Letters, February 20 2015

Sadness over dunes removal

How sad that the Haven Holiday Camp in Ormesby Road, Caister has decided to remove a large area of dunes, which provided food and shelter for wildlife, and I dread to think how many hibernating lizards have lost their lives.

They say they are reshaping the site to provide a better view. It’s their sand, they can do what they like. But the dunes provide a sea defence for our already vulnerable coast.

With all that loose, fine sand I can envisage a strong, easterly wind blowing it all over the caravans and site. How sad that companies and people can’t protect what little natural habitat remains.


Caister on Sea

Anyone found a lost fish brooch?

Most Read

My wife and I visited Great Yarmouth on our wedding anniversary 17th February 17 and during the day my wife lost a brooch which is of great sentimental value. The brooch is in the shape of a small blue tropical fish and may well have been dropped in the North Drive area.

If there is any way you can place this information in your paper we would be most grateful. We will be happy to reward the finder.

We can be contacted on mickandbabs@keme.co.uk



Co-op could be like The Forum

The £1m boost to the town centre is welcome but to make it work it needs a focus which would create interest and increase footfall. The Forum in Norwich is an excellent example. Why not make the Central Library really central and bring it to the centre of town.

House all the advisory services in the same building and to encourage clubs and societies to gather in the same place, provide space for meetings, conferences etc. Include a quality cafe with public toilets and it might generate the busy, lively environment necessary to make this investment worthwhile. The Co-op building would be ideal for this purpose.


Northgate Street

Great Yarmouth

Will others take the Gapton trail?

I’m not sure I understand this. The borough council is to spend a million pounds on the Market Place and surrounding areas in the hope it will bring in more outside investment, (Mercury, February 13). The money is to be spent on, amongst other things, more street cleaning, better signage, landscaping and improved lighting. I half expected them to throw in a few firework displays as well.

This is the same council which allowed the town centre retailers to decamp en masse to Gapton, leaving an empty and forlorn wilderness in their wake. Wait until BhS and Palmers follow suit.

Stable doors are too obvious, these plans remind me more of the lighthouse in the bog - very illuminating but in reality quite useless.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Tourists will need the toilets

So, Yarmouth council has found £1m to boost the town centre! This is meant to attracted more businesses, residents and visitors/holiday makers!

I would like to know where the councillors expect these visitors to find a toilet? With public toilets being closed along our seashore and town, visitors will soon choose other venues than Yarmouth and the surrounding areas to spend their money.

This council needs to get off its backside and keep public toilets open or they will have to find extra money to not only clean up dog poo but...



Don’t take down sea defences

After reading in the Mercury about Haven removing sand to landscape the frontage (sea side) of the camp to allow and provide a view from the site, my husband and I went to investigate and were devastated by the sight that met us.

What are Haven thinking of? Even if they replant the marram grass it takes time to build the barrier again. After the worry of living in the village and being evacuated after the two sea surges it brings fear and horror to us that the defence could be breached due to this thoughtlessness.

Look at Hemsby and what happened there. We need every possible natural resource to keep us safe. Let alone the wildlife that lives along there.

Please Haven, think again and do not remove any more of the protection.

We also noticed the caravans along there are much lower down so it would need tonnes of sand to be removed to allow them a view, another frightening thought. This would certainly open a large gateway for the sea to surge in.

I beg, let commonsense prevail here, as all around the coast we are in grave danger of flooding and have been begging for help from all areas.



Yum... when the chips are down

It’s great to see local businesses competing to provide the best fish and chips money can buy, especially when eaten in their original paper.

Do readers have a favourite fish and chip shop? Just before you make a judgement, take a look at the story of our humble, yet national institution, fish and chips. Winston Churchill called them “the good companions”. John Lennon smothered his in tomato ketchup. Michael Jackson liked them with mushy peas.

Few can resist the mouth-watering combination - moist white fish in crisp golden batter, served with a generous portion of hot, fluffy chips.Everyone has their own preferences and tastes vary from one part of the country to another. Cod or haddock? Salt and vinegar? Pickled onion? Scraps?

Like Morecambe and Wise or Wallace and Gromit, fish and chips are a classic double act - and yet they started life as solo performers.

Not to confuse the story we will keep with the tradition fish and chips. So here’s a little Robbie Burns coming out of my English mouth.

“Fish and chips. Fish and chips. Makes me want to lick my lips. I eat them for breakfast, lunch and tea. Fish and chips are for me!

Before I wrap this up, some facts to digest. True British fish and chips are wrapped up in last week’s Great Yarmouth Mercury or if you wish to go upmarket, the Financial Times.

Whatever, the taste remains the same.

Fish and chips were first served together as a dish around 1860 although their origin is contested.

Fish and chips were served in newspaper until the 1980s. The longest running fish and chip shop still in operation is based in Yeadon near Leeds.

An average portion of fish, chips and peas contains only 7.3pc fat. By comparison, a pork pie has 10.8pc fat. Over 250 million fish and chip meals are sold each year in the UK.

Fish and chips played a part in the D-Day Landings. British soldiers identified each other by crying out “fish” and waiting for the response of “chips”.

In Scotland, fish and chips are served with chippy sauce - a mixture of vinegar and brown sauce.

Finally, there is a long tradition of funny chip shop names.

The Cod Father, The Frying Scotsman, Battersea Cods Home, Frying Nemo, Codrophenia, The Frying Squad, A Fish Called Rhondda, O’my Cod Fish and Chips, A Salt & Battery, The Fish Plaice, Northern Sole, Mister Chips and The Rock n Sole Plaice.

So here’s to your favourite chippie. They are all doing great and surviving and right now I’m off to my chip shop because all this has made me hungry!


Clarence Road,

Gorleston on Sea

Top singers sold souls to Satan

St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston, in March will host a religious entertainer. He’ll be singing songs by Bob Dylan and The Beatles – who sold their souls to Satan. Why have music from devil worshippers in a church meeting?

See what Dylan says at http://ow.ly/IIQLB, and about The Beatles at http://ow.ly/ILGlt.


Albemarle Road,


JPH care could not be bettered

May I through your columns express my gratitude to the dedicated staff of the JPUH for the wonderful kindness shown to myself and my relations following the sudden late-night admission to A&E of a family member.

The courtesy and understanding shown to me and to family members is greatly appreciated. The care of staff at the JPUH I am sure could not be bettered.



How can we all be in it together?

Would Brandon Lewis, Conservative housing minister and MP for Great Yarmouth explain how we are all in it together when his government has asked the private sector to give pay rises. What about those workers on the minimum wage? What about teachers, nurses, council workers, don’t they deserve a pay rise?

Can I remind him nurses’ pay should have increased by 1pc but his government won’t pay it.



Does God care re bacon rolls?

In reference to Mr Barkhuizen’s letter (February 13) on Kingsgate Church handing out bacon rolls on January 25 to the emergency services.

It’s a wonder, Mr Barkhuizen, that you haven’t condemned Kingsgate Church for planting flower bulbs, picking up rubbish etc in different areas of Southtown. This is done once a month, and is in the church diary.

The big question Mr Barkhuizen, is does God care that they do these things? The answer to that is no as our Christian faith and our walk with God regarding outreach into the area requires more than just words. A lot of people are touched by our good deeds and respect us more for it.

Your interpretation of the Christian faith, Mr Barkhuizen, is almost like that of the Pharisees and the other teachers of the law, and look at how Jesus condemned them for their legalistic behaviour

I was looking at YouTube the other night and Ruth Graham Lotz (Billy Graham’s daughter) claimed a sign that we are nearing Christ’s Second Coming would be petty division in the church.

So maybe you are fulfilling a prophecy.


Turin Way,

Hopton on Sea

This resident is a real gent!

I have something I’d like to share with Great Yarmouth residents.

We would like to give a huge thank you to Mark Middleton, a resident who without thought to his own inconvenience, spied a stranded handbag at the train station, picked it up, called a number it contained to find the owner, got through to the owner’s dad and discovered the owner was staying in Yarmouth.

Mark then found out where the owner was staying and personally delivered it to the guest house immediately. The owner, a young lady, didn’t realise her handbag was missing until she received a call. It’s an attitude like Mark’s that helps put the Great into Great Yarmouth. Thank you!


Kilbrannan Guest House,

Trafalgar Road,

Great Yarmouth

Drivers taken out of town centre

In regard to the council’s boost to the Market Place there are two points. One is if a total stranger drove down Northgate Street how do they get into the Market Place, and two is the same question for a stranger driving up from the seafront? Look at these two points from the eyes of a stranger in a strange town, not a local.

I first came to Great Yarmouth in 1964 on holiday and it was a very busy town and industry with plenty for the holidaymaker. I moved here in 1966 so I have seen a lot of changes since then – and not a lot for the good. In fact I have seen it slowly go downhill as a holiday resort and busy town with nothing to attract visitors here.

When traffic flowed through the market and up and down Regent Road it was far busier with people, but I do not recollect there being any accidents and I was driving round the town for over 20 years. Now the town seems dead. This should give food for thought, was it better for the town than the present system? It’s worth a thought.


Caister Road,

Great Yarmouth

Sanction when GP date missed

I read that people who don’t turn up at the dole office or don’t turn up for appointments are sanctioned. Well, I believe people who don’t turn up for GP appointments should be sanctioned. In my surgery they put up how many people fail to show on the noticeboard for all to see. If you can’t make the appointment a phone call to cancel doesn’t take a minute. Then people like myself could get an appointment instead of having to wait a week to see your GP. Some people are so inconsiderate.



I, too, recall the Navy uniform

No, you’re not the only “oldie” around, Jose O Mahoney, as I saw the Prince of Wales and would like to know what date it was. Born 1926, I was with my mother at the south end of the town on the Fish Wharf. We lived on the nearby council estate, it was somewhere near the ferry.

I remember the man with the Navy uniform, cap with a gold braid and buttons on his cuffs and lots of other people (mayor and suchlike, I should think). I might have been given time off school? I have vivid memories and remember the song and the tune – one line was “God bless the prairie echo, God bless the Prince of Wales”. How’s that for an oldie?



Speed signs are clear enough

I read the article on the speeding tickets from Michael De’Ath with great interest. I live in Belton and use the A143 every day.

Mr De’Ath talks about the road going south from the Great Yarmouth area and says the 30mph signs are not very clear. I beg to differ. From the centre of the roadworks to the second right turn to Belton, which is the way I go, there are five sets of 30mph signs at regular intervals and all very clearly marked.

The third set is by the area where the mobile speed van parks. None of the road signs are covered up by roadworks materials and if the drivers paid attention to the 30mph signs when leaving the road works area, there would be no need for the last couple of signs and we could revert back to the normal 40mph signs that were there in the first place. I think the Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership has got it right with their signs as they are all very clear.


Station Road South,


Labour’s pledges Cooper-esque?

Just read the Labour Party’s latest leaflet put through our door. It makes thought provoking reading and contains five bullet points:

1 We will get the deficit down. (They said that last time and increased it instead). We will introduce a mansion tax on properties worth over £2m which will pay for 20,000 nurses and 8,000 doctors. My simple maths says the mansion tax will need to raise some £1,000m. As the late Tommy Cooper would say: “Just like that”.

2 We will raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour. This will mean closure of many organisations and small businesses with one or two part time employees. At £8 an hour how will we fund the four times a day social care for the elderly and ill in their own homes? Again “Just like that”.

3 We will expand the appren-ticeships scheme so as many become apprentices as go to university. An admirable aim but where will the hundreds of thousands of apprenticeships come from? Again “Just like that”.

4 We will provide 25 hours of free child care each week for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds along with wrap-around childcare through every primary school between 8am and 6pm. The leaflet makes no attempt to say where the millions will come from to fund these aims, again, is it to be “Just like that?”

5 We will ban agencies which only hire foreign workers. We will stop people claiming benefits until they have lived here for two years. We will employ 1,000 more border staff and implement more checks to tackle illegal immigration. This must have escaped from the latest UKIP leaflet, again: “Just like that”.



Is this verging on the ridiculous?

I do like to read with interest of how our council wants to save money and without anyone losing their job. So through this email I would like to offer a small observation done on the roadsides near me and is probably happening elsewhere.

Maybe a week or so ago when out driving, I was held up by two workman and a pickup truck full of earth working on Girton Road.

I watched as these two took earth off the pickup to repair the (grass) verges along this road. After following them along I glanced at these verges and saw the ploughed field effect had been rectified and now they looked as they should (minus grass of course) but now nice flat and without deep ruts and puddle traps.

Later, on my return home within a few hours, all the professional work these two had meticulously done had been undone by cars, vans and lorries driving over these repairs. It had turned most back into the original ploughed effect so the walls will now get the usual splashing of water/earth as well as the pavements (if you are able to walk past the parked car) when they are driven through once again filled with rainwater.

I understand parking around the town is getting harder making people walk more than ten yards to get where they need to, but there seems to be no law about parking on these grass areas including the greens around Brasenose Avenue mini roundabout. And it seems it is also okay to put all the lovely wooden posts up, as they have on one side of Brasenose just to push the problem over to the other side of the road.

Still, on the plus side, for these workers maybe repairing these verges is like painting the Forth Bridge, a job for life. Let’s hope the council never thinks about a fine for these cars parking on the verges as they would make a fortune.


Oxford Avenue,


Drop parking fees, they will come

Here we go again, councillors proposing to waste large sums of, what is the ratepayers of this town’s money on a crazy scheme to upgrade the facilities in the town centre. Surely the priority is to get shoppers to return to make the place financially viable for companies to open businesses there, not spend huge sums of money on facelifts.

One way to encourage shoppers is to make the car parking on the Market Place and Brewery Plain free for the first hour and then £1 for each subsequent hour. What does the Town Centre manager actually do?

Isn’t this another example of the muddled thinking in the council, first of all they force shoppers to use out of town centres like Gapton, by increasing parking charges in the town. And then these same councillors are surprised when businesses move out of the Market Place because there are no customers.

Where are the costings for this scheme or, as with everything else with this council, are the rate payers not allowed to know where their money is being spent. We still haven’t had the true cost of the interim chief executive only that he is supposedly on an annual salary of at least £200,000 paid through his company.

Let us ratepayers have some answers.



Thanks Malcolm, for talk donation

Malcolm Metcalf gave a wonderful illustrated talk about wildlife around the world, in his own inimitable way on Saturday at Shrublands Community Centre, Magdalene Way, Gorleston. He raised a fantastic £300 for East Coast Hospice and we would like to say thank you so much to him and to everyone who came along on the evening, not just for buying entry tickets but also for making the raffle such a success.

East Coast Hospice would also like to thank the residents of Gorleston for donating £204 to our bucket collection at Morrison’s, Gorleston, on Thursday last week. The kind words of support we received over the course of the day are very much appreciated.


Community Fundraiser

East Coast Hospice

Like Caister, we won’t turn back

Once again John Cooper has challenged councillors to open up the details on what appear flawed Outer Harbour negotiations. Once again there is that wall of silence. Like Caister men we won’t turn back.

I have been told by rank and file councillors they had little or no part in the project and couldn’t recall full details being put before the full council. So how were negotiations done?

Presumably the councillors on the Port Authority would have been involved to receive instructions and report progress to the cabinet? How else could the vast amount of money in cash and kind provided by GYBC and NCC be authorised and was it just one individual in each council or was it really both the two full councils?

Many freedom of information questions put to GYBC by John and myself have been answered with “the council doesn’t hold that information”- surely this in itself needs investigation. How can a public body give away so much money and have no information regarding it?

In a democratic society I have always considered our elected representatives to be responsible to the electorate for their decisions. Without accountability there is no democracy. I was told by a government body some years ago when I challenged them with the embargo on information that “the period is six years” - for presumably commercial confidentiality. Why then have our politicians put a 30-year embargo on the negotiations?

To prove our councillors are really working for us they need to come clean on all the issues regarding the outer harbour that are in contention. They need to make the details open and free to all. They need to explain the embargo which goes well beyond commercial confidentiality.

If this doesn’t happen …?

Why were we given information about the roll on, roll off service before they even had a user. They even published a sailing schedule. The 1,000 jobs. The super casino to attract so much tourism which was unlikely to happen without boatloads of tourists. We were encouraged by this very premature information that was pie in the sky.

This is election year. I hope residents will make the embargo a high profile subject. Make it a question to ask when canvassed and don’t be fobbed off. Remember that without accountability there is no democracy which is a very fragile benefit even in our country. If you don’t use it you will lose it!

Councillors, the ball is in your court.



‘Acorns’ grow to great entertainers

If ever there was proof of the old adage “Great oaks from little acorns grow”, it was to be found on the stage of St George’s Theatre last Friday evening. Four young men returned to the boards they first trod over 21 years ago in Dusmagrik’s Bugsy Malone, bringing an evening of class and nostalgia with their show Totally Wireless.

Throughout their years they have never forgotten their early beginnings or indeed their old mentors.

At the end of the show they sang a song from Bugsy, “Give a little love and it all comes back to you”. What a perfect gift.


Links Road,


Photos of Prince opening bridge

As another “oldie” I can remember the opening of the Haven Bridge in 1930. I was seven at the time and with my mother joined the crowds to see the Prince of Wales (later the Duke of Windsor). I have a photo of the Prince cutting the tape and my father in ceremonial robes standing behind the Prince. I also have a photo of my father Frank Bean as a police officer holding open a car door for the Prince. Happy memories.




Fifty pubs open in Great Yarmouth

After eight years in the doldrums, the recession, smoking ban etc there are again over 50 pubs open for business in Great Yarmouth itself - over 50 pubs for a 25,000 resident population.

The improving picture follows both pub re-openings and much-heralded new builds and for 2015 Yarmouth now boasts seven pubs in the Southtown and Cobholm area, nine in the Northgate, Runham Vauxhall and Newtown areas, 15 in the seafront area, 15 in the town centre and five to the south of the town. It seems their reported permanent decline and demise was exaggerated somewhat.

PS Not including hotels, casinos, nightclubs and restaurants.


Town Wall Road,

Great Yarmouth

Follow revelations in Ephesians

Reading Mr Barkhuizen’s account of the “bacon butty brigade” and the meaning of life, as he sees it, reminds me of the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees. They the Pharisees, were always criticising the good works of Jesus and in this case “He that is without sin cast the first stone” comes to mind.

Mr Barkhuizen should follow the revelations as written in Ephesians 4:15 (I do so hate people that quote sections from the Bible to prove a point but, when the needs must!) “Speaking the truth in love should be our primary guide in criticism”.

Godly criticism is true and loving it comes from a humble caring heart and wishes the best for the other person. It is not bitter or condescending, insulting or cold-hearted.

Second, Timothy 2:24-25a and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 also makes good reading on the subject. Jesus did many things, some even on a Sunday, which upset the Pharisees.

If Mr Barkhuizen is talking about the five facets of “worship” he may have a point but, as for “worship” as I know it, he has got it wrong.

From Mark Chapter 12: “When we serve others, we serve God. In obeying and doing these things we are worshiping God by our actions. In other words,”

Action speaks louder than words when it comes to worshipping. Likewise I worship God in my own way!


West Caister