Letters, April 10 2015

Port entry will be act of goodwill

Councillors out for a few more votes may not be the best people to speak on behalf of those calling for public access to the outer harbour site. (Mercury, March 27).

Responsible organisations representing various interest groups would be more authentic. Groups representing naturalists, anglers and photographers might have cause to offer their support. Calls for open days might also be reasonable.

Given the present management ethos of Eastport it seems unlikely that access will be granted at present, but if ever in the future it is, at least on occasions when port activity is quiet, it will be only as an act of goodwill not because of claims to property rights, appeals to the Home Secretary or for pointless demands to just drive round the harbour bend.

Health and safety and security demands placed upon modern port operations do not prohibit visits by authorised members of the public who would in fact increase site security.

Campaigners must however be prepared to incur costs if identity cards and insurance cover is called for.


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Elmgrove Road,


Paragliders over protected beach

Last year I drew to the attention of Great Yarmouth Borough Council that a number of paragliders were overflying the North Denes beach area.

The council’s environmental department at the time seemed unaware that this is an area of Special Scientific Interest (SSI). An SSI applies not only to plants but also to birds. Many users of the North Denes will be aware that there is a permanent population of skylarks on the site. Skylarks are red listed which means that they are in severe decline and their breeding areas must be protected.

In the next few weeks, we normally expect to see the first little terns arriving who will also be looking for nesting sites on the beach adjacent to the dunes. The little terns have an even higher legal status of protection.

On Easter Sunday afternoon the peace and quiet of the SSI was again disturbed by a paraglider. As birds have begun their annual breeding cycle, is it not time that GYBC got their act together and took note of their responsibility for this SSI?

Incidentally, last year a number of these paragliders flew over the Denes area but on several occasions went over North Drive, Barnard Avenue and Collingwood Road. Can this activity be regarded as safe particularly as they fly at low level and could interfere with the flight paths of all birds nesting in the dunes and could be a danger to the public?


Blake Road,

Great Yarmouth

Be aware of the cold-callers

After the recent reports in the media, readers will undoubtedly be aware of the dangers of inviting further talks and correspondence with “cold call” companies.

I would like to further warn people this practice is already taking place in this area. Only last week a lovely couple came to our Great Yarmouth office having received a “cold-call” from a man selling pre-payment funeral plans. The information they had been given was inaccurate and misleading and had they taken out one of the other company’s plans, it would have cost them several hundred pounds more than it needed to.

Please remember the people selling these plans seldom have any connection with the funeral profession and are salespersons working on a commission basis, for which you may pay dearly.

Another lady called in to say they had been “cold called”, and she had been told Arthur Jary and Sons would carry out the funeral – guaranteed. This is not the case!

Do not assume your chosen funeral director will carry out a funeral sold by a third-party, even if the company selling the plan says they will.

Do not agree for these callers to visit you in your home where you will put under pressure to take out a plan.

I can only speak for my company, we will always visit people at home but only at their request and invitation. We never, ever, cold call! Shop around and make your own choice.


Managing Director

Arthur Jary and Sons Ltd

Disturbed by the New Mystics

On April 11-12, Emmanuel Church, Great Yarmouth, are hosting a speaker from the New Mystics movement. A few years ago my wife and I went to one of their events in Torquay and were deeply disturbed by what we saw. For those thinking of going to these meetings, see http://ow.ly/L7cLo and http://ow.ly/L7c47.


Albemarle Road,


We were kept in the dark too

I am emailing on behalf of Caister Parish Council. The Parish Council appears to have been bypassed completely by GYBC regarding the work carried out by Haven Holidays on the Dunes at Caister.

Having had no notification of any planned work the Parish Council has been left in the dark and has been left to face angry parishioners and deal with their complaints on a matter that we as a council knew nothing about.

Having found out about the works purely by chance we have had no chance of being able to answer any of the complaints we have received and feel let down by those whose job it is to keep us in the loop.

It is completely unsatisfactory for us a council to say to parishioners that we knew nothing about the work that was to be carried out and I am sure some will not believe the fact we were kept in the dark.

We feel that GYBC and Haven should have known the work was likely to upset some and it was in their interest as well as ours to ensure the general public were made aware of the impending works in the same way as is the case for planning applications.

Caister Parish Council feels it has been left carrying the blame for works it knew absolutely nothing about.


Vice chairman

Caister Parish Council

Chief exec wage is outrageous

Your article March 27, relating to the continuation of Gordon Mitchell as CEO of Great Yarmouth at the princely sum of £995 a day is outrageous. As a ratepayer,

I would like members from all parties to explain what we are getting for our money, and what has been achieved by Mr Mitchell because I for one cannot see any improvement in the town or the surrounding area?While travelling through North Walsham recently I saw that someone has crossed out the Great in Great Yarmouth on the road sign, which just about sums the town up. So would someone like to explain to townspeople what he has achieved and for whom.



I’ve visited most of the docks ...

Having spent most of my working life as an HGV driver I would often be sent into docks around the UK, in fact there’s probably not many I haven’t visited eg Liverpool, Hull, Tilbury, Southampton, Felixstowe, I could go on and fill this page.

But Cllr Trevor Wainwright, (Page 33, Mercury last week) quoted Harrogate docks. I don’t think so Mr Wainwright. Harrogate is a small town almost on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and I don’t think there’s even a river there. Some of the locals have probably never set eyes on a ship ! Maybe he is getting muddled up with Hartlepool docks which are almost gone now anyway.


Lilac Close,


Tracing relatives of the Sharman’s

I am trying to trace relatives of my grandparents, Robert Walter Sharman and his wife.

On the death of my grandfather, who was a lay preacher in the church, my grandmother took up residence at 26 Stone Road, Great Yarmouth and lived there until she died. My mother was Alice Maud Sharman.

My Sharman grandparents had 13 children. I am completing a history of the family and am anxious to make contact with anyone who has a connection with Granny Sharman. Any replies to Kintara House, Newton Road, Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire AB42 5EF.


Three months of car vandalism

My wife and I have lived on Havelock Road in Great Yarmouth for 43 years. In 2000, I bought a second hand Rover car and until three months ago I have never had any trouble. However, it has in those three months been scratched all the way round and had 16 tyres punctured – and it always happens on a Thursday night/early hours of Friday. This damage has cost me £1,000 just for the tyres.

One of the reasons I have written this letter is to let the culprit know, whoever he or she is, you have upset an OAP. I hope the culprit reads this letter because I am going to scrap my car and be without transport.

Thank you for all the trouble you have brought on my wife and I.

Name and Address withheld

All council people get high wages

I think the Great Yarmouth Borough Council should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for sparking off the suggestion of taking waste bins to a collection point.

Have they not thought of the elderly and infirm people. We have to pay our council tax so in my opinion that should be well reduced. I know for a fact that all people who work for the council get very high wages and that includes the bin men, well they can’t call themselves men, as years ago they had to carry the bins on their backs, they were men back then! Disgraceful, so therefore I hope the general public will make things difficult for the council!



Wonderful care at the A&E unit

I have fallen three times in the last week and on each occasion I have had to visit the A&E department at the James Paget Hospital.

I cannot say thank you enough to everyone there and have been over the moon with the care I was given.

The treatment was wonderful. I now have 21 stitches in my arm and have put aside my stick and taken to a walker as a safer option.


Fern Gardens


Shops need to be patronised

I was very disappointed to read that car parking charges in the town centre are to be raised to 90p per hour and even more disappointed that the system of free parking after 4pm is to be scrapped.

I found it to be a very useful facility which I used frequently. It was so convenient to be able to browse, shop, do my banking etc and not have to worry if my parking time had expired. Rather than scrap this scheme, I feel it should have been brought forward to 3pm.

I cannot see any sense at all in raising parking charges when our town centre is already failing. Surely some reduction in charges would be sensible to boost custom? I cannot imagine that the First Hour Free Scheme will do much to help matters.

Surely town centre parking should be available so we can patronise any, or all, shops? Why should we have to make a minimum spend in selected shops to have an hour’s free parking?

I do hope this decision will be reversed.


Barnard Crescent,

Great Yarmouth

Esplanade target of stop up order

Well 55 people was a good turn-out to Gorleston library to discuss the closed South Beach Parade.

I never attended as I have been saturated with other complaints about our Port. But my hackles rose when reading the report in last week’s Mercury.

At the meeting Cllr Wainwright most emphatically stated the Secretary of State gave authorisation for the closure.

Regardless of Cllr Wainwright’s comment the road is yet another part of what is wrong with the River Port and Outer Harbour.

n2005 Harbour Revision Order was given the legal permission to build the Outer Harbour as per the 1986 Outer Harbour Act.

nThe 2005 HRO does not authorise the closure or stopping up of the South Beach Parade, it states quite clearly the Esplanade.

nNow in October 2006 the private port company commissioned civil engineers to produce a drawing to stop up the road, this was eight months before contracts between the Port Authority and the Port Company were signed in the 25th May 2007

nAs the 2005 HRO stated the Esplanade to be stopped up, GYBC, NCC, and the Port Authority had to try another way to get the road closed.

nOn the 17th of November 2009 the GYPA used the Town and Country Planning Act 1990: The Stopping Up Of Highways (East) (No 52) Oder 2009.

nNCC has an excuse why the 2005 HRO did not support the closure: “Norfolk County Council Highways Department have confirmed that the stopping up of South Beach Parade was erroneously not included in the 2005 Harbour Revision Order, the County Council had to rectify this by stopping it up under the Town and Country Planning Act.

Information is (or should be) two way this stopping up of the highway was not advertised in any form to allow local community or stakeholders the chance to have any say in the road closure, as most parts of this gifting of the River Port to the Port Company GYPA, GYBC, and NCC was carried out behind closed doors.

nIn the GYM on March 27 rate-payers that resort to statements in the Press those who complain are called trolls, this came about because the GYBC advertised in the Mercury that on March 27 there would be a meeting at the Town Hall to discuss ratepayer’s grievance’s. Note the date, GYBC complained because only 19 persons attended! Only those who read the Mercury during the day know about it. Could the low attendance be blamed on trolls or GYBC attempts to ensure the minimum persons attended.

The Great Yarmouth Heritage and Scrutiny Group has lodged a complaint with the Secretary of State for Ports.

We are making the unofficial road closure part of that complaint as those that closed the road were acting, we allege with absolutely no legal premise.


Burnt Lane,


Remember Free Trade Stores pub?

Re Peggotty’s mention of Bell’s Road pubs (April 3). According to my 1957 Kelly’s Directory there was once another pub there, apart from the Royal Albert. This was the Free Trade Stores at numbers 49-50 (corner of South Road).

And in 1957 the proprietor was Mrs E E Adams, again described as a “beer retailer”. This closed, I am told in 1967 but the building remains and still looks like a converted pub.

Free Trade Stores sounds more like an off-licence name, admittedly – but elsewhere in the directory, for instance on Ordnance Road, off licences were described as just that.

I recall somebody wanting to refurbish The Royal Albert and re-open it as a pub but permission was refused after local residents protested with fears of late night noise. So sadly, the cosy looking little establishment was lost to development

In my picture, note the large sign pointing to the smoke room – and the pub was Lacons (green and cream livery) to the very end! Does anybody remember the Free Trade Stores?


Exeter Road,


Explain job of the highly paid chief

Re the wages of the borough council’s interim chief executive, £995 a day, Mercury, March 27.

How can this be justified when we cannot afford to keep public toilets open, and wanting to save money by reducing our rubbish collectors and making the residents push their bins to a communal collection and taking them back again after being emptied.

We find this hard to justify. Could Mr Gordon Mitchell please explain just what his job entails to warrant such money, No wonder the poll tax is so high.


Great Yarmouth

Building has been transformed

What has happened to that rundown, seemingly abandoned and shabby building in King Street (where the Mercury office is)? Wow, from the back in the car park it is looking so good. I discover it is flats.

Well done to whoever owns the building. It is certainly different from when I was last here a year ago when all the back windows were boarded up and painted black. Made me fair shiver it did.

One eyesore down, hundreds to go. Perhaps other Mercury readers would like to nominate their “unfavourite” building in either Yarmouth, Gorleston or where they live, and which deserves more than a lick of paint - yes, real investment!

I could name a few but as a rare visitor I think this should come from locals, or don’t locals care any more about how their town looks?

Come on, have your say!