THIS Christmas, as usual, I posted around 60 cards to relatives and friends and was surprised and upset to discover some had not been delivered, as they didn't have adequate postage on them.

THIS Christmas, as usual, I posted around 60 cards to relatives and friends and was surprised and upset to discover some had not been delivered, as they didn't have adequate postage on them. Instead the addressees received a card stating they must collect the item from the sorting office, pay 16p excess charge and a handling fee of £1.

The Christmas cards in question were well within the recommended size for small items, but were slightly thicker as they were embossed. There was nothing on the card boxes to indicate they required a higher postage rate.

So, now I have disgruntled relatives and friends, some of whom were reluctant to admit that they had to make a trip to the sorting office, queue behind dozens of other people on the same mission and pay an exorbitant fee to collect a Christmas card. Others, who didn't collect their's now think they have been forgotten and I'm out of pocket over the cost of the cards and the original postage. Also I'm curious as to what happens to the undelivered mail.

Okay, I admit I probably messed up, but as this was supposed to be the season of goodwill and the Royal Mail is fighting for survival, I think its actions were heavy handed to say the least.

In olden times, coaches carrying the mail were hi-jacked by the likes of Dick Turpin. It now looks as if the Royal Mail has cut out the middle man and is doing it themselves!


Most Read

Mill Lane, Bradwell

DARRELL George's letter in the Mercury, December 28, on the problem of glass recycling in the borough raised my hackles also.

Being considerably aged, no longer driving a car, living alone and not too steady on my feet, I have to rely on a kind friend to take care of the glass. Oh, come on, councillors. After all, it will add to your laurels if you crack the problem and therefore increase the vital statistic of recycling percentages.


Youell Avenue, Gorleston

OVER the Christmas period, many people have voiced their opinions to me concerning the future of the Marina Centre, especially the pool facility.

Great Yarmouth is heading for an exciting future, with the outer harbour and the casino complex to look forward to. We really need to carry on building a great future for this town, by providing a decent swimming pool.

Great Yarmouth is a large seaside town and being close to the North Sea it is a necessity for our children to be able to swim. So for the sake of our children's health and the disabled people's needs, I think we should be giving this top priority.

This subject keeps on arising. Whatever the outcome of the Marina Centre, we still must consider the needs of our town. The children are our future, the disabled need to be listened to, so this problem should be at the top of the next agenda.

While the harbour and casino will bring great prosperity to the town, we still need to listen to our community's requests. I do not have the final say on this matter but I believe we must not ignore the wants and needs of our local people. All they are asking for is a decent swimming pool adequate for the disabled people to use and keep our children happy and healthy.


Borough Councillor,

Caister South

THE picture of proposed The Edge casino and leisure complex for South Denes is not to scale. How is it that the only high building - Haven Bridge House - has been moved to a position south of the Pleasure Beach? Nelson's Monument also looks like it has been moved!

This project would have more going for it if the buildings were as they are in real life not a doctored image. Can we now have a true “as-will-be” image to ascertain the true impact on the scene?

I regret I was unable to attend the exhibition last month.


Claydon Grove, Gorleston

ONE of the many reasons I am glad I was a youngster in the late 1940s and 1950s is that we had so many activities available to us that did not need a lot of money to enjoy.

We had two roller skating rinks in the winter months at Gorleston Holiday Camp - they were the camp's dance floors in the summer. Great Yarmouth had an indoor rink in the winter too, as well as the luxury of an outdoor one in the summer.

Besides this we had two outdoor swimming pools. Gorleston's was 50yds x 16yds and Yarmouth's 100yds x 25yds. The main benefit over today's youngsters is that we could buy a season ticket for 7/6d and go to Gorleston swimming pool for the whole day with a packed lunch! No session swimming then.

We had regular inter school swimming galas at the Yarmouth pool (unheated), Gorleston actually hit 76 degrees in the summer of 1959 and I swam for Norfolk when I was 14 years old - self taught too. There was also an annual swimming race between the piers.

After each gala there was a water polo match. Also during the summer in the Yarmouth pool there was a swimming display cum entertainment followed by the Crazy Gang (members of the swimming club) who would ride a bicycle off the top board (5m high) with a “baby” (male swimmer dressed up) sitting in the bike's front basket. Numerous other “crazy stunts” were performed too on the other boards and the water slide. No health and safety then to spoil the fun!

There were children's morning matinees at the Royal Aquarium and Palace cinemas; we were never accompanied by adults and we walked or cycled everywhere. Our parents trusted us to return home at the stated time; no one worried about being in continuous contact with us with mobile phones as they do today.

There was also no vandalism, but then we had respect for authority and our elders.

We also never demanded toys, clothing etc, our parents didn't have the money. If we wanted anything we went out and worked, doing Saturday morning jobs and working during the school holidays.

Yes, the roads were safer then, hardly any cars, but to be honest I am really glad I was a child during that era.


Address withheld

I WONDER if it would be possible to trace old friends of ours who moved to Great Yarmouth some years ago. It was the arrival of this year's Christmas card that has prompted me to write.

The card also contains a message: “This year Anne and Geoff (Sanderson) have just returned from visiting their daughter in New Zealand” - but never an address! One year there was an e-mail address but that just bounced off into the unknown when I tried it.

Anne, Geoff, Catherine and Christopher were good friends and neighbours when we all lived in Holmfirth near Huddersfield. Anne was a district nurse and Geoff did a great pantomime dame in Scissett Amateur's productions.

It would be wonderful to be in contact again, if only to apologise for never replying to those Christmas cards.



I HAVE been to many pantomimes performed by Great Yarmouth Operatic Dramatic Society as a child, and also taking my own children but this year was different; my grandson was appearing in it as one of the juveniles and a whole new concept was put before my eyes.

The hard work of the team and the cast was second to none and the costumes and scenery were marvellous. So for the last few weeks we have watched it grow to the polished performances they produced this last week. Thank you all for your hard work and making us feel so welcome amongst you.


St Mary's Close, Hemsby

THROUGH the Mercury could I ask Anglian Bus Company: could you please provide us with a bus service to cover the 8A route that we no longer have, so I can have my life back to how it was with the First Eastern Counties 8A service, shopping in town, village etc?


Address withheld

I AM asking Anglian Bus Company to provide a bus service as areplacement to the 8A. I havce not really been out since the 8A service stopped. I would be able to go to town.


Eastern Avenue, Caister

I WONDER if any of your readers can go back to the days when the skating rink was very popular. My mum met my dad at the rink in the 1920s. I used to hire the skates, later our daughter had her own, likewise my grandson.

We all enjoyed the festive shows in the 1960s and when the skaters won their medals I was so proud. What a pity we didn't keep the venue going.

Please, please don't let us lose another facility - the swimming pool. Think of the disabled, families and young people.


Great Yarmouth

I AM replying to C Lee's letter from last week about refuse collection. I agree with everything that was said. The same thing happened in my area a few weeks ago and we were told the recycling bin was contaminated, so they were mixing the green and grey bins together and it was all going to landfill. Now, I can believe this of maybe one or two bins, but the majority of the estate defies belief.

Also the council in their wisdom spent thousands of pounds taking out the old bin sheds, re-laying concrete and putting up new railings where needed, when they could have left them in for residents to store excess rubbish when the bins are full. This time of year is when you need a storage area for rubbish with the amount that is generated over the Christmas period. Our bins were emptied Thursday last week and they are already full, which means there will be rubbish bags everywhere until the next collection next Thursday.

Then it becomes a fly tipping issue, when in reality it is a problem of the council's own making.

My eight-year-old son pointed out to me this morning that where our communal bins are sited - right by a children's play area - none of the children will want to play there in the summer because of rubbish bags being there because the bins are full. Maybe this is a cunning plan by the council, because if the playground is under-used it becomes an excuse for them to get rid of it.

I would like to hear other people's thoughts on this.


Clarendon Close

Great Yarmouth

I WANT to point out to people walking their dogs on the site of the old railway line in Gorleston that they still must pick up their dogs' mess - they know who they are. My son took my grandchildren down there to play football and they had to go home as they all got dogs' mess on them. Perhaps we should have somebody down there to check sometimes.



REGARDING the comments and sense from Mr T Archer (December 21) as against the “nonsense” of a casino on the Marina Centre site, destroying a facility that most towns would give their eye teeth to own.

We have a sports centre with a walk-in pool, wave action and slide, right on the seafront where a tourist would expect to find it. To pull this down would cost a million. I've had MS for years and the pool has been a godsend to give me the exercise I need. Why destroy such an asset to the town?

Some wanted improvement in the changing rooms are in progress, which is a good sign of better things to come for members and staff. To watch the toddlers and mums of the swim school is a treat to see.

The people of this town don't know and use a good thing when it's for everybody. Use or lose.



Great Yarmouth

ON December 31, my wife and I were expecting a letter with important documentation which required a signature.

In preparation, we were up and about and gave every indication we were at home. Suddenly, and without warning, a note appeared saying as we were not at home, the letter could not be delivered and we could collect it in 48 hours time from the North Quay sorting office. Despite moving quickly on hearing the letterbox no one was to be seen.

I went to the North Quay office at 3pm to see if I could collect the letter (other non deliveries have been given a six hour time lag) only to find it closed, despite it being clearly advertised as being open. Other frustrated clients had made special trips to the depot with no success either.

On returning home I decided to email my comments to the customer service department and on completing the form, sent it. The response was for the site to come back with a reported system error and the email had not been delivered.

I then telephoned the North Quay sorting office at about 3.45pm via the telephone number given and despite letting it ring for what seemed like an eternity could not get an answer.

So it seems the Royal Mail cannot deliver, cannot be contacted or operate to advertise opening times.

The Royal Mail keeps raising its prices and offers a sub-standard service in return. No wonder I am sending this to the Mercury by email.


Marine Crescent

Great Yarmouth