Letters, April 24 2015

Cyclists on wrong side of the road

I am complaining about the new trend of young cyclists seeming to think it’s okay to ride their bikes on the wrong side of the road, going along the cycle lane against the oncoming traffic.

This practice must be stamped out before someone is hurt or a death occurs due to their negligence.

Not only is this illegal behaviour it is also total madness. Please could the police get tough on these crazy cyclists so a tragedy does not occur on our roads.



Living Wage debate cynical

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Last week, Great Yarmouth Borough Council had the opportunity to implement a plan to move towards Living Wage accreditation.

A vote in favour of the plan would have been visionary. GYBC could have been a beacon of good practice and hope.

The plan would also have allowed GYBC to use its leverage power to ensure all council contractors pay the Living Wage to their staff.

Not only is the Living wage better for staff, but it is also better for business.

Independent studies, based on studies on the London Living Wage, have concluded that work productivity is improved by 80pc and absenteeism reduced by 25pc.

Two-thirds of employers also saw a significant improvement on recruitment and retention of staff.

Unfortunately, a cynical debate saw the proposal kicked into the long grass by a short-sighted alliance. This opportunity has now been lost.



Transformation of our Bloaters

Congratulations to all the management, committee, helpers and playing staff of Great Yarmouth Football Club.

Only two to three seasons ago the club was really struggling but a remarkable transformation has taken place thanks to the efforts of all the people mentioned.

Hopefully Ricci will get his wish for the local derby to be resumed next season. Wishing Great Yarmouth Football Club continued success.


Bately Avenue,


The positives of Great Yarmouth

Readers might have noticed a rather divisive and unflattering article in The Times on the April 3 entitled “Tensions run high in top UKIP target” and for the most part had a bleak and harsh tone. It was illustrated by a picture of our beloved market chip stalls and a lady dashing past in what was probably a howling east wind.

I wrote a letter extolling the positives of Great Yarmouth without expecting it to be published and was proved correct. I thought Mercury readers might like to read it:

“I read with particular interest (Tensions run high,.. 3 April) because I live in Great Yarmouth and if we had wanted a ‘hatchet; job done, we would have hired a professional.

“This is I feel was a sloppy article which appealed to the lowest common denominator and is not a true reflection of my town. Yes, we do have problems with unemployment and deprivation but my word are trying in these still very tough times to ameliorate their implications.

“We have a migrant population who for the most part have settled and made decent lives for themselves and we do need their input in our town.

“But to make out that a certain area is practically a ghetto is not helpful and actually King Street has become a diverse and multicultural area of the town. I work as a volunteer steward at St George’s Theatre which is a beautiful and award-winning Georgian church conversion.

“This is also on King Street and has a restaurant and performance space for all kinds of activity from all our diverse community. We hold several festivals throughout the year as well as being a popular resort with an attractive and modern seafront.

“To hone into ‘inebriated’ chanting men would not be impossible to find in any pub in any part of the country. So we are not unique in this and if we are a UKIP target, I have great faith in Great Yarmouth people deciding rationally for themselves and not to be whipped up gratuitously.

“…By the way our market chips are famous but we don’t live on them.”



Are candidates pressing flesh?

I got a bit of a shock the other day when I came across a newspaper headline saying there were something like 486 days until the election.

I came over all funny and had to sit down for a while until I read further and found out it referred to the American election in 2016.

Even so, our own seems to have been going on for ages with almost blanket television coverage and those infernal leaflets through the post. Not a great deal of engagement with the public at large however. Whatever happened to “pressing the flesh” and facing up to awkward questions?

One candidate claims to have met 30,000 prospective voters. I don’t think so.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see them all out on Saturday afternoon in the Market Place on the two weekends remaining before May 7? I’m not holding my breath.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Celebrating our Home-Start

Home-Start Great Yarmouth and District is celebrating having worked successfully in the borough to support families with young children for 20 years.

We are planning a tea party to recognise this achievement at 2.30pm on Thursday, July 16 at the Priory Centre. Anyone interested in attending is asked to ring the office at Gorleston Library on 01493 603221 or email homestartgy@btconnect.com.

We would just love to see anyone who has worked for the organisation as a volunteer, member of staff or a trustee. Also it would be really great if any of those involved in the setting up of the scheme were able to join us; similarly if you are or have been a referrer or family who has been supported, just get in touch and we will send you an invitation.

We do need everyone interested to make contact, and not just turn up on the day, otherwise we won’t have enough food! We are also planning to have a raffle with some excellent prizes.

If you have any memorabilia, photographs etc we can borrow that would also be very welcome, in order that we can have a display on the day to recall the past. Please contact the office if you would like to attend or can help with any resources.


Chairman of Trustees

Home-Start Great Yarmouth and District

Why negativity towards NHS?

I am at times perplexed with the negativity by the media towards the NHS and Social Services. One often reads and hears of scathing criticism of both but one hears little of praise.

Recently my wife Elizabeth passed away from cancer. Step in social services who installed an amazing bed in our lounge, alongside other necessary aids.

When I needed help, the caring agencies were on hand. Firstly Hospice in the Home then, One to One. Both with a team of ladies of whom I cannot give enough praise and thanks to. Their wonderful ladies were so caring, kind and gentle it was a pleasure to have them in our house.

The week before Christmas, JPH informed Elizabeth she needed a minor procedure. So near to Christmas, she asked if it could be postponed until the new year, but the doctor said it could be done the next day, of course, we went ahead. How amazing.

On February 19, Elizabeth sadly passed away. Now physical exhausted, I was taken into JPH with heart-related problems and was able to observe the other five gentlemen on the cardiac ward were all suffering dementia.

The care the doctors, sisters, nurses, auxiliaries were able to give these gentlemen was truly wonderful, never getting impatient or cross despite their demanding ways day and night.

During my week in hospital I could not fault the level of care I received. Furthermore the food is extremely good, especially as I am a gluten-free diet, always served hot; my compliments to the chefs and catering staff. How do they do it?

I know the NHS has lots of faults and is a huge burden to any government but, for me, I will not hear the negativity of its frailty. And to have this wonderful free health facility literally on our doorsteps how good is that?

Finally, may I thank everyone who have contributed so far, a magnificent £1,500 towards the fund for the proposed small children’s swings area to be erected near the pirate ship on our Gorleston cliff top in Elizabeth’s memory. Further donations to the fund if desired, to Arthur Jary and Son. Gorleston High Street, will be most gratefully received.


Victoria Road,


More pay for our NHS staff

Now home from two days at the JPH undergoing treatment, I have sympathy for all you ladies. Many thanks to the staff of all departments you deserve a good rise in pay for the excellent work you do. To pay for this - when MPs say we cannot afford it – we should reduce the number of them and make them redundant as they were the ones who got us in this mess, not us, the working public and senior citizens.


Amhurst Gardens,


Heart treatment was superb

I would like to add my voice to those praising the James Paget Hospital. On Monday, April 13 I had a heart attack and was admitted to the acute cardiac unit that evening.

My treatment was superb and continued until I was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for an angiogram.

This was carried out on Thursday, May 16 and a stent fitted, before discharge the next day. Altogether I have nothing but praise for the treatment I received.



I lived at Free Trade Stores

Remember Free Trade Stores? Yes, I can remember the Free Trade Stores very well as I lived there from when I was three years old for 24 years until I got married in 1959. My mother, Mrs Adams, was the licensee for over 30 years. It was never a public house - only an off licence (bottle and jug). The building has now been converted into two flats.



Why sand is lost from beaches

Explaining erosion in simple terms. The letter that recently appeared in the Mercury from reader B J Rudd demonstrated his acute and perceptive understanding of the mechanism as to why the sand is being lost from our beaches.

His “theory” is in fact exactly what’s happening, but not dressed up in the complex terminology of coastal geomorphology that is employed in describing the mechanism of sand flow made in some scientific studies.

It employs simple observation and a good knowledge of the impact to the shoreline following the removal of 230 million tonnes of sand from the Great Yarmouth offshore seabed over the past 30 years.


Heath Crescent


Marina Centre no white elephant

In response to Mr Alf Skippen’s letter last week’s Mercury. I would like to point out one or two things he failed to know about the Marina Centre, which he considers a white elephant.

RetroSkate, sited at the end of this building, is a brilliantly run roller-skating venue that entertains and teaches hundreds of children and adults each week.

It is held in such high regard that the Federation of Roller Skating (FARS) chose the venue to hold their British Figure Championships last weekend. This is the first time Great Yarmouth has hosted a championships for 40 years!

Competitors and their supporters travelled from Middlesborough, Oxford, Wolverhampton, etc to attend the event.

Why not, when you are next in Yarmouth Mr Skippen, pay a visit to one of their many public sessions and enjoy some refreshment. Then you can witness children, parents and grandparents enjoying together a healthy activity in a safe, clean environment.

I personally don’t think a multi-storey car park compares!

As for using the old Beach coach station, there is not the space to build a new leisure centre with a car parkl Are you also aware new housing already takes up one-third of it?

Name and Address withheld

Young girls gave help to my mum

I would like to say a big thank you to the young girls who helped my mother after she had a nasty fall in Market Gates on Friday, April 17. They not only helped her up but called the paramedics who came to her aid.

She had a nasty gash on her nose, which was followed by two black eyes the next day. She was very shocked after her fall but doing okay. Again thank you so much.



No complaints about local NHS

Why all the fuss about the NHS? I can only comment through my and my wife’s experience.

In the last two weeks my wife has had three appointments at the James Paget namely hearing clinic, X ray department, and eye clinic.

The appointment for the hearing clinic was spot on time, the X ray was five minutes late and the eye clinic was 20 minutes late. I can’t see anyone in their right mind can complain about that record of events.

Overall we found all staff etc very polite and attentive, the hospital was very clean and tidy throughout. My wife and I both think we are very lucky to have such a fine hospital and we give full credit to all staff, doctors and nurses. We have no complaints.


East Anglian Way,


Relocating the GPs is stupidity

I am a patient at the Family Healthcare Centre in Gorleston, and I am very concerned at the proposed move to the James Paget Hospital, should I need treatment.

Can anybody explain why this might happen because I think it is absolute stupidity.

Hundreds of people visit the centre every week with the car parking so convenient and if you think about it, the James Paget must be one of the worst places ever to park. If you need to attend the surgery regularly it will cost a lot of money, where at the moment it costs nothing.

I cannot see how the CCG can say that moving everyone into one building would be fit for purposes and that it would improve services. It is more like the very opposite.


Station Road South,


Handbag and the cash handed in

I wanted to share a story with you, one that has restored my faith in human nature. My daughter lost her handbag over two months ago in the Bradwell area at night. We forgot all about it as there was nothing we could do and the money she had in the bag would be long gone.

Last week I received a phone call from a lovely polite man saying he was from Tesco lost property. He asked to speak to my daughter, who at the time was at college. I said I was the mother and could I take a message. He said it was confidential and was unable discuss it with me.

Finally he was able to reach my daughter on her mobile. He told her the police were trying to contact her and he was able to get her details from the clubcard key ring attached to her keys, which were in her bag.

My daughter was stunned and shocked because she had lost hope of getting her bag back. The nice man from Tesco then gave her a reference number and told her that her bag was at the local police station.

Apparently the police had contacted Tesco and asked them to contact my daughter via her club card registration.

At the police the station, we were surprised all the contents in the bag were still there. Even more surprised her money was also still there.

I would like to say a huge thank you to the person who found the bag and was honest enough to hand it in to the police station



Difficulties of the toll roads

Parliamentary candidates promoting another river crossing, a toll bridge according to one councillor, can hardly be unaware of reports about financial difficulties being encountered by the M6 toll road company.

Outside rush hours drivers are using the free M6 which is not then significantly more congested than the toll road.

One driver on his latest journey along the M6 toll counted only two lorries, more than he remembers seeing on previous journeys which he makes at least a dozen times a year. The M6 is a luxury whose fees, over £11 for an HGV, do not for most people justify the choice of a longer route with possible time delays at a toll booth.

Who then will use the proposed bridge and why? The South Denes area will not generate all that much residential or commercial traffic. Which HGV companies would pay to cross the bridge only to meet congestion at the Gapton roundabout? Or is it for southbound traffic only? An absurd idea.

If they really believe in this bridge these candidates must know something the electorate do not. More likely they are just chanting a mantra they think the electorate wants to hear – though probably as effective and soothing as chanting “Ommm”.

Unless he/she can demonstrate the case for a third crossing any candidate who really believes in the viability of the bridge is so out of touch that his/her suitability for government office must be questioned.



I delivered soft drinks to Stores

I remember the Free Trades Store well, also Mrs Adams, in Bells Road, Gorleston. It was owned by Lacons Brewery and was an off-licence. I delivered soft drinks there when at Hunts (Yarmouth) Ltd, in the 1950s also my aunt Irene and Uncle Josh ran the Royal Albert in the 1940s.


Elizabeth Crescent

Caister on Sea

Show on par with London offering

Congratulations to Gorleston Theatre Company on their production of Oliver at the Pavilion theatre last week. All the cast were absolutely fantastic and on a par with a London show. The Artful Dodger played by Noah Keeler was brilliant also the singing by all the cast was truly superb. Looking forward to the next show.


Whimbrel Drive


An honour being mayor of borough

I write to express my thanks to all of those whose supported the mayor’s Civic Ball, which was held in the prestigious surroundings of the Assembly Room, at the Town Hall, last Friday (April 17). It was such a lovely occasion – a great charity fundraiser and the perfect way to end my special year as mayor of the Great Yarmouth borough, a position which has been a genuine honour and a privilege to fulfil.

Through entry ticket sales, an auction and a raffle, the ball raised in the region of £1,200 for the charities I have chosen to support this year, including Great Yarmouth Salvation Army, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, and the Great Yarmouth branch of the Royal British Legion. Everyone enjoyed themselves and gave so generously to these causes. I would like to thank all those who came along on the night, as well as those who donated the fantastic auction and raffle prizes.


Mayor of Great Yarmouth