Letters, December 20 2013

Be proud of the community spirit

I would like to add my appreciation and gratitude to those volunteers, services and council staff that were busy helping out during the recent flooding.

It is reassuring the defences held in the most part, and I am sure any weaknesses that were discovered will be dealt with.

The loss of property at Hemsby is awful and I extend my sympathy to those affected. I am assured the council will help those who have housing needs.

At times of adversity like this, we should all be proud of our community spirit, from Winterton to Hopton.


Shadow Leader

Most Read

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Not a drop of water but scary

Living more than half a mile away from the River Yare on the Gorleston/Bradwell border, my dad Richard, and I assumed the storm surge wouldn’t have any chance of affecting us.

That was until a visit late in the evening from Norfolk Police told us that, as we were living in the dip of Burgh Road, we were on the edge of the flood plain that was linked with Southtown Road.

After explaining the evacuation procedure and giving us a leaflet, the man left to go to the hundreds of other houses that he needed to visit that night.

Considering that if were living ten yards in either direction on the same road we would have no problem, we decided to stay at home rather than evacuate to Lynn Grove High.

That seemed a good choice until about 90 minutes before high tide, when pictures of north Southtown Road covered with surface water were posted online.

We started to wonder whether we would be hit and dad began checking outside our front door for any water every half hour or so before moving his computer off the floor of our single storey place.

Eventually the high tide passed with no problem,

We didn’t see a drop of water on the ground in person but it was a little scary at times!



Stop using JPH as a football

I was a little bit worried about going into the James Paget University Hospital for knee replacement surgery, but I need not have worried at all.

I arrived at ward seven at 6.30am and was greeted with a smile and kind words.

It was like this all through my four-day stay. I was treated with the utmost courtesy and privacy at all times.

The food was great and the staff on all shifts were always the same, happy and going about their work with a smile.

Please stop using the hospital as a political football and let the staff carry on with their excellent work. Thank you all.



Have we already fallen into sea?

Has Greater Yarmouth fallen into the sea already? We seem to miss out so much.

The Prime Minister went to Wells to see the flood devastation but failed to visit us in spite of the dramatic events at Hemsby and elsewhere in the borough. I wonder whether we will get better coastal and flood defences?

With most of the dunes gone, Caister defences will be tested next time. I wonder if we will get financial help towards the costs in involved last week? The government did refund all the concessionary bus fares money.

Last week, thriving Norwich won major funding for growth and development. Indeed, our local firm, Pasta Foods, is expanding there. What about the 2,700 unemployed in our borough? Have they to travel to Norwich for work? Any local job gains seem to be countered by losses with Coopers losing 30 jobs and Hydra Rig creating 30! The plight of the local unemployed seems not to be a priority.

Last week, there was another rail summit to seek a cut in rail times to 90 minutes on the London from Norwich route. What about improving services to our town? There ere also announcements about infill electrification on some routes, what about us? The DFT announced, in “Tech Connect”, their interest in restoring rail links between Oxford and Cambridge which could link to the Cambridge-Norwich service. Where was Great Yarmouth?

There was even news on new rail stations. we cannot even get a better one! Our line was even closed by the floods which suggest that better protection is needed for the route before it disappears!

Another government announcement, probably to give the impression that things are getting better, gave funds to ease “pinch points” on roads. No mention of the Acle New Road again! If an announcement comes, no doubt it will be for the Norwich area!

I also see schools in Norfolk are under the spotlight. Until recently these were Tory council controlled so the government may wish to reflect on whether funding was adequate and how spending cuts will improve the position. Likewise, many students may find it hard to get motivated when our local economy continues to struggle and their local job prospects are not encouraging. Young people are the long term future and must not be forgotten. Most cannot go to private schools and need state education.

Our borough must not be forgotten in the corridors of power. We must not be left to decline and fall in the sea.


Victoria Street,


Engineering firm siting a puzzle

The article in last week’s Mercury of heavy engineering company Hydrarig relocating into Beacon Park must be a puzzle for many residents.

Beacon Park, when made a part of the Enterprise Zone, had a requirement of only light engineering and white collar office blocks because of (presumably) the proximity of residential and hospital areas.

The port area on South Denes was also made a part of the same Enterprise Zone - along with areas of Lowestoft. These areas are more suitable for heavy engineering as they are already Industrial.

All parts of the Enterprise Zone regardless of location enjoy exactly the same reduced business rates and planning exemptions.

Hydra-Rig stated that to find a site in the borough was difficult, failure would have meant the firm would relocate in Norwich. What was the difficulty, there is up to 50 acres up for grabs on the South Denes Enterprise Zone?

This is empty land and not to be confused with GYBC’s proposed Energy Zone, which is in an area of already existing and thriving businesses. So we now have a heavy engineering company sited in close proximity to the James Paget Hospital, very many residential properties and a large proposed supermarket with high public access.

Was the South Denes Area Enterprise Zone offered to Hydra-Rig? Were residents around Beacon Park consulted? Did the James Paget agree for the land use to be changed?

Three Friday’s ago and in last week’s Mercury we read of the council’s great plan to strip the Denes of “non energy companies” on the assumption multi-nationals would take their place and invest. So why was Hydra-Rig not placed there as they are a huge global company? So now many existing businesses and employees are worried about their future and have effectively been blighted while at the same time we now have heavy engineering close to hospital and houses.

I would like to invite Mr Wainwright Leader of GYBC (or a representative) to fully explain their recent publicly announced decisions and how they have reached them to the Mercury. It is totally, from my viewpoint as a representative of Great Yarmouth ratepayers, incomprehensible.


Burnt Lane,


Thanks for the floods clean up

My son Alan and I took heed for the evacuation (as pictured in last week’s Mercury, myself and my daughter sitting in the car).

We are sad to say the floods did happen with disastrous results, and also to many of our neighbours. Alan, my two daughters, grand-daughter and grandson working tirelessly clearing out the mess.

We would like to thank friends and strangers for their offers of help. Fortunately we are able to stay with my daughter and son-in-law for the long haul!

God Bless you all.


Lichfield Road,

Great Yarmouth

Join in special Christingle

Everyone is familiar with the phrase “Christmas is coming”, and also, as we approach our 35th Christingle Service at Great Yarmouth Minster Church of St Nicholas, with the phrase “Christingle is coming”.

This year’s service is on Christmas Eve at 3pm, and once again we are combining Christingle with the annual Crib Service.

At Christingle, families, friends and children come together to bring their offerings for children and young people in need - in return those presenting a Christingle envelopes, containing monies the children have collected, will each receive a lighted Christingle to process, in candlelight, around the church. This procession makes a memorable climax to a truly children’s Christmas service. A great moment for both children and adults!

We do hope many, many of you will come the Minster on Christmas Eve. We make 200 Christingles, but if you wish to make your own, as we know some groups do, please do so.

All proceeds go to the Childrens Society. We thank you for your support over the last 34 years - please continue - your help is needed more than ever.



Puppeteers were so wonderful

I would like to say a big thank you to Rafiki’s Crew Puppeteers and the children of ROS (Rafiki on Sunday) for the wonderful show, Countdown to Christmas, performed at St Andrew’s Church in Gorleston on Saturday.

Well done to you all for an enjoyable time and for the meaningful Christmas message it conveyed.



Let us meditate significant event

As the year 2013 approaches its close, take the opportunity to thank the editorial staff for the many excellent articles published in the Mercury this year. I also thank the editor for consideration of publishing my letters throughout the year.

I wish every good wish to those with whom I have debated and discussed through “letters”.

I also wish my fellow Christians a peaceful break as we meditate once more on that significant event when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us [Jn 1:1-4].

Someone told me during the week that if the three wise men had been three wise women, instead of gold frankincense and myrrh, the gifts would have been nappies, talcum powder and a pram and as the women walked home, would have discussed among themselves: ‘the Baby doesn’t look a bit like Joseph!’

I wish everyone a peaceful and restful CHRISTmas. Pax tecum.


Beccles Road,


Chorus of Xmas music a treat

One week on from being evacuated from our homes and not knowing whether we would have one to return to we found ourselves on a beautiful December night at St George’s Theatre for a festival of Christmas music by the wonderful Chorus of St Cecilia and its leader Matthew Hardy. What a treat it was.

It went from song to carol, from solo to ensemble and even a couple of old favourites for us all to join in and sing our hearts out. The surroundings of the revamped theatre were wonderful and warm and the acoustics great. All the singers were amazing but I must give a special mention to the adorable junior choir many up past their bedtimes and the three incredibly talented young ladies no more than teenagers who sang with both the juniors and the adults, they had the voices of angels and one sang the sweetest solo.

Well done Mr Hardy and Chorus you have made these elderly ladies’ Christmas wonderful.



Cobholm and Southtown

Thrill at Santa talking of Jesus

I just had to write to say how thrilled my daughters and I were when we visited Cherry Tree Garden Centre.

What a terrific Santa they have, we took my great grandchildren, he welcomed them nicely, then talked to them after which he asked if they knew what Christmas was all about. He then told them about baby Jesus and what it meant. Then he spoke about receiving presents and told them how nice it is to give presents or to write to their parents to say thank you afterwards.

In all the years of taking my children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren, Father Christmas has never told them about Jesus and that is what it is all about.


Bunnewell Avenue,


Forgotten cash card handed in

On the morning of Tuesday, December 3 on my way to work I stopped at the Lloyds Bank cash machine in the Market Place and very stupidly left my card in the machine. It was not until lunchtime when I went to use the card again that I realised it was missing. To my relief, when I went into the bank, it had been handed in.

If it was you who found the card and handed it in, this letter is to thank you so much for your honesty and kindness.


West Somerton