Letters

WE are writing on behalf of the Residents and Accommodation Group in full support of the campaign to clean up Great Yarmouth's dilapidated railway station.

WE are writing on behalf of the Residents and Accommodation Group in full support of the campaign to clean up Great Yarmouth's dilapidated railway station.

As both residents and business owners we feel the town will only benefit from the station being a much brighter and welcoming place to be. At the moment it is very rundown, has no direct bus links to the town and also no clear signage to any of the main areas in Yarmouth. Many of our guests arrive by train from various parts of the country and many of them remark on what a state the railway station is in. Surely First East should have more pride and customer focus. After all, you only get one chance to make a good impression.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact however, that the urban regeneration company, 1st East, ran a project for local high schools to come up with ideas to regenerate certain areas of Yarmouth. The railway station, alongside the river at Cobholm, South Denes and behind Matalan were some of the areas discussed. Students from Acle, Flegg, Yarmouth High School, Yarmouth College were mentored by enterpriseGY and by post graduate students from Greenwich University for this project culminating in a presentation to the 1st East board and chief executive Philip Watkins, Yarmouth councillors and planners. What has happened to these ideas?

However, as mentioned before, there is no point in having a station at a busy seaside resort when visitors have no direct public transport into the main town or seafront areas. Maybe this is also a question that needs to be addressed.


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JAN BEHR & MICHELE GIBB

Residents and Accommodation Group

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Covering guest houses and hotels in Princes Road, Marine Parade, Paget Road and Wellesley Road

WHO is responsible for the so-called improvement for the King Street area, sending the clockwise traffic in an anticlockwise direction? Is it the local council or Norfolk County Council? Surely that money could be better spent to other parts of the town that need renovating, instead of wasting it on that stupid road layout making a quiet minor road (Deneside) into a major road. While I'm banging on about the road situation in the area, take a look at those antiquated set of traffic lights on the junction of Southtown Road and Pasteur Road, stopping you in the early morning while the go through their sequence when there is nothing else in the vicinity. And drivers, beware of the new speed camera on Southdown Road at the corner of Albany Road.

DJ COLMAN

Colomb Road,

Gorleston

DRIVING to work this morning I noticed the road markings are starting to re-appear on the ground as the "so called improvements" take place at the Pasteur Roundabout. Only one problem... as you approach from Breydon Bridge, travelling south on the A12, when you get to the roundabout there are four lanes.

The nearside lane has an arrow pointing left (for Tesco) and all the other three lanes have arrows pointing straight ahead!

Surely the fourth lane, the one on the right, in which you would position if you want to turn right for Macdonalds or Halfords, should be a right turn only arrow. The consequence of this blatant cock-up is that three lanes of traffic all wanting to go straight ahead will collide at the exit... resulting in a Highways Agency Pre-Planned Road Accident.

For crying out loud, people, when will you sit up and smell the coffee. Roundabouts do not need traffic lights or pretty arrows, but if you are going to force them onto motorist, at least get them right and prevent accidents.

Name and Address withheld

WHO is responsible for this act of environmental vandalism on our beautiful Market Place trees, cut down in their prime by some faceless official. The heart of our town centre has been pulled out and chopped down for what reason? Bring back something else that was removed from the Town Square, it was called the stocks, and place this bureaucrat within. The rotten fruit and vegetables will be supplied by myself!

PETER McKINNA

Alderson Road,

Great Yarmouth

FOUR clay tobacco pipe bowls, two of which are identical and one very similar to that shown in the March 12 issue of The Mercury, and found at Fishley, have been recorded, and date to the latter half of the 18th century. The first bowl is illustrated in my paper Clay Tobacco Pipes from London and the South East of England published in The Archaeology of the Clay Tobacco Pipe volume VI, British Archaeological Reports British Series 97, 1981. This bowl is slightly taller and bears on either side of its base the pipemaker's initials TW. The identical second bowl was illustrated in the 1996 edition of KnasterKOPF, the periodical for The German Society for Clay Pipe Research. The third bowl, also identical, was excavated recently by Museum of London archaeologists on the Smithfield site. Although it has not been proved conclusively, it is very probable that the pipes originated from the Westerwald region of Germany.

RICHARD Le CHEMINANT

Lowestoft Road

Gorleston

THE possible closure of the North Denes heliport can only be another serious blow to business in Great Yarmouth. Following the Bird's Eye announcement of the loss of the pea contract and the fact that most manufacturing companies like Heatrod have pulled out of town it makes you wonder what will come next? We have all been hoping the Outer Harbour would be the saviour of the town employment-wise and if we get through the present recession this could still be on the cards.

After the amount of money that has been put into the harbour project, both by private and public sources it would seem that resurfacing a helicopter runway would be a cheap way to save hotels, taxis, shops, hire car companies and associated small engineering firms. The unemployment besides the seventy who actually work at the heliport would probably amount to several hundred. If the runway is the sole reason for suggested closure perhaps the local authorities should approach the Highways Department who I am sure have the amenities to carry out such an important task!

Mike Smith

Director

Swift Taxi and Private Hire Ltd

COULD you please ask your readers if anyone has hidden away a pair of wooden walking crutches as we have an ex Norfolk rugby player friend that now lives abroad who needs a pair urgently. He has tried all the modern ones but cannot get on with them. Will collect in Norfolk area. We would be very grateful for help in this matter.

MICHAEL ROBERTS

2 Euston Road

Great Yarmouth

FURTHER to H Perry's letter concerning the alterations to the road outside the front of the James Paget Hospital, a fortnight ago we had come to visit the fracture clinic with a very young distressed child. After parking we had great difficulty getting the toddler out of her car seat without causing further pain as there was no room to manoeuvre, the wider disabled bays were full, and we are not aware of any much needed spaces for mothers and babies.

After treatment, which was carried out with care and compassion, it was decided that we should pay for parking and bring the car to the new pick up point in order to try and avoid another distressing scenario while getting the patient back into her car seat.

The new pick up point appears to have a metal barrier across running parallel to hospital entrance, which rather defeats the object, and access was blocked by a lorry, we so pulled into the empty ambulance lane, which was our only available option. This was met with glares of disapproval from a couple of ambulances drivers as we struggled to get the baby in. What were we supposed to do?

After paying �2.50 for one hours parking one wonders if this car park is being run for the benefit of the patients or solely to make a profit!

PAULINE LYNCH

Mill Lane,

Bradwell

WHY don't they install parking meters at the Town Hall staff car parks, thousands of pounds are lost every year on this. The vast salaries that are paid to Town Hall staff would make up for the deficit that is short, why should they park free. My friend works at the James Paget Hospital; he has to pay �10.50 a month to park his car there and he works in a low paid job. I await the Town Hall reply to this.

CHARLIE PEACE

Caister-on-Sea

I WAS surprised to read your reportt in last week's Mercury of the activities of the Bradwell Safer Neighbourhood Team assisting the police in detecting drivers who were exceeding the statutory speed limit and the implied association with road safety. Speed limits are imposed for traffic management purposes like one way streets and traffic lights, etc. They are not a road safety issue. I suspect that many drivers caught exceeding these limits have been driving safely, albeit illegally, but not putting anyone's life or property at risk. We all know it's careless driving that costs lives - not exceeding speed limits!

ERIC SHINER

Bradwell

I write in response to the article entitled Donor angry after being turned away (March 5). NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) was sorry to hear that Mr Stephen Smith was disappointed he was not allowed to give blood at the session outside the Town Hall. This session was organised specifically for council employees and was by appointment only.

NHSBT holds sessions which are open to the public at Yarmouth Racecourse about once a month, as well as at venues in Gorleston, Bradwell and Hopton. We do understand that the opening times and location of these sessions may not suit everyone and whilst we welcome feedback from donors we are sorry when we cannot meet individual expectations.

With regards to using the Town Hall for donations, we have looked at the venue but unfortunately it isn't suitable. We are however happy to consider suggestions for other potential venues in the area. Anyone wishing to suggest alternative blood donor session venues in Yarmouth is asked to contact Sophie Slater at NHSBT on 01603 351952.

We encourage donors to make an appointment to give blood by phoning our donor helpline on 0300 123 2323 or by visiting www.blood.co.uk as this helps us to plan blood stocks and helps reduce waiting times for donors. However, we understand that appointments may not always suit everyone and you can still “walk in” to many of our sessions.

NHSBT would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Smith for his many blood donations. Without people like him, patients would not be able to receive the life-saving treatments they require.

Angie Lythgoe

Donor Relations Manager

NHS Blood and Transplant

IT was interesting to read, in the Mercury last week that the Tolhouse was being visited tomorrow by the ghosthunters. Whilst I am sceptical about such matters, my researches into gaol (1835 to 1875) did uncover reports of ghostly happenings. Most of the gaol is long gone and under the library although some of the original cell survive in the basement of the Tolhouse. The gaoler in his journal for 1846, 53 records several instances of ghosts being seen.

There are also several reports of deaths (from natural causes) in the gaol and a still birth. One prisoner, in June 1860, sentenced to 21 days hard labour, had been recovering from a sore throat was heard to groan in the night and found dead at 6am, having suffocated from the breaking of an abscess in the throat. Bells were installed in the cells afterwards so prisoners could summon help. Another prisoner, on August 12, 1871, was thought to have feigned a “gross deception” of illness by swallowing soap and vomit to avoid working the treadmill and died in the night. Interestingly a husband arranged for a builder to remove his wife's body after she had died on July 7, 1865. It would be interesting to see if the ghosts are still present.

C R Wright

Victoria Street

Caister on Sea

I WAS delighted to read in the Mercury (March 12) that there are plans to protect the cottages at Newport. My great, great grandmother lived in the cottages and my relatives have been at Newport ever since. Indeed, I lived there myself in the late 1980's. Interestingly, my grandmother, who owned No 9, always said that the row she lived in was converted from a barn in the late 17th century! I would love to know whether this is actually the case.

SIMON PARTRIDGE

Lib Dem PPC for Great Yarmouth

Catfield

I WAS interested to note that Hemsby Parish Councilors want to make Newport Cottages a conservation area, because although these buildings are not of great age, they do represent an important, tragic and little known part of the history of the village. I take the liberty of quoting from the 'The Beachmen' by David Higgins (Terence Dalton 1987).

“Newport was established in 1841 as a'Beach Colony' by James Plummer of Winterton and others. They formed a 'Beach Company' hoping to profit from salvage of ships wrecked on the sandbanks. In January 1842 they had a large beach 'yawl' called the 'Royal Queen'. They launched their boat on 13th April of that year when they saw a foreign ship in distress. They reached it and left a pilot on board. They headed for the shore and within 200 yards of the beach the boat turned over. Of the crew of 11, nine were drowned 'leaving six destitute widows and fifteen fatherless children'. A newspaper of the day wrote: “All this occurred within the sight of their wives and friends and indeed within hearing as the shrieks of the perishing fishermen was heard at his own door.”

Newport did not recover as a 'Salvage' colony because most of the experienced men were drowned but several seemed to have moved a mile south to the Salvage Company set up at California in 1851“ However, George Beech in his 'A History of Hemsby on Sea' of Newport said: “Is said to have been formed by one Thomas Bowers 1830 and was mainly inhabited by beachcombers, fishermen and smugglers.' George goes on to say that his father, a builder told him “The row of houses, gable end to the sea had communicating passages, when he raised the roofs about 1895. Thus when the Revenue Men entered one house the smugglers could run through the attics and drop to the beach outside”

The Cottage on the Cliff at Newport was a pub selling Lacon's Ales it Closed in 1914. George Beech said that it was a pub and post office combined and sailors would row ashore with their letters to post. The crew of the Cockle Lightship would also come ashore for a drink when not on duty. George also said that the land lord of the pub at the turn of the century, one Fox Bullock would treat his customers to cod suppers o Saturday nights but he would liberally lace these with salt to give the diners a good thirst! The Cottages were machine gunned during the Second World war without casualties to the inhabitants but the pilot of FW190 was killed when his aircraft struck a cable and crashed into the sea.

After the war I remember a community of several fishermen who made a good living during the summer and spend much time beach combing in the winter. Some men amassed enormous quantities of timber brought of the beach, and I recall some quarrels over 'who saw the wood first.' Mr. Bob Turner was assiduous in collecting all sorts of wood because he said 'It was a hazard to navigation'. He was known a Jewson behind his back. Mr Jack Pawsey would stay on the beach most days until he found enough money for 'a half ounce of Old Holborn'.

The cottages I knew would probably not be of a sufficient standard today but it would be a good thing to modernize them in such a way to retain their character as link with Hemsby's past.

ANDREW FAKES

Lawn Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

FURTHER to HG Perry's letter on March 12 regarding the alterations to the road in front of James Paget: The notice said they were improving access for ambulances and patients. Note it said nothing about visitors. I fail to see how putting up fences can improve access to anything and as far as I can see the ambulance access is very little different. Access for visitors and, unless they are coming in by ambulance, has without doubt got worse. I am not sure what the problem was with the original situation. As far as I could see it was reasonably good. But what has been done has not improved it one scrap. Whatever it cost it was in my opinion a waste of money.

DEREK BROWN

Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

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