Letters, February 10, 2012

Find some other

use for Pontins

FURTHER to the correspondence and photograph from M Spencer regarding a possible comparison between the above two Holiday Camps, the only similarity I can see, is the former use of the both sites.

I lived on Jersey for 45 years, before recently retiring and returning to Norfolk and am very familiar with the situation there, having had my own Architectural Practice on the Island.

The Pontin’s buildings on Jersey - originally owned by former Great Yarmouth resident, Stanley Parkin - are situated in the Green Zone of the Island Plan, which precludes any new development. However, the argument put forward by the developers, is the new dwellings will only be replacing existing buildings.

The Island Planning Officers are refusing permission, not only because the infra structure is lamentable, but also, the National Trust of Jersey are trying to raise the millions of pounds required to purchase the site and return it for public use, as an open space in an extremely attractive part of the Island.

The Hemsby site is very different, in as much that it is situated in an absolute holiday environment. To retain it in some form of commercial use would no doubt be beneficial to the village, but I can see no reason why a housing development should be opposed by the authorities.

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Unfortunately the good old days of holidaying in England are in decline – that is the reason Pontins has closed - but a mini Eden Project might just encourage visitors back to the area, but where would they all stay?


High Road

Gorleston on sea

Fond army days


IT was wonderful to see a picture of the Royal Hotel in Through the Porthole (Mercury, February 3) once more. In 1944, I moved from army training at Nelson Barracks Norwich to Great Yarmouth as part of the 2nd Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment replacement, awaiting overseas orders.

The Royal Hotel was Battalion (Company ) Headquarters and was stationed in billets at No 1 Camperdown. Just around the corner from the Royal Hotel. Other troops were billeted in the same area: Nelson Road South, Albert Square, Wellington Road. I was not far from home then.

After a while we were moved to Dorchester in Dorset. Then straight up to Liverpool to board ship and ended up in Burma, then into India where I spent two years. Thank you.


Elm Avenue

Gorleston on sea

Cinema fun of

old has gone

RE the memories of the Coliseum: Those days many cinemas were packed at weekends and I remember the original (Tubby) Mr Attree (his son later took over) would give all the kids an orange and an apple at their special matinees at Christmas at a time when oranges had only just become available after the war.

Like all cinema bosses he would stand in the front of the cinema as people entered. He was a religious man and on one occasion the performance on a Sunday evening was about to start, with courting couples on the back row in the passion seats already settled. The cinema was hushed as the lights went out.

When all was quiet they came on again and onto the stage came the vicar of Gorleston parish church, the Rev Dick. He said something like “You have all deserted me so I have come to you,” and he then gave a sermon. Could not happen now, could it?

My last remembrance of Mr Attree was being in the choir at his funeral which had a very large turnout. One of the choirboys got the giggles which was a bit contagious.

Soon we will not see anyone when arriving at the cinema, just put your money in the slot and press button for what performance, and a machine for refreshments etc.



Yes, councils

don’t listen to us

IN reply to David Morrice’s letter (Mercury, February 3) regarding the sinking gardens in Caister, and the eventual finding of an underground stream, leading on further in the letter saying that councils don’t listen to locals.

This prompted my thoughts about Banbury, my old home town, and the council not listening to locals, regarding an indoor pool that was built, after years of campaigning.

It was built on a site known to locals as the “lasher” where many children used to swim, long before my time, it was like an overflow from the local river.

They built on it and within a week it was flooded.


Breydon Waters

Burgh Castle

Miracles at the

James Paget

THE double doors swung open, I could feel the warmth straight away. “Can I help you sire?” a smiling young lady asked. I told her my name and was shown to a very comfortable armchair with my own locker. Six other people were being looked after just as I was. “We’ll be with you in a moment sir,” said a young man in a blue uniform, and he took my details. He then brought me tea and sandwiches and pointed to cold drinks where I could help myself if I wanted.

Where was I? A 5 star hotel? No, ward 8, the Windsor Suite, at the James Paget Hospital to have an operation on an eye.

Medication was added to my eye at hourly intervals and more tea was given to me and the other patients.

Then it was my turn for the operation and I was met by a nurse whose main concern was my comfort and well-being. The op was carried out by Mr Mukherji and his team and was a complete success and my sight once more is great in that eye.

Miracles are performed at the JPUH every day and the people who moan about it and knock it should try and remember this.

Thank you to all the staff for making my short stay so relaxed and happy.



Will Monument

be on hitlist?

IN response to the letter from Mr Annison last week, regarding the restoration of the Vauxhall Railway bridge.

As far as I am aware there is no hidden agenda, nor was there other than to restore the bridge, nonetheless it may well be that despite the lack of maintenance over the years the bridge would still be capable of carrying heavy traffic.

It is interesting to note that whilst so many people in this town work tirelessly to help secure the future of structures such as the Vauxhall bridge we have residents that seem hellbent on destroying what little we have left in this town.

Would he wish to see the Winter Gardens next on his hit list or the old town wall and towers demolished to make way for car parks? Perhaps the monument at the South Denes?

So instead of griping perhaps he should get involved in the restoration of the bridge, and offer some ideas as to what could be done to the land adjacent to the bridge in order for us all to enjoy this magnificent structure.



North River Road

Great Yarmouth

Why is borough

distancing itself?

I MUST say I’m not surprised at the recent events on the Mallards Estate in Caister. I am surprised at the alacrity with which the events have happened.

Having read about the problems in the Mercury, I am further surprised at the way the borough is trying to distance itself from that decision.

I know from my past record files from 2000–2004 and my correspondence to both borough planning and councillors of their adamant desire to build on this land, regardless.

At about this period, the borough had just been “hit” for �1m compensation over a failed gardening project, and the council was “running scared” about being hit yet again.

The landowner offered another piece of safe land on the west side of the bypass between Caister and Ormesby,but this was turned down by the Flegg councillors. [See minutes of Borough Council Planning Meeting 20th March 2007].

The deed is done - the milk has been spilt, and the houses built.

With regard to the other problem reported, that of vermin. These have got an ideal environment. The estate is surrounded by drainage dykes, ditches and culverts.



Caister Parish Council

Everyone is

dumping here

R KAYES’ letter could not have summed up all that is going on in Norfolk and Suffolk generally and parts of it specifically, namely Yarmouth and Lowestoft for decades in a better fashion. Dumping everybody else’s problems here has been quite a fashionable thing to do amongst the rest of the country.

None of this improves the lot of the local people and as one previous letter writer commented “they’re pulling the town down around our rears,” no doubt to house and service the homeless overspill and out of work people with health problems.

Quite frankly we need 20,000 more people coming to the area like King Canute needed a tsunami, and is it not about time we had built 300 houses for local people and 50 for people from outside the area, and not as is the usual case – the opposite.


Butt Lane,

Burgh Castle

Cats, too, cause

messy problems

REGARDING the letter from Mrs Theresa Whitmore in last week’s Mercury, about dog mess bags left on paths. Her final point was for people to get a cat because you don’t have to clear up after them.

I can only presume Mrs Whitmore’s final sentence was a joke.

If so, I certainly did not find it funny as I have to spend a lot of time clearing up after other people’s cats who use my garden as their toilet!

I might add that, apart from that final sentence, I agree with all the other points Mrs Whitmore raised in her letter.


Park Road


Bring a theatre

back to Regent

I CONTACTED my local councillor re the old Mecca in Regent Road and Great Yarmouth and the possibility about returning it to being a theatre.

He told me to get on to the leader of the council Mr Stephen Ames, and it took a number of emails for him to return mine with a flat no, it would not be looked at.

The reason given was that it would take trade from others, but if I could find outside funding it would be looked at.

When is this borough council going to stand up and smell the coffee, can they not see it could be good for the town?



WHAT do readers think? Is there a future if the Regent Theatre was to be returned to it’s former glory? Would local people go to shows there – and could the town attract top names to the stage? Email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk or write to letters at the address at the bottom of the letters pages.

Where’s public

viewing point?

IT’S really good to see my friend John Cooper re-directing some of his enthusiasm and creative energy away from his crusade on public funding waste into another brilliant piece of art.

His current work really illustrates a missed opportunity to generate tourism in Gorleston. As I recall, there was to be a public viewing platform at the north of the Outer Harbour but this hasn’t materialised.

Why - when Gorleston Cliffs and the South Pier were always the perfect viewing platforms?

Eastport should be given credit for the refurbishment work they’ve recently undertaken on the South Pier.

However, one has the feeling that if they would only remove the great bank of sand at the south end of the harbour the economic benefits through increased tourism would be significant.

Regardless, I look forward to seeing more creative work by John in the future.



A shame iconic

building hidden

EARLIER in the year we had a guided tour of the seafront of Great Yarmouth. And very enjoyable it was too - and we were quite surprised at how much history was there for the telling.

Further to this, we were on the seafront after going swimming at the Marina Centre and we looked across to where you could just catch a glimpse of the Hippodrome Circus to the rear of the amusement arcade.

We thought it was such a shame that such a historic building is largely hidden from view.

Bearing in mind all of the regeneration work that has been carried out to the seafront, we were trying to visualise what could be if the amusement arcade was removed and there was an open plan area to the front of the Hippodrome..

Surely what a wonderful aspect it would present and greatly enhance Yarmouth seafront.

Perhaps one of your tech boys could do an artist’s impression at what could be such a dream.


Bush Drive,