IN his letter of August 1, Paul Davies makes the case for restoring a number of significant gravestones in St Nicholas' churchyard, and I am bound to agree with him.

IN his letter of August 1, Paul Davies makes the case for restoring a number of significant gravestones in St Nicholas' churchyard, and I am bound to agree with him. Finding the right line between preservation and conservation is never easy, but in this case I feel preservation must prevail.

If we consider what was the original intention of the people who placed these stones on the graves of their loved ones, there were I believe, a number of principal motivations.

Taking for example the case of poor little George Belloe and his tragic death in the Suspension Bridge disaster, the primary motive, as with any gravestone, was of course to acknowledge the lad's life and perpetuate his memory; something which the inscription on the stone makes clear. We can also easily surmise that his grief-stricken parents desperately sought an explanation for why it was their little boy who was cruelly taken from them; and this may well explain this decision to engrave on the stone a depiction of the incident, surmounted by the all-seeing eye of God. In showing the circumstances of his death, the parents have left us a telling historical record of the tragedy. None of these sentiments will I feel be properly maintained if we allow the stone to become illegible.

Having sought the Belloe family's permission, I feel the gravestone should be restored, removed to a place of safety and kept for posterity as an historical artefact, preferably where the general public can see the stone.

Of course it is also vitally important that George Belloe's memory is perpetuated in the place where he was buried, and this may be achieved by using modern casting methods and appropriate materials to make a close replica of the original gravestone and placing it on the graveside.

The placing of the original stone in a significant location, and the replacing of the stone at the graveside may also provide an opportunity to re-dedicate the memorial, and give the people of Yarmouth a chance to express their sentiments for George, and the many other unfortunate people who were lost on that day.

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As Mr Davies' suggests there are other significant gravestones in St Nicholas' churchyard, the young sea captain killed by the notorious English pirate Fall, in a bloody skirmish off the coast comes to mind.

Of course it will take money to undertake a restoration programme of these gravestones and I wonder whether The Mercury may consider taking their part in such a project? An important first step will be to gauge public opinion on whether or not the few hundred pounds needed for each stone should come from the public purse, or in time honoured tradition be raised by public inscription.

My preferred method would be a combination of both, but whatever funding source is adopted I do feel that the money will be wisely spent in preserving any number of important aspects of the town's heritage; and bringing to the wider world facets of Great Yarmouth that have for too long lain hidden, and largely ignored.


North Gap

Eccles on Sea

WHAT DO READERS THINK? Write to Letters, The Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA or email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk

I READ with interest the proposal by the Buddhist community to buy the old church ruins to establish a multi-denominational healing and prayer centre in Hopton. Far from dismissing these ideas out of hand, the council should be opening the debate to the public. What could be more uplifting than having thousands of peaceful, orange-clad, bell-ringing monks visiting Hopton on a regular basis? The ley lines discussed by Councillor Howard are not the private property of one religous group, but belong to the whole world. With discreet marketing, Hopton could franchise ley line rock, buddhist burgers, etc - the financial profits are endless. I urge the people and parish council to embrace these cultural ideas in the same friendly way that we welcome holidaymakers to our village.



I WAS under the impression that the build up or erosion of sand on Gorleston beach had been investigated before the construction of the outer harbour went ahead. Whilst walking up the pier I noticed children playing on the seaward side of the keep off and a youth wading in ankle high water at least 200 yards from the keep off. I've never seen this before and it must have something to do with our new harbour?



FURTHER to my letter, 'Harbour Fears', August 15. I would like to ask what's in a word?

Strangely enough it depends upon who is using it. When I say sand, or shifting sand, I mean sand! But, when Eastport UK mentions sand they refer to it as sediment. A half a million tons of it. Which is where it should not be and I understand, has now to be excavated from the front edge of the northern breakwater. Now to have accumulated half a million tons of sediment since the inception of this structure indicates the magnitude of this shifting sand, or sediment, dependent upon who is saying it. Should not a further appraisement be made of this site, before any further finance is haemorrhaged into it?


Gonville Road


FOR eight years I have lived at my current address, for all of those eight years I have had a polite notice asking people to not block my driveway. Eight years later and still the same people (residents of Caister and the surrounding area) day in and day out, repeatedly block access to my driveway (not caring if my car is in the drive or not). I've had to get a taxi before now to keep a vets appointment.

This behaviour is not only unkind, it is damned annoying. Why do they do it?

It is because they just don't give a damn about the law or their neighbours? Their ages vary from pensioners to teenagers so it can't be blamed on a certain generation. A car park is 20 paces away, but ignored. Can't our community police take some action as I'm not the only one to suffer in this way? I get abuse if I even look at them too!

Name and address withheld

IF library services are typical, one might conclude that if Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft have to be combined and aligned with a larger Unitary Authority then the alignment should be with Suffolk and not with any of the Norfolk options. Compared with Yarmouth libraries, Lowestoft libraries have a larger and better selection of books, especially in the non-fiction category, Sunday opening, a decent record office and electronic facilities for returning books - and they introduced Broadband earlier.

A naive argument such as this may not be sufficient to justify any serious conclusion but it may point to the need for a town Civic Society. Some astute arguments relating to Unitary Authorities have in fact been made by Civic Societies of other towns.

A Civic Society comprising, among others, executives and professionals such as architects, lawyers, accountants and dentists would function as a think-tank focussing on the interests of the town. A society with such expertise could approach controversial issues with more intellectual rigour than local politicians and their officers. Local politicians may have the trust of those who vote for them but they may not always have the intellectual skills to debate difficult issues.


Elmgrove Road


MARIE Field's response to the anomaly that exists with regard to car parking in the borough was quite unusual. Here we have one of the selected representatives actually representing us.

Asking for us all to be treated equally ie arguing for the Beach Road car park to be treated the same as the cliff top one in Gorleston and have the car parking meters removed is entirely justifiable unless however someone from the council can point out the difference and therefore the need for them.

There are other examples in the borough, the cliff top car park at Scratby is one and good luck to the residents of Scratby.

In Caister parking in and around the main thoroughfare is a problem at any time and will only get worse as the village continues to expand, so when the summer time holidaymakers look for somewhere to park before going to the beach they park in the village rather than pay. We've all done it when we have been away on holiday but it does create a major problem getting to the shops etc in Caister. I think an explanation from someone in authority is in order.


Herbrides Way


I UNDERSTAND that Labour councillor Marie Field wants the pay and display machines removed from the Beach Road car park in Caister and is right in doing so for the reasons stated in last week's Mercury. But if she doesn't get her way, she is going to try to make Gorleston cliff top become a pay and display. Ms Field, you should concentrate on Caister and leave Gorleston alone. And by the way, if the cliff top did become a pay and display, most people wouldn't use it anymore, is that what you want?


Leman Road


I WOULD like to defend our councillor, Marie Field, over the issue of the pay and display being removed from the Beach Road car park. In fairness to the residents who live in the Clay Road, Beach Road and Manor Road area who have problems in parking near their own property. I also think it would be beneficial to the small business in our village such as the chemist, butchers, cafes and hairdressers who struggle to make a living as it is.


Charles Close


Re-parking in Gorleston and Caister. I feel it is necessary to write regarding the above issue and in particular to address the responses from readers last week. The objective of Marie Fields letter I feel is her wish to take away paying on the Beach Road car park, so the public don't park and block entrances to residents' properties, and not to spoil it for dog walkers etc. Perhaps these people who are complaining don't have this problem as many of us residents in Caister do, and surely if Gorleston has free parking then why on earth shouldn't Caister. Thanks Marie, we would certainly welcome this, if not perhaps white lines outside our properties would be a good alternative. Kind regards residents of Manor and Beach Road.


Manor Road


Gt Yarmouth

Charging for a service or providing facilities should take into account the ongoing need for maintaining them. Charging can also be used to change behaviour in that it can deter use if the perception is that the cost outweighs the service or facilities and the individual has a choice. Charging can also be a revenue generator that raises cash for other parts of the operation and business.

Given the few yards of tarmac on Gorleston cliffs suggested parking charges are not going towards maintenance of the area, and the cost of enforcement would prohibit that strategy coupled with the deterrent effect. Therefore, leaving the moral issues aside, come clean elected officials, and show us the business sheet for this “nice little earner.”

As ever the partial solution open to all us users lays within the same pages of the Mercury that the letters page report the differing views… The Beach Coach Strategy. Get together with a group of caravanning friends and hey presto no ticket charges.


Clarence Road


COULD I on behalf of the residents of Long Lane, Bradwell offer some advice to the lady with the three dogs who walks them every morning along our pavements.

Several of us have noticed a lot of times the little presents that have been left but unfortunately haven't seen the dogs actually do their jobs in the driveways, on the footpaths until Friday. You were so engrossed in looking around to see if anyone was looking that you didn't see behind you and I was just drawing the curtains, as you do, and saw you just scurry away and when I and my neighbour went outside to the actual spot there was no doubt it was your dog. Not a nice thing to do and illegal in the eyes of the law I might say. You will realise who you are.

Hopefully you will accept that you are in the wrong and make a point of taking your litter home. We have enough bother down our road because it is the main route to the estate and I for one am always picking up cans, bottles etc thrown away under the hawthorn bushes.

Name and address withheld

I've taken my head out of my plastic bag just long enough to reply to the anonymous correspondent regarding free plastic bags.

The fact that supermarket car parks are littered with bags means that they are not doing enough to keep their surrounding areas clean and tidy. The unhygienic practice of using landfill sites as opposed to incineration is also contributing to the problem, as most people recycle their bags by using them to line their pedal bins in order to lift out the rubbish, tie up the bags and put them in the wheelie bin.

Just imagine the state of the wheelie bins if there were no plastic bags, or will we then be expected to go to the added expense of buying bin bags to throw away, which by the way, are plastic?

Supermarket bags are all part of the service and there is precious little of that these days. No one is forced to accept plastic bags they neither want or need, so if the hessian bag carriers wish to use their own bags, well good for them. Just leave the plastic bag “vandals” to make their own choices!


Mill Lane


WITH the opening of the new terminal next year wouldn't it be sensible to reopen the Gorleston ferry service.

Up until it closed in the 80s it was always very popular and very busy especially in the days of the old Birds Eye factory being open. My late father Albert Hopwood (Hoppy) used to be in charge of one ferry - the South Wind - being one of four North, East and West Wind.

I like many from Gorleston used it regularly to get to work on South Quay supplying offshore companies and the like.

We used to save on petrol and traffic jams going miles out of our way to get to work, literally just a stones throw away.

It would be a massive bonus for Yarmouth and Gorleston, even more nowadays with the price of fuel, plus a bonus for people without cars, who could just pop over to Yarmouth in two minutes instead of 50 or 40 minutes.

Both landings are still in place although they obviously need work doing, plus the old workshop and boat winch and cradle for repairs.

It would ease traffic congestion to make it easier for the numerous trucks to move to and from the sea terminal more easily.

So to those in power please think about it very carefully.


Beccles Road


I AGREE the circus has been excellent this year, but I have to say it's the first time I have been charged £1 to book by phone, plus card charge of course.


Lancaster Road

Great Yarmouth