Letters, January 27, 2012

Slap on wrist

from ex-pats

SHAME on you, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and councillors for allowing the destruction of the Jetty. There are ex-pats around the world who think you should hang your heads in shame. You are a disgrace to a wonderful and historic town.



Dog-friendly, it’s

a great idea

Most Read

MY wife Margaret and I read with great interest the letter in last week’s Mercury from Susan Dodds regarding dogs being allowed into eating establishments in our town. What a great idea. It brought to mind the times when we have travelled to Cornwall for a holiday and found that many places allow dogs in all through the year, either an eating place or just a shop. It made things so much easier and made the holiday more enjoyable in that we could go into shops together and not have the case of one of us having to wait outside with the dog. Regarding the eating places, we couldn’t take our dog into the “restaurant area” but we could in the bar where food is served in just about every pub or whatever anyway. This practise is being used in some places in Sheringham. It would be to the pub or shop owner’s advantage if they were to display a sign in their window saying that they allow dogs in as in Cornwall. All dogs would of course have to be on a lead, small ones could be carried. There is actually a site on the internet for anyone going on holiday with a dog and are not sure about eating out when there, it is simply called “Dog Friendly Pubs“, you can bring up the area you are going to and check it out. It would be nice to be able to go in somewhere local for even just a drink when walking the dog instead of having to have the drink or even food outside.



Honest folk get

the raw deal

I AGREE with the view expressed by R Rawlings (Letters, January 13).It amazes me how under successive Conservative governments, honest folk get penalised while the dishonest seem to prosper. The scurrilous re-testing of Incapacity benefit claimants is a case-in point.

Lots of genuine claimants have lost their benefits due to scurrilous re-testing, while fraudulent claimants appear to prosper, while others have moved abroad beyond reach of UK mandatory re-testing, while still able to claim their benefits... for the rest of their life!

This time last year, crutch users were frequently seen around Great Yarmouth Market Place practising their limps; the giveaway being difficulties walking in open spaces while miraculously able to walk unaided along more discreet alleys and rows.

We can all relate stories of claimants who have difficulty walking with crutches but no apparent problems playing football, undertaking home renovation and running a manually demanding business. To my certain knowledge, genuine disabled people have lost benefit entitlement in the snare set to trap invalid claimants, abandoned by a system of welfare they paid into for many years and set up to protect them from the very hardships they are now experiencing.

Not that Cameron cares in the slightest; throughout history, successive Conservative government’s have scapegoated and penalised vulnerable groups for their mis-management of the economy.

It amazes me how he blames public sector pensions as the cause of the drain on resources while incompetent greedy bank executives have cost us countless billions yet still manage to claim obscene bonuses, even when they under-perform and their banks are losing money. “But never mind, we can claw it all back by raiding public sector pensions, then we can blame public sector workers and a gullible public will fall for our spurious claims yet again!”


Beccles Road


Sorry my dog

caused mayhem

I WOULD like to apologise for the disruption I caused on Friday, January 20 in Caister-on-Sea, when my dog slipped off her lead. I chased her through most of the village, and across several roads for about half an hour (from about 3.15pm to 3.45pm), and can only say how sorry I am if anyone was severely delayed by my pet. I would also like to thank several people, who attempted to aid me in recapturing her, not least of all the policewoman who, while unable to grab my dog, ensured no harm came to her or anyone else.


Longfellow Road


No to riff-raff at

Pontins old site

IN reply to Chris Wright’s letter in last week’s Mercury (Over supply of holiday units), we do not want or need all the riff-raff and dregs of society dumped on us in Hemsby, be they homegrown or from across Europe. The site is neglected because that’s how Northern Trust wants it to be. They had the opportunity to sell it to Simon Middleton and his consortium who would have transformed the site into an Eden of the East with some great ideas and attractions for holidaymakers to enjoy, and this would have been a brilliant enterprise for the whole of Hemsby to have benefited from.

As it is, Northern Trust will hang on to the site for years to come until the residents and councillors drop their guard and all interest from the holiday industry is lost. They can afford to play the waiting game until they get their way.

The land is a Prime Holiday Accommodation Area and should not be used for more housing etc. I agree we need a new doctor’s surgery and a larger school because they are over capacity now, however more housing would exacerbate the problem, and the already inadequate sewage system that we have here would just not cope with added pressure from 191 homes and a care home.

I suggest to mask the derelict site from the road we have the murals that were painted around the St George’s Church in Yarmouth erected along the perimeter fence, they are looking for a new home, and this would be a far better view and added attraction for Hemsby.



Picture was not

Caister lifeboat

WHILST it must be felt a great honour for the Caister lifeboat to be selected to attend the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on the Thames, were the selectors thinking that it was easier to have the Caister boat attend the “jolly” and let the other RNLI boats in the area continue in their nitty-gritty everyday duties to possibly save lives during what is quite a busy part of the season without publicity as they normally do. I also note that the picture of HMS Dauntless as shown on page three of the Mercury last week was being escorted by the Gorleston lifeboat and not Caister as stated.


Market Road


Editor’s Note: Apologies for the mix-up over the lifeboat picture last week. It did indeed show Gorleston lifeboat and HMS Dauntless. Our photographer was actually on board the Caister lifeboat to take the picture.

Free parking will

bring in visitors

I NOTE the on-going debate about car parking charges. There was an Interesting debate in the Commons last week on the Mary Portas’ report on town centre retailing. Not sure if our MP was there. I wonder what our council will make of that report?

Several Tory MPs pontificated on the amazing Tory councils who have abolished car parking charges to stimulate town centre retailing. I wondered what went wrong with Great Yarmouth Council car parking policy! Free parking increases the number of customers and viability of the town centre and whilst one could argue it encourages green bus use but this is a luxury the town cannot afford.

We need to encourage visitors all the year round not discourage them with parking charges. The charges are largely a source of revenue for the council and basically a tax as the capital costs are long gone and maintenance is minimal.

I also note that the Vauxhall Bridge eyesore is in the news again. Asda should have paid for the repair of the bridge as the main access to their store as much of the traffic jamming up the Acle New Road is to/from Asda. Perhaps it should be the main access to Asda and a toll be imposed to cover the repairs or the better option demolition. Alternatively the free bus costs could be used to help repair the bridge.


Victoria Street,

Caister on sea

This historical

clap-trap is over

YIPPEE! The jetty is down. I am glad to see the council had the courage of their convictions and were not influenced by the whinging, whining, sentimental and historical clap-trap. Much has been made of the Jetty’s connection with Nelson. As far as I can find out from “Crisp’s History of Yarmouth” Nelson only landed at the jetty twice. On November 6, 1800, after the battle of Aboukir, and on July 1, 1801 owing to ill-health (I believe this was owing to him suffering sea-sickness). At both times his fleet was moored in Yarmouth Roads. Prior to that the old jetty was partly destroyed by a destructive high tide on February 3, 1791.

Reference to the campaign to save the jetty, it has also been suggested that Nelson would not have given up. However, my understanding is that Nelson’s fame was based on his complete disregard for tradition when he developed his own tactics for fighting at sea. So is it possible that Nelson would have swept aside the tradition of restoring ancient monuments (jetty) in favour of progress?

I remember in the 1950’s there was a 20ft high wire netting fence stopping people getting on to the jetty because it was dangerous. We used to climb that fence and jump off on to the beach. We were given earache by the grups (grown ups) saying we would hurt ourselves. Some of the boys did but I was lucky as I landed on my head. We even climbed the wooden supports to get underneath the jetty. Some boys got stuck and had to be wrenched free.

I am glad the jetty has been torn down and I am not interested in what happens to the vertical posts. I believe the covered walkway leading up to the jetty was torn down in the 1960’s.

It is important to know about history and learn lessons from the past but it is not necessary to live in the past. Look to the future and get a life.


Suffield Road


No place for

party politics

IT is refreshing and encouraging to find a young man is campaigning for the Gorleston ward in the May elections and campaigning he is from a very early stage to let the electorate get to know him. He isn’t from either of the two parties who have ruled between them over the decades.

If the government of the day is unpopular there is often a change of ruling party in the town hall because many vote to vent their feelings for how the country is being run - to give the government a bloody nose. A general election is the place to do this. Others vote because their parents always voted for that party. Does this return councillors with any independence?

There is no place for party politics in local elections. Does this return councillors whose prime concern is you the resident, or a person who is tied to a party, chosen by that party to represent their collective decisions. Shouldn’t you be voting for the man best able to represent you in the council. Not because he wears a red or blue rosette. Not because it is the national party you vote for in general elections or the party you want to complain about in national politics but the person you feel best to represent you who will not be tied to dogma or party influences.

Too long it is the same old groups who have made a career out of local politics. They have made many costly mistakes over the years for which we the residents have to pay for and they go without punishment.

Why have national political parties in local elections? There should independent local people who want to represent us before party. If you want new blood in the town hall a person who made a choice because he didn’t agree with his previous party.


Brett Avenue,


One more reason

to save bridge

I AM responding to R Harrison’s letter (January 20) about the demolition of the jetty and the hope Vauxhall bridge will be next on “the hit list”, with great sadness. Such negative thoughts from a local man. A real shame.

We have lost the jetty, and it is one more reason to try to protect Vauxhall bridge, not demolish it. As a member of the Greek community, I have one more reason to be sad for losing the jetty, because every year for the last 40 years, on January 6 (Epiphany) the congregation of our church used to gather on the jetty, for our priest to bless the waters and throw the cross into the sea, something we cannot do now. If everybody had this attitude, we would be left with nothing of any historical importance or heritage.

Can I say things are moving nicely for the Vauxhall bridge, we have few hurdles to jump, but we will get there. Vauxhall bridge will survive, thanks to a lot of hard work and determination of a lot of people who have been working extremely hard to get were we are now.

We achieved so much the last three years and nothing will dampen our spirits. We are moving slowly but positively and we will save the bridge, it is not going down. Vauxhall Links is a committee dedicated to raising awareness of the historical importance of the grade two listed bridge, and to preserve this beautiful wrought iron structure for future generations.



Vauxhall links

Vauxhall bridge

will be restored

AFTER seeing the negative letter in The Mercury last week, I wish to make it known the Vauxhall bridge will be restored and work will soon commence; this is only happening due to the positive response from the local community and organisations and I wish to thank them for their hard work especially to Mrs Kikis who has worked very hard for many years and finally there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The restoration project is happening because of the partnership work of Vauxhall Links, Norfolk County Council, Mott McDonald, Community Connections, Fair Share Trust (main funder through Community Connections), Asda, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Railway Heritage Trust to name a few.

All of these have come together because of local people wanting to save their heritage and were positive; and when times got tough they continued to push on. This project shows local people can make a difference to Great Yarmouth. You too should do the same and don’t give up on the past, as it is also our future.


Mark Llewellyn

North Yarmouth/Norfolk Unite

Yarmouth has

been left behind

WHAT good news, that the funding for the first stage of the Vauxhall bridge refurbishment is nearly in place, with local residents and private donations playing a big part in getting us this far.

A new train operating company, Abellio, will be the new franchise operator from February 5. The new franchise agreement allows the operators to do more at their stations. How nice it would be to have a refurbished bridge and improved rail station.

Looking at rail improvements elsewhere it makes you realise how far we have been left behind in Great Yarmouth. In Holland, there always seems to be transport to interconnect with the train. It would be great to see Abellio do this in Yarmouth.


Central and Northgate ward

Stop dog fouling

on private land

RECENTLY a person has been allowing a dog to foul various areas of Highfield Road in Gorleston. This is on private driveways and pavements. The neighbourhood watch is attempting to identify the owner and will report incidents to the authorities hopefully with photographic evidence. Many of the residents are dog owners and clean up any deposits left by their own dogs wherever they walk them. Hopefully the offender will read the letters to the Mercury and avoid a large and embarrassing fine!

Name and Address withheld

Get fit and help

our woodlands

I WOULD like to make your readers aware of a new initiative to improve health and the environment in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston. Thanks to funding from the People’s Health Trust, a free Green Gym, is now available to anyone over 16 on Wednesday and alternate Tuesday afternoons. Volunteers who take part will have the chance to be involved with conservation tasks such as woodland management and improving access, as well as seeing beautiful green spaces, learning new skills and meeting new people. The activities are designed for people who are not currently very active, and suitable for people who have limited mobility. Free Minibus transport is available from pick-up points around the two towns. Anyone interested should contact Mark on 07843 069 567 or check out www.btcv.org/norfolk



Did anyone see

car accident?

I AM appealing for witnesses who saw a crash on the Harfreys roundabout, near the Kings Centre, in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday, January 18, between 2.15pm and 2.30pm. The collision involved my vehicle, a navy blue Ford Fiesta and a green 4x4, thought to be a Land-Rover). If anybody saw, or knows anybody else who witnessed this crash, please email me at kerryfranklin435@hotmail.com



Join us at our

centenary events

WE would like to invite past pupils and the community into school for the following open sessions, during out Centenary Year:

Past pupils and Community Welcome: open afternoon on Wednesday, February 8, 2pm to 7pm. Beginning with a balloon release, this is a chance to look at the photos and memories of Cobholm School and perhaps to share some of your own and there will be refreshments available.

Past pupils and Community Welcome: Open morning on Friday, February 10, from 9 to 1 am. A second opportunity to visit the school for those unable to attend on Wednesday. Refreshments also available.

Many people have already contacted us and shared their memories of their time at Cobholm School. May we take this opportunity to thank everyone for getting in touch and also for the many photographs we have received.

Cobholm Primary and Nursery School

Read the Bible

and learn

I WAS pleasantly surprised to read Mr Michael Wiltshire’s comments in Viewpoint where he recommended a study of the Bible and applying its laws and principles as a way to combat depression and fear of the future.

When I went to church we never took a Bible, but only a hymn book and prayer book and even the sermons very seldom referred to the Scriptures.

After all, Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, the life,” and the Apostle Paul writes: “Finally brothers, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are of serious concern; whatsoever things are righteous, whatsoever things are lovable; whatsoever things are well spoken of, whatsoever virtue there is and whatsoever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.

The things you learned as well as accepted and heard and saw in connection with me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

How true I have found this to be.


Wherry Way,

Great Yarmouth

JPH staff’s care

was exemplary

MY mother Joan Greengrass passed away recently in ward 17 of the James Paget Hospital. The care given by staff was exemplary, along with care and support to the family. There are four members of staff my family and I would like in particular to highlight:

The ward manager who worked very hard so my mother could end her days in privacy and dignity; the senior sister who did her upmost to get my mother moved from ward 14 to ward 17; and the mortuary team of two, who both showed the greatest respect and caring to our family at this very sad time.

We have read many complaints in the press but we have no complaints at all; only praise for the efforts of the hospital staff.


Bridgford Close,


Think again on

parking scheme

IN reply to the letters regarding the parking scheme in last week’s Mercury, I wonder why all have been pro the scheme when most of the town’s residents are at a disadvantage by its very existence, given that it works the wrong way round for them.

It’s alright for some businesses to buy hordes of tickets to give out to their customers and send them out to park anywhere within the zone, but has anyone thought about the Yarmouth residents who set out for work in the morning and upon their return home find they have nowhere to park, even if they have a permit?

I doubt all of the residents are in agreement with the scheme as is being suggested, for I hear the moans and groans when a space cannot be found by people who live out of town but work in Yarmouth, and have nowhere to park an arrival at their place of work. But according to the letters, these people have no say and are excluded.

The word “residents” means the people who live in the town and not people in temporary accommodation, so therefore if this scheme is to continue then I suggest the permit runs from 5.30pm to 8am, so residents can park at these times and when they leave for work others can use the spaces with their tickets.

That way this will truly be a residents scheme for the local people.

I was in the hotel and holiday apartments business from 1968 to the early 1992 and there were far more visitors, but there was never a scheme such as we have now.

I, like all car drivers, pay road tax, I also pay the council �152 to park my car in a space behind my house. Why then should I have to pay again to park for a few minutes near my house?

Talk about raising the fee for permits to �40 is just another tax on the poor motorist and if this scheme is not self-financing then it should be scrapped. If it keeps going it will not be long before parking permits are more expensive than road tax!

The last consideration is to think of people who have lost or are about to lose their jobs, the extra expense is too great for them. If we can’t afford it, scrap it, and take the political rhetoric out of the matter.



Persistent neglect

of Yarmouth jetty

RE the letter, Mercury January 20, Jetty was there to be preserved.

Bravo Mr Boon. Your letter put the whole thing into a nutshell.

Fellow Yarmouthians are much indebted to you for your efforts to preserve our historic heritage. Indeed it beggars belief that the opinion of the experienced and well informed are so often neglected in these matters.

Surely the root cause of the steady deterioration in the condition of our jetty is persistent neglect over the years. After all it is stated that the only attention it has received was over 50 years ago. What a record of care!

The final act of vandalism will do nothing to erase the memory of the negligence which will not be forgotten.