Letters, January 23 2012

Not so wonderful on modern build

Well what can we, I, say. The Two Bears of Great Yarmouth have been on holiday having a detox and new lease of life, and a lick of honey and gold paint.

They are now sitting back where they once stood watching us on top of a brand new modern building, shouting “Hey you, don’t we look so wonderful in our new home?”

Absolutely not, in my opinion.


Clarence Road,

Gorleston on Sea

Most Read

Who lived in this Martham house?

The parish council in Martham is interested to know who may have owned, or occupied, the property known as 17a The Green, or “The Cottage” from 1986 through to 2003. If anyone has any knowledge of who owned or lived there, please can they contact me on 01493 749938.



Martham Parish Council

Boulevard link to shopping centres

I was initially heartened by last week’s headlines about a retail boost for the town centre. Unfortunately, little or nothing has been firmed up.

What about all the empty shops in King Street, the Arcade, the Rows, Regent Street and even the sheds which do so much to enhance Regent Road? Presumably Hughes will move soon?

Market Gates may dust down their expansion plan but they already have several empty units and cannot afford or be bothered to repair the storm damage from last year. The bus station has several long-empty units and remains dismal with damaged fencing.

It is strongly rumoured Pound World may come but that is hardly a replacement for M&S. Poundstretcher even closed last year.

What about new shops for TSB and the old Superdrug? What about new uses for the empty banks?

The old Co-op is a key site and has been empty for five years and needs a new use. If no shops are interested it might be a good site for a library and school extension, funded by the sale of the Tolhouse Street site. Perhaps we should even sell the Tolhouse to developers just like Ferryside. Any one fancy buying the Winter Gardens?

It is interesting in that the shopping centre seems to be relocating itself. I wonder if a linear centre from the town centre to Gapton Hall may be the way forward with Pasta allowed to develop. Tree-lined boulevards and moving pavements or some futurist travel system. Unfortunately there will be no council funds to facilitate that.

There could be plenty of free parking at both ends and a riverside to develop. A whole rethink and new vision would be needed.

Meanwhile, I see our MP, in his other role as a minister, has been off to the buoyant town of Bicester to dish out £100m of public funds to help that town grow. Bicester is also getting major rail investment and a new station. A new vision is being achieved in Bicester, why not £100m for a new vision (and rail station) here?

Meanwhile, our councils face cuts galore and a town struggling to reinvent itself. There are further issues on the horizon if North Sea based companies cannot cope with the downturn in the oil industry and need taxpayers’ help.


Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

I can’t get to the new M&S

So, another major store has closed in the town centre making room for another bank, bookmakers or maybe a charity shop. I was interested to read the sign on the closed shop window of Marks and Spencer telling me not to worry they are moving to Gapton Hall.

As I don’t have a car and Gapton Hall isn’t on a bus route, thank you Marks and Spencer for your concern. I will have to do my shopping elsewhere, that is if I can find any shops open in the town centre.



Op cancellation was disgraceful

Is the NHS at breaking point? I would definitely say it is on life support and about to pass to the great health service in the sky.

I say this in relation to the disgraceful circumstances that occurred to members of my family and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital last week. My daughter in law, having had one long-awaited appointment cancelled was told to attend on January 13 to be admitted.

She made arrangements with her boss to have a month off to recover; my son managed to have seven days off to care for her – both losing a substantial amount of money.

Arrangements had to be made to have their baby to be cared for.

They travelled from their home in Old Buckenham to the hospital and when they were walking along the corridor to the checking in desk, she received a telephone call to say they hadn’t got a bed for her.

I understand the hospital is under pressure and the situation on bed blocking but this is not acceptable. Surely someone in administration should have let them know prior to that date, it’s common decency.

But maybe hospitals haven’t got the time for that now.


Beccles Road,


College students kindly helped me

May I through your letter page express my thanks to two young people, who were students at Great Yarmouth College. One of them told me that his name was Brandon.

He very kindly loaned me his phone as my car had just broken down in traffic on Southtown Road on Thursday last week. They would not take anything, they were just glad to help.

These days young people get such a bad press, but there are many more of whom we can be proud. Thanks a lot you two.

Name and Address withheld

Need a secure future for young

On March 6 our MP Brandon Lewis is hosting a careers fair with East Norfolk Sixth Form College.

We all may say well done Brandon, but, and there always is a but, we all want our youngsters to get a career in an industry that will not only enhance the student’s fortunes, but the fortunes of the community at large.

What is happening now in our port will I believe have an adverse effect on any career to do with the offshore industry.

In my opinion there has been no thought by the Great Yarmouth Port Authority, which is the harbour authority, into getting their act together to make the Port of Grea Yarmouth competitive with Lowestoft, Harwich, or Immingham.

It seems to me the main problem is, we have a Port Authority that is the Harbour Authority that has no income of its own, they are supported by the private Port Company that with taxpayers money and some of their own built the Outer Harbour.

Somehow the GYP Company receives every penny from the river port, as well as the Outer Harbour. The GYP Authority, to carry out the function of harbour authority, needs the cash that the river port earns to make sure the river is dredged, it is navigable, the quay heads are kept in good repair, this does not happen!

What does this have to do with youngsters from the sixth form college? The answer to that is simple: if the Harbour Authority is not functioning, just relying on a hand-out from a private company, then the port is not functioning in a way to entice businesses to come and operate out of the port.

Firms in Yarmouth that operate out of the port are now shedding staff instead of hiring, yes, the price of oil has plummeted, but a port without the infrastructure and strong guidance will stand no chance against the other three East Coast ports.

The dues paid by ships to operate and berth in Yarmouth should be paid to the Port Authority, then it would have the cash to cleanse the port and the money to pay the private Port Company a management fee to manage the commercial business of the river port.

Only then will jobs for college leavers will be available, only then will the port function as we were led to believe back in 2006, only then will Yarmouth have its fair share of the business that is at this time unavailable to us and any hope of a secure future for the port and for our children.


Burnt Lane,


Our views are being ignored

In spite of local people supposedly getting a greater say in what development is to be allowed in their area, why was a previous letter writer officially prevented from telling the rest of us why 180 houses in Caister were going to be built?

Why again, when nearly 1,000 people protested about a certain pub on the Magdalen estate’s demise, were their views ignored?

If you go by usage, there are plenty of churches not being used much, plenty of room for all the town houses (and by the way, we do not call them “executive houses” anymore, that’s a bit naff), nor do we use the word “overspill”, it’s now “”keyworker time”, so as someone nice once said, you could not make it up.

When the oil industry moved into the area in the mid 1960s, I helped my father build one of the first sheds to house American divers who came here to explore for gas, but all this money and industry moving into the area seemingly allowed a lot of dubious planning applications to get passed. Is this not why we had the Broads Authority to protect our countryside? Too little too late, I say.

Finally, if you want proof we are being taken for mugs, what about the large holes dug in Caister to supply material to build up the land – I might add, including shooting the poor owl that flew about the marshes.


Butt Lane,

Burgh Castle

Fight to keep the free bus pass

I am writing to invite all Mercury readers to back the Love the Bus Pass petition, which is supported by tens of thousands of people, hundreds of local groups, and the National pensioners Convention.

Strictly non-partisan, the campaign aims to get all parties to pledge before the General Election that if elected to power on May 7 they will retain the England concessionary bus pass for older and blind and disabled people as a statutory universal entitlement free at the point of use.

To date, no political party has made a clear and unequivocal commitment to retaining the bus pass in its present form. In fact high-ranking coalition politicians began to call for reform as early as 2011 starting with a Conservative MP writing in Conservative Home that the scheme had never been “affordable” albeit this was something his party hadn’t wished to come out with before the 2010 General Election, for fear of alarming voters!

We simply must ensure all politicians understand they attack the bus pass at their electoral peril. Readers may request petition forms and information either by email to richardvworrall@yahoo-com, by phone and leaving name and address on 01922 641084 or 01922 448331, or post to 46 Winn House, Walsall SW2 8NW.


Campaign Co-ordinator

Help with old photos please

I’m currently carrying out some historical research around a 1930’s tragedy in Great Yarmouth. I’m looking for the following photos:

Great Yarmouth – Row 45

The town mortuary at the bottom of Row 45

RG Ferrier – Great Yarmouth Coroner and Alderman

Great Yarmouth – Church Plain

Great Yarmouth – Queens Street (near Church Plain)

Great Yarmouth – Row 127

If you have any such photos and would be prepared to let me use them in my project then please email me at dw@interactive3d.biz .



A joy to see the two bears again

What a joy to see the see in The Mercury last week that the two bears on the soon to be opened Hughes new building on Pasteur Road, once again stand proudly where they belong, watching over the town.

My personal love for these bears goes back 63 years to when I was a child. My late mother always said that one day she would knit them a scarf to them to warm in the winter – of course, she never did.

How happy she would be now to know that although they still have no scarves they do have nice new coats of paint. Thank you Hughes for loving these bears and allowing many people to see them once more. Well done.


St John’s Road,


Paying for PCSOs a double whammy

There was an interesting article in your newspaper about parish councils paying for police support community officers within their parish areas.

First this is no new idea in Bradwell as predecessors of the parish council, memorial courts and parochial church councils paid for and employed their own parish constables.

These constables’ duties were set by the employing body who they then reported back to. I think this arrangement is covered by the saying “He who pays the piper calls the tune”.

I suspect the current parish council would have little or no real say in what these police-based PCSOs actually did in Bradwell. So paying for them twice would be double taxation for Bradwell ratepayers.

The police authority already charges us a rate for this service.

We also note the police authority aims to greatly increase the police rate this year. I suspect this is to pay for unwanted Crime Commissioners, plus all their staff, offices, travel costs, expenses etc. It is probable this lot represents close to half a million pounds in costs that we, the public, never wanted. Just look at how people voted.

Now if we want more security in Bradwell that we, the residents, actually control, the parish council could employ its own Bradwell security officers. These would be organised and controlled by us, the people, who pay them. The parish council would be most foolish to increase our rates to pay for what is the government’s failure to provide an adequate grant to Norfolk Police.

I have to ask if our parish council falls for this idea of increasing our rates will the county council seek extra funds from us to run schools in Bradwell or the post office a fee to collect our mail? Perhaps the fire service may try to charge for a visit to Bradwell, then perhaps bus companies will want money from our rates?

I suspect Yarmouth Borough Council will cut back on its amenity provision in Bradwell despite the rates we pay, and that will certainly cost us money. I see this proposal as the thin end of the wedge and our parish council should protect us from this double taxation.


Busseys Loke,


Tell all of good work at Paget

I know how people complain about the James Paget Hospital but I would like to say how much respect my father was given in the ICU during his short stay.

I cannot thank them enough. He was in there from January 17 to 19 and they did everything possible until there was no more they could do. Nothing was too much trouble and they made his last days comfortable and pain free which I am extremely grateful for.

Even if we phoned a couple of times a day, they were happy to stop and tell us how he was. Even busy, they still give the patient their full loving care.

Also big thanks to paramedics and the ambulance which responded so quickly and saved him until he got to the James Paget where he was put on life support.

The work these people do is amazing. So instead of moaning try telling everybody the good these people give.



Great Yarmouth

Dad treated with care and respect

My father Den Thompson was admitted to the James Paget Hospital following a fall and he sadly died the following week. I would like to praise and thank the staff in A&E and SSMU for their care and respect, not only for my dad but for the whole family. Nothing was too much trouble, we were kept informed about what was going on and were all looked after with excellence.


Wellington Place,

Great Yarmouth

Our retirement wishes for Keith

Members of Rollesby Happy Rollers Club send their best wishes to chairman Keith Williamson on his retirement, extending the wishes also to his wife Chrissy.