Letters - Friday, February 27

Attention all... please shut up

Just a quick message to all the people who rant about religion in the letters page with monotonous regularity, on behalf of the majority of fed up Mercury readers: Shut up, and go away. That is all.


St Peters Avenue,


Shock at ‘stupid’ toilet closures

I have only lived in Hemsby for six weeks and cannot believe that the council are closing most of the public toilets in the local villages. Who ever heard of holiday resorts with no public toilets?

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It’s a great way to make sure nobody vists the area.

I thought the local council were suppose to promote tourism not make people not want to vist the area. If the local beaches have no toilets then people will use the beach or sand dunes to relieve themselves and if I were a vistor and saw this I certainly would not return to the area.

Many towns have shut their local toilets but in places where there are restaurants, pubs or shops, not at the beach where there is nowhere else to go. This council is making a really stupid decision, but nowadays that seems to be the norm of local councils.



Where to go if caught short?

What a short-sighted decision to talk about closing down public toilets.

Apart from being one mark of a civilised society, to talk on the one hand of promoting the town as a holiday area and then remove a necessary amenity at the start of the holiday season shows a lack of commercial awareness.

Perhaps Mr Wainwright could suggest how holidaymakers and locals alike could relieve themselves in an emergency.

There seems to be, if not foolish, then perverse pride in year on year declaring no increase in the rate when services are being allowed to suffer, especially when the increase in this instant would be relatively small.

The Town Hall threshold seems at times to be a barrier to commonsense.

I look forward to an answer from Mr. Wainwright in next week’s Mercury.


Hebrides Way,

Caister on Sea

Could not fault my hospital care

I would like to express my grateful thanks to all the staff, nurses and doctors, after my recent stay (nearly four weeks) in the JPH.

The dedication, care and kindness I received from everybody on wards 9 and 15 was absolutely first class and I can’t fault anything at all (not even the food) and I appreciated everybody and everything that was done to help me.


Church Avenue,


Dredging theory worth a thought

For the last 30 days I have been keeping a log of the “sand-suckers” working off the coast, anything from four to six miles off. Whenever I’ve seen one, I’ve gone to “ais live free” on the computer and noted down her details.

I might have missed one or two but the ones I saw amounted to 27.

Their deadweights (dw) as given on the website, ranged from approximately 5,000 to 12,000 tons. Here, I must admit I was never very bright at understanding tonnages, however, the dredgers with a dw of 12,000 tons would possibly have about 10,000 tons of sand on board when fully laden. The smaller ones of 5,000 tons dw would probably have 3,500 tons.

Perhaps some of your readers would be kind enough to comment on that. Using those parameters it seems as if approximately 143,000 tons of sand have been taken in 30 days. Let’s say one month.

So, in the course of a year, it comes to an horrendous amount.It’s wrong to multiply the figures more than that as, in the years gone by, the extraction rate might have been smaller. But it has been going on for a long time. Probably about 30 years.

Sand and small stones are held in suspension in the water. If you’ve ever stood in the sea, especially on spring tides, you might have felt the prickly sensation on your legs.

That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the sand in suspension being carried along by the tide.

As lots of your readers know, the flood tide runs from north to south and reverses on the ebb.

So, in an ideal world, the sand is carried north on the ebb. It settles out a bit at slack water and is then brought back to the same place on the flood.

Now we come to a little bit of theory. What about if, on the flood, some of the sand is carried out to sea and settles in the holes being dug by the dredgers. At first glance at a chart, it seems as if the channel which connects Yarmouth harbour to the to the open sea runs roughly parallel to the coastline south of the harbour.

Imagine, then, the flood tide coming down the Yarmouth Roads, loaded with sand it had picked up from beaches along the way.

It’s flow is restricted, in a way, by the Scroby bank. It’s a very strong force. It has to go somewhere. It needs to break out.

Some of it going south into Gorleston roads and some of it going down the Holm channel out to sea to the area where the dredging takes place. I know it’s theory but there might just be something in it.


Warren Road,


Be honest about superstore plan

So the gloves finally came off Sainsbury’s v GYBC, or is there a secret third party in the ring?

Sainsbury’s announced in November it was scrapping a huge programme of store openings, but a spokesman said that had not played a part in the Gorleston decision.

He said: “We are really disappointed we are not able to bring a new store to Gorleston. It is not to do with the November announcement but rather is related to a specific issue that we were unable to resolve.”

In a joint statement: “The council and Sainsbury’s have been working together to develop the proposal but are both disappointed it cannot be brought to fruition at this stage. Neither party is able to comment further on the reason due to legal confidentiality.”

To sum it up in a nutshell!

The superstore and petrol station was set to create 350 jobs. Gone.

Easy access from A143 Bradwell to A12 Gorleston still goes ahead, but does it diminish the need for a new road costing millions. But then there’s going to be 850 new homes. Cost verses the need?

GYBC and Sainsbury’s say they can’t give a reason because of legal confidentiality. Thought you were working hard together?

So come on GYBC and Sainsbury’s be honest and stop playing with people’s minds, expectations and people’s commonsense.


Clarence Road,


Festival will fold without helpers

I am sure you will be interested to know the outcome of our plea for volunteers to come forward to join the Gorleston St Andrew’s Competitive Festival committee in January of this year to shadow the people who have current responsibility for the specific areas which will become vacant.

I am pleased to say one person offered to take on the post of treasurer but crucial organisational posts remain vacant.

For the festival to continue successfully in its present format, volunteers for the new committee needed to be on board by January 31 (the closing date for entry) to learn the ropes, especially the co-ordinator and members who intended to be involved with the preparation and organisation. After January 31, there is a wealth of preparation to be tackled before the festival begins so it was vital that the new co-ordinator and other interested members were involved in this.

However, as this did not happen, the committee has had no option but to view the situation realistically and concludes there will be no alternative but to arrange an Extraordinary General Meeting in May/June to discuss the closure. There will be three weeks’ notice given of this meeting.

If anyone would like to be made aware of this date, please contact the secretary, Lynne Plaskett by email (lynneplaskett@btopenworld.com) or by sending a note enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, to Lynne Plaskett, Chandon, Links Road, Gorleston, NR31 6JR or by calling 01493 661655.

I am saddened this letter brings such poignant news but, on behalf of the committee, I must thank the people who have supported the festival again, or for the first time, this year. I hope everyone will strive to make this festival a memorable and enjoyable one for all the participants, their teachers, parents and audiences.


Festival Chairman

Is it only ever about profit?

I write with a mixture of sadness and outrage at what is happening to not just our town but my town.

Recently, we have had the demolition of the Two Bears Hotel in Yarmouth and its characterless and charmless replacement, eye-catching for sure, but for all the wrong reasons.

Now, we have Gorleston’s iconic Ferryside which is set to be demolished as part of a wider redevelopment project in that area.

Worryingly, a letter from the developers stated “the building is not listed and not within a conservation area, accordingly no further consent is needed.” Thus, technically most buildings in the town could be purchased and demolished without anyone having a say in the matter.

What happens then is either that the vacant site stays empty for years, made overgrown and an eyesore by neglect, or planning is hastily applied for and buildings of no merit whatsoever are put up to maximise the profit for the developer. At the end of everything, that is what it amounts to - profit.

Given that back in 2013 “the borough council were keen to retain the unlisted, landmark building”, it is shameful that they were unable to come up with any reasons why it should be saved in 2015.

What has changed? What would be wrong in converting Ferryside into flats? It is clear that the developer has no regard for heritage or architectural beauty, and one fears what monstrosity might appear in Ferryside’s place.

Granted, one cannot bury one’s head in the sand forever, but this sort of “progress” is not progress at all.

We, the people of Yarmouth and Gorleston, place our faith in our local council to be sympathetic to the heritage and appearance of where we live. It is clear to me that they are not worthy of that trust.

Richard Harrison

Christopher Close,


Deaths on the railway tracks

In last week’s issue of the Mercury, Peggotty’s article about Pop Baldwin mentioned the death of a young shunter in 1903. That man was Billy Tiggerdine of Thorney. near Peterborough, further west along the M&GN line.

The directors of the M&GN railway could claim that they never killed a passenger but the same could not be said of staff for there were two similar fatalities at Beach Station both involving shunting during the fishing season which was evidently a very dangerous time because of the activity.

Billy was engaged in shunting two fish trains in the dark in the area north of Sandown Road near the signal box, involving several engines.

It was a clear night. Communications for shunting were by whistle signals from the engine, verbal with the signalman and waving an oil lamp but because of the proximity of houses, drivers were instructed not to whistle unnecessarily.

On this occasion an engine with a brake van behind was being moved from the main line and because of a misunderstanding Billy stepped from one track to another to what he thought was out of danger when he was struck from behind by the engine which was moving at 4mph.

The driver of another engine nearby saw a lamp flying through the air and guessed what had happened. Billy was able to call out “woa, woa I am run over”. Railwaymen were always well trained in first aid (and entered competitions) and one ran over to apply digital pressure to the femoral artery thus preventing him from bleeding to death in minutes.

It was evident that the whole of the brake van and one wheel of the engine tender had passed over him.

Billy was conveyed to the hospital where his badly injured right arm and leg were amputated but he did not long survive the operation.

Although Billy was a very experienced shunter his demise arose as a result of a misunderstanding and a verdict of “accidental death” was recorded.

The second fatality occurred 44 years later on 19th December 1947 involving Billy “Taffy” Davies, aged 48, who lived nearby. Although a carriage cleaner he was chosen to help with fish trains because he had done this work for three seasons and was conscientious. It involved tightening couplings and connecting vacuum pipes between wagons. There was a problem with one wagon which had to be detached from the fish train because of a fault. When this wagon was shunted clear Billy was found lying on the track with his head over one side of the rails and his body over the other having had no chance to call out.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded although there was no evidence to explain exactly how the accident happened.

Stationmaster George Lake said he thought Davies had some knowledge of marshalling trains but on this occasion he was misled by his little knowledge. This was another case of misunderstanding and confusion as he was underneath the wagons tightening couplings when he should not have been.

The unfortunate Taffy was buried in Great Yarmouth old cemetery just a few 100 yards from where he fell.

Think of these accidents next time you see a Crown Point employee coupling and uncoupling the holiday trains in Vauxhall and Thorpe stations on summer Saturdays! Nowadays very strict procedures must be followed!

Mike King

Sandbank Road,


Business should help save toilets

I maybe should declare an interest as I am a Winterton resident.

It seems to me that the toilets are an essential in Winterton probably more so than some of the others threatened by closure, if the Borough Council is withdrawing a service previously funded by council tax, the tax should be reduced pro rata. In my opinion, we all know that won’t happen.

My considered solution to this situation of toilet closure in Winterton which cannot be allowed to happen is this: the parish council should pay a part. The borough ouncil should pay a part, and EVERY business that benefits from visitors should also contribute.

Some businesses may think they do not benefit but if they sell food or goods to birdwatchers or dog walkers then it is obvious they do.

The county council might also be brought into the funding equation as quite often a bus load of school children arrives in our village for an educational seaside lesson all of whom immediately want to use the toilet facility, also similarly often a mini bus arrives with disabled children on a seaside trip. Without toilets none of this could happen.

Someone needs to consider all of these facts before taking an ill judged decision.

Winterton is a special case and should be treated and funded as such.

Ged Pitchford

North Market Road,


Tell us the cost before deciding

Like many others I am appalled at the proposals to close public conveniences within the borough.

Of course I do understand the financial constraints faced by our council but I do not understand why our councillors once again resort to a solution which is apparently designed to reduce even more the Great in Great Yarmouth.

We, the council tax payers, are told of the steps that are to be taken without consultation.

Why can we not be informed of the cost involved in keeping these facilities open?

What would be the increase in council tax per household to keep them open and asked if we would be prepared to pay such an increase? I would imagine that it would be a comparatively small amount that would enable us to maintain a degree of civilisation.

Such information would at least enable the tax payers to make an informed decision.

Closing toilets would have an adverse effect on tourism as well as affecting residents. Would you like to visit an area where the call of nature cannot be answered in a private, dignified and hygienic manner? One hesitates to think what a stinking mess our beaches and dunes would become together with the streets and partially secluded building walls and recesses. Surely our elected representatives will have considered this which makes it even harder to understand their decision.

Ken Read,

Address withheld.

Alarm bells ring over GP proposal

Yet more changes to the local NHS system that, over the past 10 years or so, seems to not want to settle down and do what we are told it does, ‘Patient First Services’.

Yes, I do realise that national policy will in some ways dictate to what we have but we now have a system where the local clinical groups (who know what we want) control the major part of the purse strings.

Reading the article last week about the movement possibly of three surgeries in Gorleston sends alarm bells ringing in my head.

As a member of the old Norfolk and Waveney PCT it was brought to our attention via the old Great Yarmouth PCT that new premises had to be found for what were but dated and small premises to provide the correct patient service for the coming years.

The new Millwood Practice was purpose built to take the place of a fair to small practice on Beccles Road.

The Faulkland surgury has a piece of land that could be used to expand and the Shrublands Medical Centre was built with a ‘temporary’ building until a new build could be done on the site. This was agreed and it would provide local intergrated services that patients were in need of namely parking (free), on a bus route and an environment that is condusive to best patient care.

Moving to the James Paget site would, I think, not be at all economical as a building would need to be paid for, which would then lead to three sites not being able to pay for them (as I beleive one is owned by NCC).

Car parking at the Paget is at a premium and is not free and there is already as stated ‘out of hours’ there which in turn is suposed to relieve the presure of A&E.

What about the Greyfriars Walk in centre that is controlled by NHS England and has cut its hours without any form of public consulatation and that too is surposed to relieve presure on A&E.

To compare Lowestoft in the same light is not on as most of the surguries in south Lowestoft were converted houses so could not expand or upgrade so it was essential that a new build take place, where as in Gorleston we have practices where patients want them, have room to expand and we can also provide a full intergated services local to where patients live.

Again when you look accross the county we now have five groups that buy the services (Clinical Commissioning groups) and two NHS providers (East Coast Communty Health, Great Yarmouth & Waveney and Norfolk Community Health & Care for the rest of Norfolk) as well as some third sector and voluntary groups, so we are not getting an equatable service accross the county, which is likely to get even worse if services are moved from local areas.

I also note that the consultation is going to take place during the summer holidays. How very convienient is that when there will be far greater things on people’s minds other than a form to fill in.

Then it states the powers that be will ‘listen’. Well, there is a diference in ‘listening’ and ‘hearing’ so let’s hope that all patients and their families and friends will help save our practices and keep them where we, the ‘paitent’, need them, in our community. So get involved and have your say.

Patrick Thompson,


Enormous cost of Norovirus illness

Integrity? Readers of the Mercury will each have their own ideas of what this word means.

A recent example was very surprising. Many read in the paper of the unfortunate closure of a local five star holiday leisure resort for a week. An outbreak of norovirus was dealt with as thoroughly as necessary.

The enormous cost of this, compensation, loss of custom with visitors seemed capped, to local full time members like me, by receiving a £10 voucher for any inconvenience caused.

Roy Walding

Mill Lane,


Sad to see care home demolished

Reading M S Dimmack’s letter on February 13 (Don’t chop the trees down), Magdalen House has also been knocked down, passing there I felt so sad to see.

Not so long ago the house was being done up so all the residents had single rooms. I worked there 15 or more years and loved it.

Residents were there for physical reasons. Now part of the community has gone. If I remember Magdalen House, Methodist Church, Mary Magdalen Church and Cap and Gown were all built around the same time.

I am not sure if Peter House was too. Surely Magdalen House could have been put to some other use, even used for Northgate Hospital respite or mental health respite.

Is this what they call change? What a shame.

And I agree M S Dimmack, trees give oxygen.

P Evans,


Lost address and phone number

To Mary and Geoff Hall. You sent me your new address and phone number at Christmas. Sorry, I have mislaid it. Hope you read this and can send it to me again.

Mrs Daphne Bullem

St Hughs Green,


Supermarket jobs down the drain

It was sad news to read that Sainsbury’s is no longer coming to Gorleston.

And it is very unclear as to the reasons why because comments cannot be made due to legal confidentiality, which is just a get out of jail free card and a cop-out for not having to explain what went wrong.

But the facts are that Sainsbury’s were totally committed to going ahead with opening their new store at Beacon Park and then all of a sudden after further discussions with the Borough Council, it all went pear shaped and they pulled out, but why?

The people have a right to know because losing Sainsbury’s has come as a big shock with 350 jobs now having gone down the drain and now the truth needs to come out, so please Great Yarmouth Borough Council come clean and why not give a statement explaining exactly why Sainsbury’s decided to pull out, when fully committed to the project, the people of the borough have a right to be told the truth.


Leman Road,


Please, Mr B, find another hobby!

I read the Mercury and in particular your letters page every week.

Two things I’d like to quickly mention; a lady called Phyllis Johnson wrote from Caister about seeing the Prince of Wales - and very nice too Phyllis, I hope you don’t mind me just pointing out that the last lines of the song are “Oh, let the prayer re-echo, God bless the Prince of Wales”. An easy mistake to make and no offence taken, I hope?

The other point I’d like to mention is that, I have read so many opinions on religion from Mr Barkuizen, that I know groan loudly and think, “Oh not AGAIN!”

Please, please Mr B, STOP! I’m sure everyone who reads this page now knows how you feel about Christianity!

Personally I really don’t care what you believe or don’t believe; religion should be private, personal faith whether you are Christian, a Pagan, a Buddhist etc. I know what I believe, and I shall never change my beliefs. Would you write something more cheerful and positive, please Mr B, or better still find a better hobby to pass your time? Thanks!


Norwich Road


Remarkable staff show kindness

I would like to express my appreciation to the staff of the Short Stay Dependency Unit (Ward 3) of the JPUH for their dedicated care of my uncle. Martin Buddery, husband of Pauline, brother of Dr John Buddery and the late David J M Buddery.

In a world riven with strife and suffering, the care, kindness and compassion shown both to my uncle and to myself, will be among my enduring memories of this Holy Season of Lent.

Truly the JPUH is staffed by remarkable wonderful people.


On Email

What a wonderful night of variety

My husband and I had the pleasure of going to the Gorleston Pavilion last Saturday to attend the concert in aid of the Coastwatch.

My goodness, what a brilliant show was put on by the artists who gave their time and talent for this event.

Singers, dancers, a gentleman with the most interesting stories of Norfolk and a lady comedian in a beret, that had the audience laughing so much (with good clean fun) that many of us were wiping away tears of laughter.

What a delight the evening was. Attendance was excellent, so hopefully Coastwatch had a good return for all there hard work in arranging such a brilliant evening.

Mr and Mrs burton,


Not impressed with tourism BID

Well, David Marsh and colleagues have won the day: 1,273 businesses will have to pay the levy demanded.

Buisnesses across Yarmouth and Gorleston will have to pay from £150 to £9,000 to enable Great Yarmouth to have fireworks.


Wrights DIY,

Bell Road,


Radio station marks first year

Harbour radio - the voice of the community. That is exactly what we have been doing as we now pass the one year mark.

We felt so passionate about the community when our RSL licence finished last year we just had to continue. So we did, online.

Becoming part of the community in Great Yarmouth and surrounding areas have been our sole commitment. One of our more notable events have been the Gorleston Christmas light switch on which have been a huge success for two years running.

Beside events over the past year, we have reached out to lots of you to hear your story and let you have your say. We have welcomed in college students and trained them up to become great radio presenters, in turn allowing them to support the community. The more time has gone on the bigger our impact has been and we couldn’t be happier.

Almost reaching 5,000 likes on our Facebook fan page and the responses we get from the community have really shown us how passionate Yarmouth is about making it great!

We are always looking for more help from you guys reading this paper. And if you don’t think you have the right stuff, think again because we can teach you the skills you need, and once you have learnt these skills who knows what it could lead to.

We really hope to be serving the community here for the next five years because together we make the community a better place


Assistant station manager,

Great Yarmouth.

New group will hold cafe meeting

Next Wednesday, March 4 at 7pm anti racists, trade unionists and community groups will be meeting at the Community Cafe, 6/7 Broad Row, for the launch of a new group - Stand up to UKIP Great Yarmouth

We are holding this event because our town is UKIPs second target seat in the General Election. Over the past months we have held successful stalls in the town centre engaging those who reject UKIP’s ideas.

UKIP say they want to help ordinary people and encourage us to blame migrant communities for cuts to services and living standards. We reject this, the real reasons lie with austerity measures like the £42 million cuts to Norfolk County Council, which UKIP voted for.

We welcome migrants and the reality is over the last decade they have contributed over £20 billion to our economy, according to a recent study. Please come and join us on Wednesday, March 4 to stand up to UKIP.