Letters, January 20, 2012

Jetty was there to be preserved

I WENT, on Sunday morning, to look at the destruction which borough councillors had wrought on the Jetty. The total area is fenced off as a destruction area, and the contractors have been very rapid in destroying the above ground structure and removing the timbers.

I drove down to the site along St Peter’s Road, which was formally called Jetty Road, as the Jetty was a focal point of the seafront, prior to the Britannia and Wellington Piers being built, and this road linked the Jetty with the centre of the walled town of Yarmouth.

I had hoped, once the work had commenced, that some of the upright timbers would have been retained to be re-driven in an alignment of posts to mark the alignment of the earlier Jettys under the sand. I have not yet seen the contract for works, although I have requested this, but if it allows the contractors to take away and dispose of material, the upright posts presumably of oak, are no longer on the site and in their hands. I am told the contract, although much of the works have taken place. is not available for public scrutiny and the officer concerned is on leave.

In addition the interpretive panel, which has been prepared by the council and yet to be seen, has presumably been sent out for consultation, as it was a requirement to be completed before work commenced, and presumably is in existence.

The driving of vertical posts would be no more a hindrance and less of any safety hazard than the groynes which already exist in the sand of the beaches of Yarmouth and Gorleston.

When one enters the borough from the south, along the original access road to London the A12, the county boundary is crossed and the notice says “Welcome to Norfolk, Nelson’s County”. The memory of Admiral Lord Nelson, one of the county’s most famous sons, is commemorated in north Norfolk, in a statue outside the Cathedral in Norwich, by the Norfolk Pillar in Great Yarmouth and in recent years, by an attractive museum on South Quay, which is hard pressed for running costs, and receives no grants from the borough.

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Councillors have, in their destruction of the Jetty, removed the successor to a 450 year old Jetty where Lord Nelson departed and landed from an earlier Jetty to win one of his most famous battles at Copenhagen. This site and structure should have been treasured as one of its most historical assets of past events, but instead its latest incarnation in the 1960’s has been destroyed.

Other resorts capitalise on their heritage. In Weymouth there are buildings which celebrate its Georgian past. In Brighton, the Pavilion reflects the Prince Regent’s association with the resort. In Blackpool, the borough has taken a recent initiative in purchasing its famous tower, and enhancing it to be visitor and heritage friendly as a great asset to the resort.

Councillors in Yarmouth, by comparison have eliminated the traces of an historical site associated with a national hero, which none of these other resorts possess. Charles Reynolds has likened the destruction of the Jetty to the putting down of a favourite old dog who is now past his best. One might say this analogy, when considered from another aspect, might be the councillors neglect of that dog should render them liable to prosecution for neglect of the asset of the Jetty which was entrusted to them to conserve for the borough.


Local Historian

Help my dog

friendly guests

I AM looking for pubs, cafes, restaurants and attractions in the Great Yarmouth area that allow dogs inside as well as out, all year round and not just the winter months.

This applies to large dogs as well as the smaller breeds, as we have a large number of dogs coming throughout the year to stay at our bed and breakfast and we would like our customers to have more choice of going out with their dog/s, whether it’s drinking, eating or looking at what Great Yarmouth has to offer. Please call me on 01493 859492, or email: seashellsguesthouse@btinternet.com


Seashells Guesthouse

Great Yarmouth

Over supply of

holiday units

I WAS amazed to read the borough council is being advised that there is a future for the closed Pontins Hemsby Holiday centre (Mercury, January 14).

There is a huge over supply of such accommodation in the area. For over 40 years the recovery of the holiday industry has been prophesied and has not arrived. It would be an ideal site for homeless accommodation, an asylum centre or secure unit with all the fencing already in place! I am amazed the villagers want to retain a derelict site in the village -a real attraction.

Caister Beach Road car parking pricing is another example of living in the past with pricing and places reflecting the 1960s rather than 2012 as the site is unused most of the time. Most of it could find another use.

Likewise, the town has a continuing oversupply of shops with several empty for ages in the centre. What is going to happen to the old Coop? Ideal for flats. It needs to be recognised that times have changed. I did wonder, however, if heritage frontages would be reinstated torecapture the past.

There is also an over supply of pubs. What is happening about the Iron Duke?

Given the demolition of the Jetty, it is time to look at other derelict buildings. The Mayor had hoped to sort out the Winter Gardens. This has not found a viable use for years and is another lost cause. Torquay knew what they were doing selling it off to us! The council was making mistakes in the 1900s too.

The north end of the seafront is in decline. I would sell off the waterways and boating lake for luxury housing - a lovely setting and they could maintain the gardens and even provide illuminations! This would really boost the council’s coffers and let the private sector regenerate the front!

I still await the private sector solution tothe problems of the town. Three years to the next election.


Victoria Street,


Local hotels

support scheme

LOCAL residents and businesses in the seafront area between the Market Place and the Golden Mile have let the councils know loud and clear that they wish to keep the Zone A Residents Permit area.

The ill-thought out second attempt by Cllr Charles Reynolds to remove the scheme actually brought people together in their determination to protect the quality of life of local residents. I pay tribute to Peter Fitzgerald and the Great Yarmouth Residents Association for their very effective campaigning and their resilience in the face of council “dirty tricks.”

Although the crusade to end residents permit parking was by portraying it as a threat to the tourist industry it quickly became very apparent that local hotels and guest houses, Peter Jay and the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority actually supported retention of the scheme.

I sincerely hope council leaders will now engage with the six Yarmouth borough councillors covering the seafront area and representatives of residents and businesses in Zone A to improve arrangements for future years.

The �25 permit fee has been unchanged for six years now and does need to be raised. Clearly also there is some scope for paid on-street parking in certain identified locations within the zone. I for one would be happy to help in any way I can.

This shouldn’t be a political issue as all major English seaside resorts have Residents Permit Parking schemes. Local MP Brandon Lewis himself acknowledges the positive role that such schemes can play. It really is time to move on!


Borough Councillor,

Yarmouth Central & Northgate

Cllrs, hang your

heads in shame

COUNCILLORS who voted for the demolition of our ancient jetty should hang their heads in shame! Yet another feature of our unique resort has been lost. What a sad picture on the front page of last week’s Mercury.

It’s strange how money can be found for ‘pet’ projects such as St. Georges Theatre and yet there is no money for truly historical locations. As for the secrecy involved in the timing of this act of vandalism,one has only to remember the way the closure of the Harbour Road was handled.



Job Centre critic

was spot on

HAVING worked in an Employment Exchange not that many years ago, I should like to congratulate R F Ward whose letter you printed last week.

It was spot on about the situation with the Employment Agencies and about the sometimes ridiculous role that the Job Centre staff are required to play.

The Government should take note of everything that was said in that letter and consider carefully the issues highlighted.

Name and Address withheld

There should be

big armed event

THANK you Mr Williams for your comments on my last letter about a big parade to celebrate the armed services in Great Yarmouth. I did not criticise the Royal British Legion I stated the obvious: that not enough young people are joining to help.

I believe you mentioned that the public would need to show they wanted it and also commented on the cost. I, of course, am aware all your workers and helpers are volunteeers but when this question comes up it is the costs of actually getting the bands from the armed forces with all the expenses involved that I am not aware of.

I am aware of the events you mention but what I was proposing was a really big event with a number of military bands etc bayonets fixed, not on famous dates but in the middle of the summer when the town is packed and a procession right along the seafront into the town centre in aid of the Help 4 Heroes charity.

You quote me as saying “it could be organised by the people and the Town Hall”. Incorrect, I said “the people who organised the maritime festival and the town hall” that event took a lot of organising and manpower. I have always supported the legion, starting a few years after my brother was killed in Cyprus in the mid 1950s. Why don’t I help? National Service in the 1950s left me severely deaf which causes me great difficulty in communicating with people, coupled with a few ailments and age means I, too, hope to see the organising of such an event put in much more younger and capable hands.



There are plenty

of empty homes

I AM writing in response to an article that has appeared in both the Mercury and in last Thursday’s Advertiser. It concerns plans put forward by Barry Stone, the borough council’s cabinet member for transformation.

Why do we need to build 5,000 more homes when a glance at the homes for sale pages of your newspapers shows countless homes on the market, many of which have been on the market for months (or in my nephew’s case, more than a year) without success?

There is a wide variety of homes for sale throughout the borough of Great Yarmouth and any Estate Agent would, if consulted, tell Mr Stone that homes are not selling.

What attracts people to live in an area? Well, we have cheap enough real estate, but what we also have is oversubscribed doctor’s surgeries, overloaded roads and twice the national average of people unemployed.

People are not moving here because they do not want to live in an area which is depressed economically and with the social problems to go along with that.

Spending public money on building homes would bring temporary employment to an area that is crying out for permanent jobs. How about providing training to the people who are already here, and desperate for some kind of future, to work on the East Anglia Array? Or has Mr Stone dismissed the local people as no-hopers?


Stanley Road

Great Yarmouth

Next on hit list:

Vauxhall bridge

I SUSPECT the council moved to demolish the Jetty early, rather than announce a date beforehand in case Mr Boon and sympathisers might chain themselves to the structure or block access for any machinery forcing the council to obtain a court order for their removal!

It’s gone for goodness sake, get over it. Experts had said that none of the structure was of any historic significance. I doubt Nelson would have been offended. A plaque will be erected and be sufficient. If people wanted to preserve anything that someone famous had touched or set foot on we’d never get anywhere.

Now if it had been the monument at South Denes in line for demolition there would have been much more of an outcry. And it would be too much to expect that the Vauxhall bridge could go the same way as the Jetty? In the meantime it’s one down, one to go.


Euston Road

Great Yarmouth

Can you help

with mentoring?

AS part of the present work of Ageless Opportunities we are looking for volunteer mentors. If you are over 50 and would like to help someone else over 50 to complete a YO50 toolkit please get in touch.

The toolkit is a self assessment booklet which helps individuals identify where they are at at the moment with regard to their health and wellbeing. Mentors will assist people to complete the booklet and then work with them to identify what they wish to do to improve their health and well being.

On Monday, January 30 between 10am and noon there will be an opportunity to find out more about being a volunteer mentor at a Toolkit recruitment open house at The Priory Centre in Priory Plain. Come along or call for details on 1493 743042, email rachael-hardie@gyctrust.co.uk


Great Yarmouth Community Trust

Thanks for your

Christmas gifts

On behalf of my wife, Lt Georgina Symons and I, and all at Great Yarmouth Salvation Army, we would like to say a big thank you to everybody who supported this year’s Toys and Tins Appeal, run in conjunction with BBC Radio Norfolk.

Once again, we have received unprecedented support from the general public and it has been so encouraging; actually quite awe inspiring to witness people working together and giving of their time, their talents and their personal donations to make a real difference in the lives of people in our communities.

We count it a privilege to be able to help people during what is a very special and challenging time of year. As a result of everyone’s generosity, our volunteers were able to help wrap and sort food and presents for 332 adults, 582 children or 192 families.

Without your gifts, there will have been many children and families who might have received little or nothing at Christmas and on their behalf we also say thanks!

A big thank you also to Superdrug, Barclay’s Bank, Greyfriars Clinic, Santa’s Grotto in Market Gates, Ipswich Building Society at The Finance Shop in Gorleston and QD Stores in Gorleston who all acted as drop off points.


Yarmouth Salvation Army

All the children

loved Angela

I WAS very sad to hear of the untimely death of Angela Warne.

I met her about 20 years ago when my daughter went to the playschool run by her in Artillery Square. It was a wonderful place, so many things to do and play with and educational at the same time. All the kids loved Angela and I think the mums had a good time too!

Angela certainly helped me out as a single mum. In exchange for helping out one day a week, Angela paid me for helping and gave my daughter two free sessions.

I think it was the best playschool around at the time. My daughter didn’t want to leave (neither did I) but when it was time for her to go to school, Angela presented her with her first lunch box and told her that she was a big girl now.

I’m sure many people will remember Angela with great fondness.



Fellow motorists

came to our aid

UNFORTUNATELY for my husband and myself, our car broke down last Friday between Hopton and Gorleston on the dual carriageway.

My husband would not leave the car as he insisted it was too dangerous for traffic even with the hazard lights on so I steered it while he pushed it toward a nearby layby. As the road was up a short incline and my husband is of a certain age, heart attacks began to form in my mind as after a while he started to huff and puff.

But a lovely lady on her motorbike stopped to give my husband a hand. But even with the two of them pushing, and it was pitch black, it was still hard going. Thankfully another gentleman stopped to give support. And eventually we reached the layby.

In all honesty I don’t think we would have made it. And the gentleman also gave us a lift home. In this day and age when you hear so much negativity I would like to say God bless you two lovely people and we are so grateful.