Letters, January 6, 2012

What became of

army parade?

SOME time ago the Mercury published a report about the possibility of us having a heroes march for the armed forces during the months when the town is crowded. The Royal British Legion were contacted and said “only if the public demands it”, which is a bit silly as people do not “demand” a parade with bands marching, but they flock to it when they hear the music.

The boys have been marching in a great many towns and villages in our area; the latest being in Diss with drums beating, flags flying and bayonets fixed.

It seems to me the legion, who normally lead the way over these matters, are worried about cost and are finding that many of their members are getting on a bit, with not much younger blood joining. I feel if I do not say something now no-one will bother. The only way anything will happen is if people get together some time in the future with the borough council and try and organise something using the people who provide the Maritime Festival. As well as the army with their bands, we could also have the RAF boys with the Marham and and we have two very good youth bands locally.

There must be many things to put in between the military people including various majorette-type things. I hope someone will find a way to not let this idea just fizzle out.


Most Read

Middlestone Close


Our promenade

is beautiful

I JUST had to write in and express my opinion on our beautiful Gorleston Promenade, walking along it over the Christmas holiday; the sheer amount of people, with children in prams, on skates, scooters or bikes, or trying out other Christmas presents. Not forgetting the owners of pets, either walking or running on the prom or beach, so safe without the motor vehicle impeding the way. We have many restaurants and cafes, either on the seafront or the cliffs area, which always seem to be full.

And we are fortunate enough to be having clement weather. There are places where people eat and drink or just watch the world go by. We are so fortunate to have all this on our doorstep. We are certainly spoilt for choice.

In the future, if Mr Scott is sucessful in implementing the parking back on the pier, I’m sure Gorleston will be an even bigger attraction for many people, as the seafront is most certainly the Jewel in the Crown. Whoever you talk to, everyone loves our charming seaside resort.

Alas the same cannot be said for the Yarmouth Harbour, where people can no longer enjoy the marvellous vantage point, looking out to sea, or people fishing at the end of the harbour. The Port and Excise Authority are not needed, as we once thought they would be, so please negotiate to get the harbour road back for all the local people to enjoy again. I’m sure our local councillors will curry good favour with the local populace.

So far the new outer harbour has not produced the jobs that were predicted. The council needs to diversify, install a mini monorail, and a lookout tower, with restaurant facilities, which would give a bird’s eye view out to sea or of the surrounding area. I’m sure this would attract many visitors to Yarmouth, which will in turn produce more revenue for the town; something that can be used all year round, not for just a few weeks of the year!

I do believe our councillors would benefit by just talking to the ordinary person in the street and listening to their views, or even perhaps inviting people to write in with their views, but will they listen? Here’s your chance to be the caring, listening Great Yarmouth Borough Council, it’s a wake up call.



Open peninsular

road to public

AS 2012 dawns, wouldn’t it be nice if this year sees the people of Great Yarmouth once again given access to their harbour via the peninsular road. As Yarmouth was so named because it was a piece of land at the mouth of the Yare river, it’s the very identity of the town.

Given that the closure of the road serves no purpose apart from depriving the community of the pleasure of watching the sea, wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was given back to the people who really care about the town. But as there’s no money in it, I wouldn’t hold my breath.



Wonderland was

just wonderful

CONTRARY to Janine Pettingill’s disappointing experience at Fritton Lake’s Winter Wonderland (letter, December 30), my family and I had a wonderful time there on December 27. The outdoor activities were just what we needed after the Christmas festivities.

My four year old granddaughter found the ice rink most exciting, skating between her parents. We enjoyed going on the tube slide and the zip wire and loved the woodland walk guided by strings of twinkling lights and the illuminated animals. There was a life sized nativity scene in the barn which was well done, although the commentary was far too long. The only ride for which we paid extra was the carousel. We thought the refreshments were reasonably priced. To finish, we were allowed another session on the ice as it was not too busy. Unfortunately the train was not running owing to a hydraulic fault but we spent three hours there. Not bad value for �10 each.


Station Road South


Most of jobless

do want jobs

WHAT planet is Brandon Lewis living on? Is it Planet Tory, that wonderful place where anybody thrown out of work is declared a scrounger and given a hefty kick by the Tory boot when he or she is down? “We have to reinstill [the] work ethic and self-esteem,” declares Brandon Lewis, whose government is busily building up the job queues with its relentless programme of cuts. He clearly has not the slightest idea of exactly how difficult it is to find work in the Great Yarmouth area at the moment. He doesn’t seem to know anything of the dogged efforts being made by the vast majority of the local unemployed to put themselves back into useful employment.

I know many people who are absolutely desperate to find work, who are terrified of sinking into debt (for some it’s too late), who try for every job they can - even when the job would pay a pittance. Of course, if Brandon Lewis government were less interested in pandering to the banks and more interested in forcing investment into manufacturing for export we might start to get somewhere, but apart from issuing routine PR platitudes, the government isn’t doing much at all.

Whenever the job queues lengthen Tories begin to talk about instilling the “work ethic”, as if everybody who is made redundant suddenly becomes a lazy scrounger living a life of Riley. And it’s never long before they begin calling for “community service” schemes - the kind of thing you get put on when the magistrates have found you guilty of something nasty.

Yarmouth’s unemployed are not guilty of anything other than finding themselves out of work in the toughest of times. Very few of them can manage (or want to manage) on Jobseekers’ Allowance - a meagre “benefit” payable for a strictly limited period, and which they have paid for uncomplainingly many times over during their working lives.

The last thing they want is to be told by the likes of Brandon Lewis that they need to have the work ethic “reinstilled” when the vast majority of them have never lost it, or that they should be equated with people who come before the courts and put on community schemes.

Brandon is going to have to do better for Yarmouth than to regurgitate pet Tory mantras.

For better or worse he’s our MP, supposedly representing all of us, employed and unemployed, but on Planet Tory the unemployed are a different species, not ordinary men and women with lives to live, mortgages and bills to pay, kids to get through school. They want work, solid regular work, not patronising nonsense about the work ethic and community schemes from the man who should be fighting tooth and nail, day and night to bring real lasting jobs to this borough.


Address withheld

We need action

to create jobs

YARMOUTH MP Brandon Lewis made a call last week for action on long term jobless. It prompted me to read further - was this a bold initiative to give hope to the unemployed, stimulate the economy with real properly-paid jobs, and reduce the benefit bill?

Regrettably it was not - but a call for the figures to be massaged (reduced), with community service (isn’t that what gets doled out as a alternative to prison?) and a “blame” message. He wanted to “get to grips with the real situation”. Well take skills and training, education opportunities: his government has slashed the EMA grant for youngsters, and tripled tuition fees. VAT has increased and the Agricultural Wages Board has been abolished.

Instead of a race to the bottom, we need real action: cut VAT on home improvements, reverse the VAT hike temporarily, a tax break for small firms taking on workers; invest in projects like school buildings; use a bank bonus tax to help create 100,000 jobs for young people. Yes, it’s an alternative and yes it’s a Labour Party plan for jobs and growth.


Quebec Road


Refuse men did

not just walk by

THANKS to the Hopton bin men who made the extra effort to track down and empty the bin we forgot to put out Monday. There has been a lot of bad press regarding the bin men working to the letter, so thanks again to those who didn’t just walk by.



Conserve jetty,

do not destroy

I WAS very pleased to read in the Mercury, December 23, the letter from BV Beckett accompanied by three photographs showing the Jetty in use by the town’s people and visitors. I see also in Duncan Kirkwood’s letter, December 30, that he is a former Great Yarmouth resident, is also keen on the survival of the Jetty, and makes the helpful suggestion to harness the expertise of the offshore engineering companies based in the town.

His other comments should ring home to councillors. Would Nelson have surrendered so easily, and deprived future generations of the Jetty’s benefit? With his indomitable spirit would he see the surviving Jetty site in his home port destroyed? It is hard to believe that he would. It beggars belief that councillors cannot see the Jetty could be both a tourist attraction and also mark an important historical structure, the earliest pier in the port which goes back nearly five centuries. After all, as has been pointed out elsewhere, Nelson’s flagship The Victory is enormously attractive to visitors to Portsmouth and when I visited it some years ago, I learned the structure of the vessel has been repaired and replaced many times as is necessary for a vessel which is two centuries old in dry dock. What is the difference between a repaired and surviving Victory and a repaired and surviving Jetty?

The council seems blind to this opportunity and is using its resources to destroy instead of to conserve in a Conservation Area. Repair work on the Jetty would also give an opportunity for a professional archaeological exploration of the site to see whether any traces of the earlier Jetty structures can be located below what was repaired in the 1960’s. I feel uneasy this has not been mentioned by the council and challenge it to confirm that whatever work is carried out on the Jetty, a professional archaeological exploration is carried out at the same time. As Defoe said, Yarmouth is an “Antient Town” and every effort should be made to conserve its historical past to benefit the town which as the Mayor rightly says, is proud of its heritage.


Local historian

Taken ill: care

was professional

RECENTLY I was taken ill at 2am and had to summon the emergency services. I would like to convey my thanks to the gentleman who answered my wife’s 999 call for his professional approach; the paramedic who attended; the two ambulance ladies; all at the James Paget Hospital A&E for the attention and care; and not forgetting the lady with the tea trolley about 8am. My sincere thanks all, I am pleased to say it was a storm in a teacup.


Robin Close,


Village carols


WHAT a heart-warming experience! Around 400 children and adults gathered on Martham Green on Christmas Eve to sing carols and once again hear the Christmas message.

Organised by Martham Churches Together, the service was led by the mayor, Barry Coleman, with members of all four Martham Churches taking part. The singing was led by the Norfolk Broads Concert Band around the beautiful tree erected by members of the Fire Brigade, and a collection for Save the Children raised �550, a record amount.

The collection had been started off with �70 collected by six children and adults who had been singing carols door-to-door. A special thank you to them and to all who took part and gave so generously, especially in these times of hardship.



Martham Churches Together

Kindess day was

a true gift to us

MAY I offer thanks to the shopkeepers and businesses of Bells Road, Gorleston for the gifts bestowed on members of the public on their random acts of kindness day in December.

Many of the businesses gave gifts to people, not their usual customers, as a token without thought of a return. My gift voucher was presented to me by Burden Fishmongers for a small Christmas hamper given by Darby and Liffen estate agents.

This was a wonderful thought and in the present austere times, the giving of anything is no easy thing to do. It is pleasing to see we still have a secondary retail area where most of the businesses are small, family concerns who appreciate their customers and who go the extra distance to welcome and accommodate customers old and new.