Letters, April 17 2015

Family had Free Trade Stores

In reply to the letter from K Brown (April 10). My grandmother Edith Adams had the Free Trade Stores for 27 years. It is where my mum Olive, her brother George and her sister Margaret were brought up. As far as I know it was never a pub but an off licence.

It doesn’t look like a shop now but is a flat fronted home. I remember it being quite dark with lots of wood. She also sold Fox’s mints by the quarter. I’m sure Dennis Durrant can add more info as he lived close by at the same time.


Springfield Road,


Help researching old pocketwatch

Most Read

I’m an Italian collector of wristwatches and I like to find out the history of the watches that I own because behind the history of an object there is always the history of a person. My researches have made me get in contact with people all over the world and today here I am in Great Yarmouth.

A few weeks ago I bought an old pocketwatch with an engraving relating to the St John Motors. I tried research on the web and I found an article on the Great Yarmouth Mercury website with the photo of the showroom opening day.

Now I wonder if is possible to find someone who can tell me the history of that firm and even better, to find some descendent or relatives of Mr John L Myers. Could I ask the Mercury to help me to get in touch with them?

I assure you that my intentions are entirely honourable and my purpose is purely historical. Some of my researches have been published in the most important Italian Watch’s Forum.

I can be emailed on luigi.gori@teletu.it




Thanks to our fund recipients

Central and Northgate community panel would like to say thank you to all the local community groups which have delivered projects that have been funded in part by the Neighbourhood Fund over the last four years. The fund is now exhausted and panel members past and present have had the difficult but rewarding task to hand out grants totaling £33,428 to 14 groups delivering 21 projects in the Central and Northgate areas of Great Yarmouth. As it was match-funded the value of the projects exceeded £67,000 more than doubling the benefit to the community. We wish the local groups continuing success in the years to come.


Panel chairman

Top rate service from GP practice

The media is full of the problems being experienced when using the health service and, particularly, General Practitioners. May I tell you that there are no problems with the NHS or the General Practitioners serving Hemsby.

On Tuesday, March 17, having an increasingly wheezy chest and severe cough I telephoned the Hemsby Surgery of the Coastal Villages Practice. I explained I needed a late afternoon doctor’s appointment to fit into my busy day. I got a 4.30pm appointment and was prescribed antibiotics, and “Come back in seven days if there is still a problem”.

Six days later I contracted a dose of the Norovirus and developed a close attachment to the smallest room in the house which lasted several days. When I was next able to think for myself I realised I was still coughing and my chest was still playing tunes and the Bank Holiday weekend was fast approaching.

The Hemsby Surgery was closed but had a notice to the effect a doctor would be available for urgent problems at the Ormesby St Margaret Surgery on Saturday, April 4. I telephoned and spoke to a very professional and helpful receptionist. I explained my problem, I was found on the practice database, there was a discussion and I was told a prescription for a repeat dose of antibiotics would be available for collection by 11.30am.

I do not think I could have received better service than this. In my increasing experience of the GP Service in Hemsby it was no more than I confidently expected.

I just hope all those complaining of being unable to get a doctor’s appointment do not up-sticks and move to Hemsby.


Pit Road,


Why did port get bridge contract?

Haven Bridge is up and running and motorists will be pleased, but will the ratepayers? The work was carried out by Eastport UK Ltd (Mercury, April 10).

In 2007, Norfolk County Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Great Yarmouth Port Authority “gifted” the profitable parts of our river port (working quays) to the newly-formed Great Yarmouth Port Company, The liabilities of Haven Bridge and West Bank were kept for us ratepayers to pay for.

Would Norfolk County Council Highways please tell Mercury readers why it was necessary to award the contract for bridge repairs to Eastport UK (Great Yarmouth Port Company)? In 2007 the Port Company refused the Haven Bridge and the West Bank as they were a liability (no profit to be had).

Would NCC also tell us through the Mercury if they advertised for the work to be done on the bridge? And did they have the mandatory three tenders? And who were they?

To us the Port Company (Eastport UK) is a port management company, by no stretch of imagination are they bridge engineers.

By NCC Highways awarding the Port Company the contract, in doing so I feel was not in the ratepayers’ best interest. Highways should have gone directly to the engineering company that did the work, using a middle man was an expense the ratepayers did not need.


Burnt Lane,


Is Bradwell Co-op the new Lourdes?

I stood waiting at the cash machine on Saturday, and saw three people coming out of Bradwell Co-op and walk to their cars parked in the disabled bays completely unaided! No walking aids, not limping - no help needed at all.

One even ran out and jumped into their car and sped off at an extremely fast rate. Their disabled stickers had miraculously disappeared from their cars too. It was truly a miracle!

Surely the message is very clear - there’s no need to go to Lourdes in future, Bradwell Co-op is the place to be healed!

Name and Address withheld

Parking woes of visitor to town

I was born and spent about 55 years of my life in Great Yarmouth before moving to Bungay a few years ago. We often visit to see family, friends and shop. Over the last few years I have often supported the town against negative comments made in our local. However, over the Easter week I am beginning to be disillusioned.

During the week we came in to shop in the centre. Sometimes trying to get into Palmers car park can be a problem. Howard Street is full of cars showing disability cards, although watching people getting in and out of their cars is mind provoking.

There are double yellow lines on the road, and I am told by a friend with a disability card that you are not allowed to park where you would cause a hazard. This is a bus route and I and other cars have sat and waited while the bus has stopped, or deliveries have been made to the pubs and shops.

Just inside the car park are disability parking places that are usually empty. Why is this allowed? If you are disabled you are walking further into the town centre, especially if you are carrying heavy parcels.

Having arrived after 4pm I parked and started to walk away from the car, as it is normal no payment is required after this time. Seeing a person go to the machine and take a ticket I checked.

Assuming this is a summer rip-off, the fee has increased from £0.60p to £0.90p per hour, and the free time is now after 6pm. In future this will be a one hour stay instead of two/three, if we visit, or we will shop on the retail park. No fee. This means less footfall for the centre. What consideration is given to the local ratepayer.

On the Saturday evening we were invited to a meal in a restaurant on the seafront with friends. I drove past street after street partly empty, but could not park as it was residents only.

As time was passing we parked in the old jetty car park, because of the fact all streets beyond the front are now residents only we had no option. Our first two hours was £1.90/hr, but after then it was £2.40/hr. There is little wonder the car park was only partly full. We were told by friends this was cheap compared to some seafront parking. Our next get together will be out of town.

I thought the idea is to promote the town for people to visit. Perhaps the council feel that people visiting for a day or week will pay their rip-off fees, having made parking so difficult. However this seems to discourage people staying for any length of time, again less footfall, less money spent.

They could build a multi-storey car park in place of the white elephant called the Marina Centre, then build a true leisure centre on the old Beach Station land, which is what all the sports representatives requested all those years ago.

Would someone from the council please explain their logic.


Woods Close,


Well done to Dusmagrik cast

Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company has done it again with Bless ‘Em All. What a wonderful performance by each and every one of the company from the tiny little children right up to the senior members.

To see such youngsters performing and appearing to understand how it might have been to live through the wartime years was absolutely amazing. It was an all-round truly entertaining evening covering all emotions including nostalgia and brilliant comedy. Well done to you all.



Wonderful Easter care in the JPH

I have just spent Easter week in the JPH and would like to thank all staff for their wonderful care and attention during my stay in A&E, EADU and ward 15. Also I cannot fault any of the meals I was served. Many thanks again to you all.



Father shown compassion

My father, Mr Alfred Newlyn, has recently been discharged from a long stay at James Paget University Hospital. I, along with all family members who visited him, should like to express much gratitude to all staff that the care, compassion and respect shown to my father were second to none.

The professionalism, dedication and empathy of the entire team in the short stay medical unit constantly shone through. Whilst I am here may I also express our thanks to and praise for so many departments at the hospital: the kitchen department does a fantastic job of feeding hundreds of sick people on a variety of different diets each day and we had no complaints about the hot tasty meals, domestic staff and tea ladies offered much kindness and a friendly face as they worked Forth Road Bridge-style to keep the hospital as clean as physically possible.

To everyone involved in my dad’s care – doctors, ward and staff sisters, the sheer-hard-graft health care assistants, admin people, physios, the Louise Hamilton Centre, where there is always a listening ear for those in need of a chat – thank you to you all.

If ever any of our family requires future hospitalisation, we need look no further than our local Gorleston hospital to find the best care there is.



Another great show at theatre

The Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company have put on another great show. We went on Saturday evening to a packed full house! It was a great performance by all the cast, from age six to 18.

There were so many highlights, the “Andrew Sisters” singers were great, as were the young ones singing and acting out “Hey little Hen”. Also the young man doing his rendition of a Stanley Holloway monologue, and the ukulele player singing “Mr Woo”, using good accents. Well done again to Mary Carter and Janice Harvey, looking forward to July 4 already.



Questions about our bin changes

I have received some details of the borough council’s plans for the creation of wheelie bin collection points, which was requested under the FOI act.

Points were discussed but no details on how they were going to be addressed.I sent an email to Jane Beck, director of customer services on March 27 and requested details on how these points have been or will be addressed.

All of these points affected and a few particular problems could be a real issue. The visual impact of groups of wheelie bins has got to be an issue. It is not going to be aesthetically pleasing but there is no details on what could be considered acceptable and no discussion with any residents.

I have a particular concern regarding the issue of side waste or in fact general waste spillage. In areas where you have a collection of bins you invariably get a higher probability of waste spillage or just waste dumped adjacent to the bins. Also extra recycling waste can be placed at the side and will be collected.

The problem is if you get big piles of side recycling waste it could get blown or somehow distributed around the designated collection point and adjacent areas. How is this and the clearing of spilt or dumped general waste going to be addressed? Will it be cleared up on the actual day of collection?

Clearly when these bins are kept just within the highway boundary of your property this would not be an issue and any spillages would be your responsibility.

Mrs Beck stated in the Mercury the proposed savings of £80,000 was going to fund a brown bin collection. I asked her how the funding of this operation with cuts to services can be justified, when a brown bin collection team can collect from at least 5,000 homes at £40 per home.

This would generate £200,000 and receive a recycling credit of £75,000 per year, total £275,000, when a bin collection crew costs approximately £80,000 to £90,000 per year to operate.

Mrs Beck as yet has not replied.


Avocet Way


Decisions are done and dusted

I noticed with interest the comment by the Mercury that local people do not show any great interest in meetings organised by Yarmouth council and others to have some input into any major building projects in the area.

Well, if you have lived in Norfolk for 54 years as I have you will have a pretty good idea this is all tosh and nonsense. These meetings are already done and dusted.

You are only going to be able to comment on the sort of rubbish bins there are or are there going to be any cyclepaths etc.

Did we not have a front page of the Mercury, in I think 2008, of which the headline said we are full up and that Yarmouth and the surrounding area cannot build 5,000 plus houses.

Move on to 2012 and we get the headlines we have got to build 900 houses for keyworkers in London and the south east. It is pretty obvious local government has been given its orders!

We can also do without the crocodile tears about loss of farmland for the Beacon Park and surrounding areas.

They were saying that when they started to build Bradwell or at least the Ministry of Agriculture did. They also said that Bradwell was going to be an overspill for Yarmouth.

What a joke, more like London and the Midlands.


Butt Lane,

Burgh Castle

Services should remain ‘local’

As a patient of one of the surgeries that is at present the subject of being moved to the James Paget Hospital site I would like to add my support to those that are asking for all patients to shout about having there “local” services moved.

Having “local” services provided in the area is one all have strived for over the years.

I was also pleased to read the local council is backing the view these services should be left where they are and I would wholeheartedly support those councillors to help keep these in the correct place, that is “local”.

The whole argument about having them moved to the hospital site is at present giving some very grave concerns as we read in the Mercury some two weeks ago the hospital itself is struggling to make the books balance s.

We have excellent staff within the health economy of Great Yarmouth and they are to be congratulated, but ask them where they want to be and it is ‘in the community” and not having to struggle to park or travel to a site not local to their patients and already overcrowded.

It is refreshing to read within the literature dropping through the letterbox from certain political parties that they too are supporting “local” health services.

It would also be useful if we had a view from the Norfolk Health and Wellbeing Board on these proposals as they are responsible for looking at the whole packages across the county in providing a complete integrated service and would need to be completely satisfied the service being provided looks at the holistic approach at what is needed in each area of the population.

I think it only leaves me to say that all of us who live in these areas need to be united in fighting to maintain what is and should be provided within out local community.

For once let’s see that patient first really means just that.



Praise for bridge disaster highlight

Your readers must be wondering whatever connection there is between myself and the Suspension Bridge disaster which occurred nearly 170 years ago.

As a person who came to Great Yarmouth in 1951 aged 18, I have 64 years of fascination with the history and events which have taken place over the years.

The terrible tragedy which happened in 1875 robbed 79 local people of their lives, almost 60 of their children between five and 13 years of age!

Julie Staff has worked so very hard in raising the money for the magnificent and fitting memorial now on the bank of the River Bure and currently, she is organising a special memorial Day to take place on May 2 to further publicise the event.

My own connection is that like the clown who performed the publicity stunt, my father was a professional circus clown, who came to Great Yarmouth with the family in 1951 to join Billy Russell’s first circus at the Hippodrome after the second world war.

As a performer he knew only too well the value of publicity, but the action of a clown being drawn in a barrel down the River Bure by geese was an event which was meant to attract and entertain which went horribly wrong.

Many circus performers rick their own lives to promote their shows, but it is very rare that a stunt could go so tragically wrong and so many lives lost.

Well done Julie for bringing this historic event to our attention, and the very greatest success with the arrangements for May 2.


Southtown Road,

Great Yarmouth