Letters, August 10

Invest in our

public toilets

I TOTALLY agree with Marlene Delay’s sentiments about Gorleston toilets near the pier, that might become unattended or even shut down permanently.

I have just returned from a 10 day holiday in the Western Isles of Scotland, staying at the port of Oban. The loos there cost 20p to use, were clean, modern and manned. There were plenty of facilities for mums with small children. There were several excellent toilets, dotted at strategic points around the town and harbour.

We pay enough council tax as it is without looking forward to yet more cuts in facilities. It’s time for more investment in our loos, not disinvestment, however small. Loos are an essential part of the scene, especially during the season. Why not follow Oban’s example and restore a pride in our facilities?


Orwell Crescent,

Most Read


Time was rules were enforced

WHEN is a rule not a rule? When it is not enforced! Certainly a theme of expectation and frustration from local residents in last week’s letters page of the Mercury, not just because of the individual acts of low standards, but in doing so a rule was broken that then makes the compliant aggrieved as they obey the rules.

Courting couples going beyond what is reasonably expected in the full public glare are breaking both moral rules and the law, becoming aggrieved and threatening when outed by reasonable people, who do not share the urge as feral cats to increase the population at every opportunity.

What about those strolling along Gorleston promenade with family dodging the occasional bike owner, who must be local and therefore must know the rules of a bike ban during the summer, but would still chose to ignore and again perhaps turn on those pointing out the abuse.

The smoking ban was easy to enforce with threat of holding the owners and landlords accountable with punitive measures against those lighting up on their premises. Why then do I also see the people standing under No Smoking signs outside the front door of the JPH in full flow? They do know, but choose to ignore the rules, the rest then expect staff to enforce. Wrong, notwithstanding what turmoil and personal grief they have experienced, walking 25 metres to an area to indulge is not unreasonable; this view from an occasional smoker.

If a rule is not enforced it will be repeatedly broken and then becomes the norm, but there are measures that can be taken. For instance when Area 51 around the harbour was created, the new rule was traffic could no longer drive around the harbour, enforced by steel gates and warning signs.

The dilemma then, if rules are not enforced and rely only on the goodwill and standards of people, then those with scant regard for others and the lowest standards will pick and chose what rules apply and suit them.


Clarence Road,


Musical treat

ON July 31, I had the pleasure of attending the show, Night at the Musicals, which starred local talent Neil Francis and co. It was a fantastic show and the singing talent was a pleasure to listen to. The only problem was the audience was very sparse (approximately 19) which is a shame as the show is definitely worth seeing. Come on locals, and holidaymakers, support this show, you will have a great night out.



Poor animal had a painful death

I LIVE on the edge of Lound, Browston, in a quiet rural area. Like most people in this area we’re very fond of animals and wildlife. One morning in my garden I came across a terrible disturbing scene, a poor little young fox had been trapped in a snare. It must have struggled so much and obviously suffered a long and painful death. I can’t express how horrified I am by this and I struggle to see how anyone in their right mind can think that this is okay.

I want to bring this to the attention of others, and make people aware of awful things that are going on. I sincerely hope you will feature this in the Mercury as it’s something I feel our community can try and make a difference about.



Book so good

AFTER reading the article in the Mercury on July 13 about the book Twice Nightly, written by local author Tony Gareth Smith, I decided to send for it. What a great read! It brought back so many memories of Great Yarmouth as it was. It is great to see local people making good and I would urge your readers to buy a copy and hopefully enjoy it as much as I did.


Headington Close,


Caister centre:Sounds familiar?

NOW that it looks likely plans for our new Caister community centre may go belly up, I hark back to 10 years ago when this happened before. Last time no outside body was involved but it was all down to whoever carried out the development of the King George V Playing Field. It was in the plans for a hall on the field, by the school fence, for the use of the whole community, young and old, for sports and social activities.

Due to too much of the budget for the field being taken by the bowls club (for the use of the few), there was no money left for the rest of the community so it was never built. Every time I walk past “Bowls Club Palace” I do wonder if those responsible suffer pangs of conscience?

Name and Address withheld

Is EU forcing the coastguard out?

I NOTE the campaign to keep Great Yarmouth Coastguard open is on-going. Earlier in the year I wrote to MPs and the Prime Minister to find out if this closure was a dictate from the EU. I never got a reply yes, or no, but in all cases the answers were to save money.

I do hope they will be able to keep the coastguard open, I thought if all our MPs who wish to keep it open could assemble in front of the Havenbridge offices they could have their photograph taken, it could help the campaign. We might even get a yes or no to my original question, dictate or orders from Europe?



Caister on Sea

Many supported Relay for Life

I WOULD like to thank everyone who has supported the 2012 Gt. Yarmouth Relay for Life. The annual overnight event took place on July 21 and 22 at Cliff Park Junior School, with teams raising money for Cancer Research UK.

On behalf of the Relay committee and all team members, I would like to say a big thank you to Cliff Park for allowing us to use the field area, hall and kitchen free of charge for the weekend event, and who were really helpful in the run-up to the event, co-ordinating deliveries and collection of equipment, and generally making sure we had everything we needed.

Many local companies provided support over the weekend including Yarmouth Tesco, Bateman Groundworks, Shane Folkes Trucks, Safe Access Scaffolding, National Oilwell Varco, Mervyn Lambert Plant Hire Ltd., Budget Marquees and ETS of Wymondham. Many have provided services for free or at a greatly reduced rate, which means we are able to make sure more money will be donated to Cancer Research UK, so we really appreciate it.

Thanks also to all the performers and instructors who came along on the day to keep up the spirits of the team members walking the Relay, as well as entertaining the members of the public who came along to support the teams, and also to everyone who has helped the teams raise money over the last few months.

Money continues to come in, so it will be a while before we announce our final figure raised for Cancer Research UK in 2012, but thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.



Great Yarmouth Relay for Life

Library not for our weddings

I WENT to my nephew’s wedding on Saturday, August 4, at Great Yarmouth Library and what an awful place; not an appropriate place to have a wedding, You have the people using the library having a good gawp and nowhere to have photos taken. The room is bland – it’s like a hospital waiting room.

Thank goodness I’m married because I would never get married there. What was the reason for moving it from Ferryside anyway? That was a lovely building and there was a lovely area to have your wedding pictures taken. I have only one thing to say: Move the Register Office back to Ferryside!”



No ceremony for the teachers

APART from those members of staff of Woodlands Primary School who left the school this term a special mention should be made of four highly respected teachers who also left the school but without ceremony. Mrs Diane Greenwood and Mrs Beth Boast who are now retired, and Ms Suzanna Thompson and Ms Jeanette Wright who have moved to other teaching posts.

All of these people have been very hard working and successful members of staff for many years and I know there are many children and parents who would wish to say a big thank you to them and wish them every success and happiness in the future.

Name and Address withheld

Supporter of peaceful nuclear

I THANK Mark Saunders for his contribution to the debate on our future energy supplies. I have to declare at the first instance that I am a strong supporter of peaceful uses of nuclear. We as a nation have a long and proud record of designing and constructing, what were widely regarded as safe instillations (magnox,AGR). And the insuperable problem with the waste has been to a greater extent solved with the development and construction of Thorp fuel rod reprocessing plant

The several alternatives he mentions: Geothermal; has been shown only to be economic in areas of the world where their are satisfactory earth temperatures from such as geisers. Solar: again here in Norfolk I believe we may only just be below a line where this can work efficiently. Tidal: there are schemes up and running in the world (Northern France and I don’t know where we are with “Salters Ducks” etc)

To sum up, I welcome our re-entrance into muclear but anything going free. Please let’s have it!


Smugglers Lane


I support all the local events

IN answer to the letters of J Cole and M Castle, I am well aware of the activities which go on during the summer, in fact I go to all of them every year and have supported East Coast Truckers for years.

It’s all very nice for the visitors, but for the people living in Yarmouth and the surrounding areas it is the same every year: once you have been maybe you don’t want to go again. And what about the locals who keep our town going over the winter? We had two hours free parking on market days for a month – big deal.

It should have extended this to encourage people into the town. I go into Yarmouth three or maybe four times a week. I never walk from the town down Regent Road and along the prom. I wonder how many people do?

I walk along Gorleston seafront regularly as well. The gardens are a picture.

I totally agree with M Delay about the cleaning of public toilets; it is vital these facilities are kept in tip-top condition.



Respect the true worth of teacher

BOTTLES of bubbly for the best teachers (Champagne moment at Great Yarmouth College, Mercury, August 3) – as if they are some sort of performing monkeys.

Free seats for the military, students and teachers at certain Olympic venues – as if the latter are destitute and need all the freebies they can get.

Can we think of anything else we can do to lower the status of the teaching profession in our society? I am sure there will be more.

Isn’t it about time we respected the true worth of teachers in our society and reflected this with a worthy, incremental pay structure? We can begin by making sure that the teachers in any institution are paid more than the administrators and support staff – something which is far from the case at present.

A conspiracy theorist might say that all of this is being done to run down the present system and let the Free Schoolers in to run riot. Michael Jeal’s comments about Greenacre School at the moment make a lot of sense in this respect (Letters, August 3).


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

MP’s 45-minutes not long enough

I AM writing to express both my disappointment and anger at the length of time that our MP Mr. Brandon Lewis was willing to spend with his constituents on his Surgery Bus Tour on August 8. He is there to take visits from his constituents for just 45 minutes! Even an hour would seem a very miserly and unproductive amount of time to listen and talk with those he is meant to represent but 45 minutes!

Because of this ridiculous amount of time he is willing to spend on this it’s hard not to view the whole activitiy as merely a box-ticking exercise. Is he going through the motions to appease his party rather than wanting to sit down seriously and discuss issues that affect the lives of his constituents?


Claydon Grove


Please return my new black coat

AFTER a very enjoyable night out with my friends at Gorleston social club on August 4 I went to get my new black leather coat only to find it missing. It’s quite obvious the person who took it didn’t fancy walking home in the rain because they even took my umbarella as well? If this was a genuine mistake I hope they have the decency to return it from where they took it asap. To make matters worse it was a present from my husband who is not amused to say the least.



Appalled at the coverage of gala

FOR the last three years I have taken part in Gorleston Clifftop Gala in one way or another so know all the time and effort taken by every local charity, stall holder and exhibitor to help make it a success. However, that is only a small part in comparison to what Vicky Smith and her team would have done to bring the event to fruition.

I was absolutely appalled that the coverage in the Mercury was kept to such a minimum! I’m sure I am not alone in being so disappointed that the Editor didn’t think it warranted a double page spread and that it wasn’t even given a full page, having to share with a huge advert. The photos of an empty funfair area dominated the report; what about the row of charity stalls and other organisations that really pulled in the crowds and truly showed the spirit of the weekend?

Also, as pleased as I am for Caister Lifeboat and the legacy they recently received, they were given three large reports this week. Gorleston Lifeboat is very important to our area too and despite what people are led to believe, is also a charitable organisation needing much funding to keep our waters safe. The crew do amazing work, are all volunteers and have to go through many hours of training to not only protect our seas but the river and broads too. I’m sure most people in our area are not aware there are three vessels attached to the station, as well as a shop and I feel it would be a decent gesture to send a reporter to the Gorleston Lifeboat headquarters to actually discover what is done there to remind the residents of Gorleston and Yarmouth of a valuable asset.


Long Lane,


Rail privatisation is a rip-off

RAIL privatisation, that wonderful panacea for the railways and much supported by our MP, is a rip-off. Rail passengers were meant to benefit but more likely it is the shareholders!

I plan to go from Great Yarmouth to Leamington Spa, off-peak. I plan to return! Greater Anglia quote �428 as the first class any time return fare - I could travel abroad for less! Even more scandalous is that much of the journey has no first class! A family would need another mortgage!

Ordinary mortals, like myself in second class, would pay �88 (off peak single or return!) or �279 for an any time return. If one knew about, was eligible and bought a senior railcard (�25), �58 is the fare.

Even more amazing with the complexities of rail travel, it is cheaper to buy four single tickets in advance and travel on specific trains. With a senior railcard �34 is the price. Crazy. No doubt if I broke up the journey into other chunks, I could save even more!

The rail companies are clearly making profits by ripping off the passengers. Privatisation is not a pancaea for key industries.

Similar goings on are clear in the power industries where prices continue to rise so huge profits are made. Yet we could face blackouts in years to come because they have failed to invest and build new generators. The water industry makes huge profits yet we faced a drought and much of the infrastructure needs renewing. Many of the companies are not even British owned.

The Tories sold the family silver and ordinary folk are paying the cost to shareholders ad infinitum and MPs are disinterested.


Victoria Street,


Academy attack on parenthood

IMAGINE one’s amazement on returning to Yarmouth and finding it to be true; primary schoolchildren really are being compelled to stay at school until 6pm every school day.

Academies? Yes, given the low standards of state funded schools. And yes, some parents will welcome the chance to have their children out of the way for an extra hour or two. But for parents who want their children at home it amounts to kidnapping. One wonders if there are legal limits to how long a school can keep a child and if not does that mean an academy will eventually be able to take possession of it?

A number of explanations for this scheme come to mind. Undoubtedly empire building and the prospect of salary increments play their part. TV-inspired pop science at Cambridge University by charismatic young professors will make a welcome escape for staff from the daily routine of trying to teach the 3R’s and other basics and perhaps cruelly raise the expectations some children. Before long under-age children may even have Dawkins thrust upon them.

Parents rightly fear their young children will lack the stamina to take much in during the extension to the day. They are also insulted by the school’s conceit it knows better.

Even if children roamed the streets until 6pm they would at least be learning street wisdom – in a way just as culturally important to them as anything the school calls enrichment can do for them, and which it arrogantly assumes all parents deny them.

Located as the school is at the end of a remote peninsula in one of the most deprived areas of the country, and where so many parents are too poor for lawyers and unable to defend themselves, those responsible for this must be confident they can get away with it.

Townsmen must come to the defence of these distraught parents because if this attack on parenthood cannot be stopped on this isolated estate who can say where it will end.