Letters, August 9, 2013

Are prom seats to be replaced?

In reply to your correspondent from Worcester last week regarding the lack of seating in Great Yarmouth. I would like to pose the question what has happened to the seating on Gorleston Prom? Is this a sign of further cutbacks by the borough, or are they going to be replaced in the future?

These seats were essential for the wellbeing of visitors, locals, the elderly and disabled - of which unfortunately applies to myself.


Fastolff Avenue,


Were you at FA Cup Wellesley?

Most Read

November this year sees the 60th anniversary of the greatest result in local football history. In front of over 8,000 spectators Great Yarmouth Town defeated professional side Crystal Palace 1-0 in the FA Cup. The Bloaters still hold the record of being the only Eastern Counties team to knock a professional club out of the biggest club football competition in the world.

To mark this momentous achievement, Great Yarmouth Town FC will be publishing an updated souvenir programme. If you were at the game, or even took part in some capacity or maybe a relative was one of the players, I would love to hear from you.

I intend to use as many of your memories and pictures as possible to build a complete story of the day. I am also looking to find a copy of the original programme as the club unfortunately does not have one.

If you have any stories or memorabilia to share, I can be contacted on 01493 859587 or via email sandysauce@hotmail.com



Great Yarmouth Town FC

Praise for the staff at JPH

I have been a frequent visitor to the James Paget Hospital over the last three months, visiting my 97 year old mother who has been there on two occasions after suffering a bad fall at home, and pneumonia. I would like to give well deserved praise to the EADU department and Ward 1 where she was cared for with kindness and respect, but heartfelt thanks also to Ward 12 where she spent the most time.

Every member of that team, housekeepers, HCA’S, staff nurses, sisters, nurses and doctors and receptionists and anyone else I have forgotten that worked on that ward are absolutely brilliant, nothing was too much trouble, they treated my mum with loving kindness, respect and she was so sad to leave them all.

They also kept me and my family updated on her condition, and when she could not eat and drink they went out of their way to help us with our distress at this situation as well as our mum. It was thanks to this ward my mother is still alive, and now settled in a nursing home, and she still asks for those ladies on ward 12.

I would also like to give heartfelt thanks to Sean Day and all of the Dementia Care Team at the hospital for their kindness, love and respect they all gave to mum, and they supported me and my family through a very difficult period. The work they do is unbelievable and I hope they get the recognition that they so deserve.

The James Paget does have lots of negative criticism and yes, there are wards that need improvement, but I am so proud of their Ward 12 and Dementia Team and want everyone to know that.


Saxon Gardens,


Fireworks at Hemsby brilliant

The fireworks at Hemsby last Tuesday night were brilliant and there were hundreds of people there to see them. There was a real party atmosphere and it was like Hemsby in the old days when there were lots of people around.

The Lacon Arms had an outside bar and bucking bronco which was great. There was a chocolate and cake stall which raised £160 for Save Hemsby Coastline. These days all you seem to hear are stories of doom and gloom so it was lovely to see a group of people being entertained and enjoying Hemsby!

As it was such a big success, next week there will be even more entertainment going on through the afternoon and early evening leading up to the fireworks so please come along and support this event. Fireworks will continue every Tuesday night at 10pm for the next five weeks.



Mother loves life at care home

Following your article about the CQC report on The Old Vicarage Care Home in Hopton, we would like to tell Mercury readers of our very positive experience of having an elderly relative living there for the past seven years.

Our mother went to the home for a two week respite stay in April 2006, but after two days was asking if she could stay permanently. She has enjoyed being there ever since, liking all the staff, the food, her room and all the extras that the home and the manager, Jill Chaplin, have always offered.

In the early years, when Mum was more agile, she was frequently taken out by staff at the home. They have always played games, done crosswords and generally chatted with her whenever they have time. On special occasions Jill has always gone the extra mile for residents, putting on parties, inviting relatives - generally making the home feel like home. We have also valued the fact that, as relatives, we know Jill and the staff will do their very best for residents in an emergency or when they become ill.

We have known staff to stay well beyond shift hours if a resident has a particular need and we have known (several times) that Jill has stayed overnight or been called in during the night to be with a resident in need.

So there may be some official boxes the home does not tick, but it has a caring, homely feel and, as stated in the report, the residents are happy with the care! Mum, who has dementia and is now 92, has no complaints! And neither do we! Perhaps such reports are sometimes not looking at the right things or seeing the whole picture?



500 days since steps collapse

A day is a long time in politics, but how long is reasonable for restoring damage to public right of way? April 11, 2013 the papers were full of a wall collapse on the Beach Road to Cliff Hill steps, “…narrowly crushing a schoolboy…”

The end of this month will mark 500 days since the event and the steps are still in the same sorry state.

The story back then was establishing who was responsible so as to target the action. When will these steps be restored?


Clarence Road


Why would the banks relocate?

With reference to the letter in last week’s Mercury, “I’m so sad M&Co is closing”, referring to my letter June 21. I have always shopped there and will also miss it. Pity they couldn’t have relocated in the town centre.

Since the closing down sale started last October at least five businesses have closed including a family-owned restaurant in the Victoria Arcade, where they worked hard to try and make it a success.

I recently visited Attleborough for the first time and was surprised to see an M&Co there, and was offered their latest online catalogue as I walked through the door. I don’t shop online. Like many visitors, I travel to Yarmouth by public transport so never shop out of town. There are no buses to Gapton and Harfreys anyway!

Finally, why would two banks want to relocate to the town centre when footfall will be reduced, certainly in the winter, which they will have contributed to.




Please help find lost bracelet

On July 7, I lost a silver charm bracelet which is of extreme sentimental value. I am fairly confident this was on the car park near the bus stop at the local branch of Asda although I then visited the large branch of Tesco and it may have been dropped near the doors there.

I am very upset about this because of the reason it was bought for me and the charms were from close family members including grandchildren. They were very distinct charms including Mickey Mouse, a giraffe, and a Born Free charity charm.

If anyone picked it up or has obtained it from anywhere I would be so grateful and give a small reward for its return. I would reimburse them if they had purchased it from anywhere.

I hope your readers can help me. I can be contacted via email on janine.harman@hotmail.co.uk



Sporting heroes of yesteryear

As a keen swimmer myself, I have always been interested in sport and have been a regular of your excellent newspaper for a number of years with particular interest in the successes of local sportsfolk.

One of the first to excel was Bandsman Jack Blake, a Yarmouth professional boxer who challenged Bombardier Billy Wells for his British title and in later life became the swimming coach at Great Yarmouth bathing pool where he introduced many a local youngster to the sport of swimming.

I recall reading of a local sprinter nicknames Flying Fuller who made a name for himself in athletics.

Then there was Kenneth, a member of the Hamilton-Deane family of swimmers who at the age of 16 represented his country at the British Empire Games in Australia. He also won the British half mile freestyle championship.

His sister Elsie won her first county title, the ladies quarter of a mile freestyle championship of Norfolk, at the age of nine in a record time and his brother William won his first county title – the men’s quarter of a mile freestyle championship, at the age of 11 in record time.

Later he became Irish National champion at all distances in record times. Retiring from medical practice he then took on long distance swimming for charity raising funds towards the palliative care centre at the James Paget University Hospital and for the Papworth Hospital without whose care he himself, and many of his ex-patients, would not be alive today.


Caister on Sea

My grandfather produced bottle

It was with great interest I read the letter from Joe-Anne Colley in the Mercury on August 2 regarding the bottle found in her garden. Lea Direct Supply was indeed owned by Harold Lea, who was my grandfather.

The business was on land owned by my grandfather on Links Lane (now Links Road) where his family also ran a holiday camp with converted railway carriages and tents. It was popular in the early part of the 20th century as the railway stopped at Links Halt directly beside my grandfather’s land.

My grandparents, along with my great-grandfather, had previously run a bakery on the corner of Lower Cliff Road and Nelson Road. At one time they also had a shop on Bells Road (I think it was a grocers). My grandfather at one time also had an interest in Gorleston Holiday Camp. I would like to make contact with Ms Colley and love to see the bottle.

If any person or local interest group would like any more information about my family’s interests in Gorleston I can be contacted by email at valbanham@outlook.com

Mrs VAL BANHAM (nee Lea)


Cars damaged every Friday

Damage to cars parked on Beach Road, Gorleston on Friday nights after nightlife closes is unacceptable. Nearly every Friday now my daughter has some form of damage to her car, scratches, wing mirrors knocked off, broken aerials, footprints on the bonnet to name but a few. And her car is not alone as most of her neighbours have the same problem.

It’s not a flash car by any means but all the same it’s her first car she has bought and paid for and works hard to keep it on the road. It’s not fair to her or other residents from that area to keep having this problem every week. Is there any respect left for other people’s property?



Motorcyclists terrorised us

My wife and I visited Great Yarmouth on Sunday and after some shopping and an early lunch, had a drive along the seafront. We then went onto South Denes Road to see the river and what a mistake that was!

A group of motorcyclists on high powered machines overtook our car at estimated speeds of 50 to 70 mph, each one doing a wheelie as he passed. As they neared the port terminal gates, they turned around and did the same thing in the other direction.

The driver of another car on the road felt so intimidated that he/she pulled to the roadside and stopped. As I looked at them through my rear view mirror approaching my car for the last time, they were riding in a group, giving each other high fives and with stupid grins on their faces. Had a child or old person been in the process of crossing this road, they would not have stood a chance.

On returning to the seafront, I reported their behaviour to two patrolling police community support officers. If you plan to use the South Denes Road on a Sunday, then beware!



I refute council allegations

Responding to the accusations of both T Wainright at borough council, and P A Ridler in last week’s Mercury, that I did not attend meetings or represent my constituents during my term as both a borough and county councillor, is both inaccurate, untrue, and misleading to the residents of the borough.

Cllr Wainwright, a former twin hatter for eight years, stood against me in May to regain this position, even though he was and is leader at GYBC. We both lost in a good democratic election to the UKIP candidate, the residents voted for their choice, and this should be respected, a message to Labour and the Coalition.

My Conservative colleagues and I always have and always will represent our constituents as requested, and work pro-actively to do so.

P A Ridler is not in my ward, was not in my division, has never contacted me ever about any issues, and is unable to back up the outrageous comments made by the “kind person” (Trevor Wainwright). My time at county hall was spent representing my ward and division, and the best interests of Great Yarmouth and Norfolk.

Presently there are at least two twin hatters in the Labour group, one a cabinet member at Norfolk County Council and the other on the Cabinet at GYBC, is Cllr Wainwright accusing them of neglecting their duties? Can’t have it both ways!


Bradwell North


Rescued by a cycle enthusiast

Today, Tuesday, I went on a bike ride from Belton to Corton and as I finished and turned to come home I got a puncture, I had no tools or spares with me and was at a loss to know what to do so I started walking towards Belton but knowing I could not possibly walk that far with my arthritic ankle joints.

I stopped a man walking his dog and asked him if there were any places that repair bikes in Corton and he said no and asked what was the matter, and when I told him he suggested his brother in law, who would be driving by shortly, may be able to help me and sure enough within a couple of minutes his brother in law drove by and stopped.

When asked if he could help the man in the car replied he would go home get his bike rack and take me and my bike home to Belton. Within 10 minutes he was back, he put my bike on a rack on his car and very kindly brought me home.

He was also keen cyclist, and when he dropped me off outside my door I offered to at least pay for his fuel but he wouldn’t even let me do that.

I thanked him was just so grateful as I was completely stranded in Corton and couldn’t have got home without him.

It just goes to prove there are some genuinely nice and kind people out there. Unfortunately I didn’t get his name but he told me he had a static caravan on The Sands at Corton and actually lived in Mildenhall, Suffolk and drove a Kia car. I would like to say a really big thank you to him for his kindness.



Need closure over cat loss

We know this is a long shot but we’d like help in finding out about a kitten my mum had that went missing 20-23 years ago.

We’ve been searching for him for a long time and my mum is greatly upset about not being able to see him. Losing him was like losing a child.

She recently realised just how long it had been since he went missing and the part that has her most upset was knowing cats only live to about 15 years.

She now wants closure and to know if he found another home. He was last spotted on the bridge of Bridge Road, Gorleston on the part near the tennis courts and Cliff Park schools.

He was a small shorthaired black cat, less than a year old and had been neutured. Anyone with any information or recalls adopting the cat please call 01493 650072 in the evenings.



Dedicated care at James Paget

Last Monday I had urgent need of the A&E department at the James Paget Hospital, and I would like to make my comments.

It was 7am when I arrived and given immediate pain relief, blood pressure and blood tests, xrays and further blood tests were carried out throughout the day. The service I received was simply 100pc brilliant.

Under Dr Crawford his team of hard working and caring nurses I was constantly monitored and assessed throughout the day. Despite the “full house” within the A&E department the dedication and constant care given to all those in this extremely busy part of the hospital does not waver, everybody works so tirelessly.

I just want to say thank you and how grateful I was for the treatment and want to say how lucky we are to have such a great A&E and a great team of doctors and nurses. We must not forget the auxiliary staff as I was also given drinks and lunch.


St Johns Road


Seagulls now a major pest

Today I have listened to TVAM discussing the seagull problem in Canterbury and what measures they can take to control it. I would like to ask what measures we in Great Yarmouth are going to take to rid us of the ever increasing problem of seagulls here.

They’re nesting on our chimney pots causing damage and the awful noise they make almost constantly has long since allowed me a good night’s sleep.

In this hot weather we need a window open but the racket is becoming unbearable.

These seagulls have become a major pest and something needs to be done about them now, who ever is responsible for this needs to be thinking about how this worsening problem is going to be addressed.



Punishments are harsher

I agree Home Watch schemes are a good thing, if nothing else they get folk talking to each another. I also agree with Mr Batley, many people, particularly the elderly, worry about crime; criminologists repeatedly point to the discrepencies between over-reporting and the actual risk of crime.

Sensationalist media reporting often bears little resemblance to what actually happens in court. If anyone doubts the integrity of sentencers, I suggest they sit in the public gallery; they will soon realise punishments often harsher than the media gives credit for. They may also be able to make informed judgements about sentencing integrity being realistic and not what Mr Batley describes as ‘little more than a slap on the wrist!’

Most people’s perception of crime is of serious crime, which are fortunately rare events. Most offences are petty crime, which we all do by one definition or another. But of course we all say ‘It’s what others do which is wrong and should be more harshly punished, what I did was excusable’, ‘my actions can be justified!’.

Astonishingly, Mr Bately perceives that a general public informed by media fiction, are ‘in touch with reality’ while criminal justice practitioners working day in day out at the coal face of reality, are regarded as having lost touch!


Beccles Road,


M&Co’s shop front is horrific

I read most letters in the Mercury but one caught my eye, name and address withheld and I wondered why, about the ugly shop front of M&Co.

This letter appeared in response to one from Mrs Grint of Acle and in this letter the writer said they wished people would get their facts right before writing. I think Mrs Grint did get her facts right.

This shop front has been an eyesore for many months.

As I see it these are the facts: your writer blames this issue with Barclays Bank. I feel sure Mrs Grint was not interested in this subject.

Mrs Grint has been offered to look inside the shop, can I ask does the shop window look better from the inside. From the street side it is horrific.

Perhaps the correspondent would like to reveal their name and address after being critical of one of the other writers.



Caister on Sea

Seagull controls our market place

Who is the boss of Great Yarmouth market. Yes the market manager is the man who watches over the day to day running but one seagull is the controller of both man and birds.

His territory is the uncovered part of the market. Any seagull interloper on his area is unceremoniously driven off. He terrorises both man and birds.

His favourite vantage points are Marsdens or Brewsters fish and chip stalls.

From these points he surveys all he controls and when he see a tasty morsel in an unsuspecting human being’s hands he swoops down and tries to grab it; sometimes knocking it to the ground, then landing and devouring his meal.

He does allow two smaller seagulls to strut noisily around his domain: are they part of his harem?

It is human beings who entice the seagulls into the Market Place. If they were to refrain from throwing food down for them and putting their rubbish into the wastebins the birds would have no reason to fly each day to the market.

Why am I there watching the birds antics? Every Thursday until August 29, 10 gazebos are erected, each one containing different crafts. At the end of August I will no longer be able to observe Mr Seagull and his mates.

Please support the local market, the council is trying hard to regenerate it with different activities every day of the week.

In fine weather it is a good place to sit, eat and relax, meet friends or watch the world go by.


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