Letters, December 23 2016

Two children’s areas in library?

I think I can solve the Gorleston Library dispute.

When I was a child the main adult library was on the right hand side when you went in, because I used to get my dad’s books there.

However, I do believe there could well have been a children’s one upstairs then, because I distinctly remember the opening of a “new” children’s library on the ground floor re your second correspondent’s remarks.

It had light wood shelves and was modern inside, which is where I got my Enid Blyton books about the “Secret Seven” and then “The Famous Five” - I used to go every afternoon to get another one. Couldn’t wait until I was 14 so I could read Agatha Christie’s books in the adult section though.

So it is more than possible that both your letter writers are correct.


Most Read


A connection to banana buses

I had to smile to myself when I read Mr Mike Spragg’s letter “I long for the old Banana Buses”. What Mr Spragg is probably not aware of is that the network manager for First Bus is none other than Iain Rankine, one of the ex managers of, yes you have guessed it, the Flying Banana Buses.



Guide by reason and science

I look forward to reading the regular contributions from Mr Barkhuizen. He drives home the point we should be guided by science and reason, not blind faith in ancient texts and the supernatural, more eloquently than I ever could.

Keep those letters coming Mr B.


University Crescent


A country leader in scruffiness

Sad isn’t it, our councillors arrive at these plans which nearly all end up as “pie in the sky”. Simple things like TV screens in the Market Place: £1m ditched. South Quay road being strengthened costing £1m plus for non existent container lorries. The outer harbour six years on and still waiting for the 1,000 jobs and a continental ferry. The Edge complex, brilliant idea, but no sign of it.

Now the same councillors have come up with a plan to brighten up the centre of our town to increase visitor flow.

Basically the idea to brighten up these areas has touched on the root of the problem, Yarmouth is a country leader in scruffiness.

Cllr Mick Castle has a lot to say about residents who make such comments as “it will never happen” or “a load of rubbish” he still to this day believes the job market has been boosted by having the outer harbour.

The ideas are good it’s who we have in the Town Hall that are the problem. Change the archaic councillors and the unelected officers then the ideas under a more knowledgeable council re the town centre would be excellent.


Burnt Lane,


Lights welcome in village and town

We always get so much criticism of our village and Great Yarmouth so I had to write and say how beautiful all the trees and lights are in Caister and how pretty Market Gates looks in town; also all the lights in the trees and through the Market Place.

We drove along the seafront last week and thought how vibrant those areas looked.

So a big thank you to everyone involved and all the hard work they have put in, also with different events the Christmas spirit is still alive.


Caister on sea

Thanks for your sleigh support

I would like to take this opportunity through your letters column to thank all those people who have supported the Santa’s Sleigh Appeal for 2016 as organised by the members of the Great Yarmouth Lions Club.

In addition to delighting many hundreds of children with Santa’s visits I am pleased to announce the club has collected almost £7,000 for its charity account.

The Lions Club has donated in the region of £10,000 this past year to the local community, in the form of larger donations to recognised charities together with smaller amounts to various organizations and individuals, sometimes in the form of sponsorship. The club has also supported worthy causes further afield through the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

Great Yarmouth Lions Club has been established for more than 60 years and was one of the first Lions Clubs to be formed in the UK. Members are proud to be part of the world’s largest service organisation.

The club raises funds throughout the year to support its charity work with further details to be found on its website and Facebook page. New members are always welcome.

Santa’s Sleigh committee would like to thank Yarmouth police for their support in keeping the sleigh on the road, and also the management and staff at the First Blue Bus depot on Caister Road for providing a stable for the reindeer during the appeal. Further thanks are also given to customers at the Belton Tavern, Gorleston Entertainer and Hopton Turnstone for their continued support.

The club would like to thank all your readers for their support throughout the year and wish everyone a Happy New Year for 2017. For further information on Lions activities and membership in the Great Yarmouth area please contact the secretary on 0845 833 9609.


Great Yarmouth Lions

Please answer question Mr B

When I saw Mr Barkhuizen again in the Mercury, as an 80 year old, I immediately thought of the late comedian Tommy Handley’s radio comic programme “It’s That Man Again” (ITMA), both of them comedians.

All I know about Mr B is that his surname is very common in South Africa (the Dark Continent) so as he won’t answer my question as to his religion or sect he must have a funny one. Mr B, answer please or are you just content to criticise all other beliefs? Answer please, or shut up!


Beccles Road,


God’s amazing rescue plan

Amazing Grace! “It’s Christmas time, no need to be afraid” so sang Paul Young in the opening line of Band Aid’s massive Christmas hit single in 1984. He wasn’t the first to do so though!

Over 2000 years before in a far off and conflict torn country the exact same message echoed round a windswept hillside. This time it wasn’t 1980’s musical superstars but a vast number of angels! The message was for the poor, the downtrodden, the outcasts, the lonely, the imperfect, everyone – you and me!

There is a saying, “talk is cheap” or “put your money where your mouth is”. This is exactly what God did when He sent Jesus to earth. For thousands of years God had communicated through various people in different ways, but people still asked the question “what is God really like”.

God had an answer. One of the most famous verses in the Bible is John chapter 3 verse 16 “God loved the world (us) so much that He gave His one and only Son …” He wasn’t born to royalty – his mother was an unmarried teenager. He wasn’t born in a palace – it was a place where they kept domestic animals at the back of a pub! Not a particularly promising start by our standards but all part of God’s amazing rescue plan, for the verse goes on to say “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

Now that really is something to celebrate this Christmas. This fantastic gift is for everyone – you, me and even other Mercury letter writers!

Wishing you all a God filled Christmas and blessed New Year.


The Mews,


Moron trashed my festive lights!

Could I please through the Mercury say a big thank you to the mindless moron who entered my garden and cut the wire to my Christmas tree and wreath, and trashed my solar lights.

They then moved on to my lovely neighbours not only to trash but steal his lights and caused damage. Shame they were battery operated lights and not live, still, better luck next time.

I hope the vandal is happy with himself and didn’t have to see a lady cry at what she discovered.


Kings Road,


Letters just wind up readers

E Barkhuizen certainly attracts many comments on his remarks and views. Some weeks he almost dominates proceedings. Isn’t it time people realised what a sad life he must lead when all he has to do is wind people up through the letters page of the Yarmouth Mercury.


Winterton on Sea

Support the free press in UK

Support for the free press in UK Thank you to the Mercury for drawing our attention to the consultation paper on Section 40, Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry.

I did respond to the consultation online though it was a bit daunting as evidence was called for and I was not sure what an individual could offer in terms of evidence except that the clear concern of our local press is enough reason to take the potential harm seriously.

I think the main thing is to register objection to the implementation of Part 2 which, as far as I understand it, is basically a means to bring the free press under state censorship. Parliament called the Leveson Inquiry in order to examine the illegal conduct of the media moguls, the Murdoch empire in particular, which apart from any other objectionable practices, were using their power to influence cabinet decisions.

One wondered at the time whether Murdoch had more political clout than Parliament itself.

However, the government has in its usual opportunistic manner used the Inquiry as an opportunity to try and strengthen centralised control - a good demonstration of the difference between Parliament and Cabinet, the former still trying to act in the public interest, the latter continuing to erode all the institutions that we used to consider represented “British values”, such as a free press and local government.

It is ironic this should come up at the same time as Sajid Javid’s proposal that we all swear an oath to “British values”. It is a characteristic of dictatorships to demand populations swear an oath of allegiance. I would have thought the one thing characteristic of the British people is to scoff at such a demand and to celebrate its mockery in the free press.

Over the last four decades, the government has stripped the nation of public assets and used vast amounts of public money to fund corporate take over of public services. I hope the British people will continue defending and supporting what still remains of our great sense of public service, from local government and the NHS, through to an independent press and the large charities and the myriad small voluntary groups that exist in every community, often working in partnership with a facilitating council.

Isn’t that where our resilience will stand in times of crisis?



EU not at fault for Yarmouth woes

Mr Pownall is right to share my disbelief at Mr Cooper’s announcement that he wanted an “England for the English” (a slogan only associated with the 1970s National Front) in his letter, published on November 18.

I also hope Mr Pownall shares my disgust in the open endorsement of far-right organisations such as Britain First by prominent members of the local community, on social media. We can only hope that this is a case of Hanlon’s Razor.

I share his desire to leave a better Britain for my family. I would hope that he shares my belief that, to this end, it is in the interests of us all that all the people reading our letters should have greater freedom of movement within the EU than a crate of Bernard Matthews turkey carcasses. To guarantee otherwise through a ruinous Hard Brexit (advocated suddenly by our MP) will not only bizarrely put the rights of British poultry before British people, but will ruin the economy for all but the wealthy. We are not the wealthy.

The EU is not at fault for Yarmouth’s woes. If you believe that, then you have been lied to. Please blame them, and not me, if things get worse.


Great Yarmouth and Vienna

Delight of a circus with no elephants

On Monday evening our family, including our grandchildren, took us to the Hippodrome Circus, and I had not been there since the banning of animals in circus acts. And my thoughts were always how could you have a circus without elephants and lions etc.

Well I was wrong! The show was amazing, from stunt motorcyclists to trapeze artists plus much, much more which I will not reveal so as not to spoil the excitement for others, and a great Christmas theme which made full use of the ring’s water spectacle.

We were all on the edge of our seats whether it was for the daring of the artists or the belly laughs from Jack Jay and his accomplice in the ring, it was a circus with a difference and equal to the entertainment of any major production, and certainly more affordable.

Well done the Jay Family who I noticed were all in attendance to make sure it was a success.

I would recommend that if you have kids or not, do not miss this Christmas Extravaganza.



Protest before it is too late

The Opinion article in the Mercury last week makes it clear that if section 40 of the 2013 Crime and Courts Act\ is enforced the democratic right to freedom of speech and fair trial will be lost.

It could mean that no newspaper would dare to print what it regards as important news or views or even letters from the public for fear of being dragged into court by anyone who cares to sue for whatever reason.

If we value our freedom of speech it is imperative that we all protest before it is too late.


Seafield Close,

Great Yarmouth

There is a site for transforming

Surely the job for the council is to create a town centre that is thriving. We currently have a significant number of empty shops, some which have been vacant for years.

So rather than subsidise shop fronts why not subsidise or waive business rates for new businesses moving into premises in the town centre. A perfect opportunity already exists for a new cinema and cafes etc within half a mile of the town centre.

The site has been cleared and with a little bit of common sense the old bowling alley could be transformed into the council’s vision. Sadly the ill thought out plans mooted and being consulted on will cost tens of thousands and will never come to fruition.



True spirit of the festive season

I just wanted to express my appreciation to the members of Great Yarmouth Rotary Club and Palmers for the wonderful Father Christmas they provided this week.

This morning I took two of my grandchildren aged five and three, who were delighted to have time to chat with their current hero.

To me this event represents the true spirit of Christmas as it was put on and manned by volunteers to raise money for all the good causes the local Rotary group supports. All the volunteers were wonderful with the children and the well planned organisation made it a relaxed and happy occasion which will be remembered by my little ones for many years to come and I have the precious photos to share with the family.

Well done to all who were involved, one of the best Christmas events in the town this year.


Reynolds Avenue,

Caister on sea

Men helped me on escalator

On Sunday, December 11, I was on the escalator in Tesco, Great Yarmouth and although I was holding the handrail I started to fall backwards.

Two young men behind me managed to hold me upright so it was not as bad as it could have been as the escalator was nearly full of shoppers.

I would very much like to offer my grateful thanks to the two young men through your paper as I do not know their names.


Norwich Road,

North Walsham

Owner let dog foul on path

On Saturday morning on Great Yarmouth seafront, I witnessed a dog owner allowing his dog to foul the pavement. He walked off and left it. I tooted the car horn and pointed to the excrement to which I got an unacceptable hand gesture. He had a young child with him who now believes it is okay to leave the mess.

We drove along the seafront unable to do anything about this as there is no-one to tell. What are you supposed to do in a situation like this, so how can we stop this behaviour? I don’t think we will be able to control this sort of behaviour, and it’s such a shame for everyone else who does comply.