LIKE many others, I went to our Christmas Fayre on Saturday afternoon, and it was very nice. Sadly, it was spoiled by the lack of Christmas lights. What has our council done with them? None of them were working in the car park where the marquees were.

LIKE many others, I went to our Christmas Fayre on Saturday afternoon, and it was very nice. Sadly, it was spoiled by the lack of Christmas lights. What has our council done with them? None of them were working in the car park where the marquees were. Why weren't they switched on?

The new lights they put up are abysmal. Only Palmers, Co-op and Boots were lovely, and where are our promised King Street lights then?

I went into the bustling Market Gates to see a meagre, stretched display of last year's decorations - not enough to go round, obviously. Poor old Santa had been shuffled right out of it into a far corner instead of his usual place right in the middle of Market Gates like he was last year. (Perhaps he is going to be PC out next time!).

I decided to go home via the seafront. On walking down Regent Road, the lights were on and they are pretty, but half of them were broken, hanging down and wrapped round lamp-posts for support, so why haven't the lighting boys mended them? They must have been like it for ages, or they wouldn't have been tied up.

The sea-front was OK. Some of the new lights were working, but it is just not as nice as the old stuff gaily criss-crossing Marine Parade. Perhaps our esteemed council should go on a charabanc outing to Blackpool - now they really know how to do lights and decorations.

I know we are in a recession, but blimey, at least cheer us up with some decent Christmas decorations.

Most Read


Exmouth Road

Great Yarmouth

I TOTALLY agree with Mrs P Hewitt (Letters, November 28) regarding the parking charges at the “new” Market Gates car park.

Today, my daughter and I, together with my two-year-old grand-daughter, went to Yarmouth to finish off the Christmas shopping. We parked in Market Gates and set off to enjoy our day. On our return, I put the fiddly plastic coin in the machine and was horrified when £9 flashed up on the screen for just over five hours parking! That sort of charge is daylight robbery!

The car park isn't even finished yet and the lifts are unbelievable. The inside of the lifts states there are five floors, numbering them 1-5, and yet the actual floors of the car park are labelled A-F, with names of different places like Moscow and Dublin. Inside the lift, there is a notice stating which number floor corresponds to which name or letter; how ridiculous and confusing, especially for the elderly.

I think the powers-that-be need to sort this out, and quickly, before Yarmouth becomes a ghost town - not because of the credit crunch, but because of the extortionate parking charges.


South Road


I FEEL I must support Mr David Bullock and Mr Dennis Durrant in their concern regarding the proposed removal of the pews in St Andrew's Church, Gorleston. In my opinion this is a Cromwellian act, such as was used by William Dowsing when he caused havoc at St Andrew's during the Civil War.

As both Mr Bullock and Mr Durrant say, the church belongs to the parishioners and it is held in trust by the incumbent on behalf of them. Apparently there is also a proposal to employ a church architect (which sounds very grand), but whose fees may be hundreds of pounds, asking him what he suggests should be done to the church for exhibitions and to be more user-friendly. However, we have the Chapter House which was built for that very purpose and is adequate for exhibitions and concerts.

The parishioners should have their say in the matter, many of them are of families who have worshipped at St Andrew's and who have precious memories, many were christened, confirmed and married there.

A meeting of the parishioners should be called immediately, perhaps by the Gorleston Heritage Society, so that a petition can be made to the Diocesan Board before the heart is torn out of the church.


Lovewell Road


AFTER reading the article in last week's Mercury, it reminded me of a story I read a few years ago about moving Nelson's Monument to the north end of the Market Place. If it is feasible, why not look into the study which must have been done at the time? It would bring Nelson to the town centre and free industrial land up and allow the hotel to have their two floors back, with perhaps observation decks on top. This would keep everyone happy.


Byron Road

Great Yarmouth

WITH reference to the article in last week's Mercury regarding the casino and English Heritage's opposition to the plans.

Has anybody ever thought that Nelson's Monument would look far better sited along the seafront in a more prominent position, I'm sure our council could find an ideal spot.

I know it would be expensive to move, but just think how many more people would visit the monument. At present very few holidaymakers take the trouble to visit the site because of the location and not knowing of its existence. Revenues would then drastically increase if moved. The cost of moving it could be met partly by the new owners of the casino as now there would be no opposition by English Heritage to the extra two floors for the 50 extra bedrooms giving them extra revenue.

A lottery grant could be applied for adding to the pot and I'm sure English Heritage would have no objections to the move and would also chip in with the cost. With money from admission charges also going on the cost of the move and maintaining the monument.

What we have at the moment is Great Yarmouth's finest monument in my opinion hidden away in an industrial estate which very few people visit, what a great shame.


Hobland Road


LAST year, someone asked me “What happened to Hemsby in world war two?” and I wrote two pages of A4 script on the subject based on what I had heard and read.

However, I realised many of the things from people who had since died were not recorded, and I began to speak to various people who may have had direct experience of the events. My researches now occupy a dozen sheets of A4. Can readers help me further that research?

Hemsby cannot be seen in isolation and events in surrounding parishes are equally relevant.

I am interested to know details of the radar station which stood in front of Mrs Chipperfield's shop and post office on Scratby Cliffs. This was surrounded by “brick blast walls” as was a collection of Nissen huts 200 yards further inland. I am told this station was staffed almost entirely by female military personnel. Any photograph and details would be most welcome.

I am particularly keen to obtain information and photographs of the Hemsby detachment of the LDV or Home Guard. I am told this was commanded by Captain or Major Harry Madison of Hemsby Holiday Camp. The Lieutenant was Fred Chinery, Station Master and the Sergeant was Arthur Matthews the signalman.

There were a great number of military detachments based in Hemsby at various times during the war and I would also like any information about them.

Several people have told me of their experience of the war saying they had a good time but went on to say that of course people were being killed and injured. For this reason I have been keen to find out about the eight young men from Hemsby who died on military service. I also believe three RAF men were killed in the parish, as was one German airman. A young girl was also blown up by a mine on the sand hills.

As an amateur historian I feel it is important to write down the experiences of these literally terrible years of the last century while people with memories of these events are still with us and I regret not recording the memories of those involved in the conflict which ended in 1918. I can be contacted at 72 Lawn Avenue, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1QW.


I HAVE been tracing my family history since 1985 and would like to find out more about my great-grandfather, Frederick Silvers Baldry (b September 3 1842) who lived in Great Yarmouth all his life. In 1881, he lived at 60 North Quay with wife Hannah and children Frederick, Arthur Hector, Florence, Edith, Laura Ellen, Ernest, Alice Lucy, Matilda, Annie and my grandmother, Rose Ann.

On my grandmother's marriage certificate he is listed as being a yachtsman. According to his obituary in 1923 (EDP) he was a yachting skipper for Sam Nightingale on the Red Rover and the reporter commented he was a "genial and hail fellow". He was also a publican in the Bowling Green Inn from 1875.

If anybody has a photograph of this character, I would extremely pleased to be able to add this to my family history. Any information would be gratefully received and I would obviously reimburse the sender. I can be contacted via my email address (marilyn_taylor186@hotmail.com) or at my address The Beeches, Saunders Lane, Awbridge, Romsey SO51 0GP.


I BELONG to a disabled club which organises trips to shows. We went to the Marina Centre to see the Ultimate Sixties Show. It was one of the nights when you didn't really want to leave a nice warm house, but I'm glad we made the effort, because the show was brilliant.

The band was called The Imposters and they were uncannily like the groups they were playing. They started with early 60s music to warm the audience up, but when they did the Beatles and Rolling Stones the show really took off, as good as, if not better, than the real ones. We were all like teenagers again, but looking around, the leisure centre, who organised the show, must have been disappointed at all the empty seats.

People say there's nothing to do in the winter, but when there are very few people support it - a classic case of "it's cold, why bother?" and the council keep talking about extending the season like other resorts. "Why bother, it's cold outside".


Humberstone Road


AS a local boat owner I take an interest in what's happening around the broads network, and one thing that came to my attention last winter and again this November is that at Yarmouth yacht station a number of signs have been put up saying “Danger, no mooring, moorings closed.”

Boats use the broads all year round, but holidaymakers and private owners cannot now moor in Yarmouth and walk into town thus bringing much needed money into the local economy. As the Broads Authority looks after these in the summer months I contacted them to find out why the signs had been put up, and they informed me that from November 2 the control goes back to the council for the winter and they had nothing to do with the warning signs.

My next step was to contact the council tourist board who again knew nothing about them but did put me on to another department where I spoke to a man who said that for insurance reasons they close them down in the winter. I pointed out to him that no other moorings on the broads close in the winter and that the footpath which runs along the yacht station quay edge remains open and is floodlit the entire length of the moorings from dusk till dawn.

He then said I should speak to someone in the corporate risk department so after making more inquiries I was told the name of the council officer to speak to, the receptionist at council tried to put me through but he was not available so she took my phone details to pass on and also sent him an email briefly to say what the problem was about. This was around November 13 and since then I have emailed him myself but still had no reply.

So until the signs come down the hard pressed traders of Great Yarmouth can miss out on a little bit of extra custom from passing boaters.




JOHN Guilford Miles was a captain in the 6th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment who was killed in France, whilst on active duty, on June 27, 1918. He left a widow, Evelyn, and was the son of John Caley Miles, a well-known partner of the auctioneers and estate agents, Maddison, Miles & Son of 10 Regent Street between the wars.

J C Miles' son, I assume, Owen ran the business after the second world war and they were the biggest company involved in the Cattle Market auctions in Great Yarmouth.

I am researching the life of John Guilford Miles and have quite a history of his war, death and burial in France but would like to know more about his life and relatives in Great Yarmouth. I would be grateful if anyone with information which might help in this research could contact me.


The Thatchers


I WAS pleasantly surprised to open your newspaper (November 28) and find an article about Buster Meikle, a member of the pop group Unit Four Plus Two.

As a London bus driver back in the 1960s, I would often pick up Buster and the other members of his group after they had finished a gig at the Wolsey Hall in Cheshunt, Herts. They would sit upstairs in the bus and play their guitars and sing. I can still hear them singing “Well did you E'vah” from the film High Society!

The girl who subsequently became my wife was actually asked out by one member of the group. Of course, being a sensible girl, she declined. After all, who would give up a bus driver to go out with a rock star?

May I take this opportunity to pass on my best wishes to Buster and reflect on how fate has seen us both finish up in this neck of the woods.



Ormesby St Margaret

MY great grandparents were George Porter, born January 23 1879 at Row 33, Yarmouth and Alice Patterson born October 2 at Row 128, were married April 13 1901. They moved their family to Honley, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, between 1910 and 1911, and worked the permanent fairground at Hope Bank Pleasure Park, Honley.

When their children got older each one worked on the fairground operating different rides and sideshows. Animals, bears, lions, etc were also kept at the park which the Porter family looked after. The children at the time thought their parents owned the park but research suggests not.

I know the Hotchkiss Bicycle Railroad and Switchback rides were imported from Yarmouth along with their attendants for the start of the 1910 season at Hope Bank, dismantled from Yarmouth at the end of the 1909 season, and these dates fit in perfectly with the Porters moving to Yorkshire.

I am looking to find who owned the rides in Yarmouth, the dates they were imported and how they transported them to Honley, along with the names of the attendants who accompanied the rides. I am hoping somewhere this is recorded.

I also believe that the animals also were originally in Yarmouth, as in one family recollection, the lion was ill and someone from Yarmouth had to be sent to Yorkshire to decide whether it had to be put down. If any readers can help, I can be contacted at 33 Whitehead Lane, Primrose Hill, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD4 6AE or by email at tracynoble@ntlworld.com.


I'VE just read the article in the Mercury about the reprieve from increased council taxes following the Icelandic carry on, well I feel I just have to say yippeeee, but had our councillors not been so greedy in the first place then they wouldn't have to worry.

They clearly could have invested our taxes in Barclays or other financial institution and maybe collected 5pc in interest but no the council was greedy and chose to invest in the Icelandic fiasco in order to collect maybe 7pc, but instead lost the lot. Now they kindly give us, the taxpayer, a reprieve before they either cut services or raise taxes to replace the money they lost or both.

If I was as incompetent with my family's income who would reimburse me? No-one. And if I was as incompetent in my workplace I would be down the dole office before my feet could touch the ground.

We should sack those responsible for this fiasco, and make someone accountable for their actions.


Ivy Green

Gorleston on Sea

WITH reference to “Where are the extra spaces?,” (Letters, November 21), we would like to inform Charlie Peace, that any decision to charge blue badge holders for parking was not made at Centre 81.

Centre 81 does not have a policy regarding charging for disabled car parking spaces. Our aim is to work with individuals from a wide section of the community who have physical and/or sensory disabilities. Our members hold differing views about the majority of situations that affect them as a group.

Whilst some of Centre 81 members use their own transport the majority do use the door-to-door fully accessible buses. The door-to-door service operates across the length and the breath of the borough and is specifically designed to provide transport for individuals who are unable to access ordinary public transport. It operates five days a week boroughwide.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about the service and whether they are eligible, please contact Centre 81 Door-to-Door service on 01493 223373 for more information.


Chair of Centre 81 board of Trustees


Centre 81 and Door-to-Door

I WENT to see “The Original Dusmagrik” young people's theatre company's production of Les Miserables (in aid of Children in Need) on Friday and was almost rendered speechless by the sheer perfection of the performance. There are no superlatives great enough to describe the magnificence of the production, direction and performance of the show. I know it well as I've seen the London production many times but this was simply wonderful.

The reason for my mentioning that this show was by “The Original” company is that there is a totally different group working under the name of Dusmagrik Productions. Rather confusing I know.

Standing ovations are rare in this town but they got it and boy did they deserve it.



On a Saturday afternoon we were treated to an amazing performance of Les Miserable at Gorleston Pavilion. The cast from Dusmagrik Young People's Theatre Company transported us to the French Revolution and from the moment that the orchestra struck the first note we were amazed at the superb array of talent that these youngsters displayed. This was indeed a first class show.