Letters, February 10, 2017

Pushchair users cannot be moved off

As a local bus driver, while sympathising with the wheelchair /pushchair dilemma, I would like Mr R Hayes to tell me what he would like to see me do, when a pushchair user is asked politely but firmly to move, but refuses.

On different designed buses, there is often no place at all for a pushchair user to move to! They cannot be turned off a bus mid journey, when they have paid a fare to reach their destination at the time they require.

Currently, the unfortunate situation is that it is first come, first served, if every other effort has been exhausted, and this does happen every day. It appears that Mr Paulleys’ case has sadly won him nothing.

Name and Address withheld

We have fastest growing ecomony

I felt the letter from Derek Leak in last week’s Mercury needed a response. He obviously believed everything the doom and gloom Cameron/Osborne duo broadcast.

Most Read

Actually we now have the fastest growing economy in the G7, just been upgraded once again, exports are at record levels, unemployment is falling, tourism to the UK is soaring and big business is building and investing in us.

I expect Mr Leak will say what about the pound falling? Actually many currency experts were saying the Pound was too strong against the Dollar well before Brexit and needed re-alignment. He obviously prefers us to stand with the booming economies of Greece, Italy, France and Spain - unfortunately they are booming downwards.

Brexit now and it will cost nothing, Germany will lead the charge to give us terrific trading terms



Lame excuse for air show axing

The sudden cancellation of the Great Yarmouth Air Show has caused understandable anger and disappointment in the town – and inflicted significant reputational damage to Yarmouth as a major resort.

Lots of local guest houses and hotels and small businesses stand to lose out from cancellations of holidays which may well now follow from those booking specifically to take in the air show.

I was one of those sceptics a couple of years ago who couldn’t even begin to understand why Greater Yarmouth Tourism (GYTBIDA) was contemplating running an air show given the experience of our near neighbours Lowestoft who couldn’t make their’s pay. I kind of hoped they might prove me wrong.

What I can’t excuse – even in these days of “false news” - is the way they have shamelessly attempted to present the reasons for cancellation – “Air Show victim of terror threat” (Mercury, February 3). The GYTBIDA cancellation announcement compounded that even more with the £130,000 extra cost for the terror threat and the need for numerous concrete bollards around the Golden Mile attributed by the Mercury to a “board member who wished to remain anonymous”.

Believe me Yarmouth folk are not thick and this lame and unsubstantiated excuse for the cancellation won’t fool anyone – even if local MP Brandon Lewis and Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad are prepared to accept “the terror threat” line at face value. The Mercury report tellingly reveals that “No planes had been announced for the show”(!)

I have made it my business as county councillor for Yarmouth North and Central (which covers the seafront area between Regent Road and the Racecourse) to find out exactly what discussions took place about the need for bollards etc and I can tell your readers no information was provided, nor any approach made by GY Tourism to Norfolk County Council as the Highway Authority.

The Area Engineer has further confirmed no approach was made to the area team responsible for street works advice. Where then do GYTBIDA get any costings for the provision of multiple concrete bollards? And if they were needed for an air show wouldn’t they be needed also throughout the main summer season and for bank holidays when the seafront is packed with people?

GYTBIDA has been “found out” and it isn’t good enough.


Town Wall Road,

Great Yarmouth

What about threat during fireworks?

I am responding to the article on the costs of security for the air show. I never thought our country would give in to terrorism, but I understand that we need to have these cost to protect the public.

Protecting the Golden Mile will need these concrete bollards to stop lorries ploughing into the crowds; my question is, is the same security going in place for the weekly fireworks on the seafront, especially when people start leaving the event, when the Golden Mile is full of people? If not why not?



Plea for photos of royal visitors

I hope Mercury readers found the article on royal visits to the borough as interesting as I found the research. The on line British Newspaper Archive, available through the Norfolk Library website or by subscription, is amazing and one hopes more local papers will be added.

One can vote for new ones on their website.

Meanwhile, I have realised there must be lots of amateur photos of the royal visits here and I would be interested in hearing from people who could help build up a collection of local royal photos.

I can be contacted on 01493 720276 or email me at chriswrightmk@aol.com


Victoria Street,


Ordinary bloke; not Donald Trump

I lock the doors and windows of my house to protect my family, to prevent intruders harming my wife, daughter and son, and to protect our property from damage or theft. Am I Donald Trump? No.

When I hear a knock on the door and there is a caller I do not know, do I let the visitor in? No. Am I Donald Trump?

If a meter reader calls do I automatically let them in? No. I ask for and check their identification? Am I Donald Trump?

A caller to my house asks to share my family’s food and heat, do I let them in? No. Am I Donald Trump?

A beggar arrives at my house and asks for money, do I oblige? No. Am I Donald Trump?

No, I am not Donald Trump I am an ordinary bloke from Great Yarmouth.



Let’s share air show with Clacton

I was sorry to hear that Great Yarmouth cannot afford to stage the air show this year. Couldn’t someone liaise with the Clacton setup and arrange a two-day show on the same two days and share the costs - after all Clacton is not so far away especially in a jet engine!


Field Way,


More options than axing air show

The tourist authority says it’s too expensive to hold the air show since the bollard cost came up. Surely there’s other means? One I recall is a kevlar net that the American military use outside checkpoints in Iraq, Afghanistan etc also American embassies and they are designed to stop a fully loaded lorry of explosives.

I thought I would just mention this but surely there’s more options.



School reunion was great night of fun

After a hectic week to change the venue, I am really pleased to say that the Greenacre School reunion went without a hitch. Thanks to Joanne at the Golfers Arms who stepped in and helped make the night the success it was.

It was great meeting up once again with everyone, and from the laughter and smiles I guess all those who attended enjoyed themselves too. There was a raffle during the evening, and thanks to the people who donated prizes, with £50 going to a children’s charity.

The next reunion will be in 2019, hopefully, and that will be the 90th anniversary of the school opening, so a special get together to look forward to. That’s all from me for a couple of years so keep well and hope to see you all then.



Show dog poo bag or face a fine

I recently read an article that was published by Boston Council in Lincolnshire, regarding new rules on dog fouling in public places.

The council there has ruled that dog walkers who fail to produce a dog poo bag when requested can be issued with a £100 penalty. Same if they refuse to put a known dangerous/aggressive dog on a lead if asked to do so.

As a resident of the Great Yarmouth borough, I strongly think this should be rolled out by the GYBC. You can’t walk 100 yards without seeing a pile of dog mess that the owner clearly neglected to pick up.

There is no need not to pick up after your dog, as bags are easy and cheap to buy (Wilkinsons sell them for 50p) and it’s a lot cheaper than having to pay a fine. As a responsible dog owner who does pick up after her dog, it annoys me to see it all over the place, especially in areas that are used by pedestrians and people with buggies.

I think the ruling on dangerous/vicious dogs is also a good idea as there are a few times my dog has been snapped at by passing dogs when he has been on his harness and lead. Surely if people know their dogs don’t socialise well or are a risk to other animals/people they should take measures to prevent any incidents.

My Labrador is very friendly and would say hello to anyone, as that is what he is trained to do as a therapy dog, however I am sensible enough to put him back on his lead (if on beach or in a public space) to not only protect him and myself but others too.



Police force comparisons

Thanks for publishing my letter in last week’s paper on the subject of publishing comparisons of the performances of the various police forces.

After digging through my archives I’ve found documentary evidence that I first proposed this mind-concentrating idea in the correspondence columns of Police Review Magazine on August 6, 1986.

The cost to the taxpayer caused by the inexcusable delay in adopting such an obvious basic management tool must be massive.

If Brandon Lewis MP, the Policing Minister, has any credibility he should respond publicly to this serious allegation.

Incidentally I’ve just read the biography of the spy novelist John Le Carre who describes his National Service in the Army.

“An underlying principle of officer training was (and remains) constant competition at every level, whether between individuals, platoons or companies”.

Imagine if our police service had been following the same philosophy over the years instead of constantly opposing the notion of comparisons.


Habgood Close,


Thanks to three lovely ladies

I would like to take this opportunity to thank three lovely ladies (who are employed by Morrisons of Gorleston) who came to my aid when I became unwell at 11.30am on Saturday, February 4 at the store. You all showed a great deal of care and concern when helping me. You helped my lady and myself with our shopping to the car and loaded it into the boot. Nothing the ladies did was too much trouble. We would like to thank the ladies personally when we visit the store again.




School remains a community heart

I live in Bradwell and belong to a gardening club which is held in the old school/community centre on Lords Lane.

Recently on a Monday we held a pie and punch evening with 60 plus people attending and had an excellent singer/guitarist entertainer.

I sat there listening to the music vibrating the very foundations of that old building which can hardly have changed in 100 years and was very different to the schools we have today, I thought how great it was that it is still at the heart of the community and hosting so many events, eg meetings, flower clubs, gardening clubs, playgroup and rented out for private functions, I myself held many birthday parties there where my children were young.

I feel it is a great pity more old buildings which have lost their original use are left to deteriorate, so much potential there and they bring communities together.


Beccles Road,


Air show decision: terrorists win

Regarding last week’s Mercury item on terror fears lead to cancellation of the Great Yarmouth air show.

In the county of Nelson’s birth, and in a town he knew so well, what would he say about giving in to the ‘threats’, real or imaginary?

In these security focussed times, with only the ‘threat’ of potentially horrible things to come, the terrorists have already won (as they see it) of preventing open air events shared by large groups of people throughout any part of Great Britain.

Of course I am reminded of the atrocities last year when large commercial vehicles were intentionally driven at people in Nice and Berlin, killing many innocent people. But the way to defeat such acts of terrorism is not to be deflected from our traditional way of life, by showing the resolve and courage that we British are renowned for all over the world.

This issues, I understand, is about £130,000 needed to put in place anti-terrorism measures. So be it. Let us not be cowed into thinking that such a sum of money cannot be raised by local folk for this inaugural air show event.

If this is a test of local will let us remember that Britain has the word Great before it as does Yarmouth.

Now good people of the borough be worthy of that greatness.


Lowestoft Road,

Carlton Colville

Yarmouth can be a sealed town

The Great Yarmouth Air Show is alas another victim of the reigning phantom terrorist. No action, just the threat of it.

Great Yarmouth, unlike Paris and Berlin, is a peninsula, which with three strategically placed road blocks can be a sealed town. The supposition that it would cost £130,000 to protect it from this threat probably seems a bit steep.

With a little more thought, perhaps a better verdict can be reached, before it ruins our tourism for the coming year.


Gonville Road,


Sign language push delight

Cancelling the annual air show out of a fear of terrorism is in my view a lame excuse; suggesting Britain should be in lockdown to avoid an event that on the balance of probability is unlikely to occur, demonstrates a weakness uncharacteristic of the British.

On another note, I was delighted to read in last week’s Mercury that Rebecca Crossley and Matt Perryman [JPH learning disability and autism nurse and student nurse] are promoting sign language. People with hearing disabilities are in my view, among the most discriminated.

In this day and age of inclusivity, it is difficult to grasp why sign language is not on the national curriculum? Arguably a core element of sign-language should be an essential criteria for working in customer services from retail and hotel management to health and social care.

People with hearing disabilities are also discriminated against by most training providers through the conspicuous absence of a loop system. Well done Rebecca and Matt for taking the lead in promoting this long overdue instrument of equality.



Yes/NO answers did not apply

I am not at all surprised that only 140 responses were received to the Masterplan for Great Yarmouth centre. The document, which ran to over 50 pages, was too complicated for most people to give a simple Yes/No/Maybe answer to the points put forward.

No mention was made throughout the document of the basic need to fill the many empty town centre retail outlets and, consequently, nowhere to suggest possible solutions - for example reducing rents and business rates (short or long term) and the elephant in the room - parking charges.

I feel there should be a simple form for people to put forward their views, not to simply agree or disagree with the proposals put forward in the Masterplan!