a major investment from First Eastern Counties and shows our commitment to providing the best possible transport to those who live in and visit the town. These new vehicles have replaced some of the older single deck vehicles in the fleet.

Once again, we ask Ms Baldwin, and any other passengers who were affected, to please accept our apologies.


Operations manager

First Eastern Counties

Einstein gave us food for thought

As the media continues to remind us of the First World War I recall an incident many years ago when a friend introduced me to her German husband.

We shook hands and then, rather emotionally, alluding to the Second World War, he said: “A few years back you and I would have been told that we were enemies and expected to kill on another.” I got the message!

While acknowledging sectarian and religious conflicts did Einstein provide us with a clue when he said: “Nationalism: an infertile sickness and measles of the human race.”?

Would it be a more effective tribute to the falled if we reflected on this?


Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

Thank you all for saving my life

A very big thank you to King Street surgery paramedic and ambulance crews, air ambulance, police, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and Papworth Hospital for saving my life. Also a big thank you to family and friends for their best wishes and cards.

I am now on the road to recovery.


Great Yarmouth

Knitting wool to spare anyone?

I wonder if any of your readers have any unused knitting wool that they no longer need. The Louise Hamilton Centre would be very grateful to it to be used by their volunteer knitters to raise funds.

If anyone can help please call Brenda Taylor on 01493 857707.


Great Yarmouth

The lodge was so different then

When I read your article on St. Pauls Lodge it took my mind back to how different it was in the 1950/60’s when it was run by Miss Badar and Miss Gwotkins. Pregnant girls would spend six weeks at the lodge before giving birth at the old Yarmouth hospital, and then another six weeks caring for their baby. If they didn’t have a supportive family the babies would be taken away for adoption, which was heartbreaking after bonding for six weeks. The girls had to be up early, even if they had night feeds, to do household chores!



Please reinforce road safety tips

There was a near accident this afternoon near the Methodist Church on Magdalen Way, Gorleston. A young girl ran across the road to the corner of Magdalen Square (where the houses are) in front of a car and it was only due to the quick reactions of the driver that she wasn’t injured. He braked, swerving to the left, as she placed her hand on the car and ran round it, barely breaking stride. She was dressed in the uniform of Ormiston Academy, probably about 13yrs old, but so intent on getting home/meeting her friends/etc that she forgot about the dangers. Please remind your children, no matter what age they are, to ‘Stop, look and listen’ when crossing the road, it could have been your teenager hurt!


Nuffield Crescent


Cheer on team in landmark match

Caister FC is playing Kings Lynn Town FC on Wednesday at Emerald Park, Gorleston, kick off at 7.45pm. You are invited to attend this landmark match for the Caister Club, entry is free.

Having won two previous games in this competition Caister FC will play a club ranked higher than Great Yarmouth and Gorleston and in Norfolk football are second only to Norwich City FC in status in the county.

A large crowd is expected and we hope for many past players and supporters to cheer on the team to a famous victory, perhaps.

We cannot charge admission as this will trigger large costs for opponents travel so we are looking for gate donations, programme sales and raffle income to help with costs of the game. Raffle prize donations still open!

Each season the club secures sponsorship from local businesses and individuals in order to meet the significant costs of competing in senior football. Why not join us? Details will be supplied on request via the chairman Pat Hacon on 07717 880697 or via


Chariman Caister FC

Such a nice little shop well done!

Crafts, Gifts and More located opposite the Great Yarmouth Mercury offices is a fantastic opportunity to see and buy gifts and crafts that are all made by local people. A truly worthwhile showcase for all handcrafters.

Congratulations to Emma for a very unique idea. Well done Emma and Mark, long may you continue.


Beach Road,