Letters, August 31, 2012

Paget nurses

need recognition

MY husband retired at the end of May and I followed suit at the end of June. We decided to spend three weeks at our beloved caravan in Caister then go home to enjoy retirement together.

However, fate had other ideas and on July 4 I had to call an ambulance and he was taken to the James Paget Hospital with a suspected stroke.

It was discovered he had a serious bleed to the brain and was taken to the High Dependency Unit where they contacted my daughters and I waited for our them to arrive from Northants and Oxfordshire and where the subject of organ donation was discussed (He had always agreed with this).

He passed away on July 5 but I wish to commend the nurses in the High Dependency Unit for their dedication and care during this time. They kept us supplied with tea, made us laugh occasionally and even supplied me with a change of clothes and an offer of a shower.

We were given contact numbers for the Donation Nurses 24 hours a day and could contact them even when they were off duty. Their compassion was tireless and they all went above and beyond what is usually expected of them.

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These nurses made what was a horrific time in a place away from home easier to bear and I think they should be given some recognition as I have read several letters to the contrary on your page.



See the ‘white horses’ at sea

GREAT Yarmouth’s entry into the 21st century heralded the arrival of great things happening in the area.

Starting with the construction of a wind farm on Scroby Island followed by visions of expanding Yarmouth’s business prospects with plans for an outer harbour, bringing prosperity to the whole area.

Now, with both these ventures under way, things slowly appeared unstable, with the emergence in the area of various aggregate extraction companies tearing away at the foundation of this whole section of coast.

Starting with the disappearance of Scroby Island, and “white horses” all along the coast, as far as Lowestoft. In so doing, current flow is altered, changing the run of swell and movement of silt which will not be controlled by narrowing the entrance of the outer harbour by 50 metres. Giving the swell a smaller inlet to run at gives it more velocity on the entry.

The only thing that can be done now is for marine engineers to draw up new plans for a harbour to suit the area as it is now, and go from there.

Aggregate extraction has altered the whole context of the situation. Stabilising the depth of the water in the harbour basin is the crux of the problem.


Gonville Road


Gravestones are under attack

I AM writing to tell you about the graveyard next to St Nicholas Church, the Hammond Road area.I’m 31 and used to be a naughty boy, but something needs to be done.

Many of the gravestones have been destroyed, kicked over and smashed up. If that was me I’d be turning in my grave, it’s so sick.You should respect graves.

How would they like it if someone wrecked one of their relatives’ gravestones?


Northgate Street

Great Yarmouth

Ambulance cuts are significant

LAST week’s story suggesting that the Yarmouth area will benefit from the East of England Ambulance shake-up may not be all that it seems, given the significant amount of cuts about to take place across the rest of Norfolk at the same time.

North Norfolk Labour Party set up the “Act On Ambulances” petition earlier this month because of the planned cuts to ambulance fleet across Norfolk.

Already 2,500 people have signed up.

While Rapid Response Vehicles (which cannot transport patients to hospital) and Emergency Care Assistants (can have as little as two months training) have their place in the NHS, they should not replace ambulance fleets.

But in areas like Cromer and North Walsham this is about to become the case.

Hayden Newton from the East of England Ambulance Service Trust admitted last year that residents in rural Norfolk were receiving a “second class service” and vowed to make improvements.

Now with �50m of government cuts to the NHS prompting a reduction in the ambulance fleet in the county I believe response times will worsen.

The changes in other parts of the county could have an impact in Great Yarmouth because there will be fewer ambulances to go round Norfolk.

I ask those that have their concerns to sign the petition at www.actonambulances.co.uk.


Press Officer for North Norfolk Labour Party

Let’s have more playing fields

HOW I agree with the gentleman who wrote in last week’s Mercury about how he felt proud to be British due to the excellent achievements of our athletes from Team GB, whether that be in long distance running, cycling, taekwondo, sailing, rowing, etc.

My hope is that competitive sport is given the money, not just in private schools, but in comprehensive and junior ones as well.

Let’s get rid of this attitude that “everybody is a winner”. It does not work. And let’s have more playing fields open. I trust that the government is listening on this issue. Of course it is not just the sport that should be praised in the Olympics, but both the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony as well.

When I was watching the Industrial Revolution with Kenneth Brannah playing the part of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and the rings being crafted and being put together, listening to the different anthems of the four countries that make up Great Britain, cricket being played on the village green, and picnics, the doctors and nurses from Great Ormond Street, along with the children, and music from the past 40 years, and a tribute to the World Wide Web, plus of course The Queen joining in the fun by making out that she jumped out of a helicopter with “James Bond”, I felt pride. Absolutely excellent!

And if the closing ceremony wasn’t to your taste, then surely a dad-dancing Boris Johnson made you chuckle when the Spice Girls came on singing Spice Up Your Life standing on top of black London taxis.

I know this letter has nothing to do with any issues surrounding Great Yarmouth, but the chap who wrote in last week encouraged me to write this, especially as I used to live in London, and Stratford is not all that far away from Dagenham.


Turin Way,

Hopton on Sea

What happened to old house?

I HAVE been trying to find out using the internet what happened to a large and very beautiful old house and grounds that existed when I lived in Gorleston.

My family lived on St Anne’s Crescent, and parts of the Magdalen Estate were still fields back then (early 1950s).

My friends and I used to play in the fields near the old large house which was in a gated garden area, and for years we only saw a gardener inside the grounds...in fact we used to tell stories about it being haunted and that’s why it wasn’t lived in. What happened to it?

Any history about the house would be welcome. It was the first dwelling on the right hand side of Long Lane from the Magdalen Estate end of the lane.

I know that it has been demolished, but although I was only a kid, I think that the building had some historical relevance, and am surprised that it wasn’t kept as a community centre or as a link to the past in some way.



Jenner Road is no through road!

YOUR recent letter from an anonymous correspondent who leaves his/her car on Jenner Road to pick up or collect items from the James Paget Hospital has left me speechless. Does he/she know there is a designated “Drop Off Point” right in front of the main entrance?

When we bought our properties residents were all assured by the Persimmon sales staff that Jenner Road was strictly for emergency service vehicles only and maps that we were all given by Persimmon show exactly this, with three bollards which could be unlocked when necessary. 

Then, we find the road opened up and Jenner Road, Douglas Close, Paget Crescent and Barnard Close became a free car park for staff and visitors.

Staff have adequate car parks costing from �10 to �15 a month, and if visitors find the car park fees too high, then take it up with the hospital authorities.

Maybe the hospital should look at all the revenue they are losing. 

Regarding the 20mph speed limit, the police recently did a check and found, in a short space of time, four drivers going over the limit. 

We bought our properties for a quiet life, safe for families, on a well-designed and pleasant site. 

Young children are taken to school daily by mums with toddlers and I fear it will take a fatality for someone to take notice of the danger caused by drivers parking on the grass verges and causing blind spots.  

Since the road has been opened up, we have noise 24 days a day because of shift patterns of the staff, plus visitors who come and go. Our road was never meant to cope with the volume of traffic and we have never received any satisfactory answers from Persimmon about the changes which have made our lives hell - so come on Persimmon - we need answers.

Several of the residents recently had a meeting with councillors Trevor Wainwright, Colleen Walker and Brian Walker and left them in no uncertain terms of our anger at the way we have been misled. 

Will we ever have answers and a solution?  I’m not holding my breath.

Name and address withheld

Anyone recall sea tragedy?

I WAS in Church of England Children’s Society (now The Children’s Society) Boys Homes in the UK from 1949-1960.

When I was at the Boys Home in Leicester, during the English summer school holidays we used to be taken by coach to stay for three weeks in Great Yarmouth at was then known as the Fishermens Hut, which was further away from town but was very near to the Botton family fairground and Docwras Rock Factory.

It was like a long Nissen hut and had long porcelain troughs all over the place. There was only cold water on tap. If I recall it was used as accommodation by the herring fishermen during their fishing season.

I am interested in finding out any details about a drowning of one boy, Fred Yarwood who’s body was never found and which I believe occurred in the period 1952-54. Fred was in the same home as me and I would very much appreciate any information for inclusion in a book I am writing about my time in homes in the UK from 1949-1960.

I was not there the year that Fred Yarwood drowned but I was told about his death in 1955 and I can recall the great sadness shown by the boys who knew him and told me of his demise.


Queensland, Australia

New Sainsbury’s not in the Zone

JOHN Cooper’s letter (‘How will store boost economy?’) in last week’s Mercury (24/08) contained some serious factual errors that I must correct.

Firstly, the site of the proposed Sainsbury’s Supermarket is not within the Enterprise Zone.

Secondly, even if it was within the Enterprise Zone, it would not have qualified for rate relief since it is not a development directly connected to the energy industry.

Thirdly, most of the Beach Coach Station will remain available as parking, with only the northernmost portion being developed for 20 new homes.

Fourthly, the council does not want the existing Sainsbury’s store site in Great Yarmouth to make way for a car park. In fact we have sought and been given assurances that the store will continue to trade for the foreseeable future.

Finally, far from ‘grabbing the first thing that comes along’, the proposed new Sainsbury’s is the product of several years’ market testing and detailed negotiation.

With regard to the other comment on job creation, the store will create new jobs, but rest assured that the council is working very hard to attract other significant employers to the Enterprise Zones and hopes to be able to announce these in the near future.


Magdalen Ward

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Inadequacies of our rail service

MAY I through the medium of your newspaper share my experiences of Bank Holiday train travel to Great Yarmouth, as I would like to highlight the inadequacies of the train services provided by Greater Anglia.

I travelled on the 12.36pm, one-carriage train, to Great Yarmouth from Norwich on Bank Holiday Monday, a train so overcrowded that staff were having to place travellers unable to get on the train in taxis. I am astounded that Greater Anglia would provide a one-carriage train to a major tourist destination on a Bank Holiday Monday.

On arrival at Yarmouth station I felt truly sorry for the crowds of people awaiting to be crammed on to this one-carriage late-running train to Norwich.

I have to say I had been earlier bemused to observe on my outward journey on a busy Bank Holiday Saturday at 10am, a notice on the ticket office saying staff were at lunch.

It would appear the involvement of our local MP Mr Brandon Lewis and the dawn of a new franchise operator has provided the same haphazard service, same old trains (with different logo) and the same dilapidated station.

In conclusion, we in Great Yarmouth, as a major town and holiday destination, deserve a service and a station that befits the 21st century, so visitors, business and tourists alike, do not perceive our town as an antiquated backwater, and most importantly of all the residents of the town and surrounding area who have waited patiently far too long for a welcoming station and a reliable service.


Caister on Sea

Visitor’s shock at rail station

I RECENTLY had an Australian friend who had travelled from the Middle East come to stay with the family.

As she arrived at Great Yarmouth railway station, I was so happy to see her, yet she was so shocked at the state of the station - her first comments about Great Yarmouth were that it looked like a shanty town!

We walked to the car where my guest made reference to the neglect of the bridge. I was then able to say that Mrs Miriam Kikis has worked tirelessly to raise the profile and monies to restore this architectural feature.

My Australian friend replied that whilst it was great that Mrs Kikis has the vision to see that this part of Great Yarmouth needs regeneration, why has the town not recognised that this area is extremely important to people’s first impressions when visiting the town, both by rail and road.

Is there anything in the pipeline to restore the railway station in the same way as the restoration on the bridge?

How lovely it would be for people arriving at our seaside town to have a beautiful greeting.



Editor’s Note: Readers’ views would be appreciated on both letters concerning the railway station and the rail service. How can we get Greater Anglia to listen and DO something?

Thanks to all for special birthday

THROUGH your letters page I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to ensure Centre 81’s 30th Birthday Festival and Wheelchair Carnival Parade on August 18 was such a success.

The whole event was a new and mammoth undertaking for us. Members were involved from the start and were supported tirelessly by volunteers, staff and trustees.

We were tasked with making sure the income from our celebrations covered the costs of the festival. GYBC offered us a grant of �2,000 to cover required expenditure for items such as toilets, stewarding, first aid and other public safety essentials.

Other individuals and companies donated a further �640 towards the costs. The bands; Tired Hector, The Brites, More Madness, Barcode Generation and Bill Kibby freely offered their time.

So many people and organisations offered us support via raffle or tombola prizes, displaying posters, or donating volunteering time. One of the most sought after donation was the cardboard. This was used by members with assistance from staff and volunteers to create “wheelchair” costumes including boats, Daleks and guitars. It was also used for lucky dip boxes, grass protection for the classic cars and so much more.

Our aim is for Centre 81 to be a pivotal part of the wider community and for the wider community to be part of Centre 81 so that together we are able to enrich the lives of all those who are involved with us. I am very fortunate in having such a committed and diverse group of members, staff, trustees and volunteers to work with.

Once again they have proved beyond doubt that they have the skills and enthusiasm to work together as Team Centre 81 to create and successfully deliver something different.

It was a brilliant day and the feedback has been fantastic and proved all the hard work was definitely worthwhile.

Thank you Mercury for the coverage you gave to Centre 81’s 30th Birthday Festival with excellent photos and coverage by James Bass and Lucy Clapham. So many members, staff, volunteers and trustees were overjoyed with it.

More photos can be seen via www.centre81.co.uk


CEO, Centre 81

Tarworks Road

Great Yarmouth

Training for the Welcome team

ANY readers interested in more information about either the Welcome visitors at Great Yarmouth train station, or the World Host training that the hotel and guest house workers had taken part in , as reported in The Mercury 24/08/12, please get in touch with Rae Darnell at The Priory Centre in Great Yarmouth, on 01493 743022.

Also contact Rae if you are a seasonal worker who “worked the season” last year and this, and are interested in relevant training .


Great Yarmouth Community Trust