IT'S strange how opinions about young people can change in the course of just one day. Just before lunch last Sunday I was seeing off my grandchild outside my house in what should be a very quiet single tracked country lane on the edge of Belton when two noisy motorcycle scramblers drove up and stopped outside my house which we bought specifically for its rural location.

IT'S strange how opinions about young people can change in the course of just one day. Just before lunch last Sunday I was seeing off my grandchild outside my house in what should be a very quiet single tracked country lane on the edge of Belton when two noisy motorcycle scramblers drove up and stopped outside my house which we bought specifically for its rural location.

They were oblivious to the noise they were making. I recognised one of them as one of two who had also been roaring up and down the lane the previous day offroading for some two hours. One of them on the previous day had no number plate or crash hat and carried a young pillion passenger with no gear either. The track is a public highway and all vehicles have to be road legal.

I walked up to the pair to politely reason with them to respect our peace and quiet and tried to establish a rapport as I myself have two road bikes but all to no avail. The one I recognised from Saturday did have a number plate albeit illegal, the full registration of which has been passed on. He was around 17 to 20 years old and was obnoxious and petulant with definite attitude problems. As far as he was concerned he could do what he liked when he liked and did not give a damn about me or the police.

After ten minutes I had got nowhere and as I walked away heard the obligatory obscenity behind my back. I understand there is a fairly new law in force known as section 59 of the Police Reform act 2002 which says that if you cause “alarm, distress or annoyance” to others then you can, if you don't heed Police warnings, have your vehicle seized under Section 60. It's on the Police websiht. They should read it. The track is used a lot by horse riders, dog walkers and ramblers and is a haven for wildlife. It's an accident waiting to happen.

On the other hand, we went to cheer on the Royal Anglians that afternoon and then later at St Nicholas' Church. The Major in charge in his address said the average age of his squaddies was 19 and you could see he was justifiable proud of them as they had just come back from Helmand province in Afganistan having lost nine buddies and lots more injured. So on one hand you have an obnoxious snotty-nosed youth that doesn't give a damn, and on the other you have young men putting their lives on the line in the course of duty.

I wonder which parents are prouder. I think Mr Motorcycle Man could do with a long spell in the Royal Anglians, but I doubt they would have him.

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Hydramec Offshore,

GREAT Yarmouth

NOW that phase three of the transformation of the Great Yarmouth seafront is in full swing ready for an Easter opening, perhaps the main contractors could take time out to properly finish phase one of the project. There needs to be signs displayed on the raised brick walkways situated between the Britannia Pier and St Peter's Road junction on the seafront, that motor vehicles and other vehicles have priority over pedestrians on this stretch of the highway and these walkways are not to be considered as pedestrian crossing, unless safe to do so.

On several occasions people using the Marina Centre have just walked with no hesitation in front of my vehicle, I therefore ask those people responsible to carry out this work as soon as possible before there is a serious accident or fatality.

I intend to contact the Chief Constable in the near future for his response on this matter.


Alderson Road,

Great Yarmouth

IF the third river crossing is anything akin to the pedestrian crossings on the Golden Mile, then we can look forward to the bridge being re-renewed or “regenerated” after one year.

The debacle that is ongoing outside the Marina Centre beggar's belief. It has taken weeks to reconstruct one simple crossing with no end in sight. Who is paying for the complete incompetence of the design and administrative staff?

Perhaps the leader of the council would care to inform the council taxpayers how much the regeneration of the regeneration has cost so far? To add insult to insult, the crossing at the Britannia Pier has been replaced and it certainly looks like others are in urgent need of attention.


Hall Road,


WITH regard to Andrew Fakes' letter concerning the date of King John's Charter.

As far as I understand it, regnal years quoted on charters began on the anniversary of the accession of the sovereign. It appears John became King on May 27, 1199 and as such his first regnal year would have been from that date to May 26, 1200. The ninth regnal year quoted on the charter would therefore have been May 27, 1207-May 26, 1208 and, as it states March 18 as the actual date, this must refer to 1209. Confirmation of this can be gleaned from the date on the Magna Carta which was issued (on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of Our reign”: the seventeenth regnal year being May 27, 1215-May 26, 1216.

I trust there is not dispute concerning the year of the Magna Carta?


Campion Avenue


I AM once again writing in, again about losing the car park at the harbour mouth. Only two people have written in about that. Wake up people who have enjoyed parking there, and let it be felt about another loss that brings pleasure to us all. Then perhaps when the outer harbour is finished we may get it back gain. Do we always have to fight for what we want, I think so, or they are lost forever.


Perebrown Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

I AM at present writing another book on Great Yarmouth. This book is about St Nicholas' Churchyard and the New and Old Cemeteries. The book will be devoted to the stories and lives of the people buried there.

The cemeteries and the churchyard are a microcosm of Victorian and Edwardian Yarmouth. They contain gravestones of those who drowned and died through accidents, founders of businesses, artists, mayors, soldiers, sailors, fishermen, murdered people etc.

If any person has a relative who led an interesting life and is commemorated in the cemetery and if the site of the grave is known, perhaps they would get in contact with me for their possible inclusion in the book.

I can be contacted by email at paulpearce@yarmouth8143.freeserve.co.uk or by telephone on 01493 843647.


North Denes Road,

Great Yarmouth

I HAVE lived in Seattle, USA for the past 45 years and have been looking for an old army buddy, Geoffrey Poole, for many years. He and I were in the Royal Army Pay Corps at Canterbury, Kent from 1957 to 1959. His address at the time was Suffield Road, Gorleston-by-Sea.

Geoff posted a note to an armed forces website in 2002 showing him still living in the Great Yarmouth area. I only found the posting last November to which I responded but never heard back. I telephoned all eight or nine of the “G Poole” names in the Great Yarmouth area (all of whom were very kind and helpful) with the numbers I obtained from the BT website and also checked the electoral roll without success.

A friend who lives in Norfolk suggested I write to the Great Yarmouth Mercury in the hope that it might be possible to place a small piece in the newspaper. I can be contacted by email at davisbandb@comcast.net, or my postal address is: 6120 NE 57th St,

Seattle, WA 98105-2010, USA


I AM sure like others, I so enjoyed Pegotty's mouth-watering memories of the vanilla slice produced by various bakeries around the borough over the years (Mercury, January 25).

He mentioned the much-missed Matthes Bakery in Englands Lane where, like other students, I worked over a couple of school summer holidays. I wish I could claim to have had a hand in making the vanilla slice - I didn't, though I ate a few (for the record, under the supervision of Sid Trevelyan, I did hand-make Battenburgs and machine-made the cases for custard tarts).

However in the early 1960s Yarmouth's champion vanilla slice maker was Dickie Moore, who later went on to do so much to promote sport in the borough. His bakery was opposite St George's in King Street from whence he produced king-sized slices which were quite unlike any others in both quality and quantity. I can still recall the taste of this treat and a half. Am I alone in this fond memory of this confectioner's art?


Lowestoft Road


I FOUND your article regarding past bakers most interesting. My grandfather started Bullard's Bakeries before Matthes were in town, and my father and my brothers and I carried on, until the business was sold to Carman's in 1955.

There was also Wrights Bakery on Beach Road, which was blown up during the 1939 war. Also a Donny Stone, who had his bakery in the High Street on the corner of road opposite the now Commodore pub. Saunders, the fish shop, was a couple of doors off. Donny Stone moved to the corner of Colomb Road and Church Road when he eventually sold the premises to a Mr and Mrs Terry Harris, who opened it up as a painter and decorators shop (now converted to private accommodation). One of the great characters in the bakery business was a Mr Archer of Yarmouth, who used to deliver all his bread on a trade bike with a basket in front. He was called the midnight baker, as he would still be delivering at 6pm to 8pm some nights and he would be carrying an old oil lamp (hurricane lamp) to see - quite a character.


Elm Avenue


SNAP! That is how we felt when we read in last Friday's Mercury the curious case of MFI and the Christmas kitchen sketch! We are suffering a similar level of below standard service and commitment from the nationally advertised chain, that are big on televised promises but short on final delivery.

Fortunately our Christmas was not spoilt by the supply debacle that MFI are currently using in the run up to the festive period. Prior to this the emphasis was on what MFI needed from us (paying) rather than what MFI needed to do for us, the customer (supply and fit the complete order) in order to bring some festive cheer. When standing in a part delivered and completed kitchen with no working sink or appliances, it's not surprising when the then voice of MFI takes the time to ring us regularly to tell us “there is a sum of money outstanding” she gets the answer “give us a final delivery date and the balance will be paid.”

Both the MFI design team and the contract kitchen fitters have gone that extra inch to help avoid a Christmas without a kitchen, without them there would have been tears. Without doubt the centralised order and dispatch system is woeful and constantly undermines any such commitments made from the store. I would be embarrassed to do my job with that level of support behind me and I would sadly and seriously suggest we're not the only ones caught up in an appalling tango with a national giant.



I LIVE the North Beach end of Great Yarmouth and walk my dog over the dunes. Here, daily, I am appalled by the rubbish left, it is like walking through a council dumping ground. When is the borough council going to clean up this area? Haven Caravan Park is situated at this end, so what kind of impression does it give to holidaymakers here, after all, I thought we were trying to attract tourism not discourage it!


Great Yarmouth

I SINCERELY hope that the decision by Norfolk County Council to close the Assessment and Learning Support Centre at Hillside School will be carefully reconsidered as soon as possible. This is a situation which involves not just bricks and mortar, but more importantly the lives and futures of a small percentage of children who had had the sad misfortune to have been born with serious disabilities and in need of compassion.

The parents of these children, having initially suffered worry and heartache beyond the imagination of most parents for several years, surely deserve to expect help from trained and sympathetic authorities within reach of home, especially considering the fact that many such children are never accepted socially and face a possible tough future.

I fully support and agree with everything Beryl Jackson wrote (Mercury, January 18) regarding Hillside Special Unit, which I can confirm was a haven of kindness and understanding and expert teaching, even from the time my grandson attended some 26 years ago. He still has treasured memories of Sheila Sloan, Jackie Stearn, Sue Cockell, Beryl herself, as well as several others, and the kind headmistress, Mrs Tildesley, to this day, and so do I, for the relief it gave me.

To the Norfolk County Council I say why not consider extending the main school to a first floor and extending the special unit to encompass Hillside Special School to solve the problem, and make a number of sad and anxious parents and their little ones happy again?


Mill Lane