Let's promote sporting excellence

WE eat a lot of breakfast cereal in our house so I thought it would be a good idea to buy those brands that were giving away vouchers for free sports and activities - feed the kids and get a free day out - what could be better.

WE eat a lot of breakfast cereal in our house so I thought it would be a good idea to buy those brands that were giving away vouchers for free sports and activities - feed the kids and get a free day out - what could be better.

On searching the websites for places to use our vouchers I was a little disappointed, to put it mildly, to find no activities available in the Great Yarmouth area. If you want to use a Kellogg's free swim voucher you have to travel a minimum of 20 miles from Bradwell to get to the nearest participating venue, likewise for Nestle Go Free! vouchers.

Why should we have to travel this far when there are some excellent sports clubs and venues on our doorstep? I don't know how you get involved but this was an opportunity that has definitely been missed. It could have promoted Yarmouth's sporting excellence (as seen in the Mercury's sporting pages each week), helped to improve resident's health and encourage more visitors to the area.

I would like to ask those that promote Yarmouth to think outside the box and promote something other than the Golden Mile. We are not just a place for tourists and holidays!

It's great to see that we are the training camp for beach volleyball for London 2012 and I await with interest to see whether under-16s will get free swimming in the next year.

As for my unused vouchers, I found a home for them on ebay. Not my original intention for them but they paid for a day out anyway!

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Chestnut Avenue


READERS may like to know that there will be another campaign group to object against the proposed Waveney Forest Gravel Pit Extraction. This group is made up of local naturalists who are all experts in their field who are searching for every scrap of information on the species of flora and fauna present. Birds, mammals, butterflies and plants are very well recorded but it is the fungi other insects and less known subjects that will be studied and recorded as well.

I am particularly interested in any records from the 1950s to the present and will be looking for local natural history clubs and bird clubs to help us produce the ultimate species list to show just how important this site is to the wildlife there.

Rest assured no stone will be unturned and we will do as much as we can to protect this site for the future and for your pleasure. Anyone with any records can e mail me at benacre2001@yahoo.co.uk as well as anyone interested in joining me on recording trips in the woods.


APART from the time of the annual council elections, we usually hear little from the councillors, or would be councillors, who canvas our votes. We have in Caister apart from Marie Field, three other councillors, who so far seem to have no public view with regard to car parking charges at the beach car park. During this controversy I think we are entitled to know their opinions.

The issue is likely to be ignored by the council in the hope it will eventually be forgotten. Marie Field ought not to be on her own in this matter.


Hebrides Way


THERE are so many reasons why there is a desperate need for a dog warden in the Great Yarmouth area.

Dog fouling is a major problem, as are dogs in public areas not on a lead. For example, Beaconsfield playing field; on all entrances there is a sign saying dogs must be kept on a lead but as someone who lives next to this field, I see the first thing done by people entering the field is to let the dogs off lead and run free. I have seen so many fights between dogs. Recently a dog off the lead attacked a dog on a lead being walked by two young girls. Their dog was badly hurt and the girls went home crying. If it were a child who was attacked someone would be sent to supervise this area straight away. Do we really have to wait until an ambulance is called before something is done about this problem.

There are signs at every entrance to the cemeteries saying no dogs are allowed, but dog owners know nobody will stop them even though there is a threat of prosecution. Everywhere you go you see dog mess. On many occasions people pick up their dog's mess only if somebody is watching them, and then throw the bag on the floor afterwards. This is happening more and more.

If you have a dog, it is your responsibility to take care of what comes out, and not just what goes in.

As far as the council is concerned a dog warden costs money, but so does cleaning up dog mess. Until a warden is brought back to the streets of Yarmouth issuing fines this problem will never be reduced.

I do hope this letter will not just pass by because it represents thousands of people who want this problem reduced. And yes, I am a dog owner.


North Denes Road

Great Yarmouth

IN the interest of clarification, Hopton-on-Sea Parish Council wish to state that we are in detailed negotiations with The Church Commissioners regarding the purchase of St Margaret's Church Ruins in Hopton. These negotiations are ongoing.

For further clarification, one of the many conditions of purchase imposed by the Church Commissioners is that the area of land in which the ruins are situated cannot be used for any activity that would be in direct opposition to the Christian faith. That would certainly appear to exclude any of the activities that have received a certain amount of prominence in the press and media, recently.

We hope that this will put a stop to any further speculation which has caused some people to be very concerned about the future of this well known landmark.



Hopton-on-Sea Parish Council

RE Unpleasant Presents (Letters, September 5). I read in last week's letters about the story of the lady with dogs which leave little presents on the footpaths and driveways. I am a resident of Homefield Avenue and have seen the lady. In the past I have had a pile of dog mess left on my drive. I would ask she keeps her dogs on leads and off people's property.

Name and address withheld

THE “modern” behaviour guide for police officers unveiled last week instructed them that they had to be polite, tidy and courteous. Not to have designer stubble, jewellery through their noses, eyebrows, lips or tongues, wear make-up in moderation and not paint their nails in extreme colours. How times have changed. Dixon of Dock Green never had to worry about such disturbing issues!


Mill Lane


AS a long time resident of Bradwell who walks daily from my home to Bradwell Post Office via Mill Lane I am finding life very hard.

I find that cars are frequently parked on the footpath as some car owners are selling vehicles but due to the fact they have more than one car… amend that - several cars - they are unable to park them on their own property. Some car owners just park on the pavement as it seems much easier for them to do so rather than risk reversing in or out of their driveway on such a busy road. This means I have to make the choice of walking on that same busy road and risk being hit by a car or walking on the grass verge and risk walking in whatever “present” a lazy dog owner has left!

Why can't the drivers park on the grass verge if they must park off road and not use the appropriate driveway? I have noticed that most of the properties on that stretch of Mill Lane do have driveways and most of them are empty but still there are cars on the path.

I am not a car driver and fortunately do not have need of a wheelchair nor am I a “pram-pusher”, but if I was either I would need to use a different route as it would be impossible to use the Mill Lane footpath because of such inconsiderate behaviour of some car owners. I fail to see how constantly crossing such a busy road to be able to use the path would protect me from being hit by a car - cars using this road are frequently going faster than the speed limit - so I am at risk wherever I walk.

Is it against the law to obstruct a footpath? If so could the local council, police or whoever is responsible for such matters please sort it out?

Name and address withheld

BACK in the 1960's, gas was discovered in the North Sea, shortly followed by “Black Gold” crude oil off Aberdeen. The euphoria when gas came ashore at Bacton, the incessant media hype as to how well off the populace would become with such large deposits there for the taking.

Not easy task, countless men died, or were injured wresting the wealth from hundreds of feet below the North Sea and North Atlantic. There were men on rig standby vessels, supply ships, divers and those fearless men on the drilling rigs, not forgetting those tragic platform workers who died in the Piper Alpha explosion.

Is it too much to wish, after all that hardship, the revenue from the oil and gas would have been used in a responsible way, a way that would have benefited the country more than just two decades.

Those in charge have acted as children in a sweet shop, with complete disregard to the future needs. When oil was first flushed out off the Shetlands there was so much talk by each consecutive government as to how the British people would gain through the years to come.

But taxes gained from oil and gas was not used to enhance the lives of our children's children. Each consecutive government has squandered it to gain votes. Now we are left with nothing.

The French are the major shareholders in companies supplying our heat, but in France this company has its charges capped to a maximum of two per cent above inflation. Here in the UK we have no regulation, and heating costs are running at 19 per cent above inflation. The French company doesn't mind the lower profit margins in France, as our Government is allowing us to subsidise the French, and not seeming to care one hoot.

Where are we going? The French owns our water, yet in France where water is nearly free, ours is well above inflation.

Our gas in part comes from pipelines through the Eastern Bloc; the slightest troubleand we get cold.

Our manufacturing base is - what manufacturing base?

Thousands of houses are being flooded out, so why was not some of the oil and gas and water taxes used to ensure that drainage was large enough to take the water away with out danger of flooding. Even in West Africa where it's supposed to be nowhere as advanced as us, storm drains clear the tropical rains without flooding.

How much longer do we have to wait for someone in charge to make sure that the obscene profits made by oil, gas, electricity and water are capped with the public in mind, and not the fat cats holding shares.

We will wait until they grow turnips in the Arctic, because none of the MPs voted in by us really have our interests at heart. I shudder to think what will happen to my great-grandchildren, and yours.


Burnt Lane


I FEEL I must respond to the letter from Mr Constable in the Mercury (September 5) regarding the St Margaret Ruins at Hopton on Sea. I was desperately trying to stay out of the Buddhist, alien ley line debate, but these headline grabbers are way off track here. The whole idea of restoration of this village heritage is for the benefit of the village and its residents, not any one organisation. The end booking arrangements will be made by a management team who will have total control over who uses it, and when, and at what cost. In the meantime, anyone with a few thousand to spare can contact me and it will be put to good use.


Hopton on Sea

DOES the judge who jailed the mother of the little boy who couldn't/wouldn't go to school realise exactly what they have done to that child? I don't know this family or anything about them but here we have a boy who has been let down by his father, let down by his classmates because they chose to judge him by his father's standards, probably off the back of school gate gossip between parents.

He has been let down by the school for not stopping the bullying. He had one person left, someone who, rightly or wrongly protected him from all of this, his mother. And where is she? Oh yes, in prison for daring to stand up and care about her son.

I suppose we can be thankful that the blinkered, insensitive judge didn't go the whole hog and order the boy into care, but does he/she have any idea of the guilt he must now surely be feeling over the incarceration of his mum.

Now he has to go to school and deal with the taunts that both his parents are in prison. His mother now has a criminal record which will impede her chances of employment and a decent wage with which to provide for her family.

The judge has just made things 10 times worse both mother and child for so many reasons. The school has failed in the basic care and protection of this child and it is they, not mum that should be on the stand.

Name and address withheld

I HAVE recently moved into the area from Essex. During the summer season I have visited many public toilets and I have to say how very clean they have all always been. Okay, so they may have the odd bit of sand on the floor, or the odd discarded bucket and spade. However, overall they are very, very clean. Before moving here my local seaside resort was Southend, and it does not come anywhere near the standards of Great Yarmouth, maybe that's why it should always have the Great in its name. A big well-done and thank you to all.


Albion Road

Great Yarmouth

YOUR readers may be interested to know that following the closure of the Old Village School at Martham, members of the Local History Group have organised an evening for people to come to share and record their memories of Martham Village School. This will be on Thursday, September 25 at the village hall in White Street at 7.30pm. Whatever your connections are to Martham School, we shall be glad to see you and to hear from you. Bob Warnes will be doing the recording. If you have any photographs from your school days, please bring those along. There will be light refreshments and a collection for the expenses of the evening. If you would like further details, please telephone me on 01493 740379.


Marsh Close


GORLESTON beach was investigated prior to the construction of the outer harbour even to the point of being considered as its location. The main reason being, had it been found suitable, securing additional funds for a third crossing would not have been necessary. It was known prior to Sir Lindsay Parkinson's construction of the South Pier that our coastline was being eroded at an alarming rate and was designed with that in mind.

The outer harbour has probably contributed further in the acceleration of the land reclaiming process just as the Scroby wind farm has helped to reduce the erosion process further up the coast. It is prudent to remember that on a global scale our loss of land is minimal by comparison.

I am on record for previously stating the need for safety, security and communication, priorities that successive governments have ignored to the point of creating a snowball of devastating affect. Does one have to assume that the inclusion of partical fusion created confusion bringing them to the conclusion that they could formulate an illusion and pretend its real?

Jack Straw tells us that he has only just been told of the latest disc to go missing, that takes care of security and communication. Where does it leave safety?


Trinity Avenue


READERS may be interested to know that items from this newspaper are reproduced in audio form for blind and partially sighted people. Talking Newspapers keep visually impaired people in touch with the local talking points and the service is run by volunteers. Talking Newspaper Week (September 14-20) is an opportunity for TN groups to highlight what they do and if you know of anyone who would like to receive this free service, please contact me on 01953 605434, for details of your local organisation. Alternatively, visit the Talking News Federation website www.tnf.org.uk.


Talking News Federation

Sycamore Avenue


GORLESTON is becoming so lawless. On Sunday afternoon I had popped out to buy some chocolate and a tin of fruit at the shop near our house when I was accosted by a 15-strong gang of youths wanting me to buy them cigarettes. When I refused I thought they were going to attack me and was saved by one boy who said, seeing my ashen face, 'Leave her alone'.

My father, who I am looking after, has now forbidden me to go to this shop on Sundays and wants me to keep entirely to the main road.

Name and address withheld