Letters, April 15 2016

Anyone recall pig-face woman?

Strange one this, but am I mad or have imagined it? It was the summer of 1981 or 1982 and I was about nine years old and on holiday at Caister Labrookes with my mum, dad and younger brother.

We had gone into Great Yarmouth for the evening and were on the way back from the Pleasure Beach walking on the opposite side of the road and somewhere near the Oasis I saw it! There was waxwork or exhibition thing somewhere on the seafront and it terrified me for years.

All I can remember there was a photo on the board outside saying something like “new attraction, pig woman” - and this woman with the face of a pig!

I had a very vivid imagination as a child. We never went in but the poster gave me nightmares that probably woke up half the caravans in Caister that night!

After that when we went into Yarmouth I wouldn’t even go on that side of the road for the duration of the holiday. Very awkward for my poor mum and dad! Of course my younger brother loved pulling pig faces in the middle of the night to freak me out!

One of my friends who was on holiday at the same time vaguely remembers it as well so I know I’ve not gone completely gaga.

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I was telling the story to my son and we looked on the internet to try and find something and... nothing.

I have contacted the tourist information centre and library who have been very helpful but cannot find anything concrete.

Some suggestions have been that it may be something to do with an “odditourium” or a waxworks that was housed in the Windmill Theatre before Ripleys came along or something to do with the “Terror Castle” an attraction in the 1980s on the seafront.

Can anyone shed any light on this, and just confirm I’m not going completely mad?



Applaud vision and commitment

I attended the official opening of the Age Concern Great Yarmouth new Acorn Centre last week. I was delighted to see a great number of people also enjoying the morning.

It goes without saying this has been a passion of Jackie Tierney and her amazing team to bring this all together with the support of the Trustees of Age Concern.

I hasten to add they have achieved this while still diligently carrying out their full time jobs at Age Concern.

It also goes without saying they also have a committed team of volunteers who have also given up a lot of their spare time in making this centre the place it is today.

Their vision and commitment should be applauded, many of us who have worked together over the years have dreamed of having this facility on the high street for people who are on their own being able to mix with likeminded people and have that so very important social interaction which could easily make the difference to their lives.

I wish them every success for the future.


Caister North Ward Councillor

Expand on site not duplicate

Re the Sea Life Centre application to erect food outlets on the seafront. This is a classic example of a large group trying to take every last penny with no regard to any other traders.

If this is to service existing customers why is it not bolted onto existing catering facilities on the north side as they have plenty of land there which they lease from the council.

Instead they decide to put in planning for the south side. There is already far too many catering outlets to service visitor numbers already.

Why can they not come up with a expansion plan that will be a benefit to the seafront instead of duplicating what is already in place. I am sure Merlin is not that hard up for a bit of revenue of food outlets.



Re-classify this village road as B

I noticed a letter regarding the removal of cat’s eyes on the A149 at Rollesby, in this week’s Mercury. It is normal practice to remove cat’s eyes from a road prior to carrying out surface dressing.

I noticed this work being carried out last week, incidentally during the last week of the Norfolk County Council budget.

It was obviously carried out within the period of last year’s budget in order to use up outstanding funds and to alleviate expenditure from the new budget for year commencing April 1.

As a taxpayer I welcome the forethought of the highways department.

Whilst writing, I would draw your attention to the use by buses, both for school runs and the service to North Walsham, along Martham Road, Rollesby and Rollesby Road, Martham. This road is I believe classified as a “C” road and as such does not have white lines or cat’s eyes to define the centre of the road. As this road is heavily used by traffic between both villages I feel the road should be raised to a “B” in line with being a service bus route.

This would lead to the correct road marking and make the road much safer, particularly at night.


Staithe Road,


Is the EU past its best before date?

A supermarket recently refused to sell me a packet of dried fruit because its best before date had been exceeded. They told me all food products past whatever end date were thrown away.

I did some checking and found it is illegal to sell food with use by dates exceeded, such as fresh fish and meats, but not illegal to sell food with best before or sell by dates exceeded, such as fruit, nuts and biscuits.

Apparently seven million tonnes of perfectly edible food is dumped annually by UK retailers, in the entire EU it is over 90 million. There can only be one explanation for this criminal wastage - fear of prosecution!

We are no longer a democracy. Ostensibly non-political, the unaccountable, above-the-law European judiciary is set to become the de facto President of the future Republic of Europe.

EU judges are already at the top in our national pecking order: above Queen and Parliament, have usurped our justice system and prosecute our Government at the behest of political opponents and anti-British, anti-capitalist student and militant groups - all paid for by us, from our taxes. We should all be afraid - and very angry!

Why have our leaders allowed this to happen? One explanation: some politicians may have their eyes on future employment in, or for, the EU, or perhaps retiring to a vacant bathchair in the House of EU Law Lords. Unless we get off this egregious out-of control European gravy train - goodbye Great Britain.


St Nicholas Road,

Great Yarmouth

Homes plan was ‘hurried’ through

Last Tuesday (April 5) we attended the meeting at Great Yarmouth town hall regarding the proposed development of houses on the site known at the Mushroom farm in Martham. We received a hand delivered letter on Friday, April 1 notifying us of this meeting.

The letter stated that included was a list of names of people who had made representations regarding the application. This list of names was not enclosed with the letter. Furthermore, where there are a number of residents concerned about a proposed development, they can be represented at the meeting.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s public consultation procedure point (b) states “due notice of a request to speak shall be submitted in writing one week prior to the date of the meeting”. We would have been willing to represent the residents at the meeting, but as this meeting seems to have been rushed through, we weren’t given sufficient notice.

One of the councillors at the meeting stated they had only received the notes of the meeting 24 hours before and he hadn’t had a chance to read through them. As the road layout near to the Mushroom Farm site is going to be significantly altered, it would have been beneficial to all if the planning committee had made a visit to the area to see how residents will be affected by it.

We have made a formal complaint to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, but have not yet had a response. The application was passed without all the relevant information available for discussion.

It seems as though this application was hurried through without consideration given to local residents and their right to be fairly represented. The meeting was not held in accordance with the Great Yarmouth Borough guidelines and procedures.



Support when dog collapsed

Whilst out last Saturday morning with my two Golden retrievers, one collapsed on the pavement near the bottom of Second Avenue, Caister.

Within moments a lady offered to help, and a gentleman who was walking his Greyhound took charge of my other dog (who was very disturbed at what was happening to his mate) until help arrived.

Another gentleman came out of his home and offered to take myself and dogs straight to the vets! I declined his kind offer as I had already rang for help! May I use your letters column to express my sincere thanks to the people who helped me. Special people like this make the world a better place. My retriever is now making a good recovery.



A well done on Queen’s beacons

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Porterhouse Restaurant in Gorleston, for agreeing to light a Beacon in celebration of The Queen’s 90th Birthday on April 21, as a special, unique tribute to Her Majesty on her special day. And applaud their idea of inviting a young person - the future of our Nation - to light their beacon at 8.30pm.

They will be joining with Stokesby, another important community within the Borough of Great Yarmouth, in celebrating this important milestone in The Queen’s life, especially as we all know when Stokesby wants to celebrate they do it in style

The Borough Council of Great Yarmouth, along with the citizens of this fine and ancient borough, should applaud, support and be proud of the efforts of these two locations, especially as they are providing the borough with two events the local community can and should attend and enjoy that night.



The Queen’s 90th Birthday Beacons

Sea Life seeking the ‘best of both’

In connection with your article about the Sea Life Centre kiosks. Mr Mountney comments about the queues at peak times; the peak time for the Sea Life is when the weather is bad outside and this is not the time for buying food outside.

It is quite obvious they want to get the best of both worlds, busy inside when the weather is bad and then take the trade away from the existing outlets when the weather is nice.

The existing hot food and ice cream outlets have to pay extortionate rents to the borough council now, and allowing more kiosks selling the same thing would only dilute the forever dwindling trade. This is why the council brought out the rule about no more food on the east side of the seafront. There is a limit as to how many burgers and ice creams people can eat.

What is the point of setting this rule and then not upholding it, this was brought out to protect the existing outlets.



Emergency care teams brilliant

I would like to say a very big thank you to the ambulance team, the lady on the phone when I dialled 999 and all the staff in A&E at the James Paget Hospital. They were absolutely brilliant. This was for a friend who had a heart attack on Friday night and is still poorly in ITU, where the staff are so lovely. Once again, thank you



The clever ditties from way back

Peggotty continues to amuse and entertain. His list of what he calls “unsophisticated yet clever ditties from way back” was very impressive and redolent of a time when people used words much more carefully than they do now and to much greater effect.

Two of my particular favourites were “How will I know I’ll miss you if you never go away”’ and “Get down off the gas stove Granny, you’re too old to ride the range.”


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Living wage just the first step

In reply to MP Brandon Lewis’ comments regarding the National Living Wage.

The Living Wage will not help anyone under the age of 25 because they won’t get it, and that affects millions of young workers, which is very unfair. Secondly, a full-time job now is considered to be 30 hours per week and not 40 as Mr Lewis suggests, so therefore they will be only £15 better off and not the £20 that our MP states in last week’s Mercury.

I will concede it’s all a step in the right direction but for it to work fairly, the government must go a lot further and should announce they are going to give all employers six months notice to inform them that from November 1 2016 the National Living Wage will be extended to include all employees who are 18 years of age or over.

Until the government does that they have nothing to be proud of as we all know the government only really cares about the rich and will do nothing.


Leman Road,


We do like to be beside the sea!

What a boost for Great Yarmouth Tourist industry when last week the virtues of “Yarmouth, Wonderful Yarmouth” (shades of Derek Marshall and the dear old Ops and Drams!) – were mellifluously extolled from the stage of Gorleston Pavilion by an enthusiastic and talented company of young performers.

Fathoms deep beneath the sea, mermaids, sea spirits and a host of underwater creatures, cleverly directed and costumed became a visible, believable and spectacular part of our world for just a few short hours.

Shortly, we were returned to reality and reminded in song that those wonderful Angels of Mercy would always be there to bring us safely to dry land.

So, on the sea, under the sea, or beside the sea, oh yes, we do like to be beside the seaside, especially when we can enjoy such splendid entertainment in a delightful Edwardian theatre.

Congratulations to the award-winning Dusmagrik young people, enjoy your visit to Rambouillet and show them what great ambassadors you can be for our town.


Links Road,


Time to sort out this trip hazard

After months of seeing a handful of people tripping over the uneven pathway as you come out of Market Gates near Blue Inc, I saw an elderly man actually fall over the same patch today.

Seeing how busy Market Gates actually is and how often it is used by the elderly, this really needs to be sorted to avoid injuries.



Drivers in this area are dreadful

Right, I have just about had enough now of the roads users in Yarmouth and surrounding areas. I am going to treat myself to a dash cam. Dreadful driving, people with no patience; especially the road past Asda up to either roundabout.

Can’t you sit still and wait for the traffic to go left? Some can’t, up on the right hand lane and around the roundabout to go left.

This slows the traffic even more. I am going to start taking reg numbers. Speeding along any roads is getting worse.

Next! Cyclists… motorbikes... still speeding along the Acle Straight, overtaking etc. Pedal cyclists… okay, great that people are getting out on them but can I ask riders to take some Highway Code test? And some sort of reg number?

I have seen several cycle the wrong way up a one-way street, on their mobiles, either texting or talking, riding two abreast/or more...

I know of someone who was getting of a bus, and some “person” was cycling on the pavement, knocked them flying, and cycled off without seeing if she was okay, and no recourse as no number to take down.

My favourite is I was sitting at traffic lights by the blue bus station heading north.

The lights changed to green, and some dear young man came cycling over the zebra crossing from right to left!

Luckily for some there wasn’t a car speeding down Lawn Avenue.

I will just leave you with this: a few months back I again was driving down Lawn Avenue, and could see a driver getting irritated, in and out the traffic, past me speeding down towards Caister... slowed for camera… in out the traffic... he was obviously late for his shift, where? Oh yes, the police station!



Reinstate bowls club in centre

In a recent article in the Mercury with regard to the future of Great Yarmouth indoor Bowls Club, the leader of the council Graham Plant was quoted as saying that allowing us to stay at the Marina Centre for another year “gave members longer to find other clubs to move on to when theirs was shut,” ie April 2017.

We should not have to do this. He has not listened to us these last eight months. Perhaps he can suggest where over 140 members can go en bloc to play, or even where individuals bowlers with no transport can go.

Where is the so-called adequate bowls provision in the borough of Great Yarmouth?

The borough council should continue to provide these facilities as it has a duty of care for the health and well-being of residents.

We have supported the Marina Centre for 32 years with a financial input of over £600,000, most of which has presumably been used to fund and support other sports and amenities in the centre, certainly not the bowls.

So now we have another year to bowl, giving approximately another £20,000 to the borough council and Sentinel Leisure Trust while they decide when and how to redevelop the Marina Centre.

This leaves us in the same situation as we were in last September, with no guarantee of our future. We deserve much better than this.

We understand all decisions have been put on hold until after the May elections, when we trust the borough council will re-instate the bowls club in its Marina Centre plans.


Great Yarmouth Indoor Bowls Club

Best place for EU leaflet is the bin

I am writing as I have received several enquires regarding where is the best place to put the pro-EU propaganda sent to all residents in the borough.

Although its content is complete and utter rubbish and the best place for it is in the bin, it is still on paper therefore I advise residents to put it in their recycling bin.

Although it may have cost taxpayers £17,000 for this leaflet to be sent to all residents in Great Yarmouth and £9m nationally, the only good thing from this leaflet is if all residents put it in their green bin the council can get the recycling credits from it.

Some have said about shiny toilet paper but again I don’t recommend this. Others have said sending it back with a stamp.

I’d say no point as Royal Mail will intercept and stop it going through.

The only stamp people need to use is the one we use on June 23 when all those who believe in Britain will vote to leave and unshackle our nation from the EU.


The Oaks,

Ormesby St Margaret

What do other readers think? Let’s have a debate for the In and Leave campaigns on these pages. Keep your letters and emails to the point and please limit them to 200 words.