Letters, January 30 2015

NHS staff are not twiddling thumbs

I have to say I was compelled to respond to the article about an op cancellation last week.

I understand it must be frustrating, to have a planned operation cancelled especially at the last minute. We all have busy lives/childcare issues/jobs/partners and more to consider. But what people fail to understand is the undervalued staff working for the NHS aren’t just sitting there twiddling their thumbs, or trying to disrupt people’s live.

The majority of them have chosen a vocation because they care about people. Genuine emergencies happen every day, and the NHS cannot just magic up a bed or extra staff at the drop of a hat. They work tirelessly to do their best for everyone.

Sometimes this means cancelling a planned operation in favour of saving a life. I’m sure if it was the other way round, and emergencies were being refused in favour of planned cases the NHS might have something to answer for.

Myself, two of my children, and countless others wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the service they provide.


Most Read


Two bears great, but wrong place

I am afraid I agree with Mr Gilder in last week’s Mercury. It is nice to see that the two bears, from the old Two Bears Hotel, have not been put in the skip, but they just do not look at home on top of the new Hughes building.

I seem to remember that when it was first discussed regarding what would happen to them, that Hughes said they would place them in the foyer of the shop, which would have been much more apt. I am sorry, but I can’t “bear” (excuse the pun) to see them up there, please take them down.



Help find sport photographs

I am currently completing the second volume of my history of sport in the Great Yarmouth area and am seeking the help of readers in finding copies of photographs taken between the years 1920 to 1970; in particular those of teams in all sports that have won significant competitions, such as for example the Norfolk Junior Cup at cricket or football, particularly if the players are named.

I am also keen to find good photographs of athletes Anne Pashley and Stanley Fuller, gymnast Irma Austrin, golfer Anne Willard, boxers George Jermany and Philip Moyse, motorcyclist Philip Kersey, tennis player Jim Ferrier, swimmers Kenneth and William Deane, and cricketers Ray Perkins and Arthur Rouse.

This is not an exhaustive list and if anyone feels that they have a photograph of a team or person that has graced the sporting stage during those years I would be pleased to hear from them.

I will of course acknowledge in the book the contributors of any photographs.

I can be contacted on tubz45@yahoo.co.uk or on 01493 302512.



Concrete road will hit wildlife

I am writing about Burnley Hall’s application to construct a crushed concrete road for the commercial extract of timber - through miles of untouched woodland near Somerton that provides a safe habitat to an abundance of wildlife and protected species.

To simply replace mature trees with saplings is a travesty to nature that takes a century to regrow such a natural environment for wildlife.

This proposition shows greed at the expense of our countryside but is unfortunately a common overview nowadays. It will also bring pollution to the area with countless lorries delivering vast amounts of crushed concrete to our country roads and tracks.

The vibrations of these lorries will be felt by the sensitivity of wildlife further afield. One also begins to wonder what other substances will arrive mixed in with this crushed concrete (as this is relatively unregulated) and seep into our water sources affecting this fragile ecosystem.

The noise of chainsaws violating our countryside would be a tragedy to the tranquillity and beautiful surroundings famous with walkers, birdwatchers etc. who appreciate our local area for what it is - not what can be extracted.


Main Road,


Charity shop’s jeans overpriced

Just thought you should know I was shopping in The British Heart Foundation Charity Shop in Gorleston recently and came across a pair of men’s jeans what I thought would be suitable for my partner.

You could clearly tell they were second hand but had plenty of life left in them. There was no label stating a price so I asked the lady behind the till, she then said she would need to go and ask. She returned and £24.99.

I repeated it back to her £24.99! Obviously I didn’t buy the jeans but I am astounded by this and cannot believe a charity shop is charging so much for a pair of jeans that were nothing special, nor if they were donated to a charity shop.

I think it is a disgrace. I understand they don’t sell things for very cheap, but how do they expect by setting prices like that to get customers! My friends and I are all talking about it on Facebook and think it is a mockery.



Sister’s excellent care in hospital

My sister had a fall on the ice last week and broke her ankle and needed a stay in hospital. I would like to thank the James Paget Hospital and ambulance service for the excellent care and treatment she received. Every time you listen, watch or read the news it is so negative with the NHS and I can say it was not the case for us.



Is this what we voted for?

At the borough council meeting on Monday I was astounded to hear the leader of the UKIP group, having been on the cross-party committee to discuss toilets, state that she didn’t understand what she had agreed to.

Is this what the people of Great Yarmouth voted for! It beggars belief she admitted in open council that she didn’t understand what it was about. She and her fellow UKIP councillors then voted against the item.

This is the second council meeting in succession that they have gone against what they had previously agreed at a cross-party committee meeting.

Heaven help us if the electorate are gullible enough to vote for UKIP in the forthcoming elections.



Pleased at bowls winner’s tribute

I have been absolutely glued to watching the World Indoor Bowls Championships 2015 at Potters Resort, Hopton. What pleased me most was that the winner of the men’s singles final, Scotsman Alex Marshall, dedicated the final to the late Brian Potter.

His legacy will always be remembered for not only the bowls but also the many other charities he was involved with and which were not mentioned. Brian Potter, a true gentleman. And respect for all the Potter family.


Clarence Road,


Lifeboat heroes memorial help

Has anyone information about the carved stone memorial in Gorleston cemetery, erected to commemorate the loss of four crew from the Ranger Company lifeboat Refuge, after it capsized during a rescue on November 10, 1888.

I am particularly trying to find out when the memorial was subsequently stolen from Gorleston cemetery and if anyone has an image of the memorial as I seem to recollect having seen one but I cannot remember where or what form?

During 1884, the Refuge saved nine men from the dandy rigged smack Solomon aground on the South Scroby in strong south-south-west winds. But in 1888, the Refuge was lost whilst returning from rendering assistance to SS Akaba. Four men: Aaron Church George (64), William Whiley, Samuel George and Alfred Woods were lost. The first three were buried together in Gorleston Cemetery and a carved memorial erected.

This has now disappeared but was situated near the wicket gate on Magdalen Way. Alfred George was laid in a separate grave (I have yet to find out exactly why).

On October 23 1889, the lifeboat Elizabeth Simpson was launched with great ceremony to replace Refuge and handed over to the Gorleston Voluntary Lifeboat Association for the Ranger Company to man.

Another interesting fact unearthed was that just three months after the loss of the four lifeboatmen, in February 1889 two children of Samuel George, who was lost in the Refuge, were taken into the Sailor’s Orphanage Home at Hull.

This was a cruel fate for the children of a hero, for once the boys reached the age of 12 or so they were sent as apprentices to sea aboard a smack to be at the beck and call of men, who from the harshness of their own lives had little pity to spare on lads too young to fend for themselves.

It is no wonder that the number of lads logged as “Washed Overboard” from Grimsby boats reached proportions well beyond the bounds of accidents. In fact there are many recorded instances where even adults threw themselves into the sea rather than continue to endure such misery.

I can be contacted by email at roymasters1@aol.com or via the Mercury.



Save the loos for those in need

Re your article on the proposal to close many public conveniences. Has no-one told the councillors at Great Yarmouth that we are an ageing population? Has no-one told them Great Yarmouth is a holiday destination?

Has no-one told them some people have mobility problems and can’t trek all over Yarmouth and environs looking for loos?

Has no-one told them not everyone has a car which will allow them to hunt for an open loo? Has no-one told them not everyone has perfect bladder control?

The arrogance of the type of people who come up with these schemes and those who give them the nod appalls me!

So toilets are a “discretionary service” are they? Alas the need to spend a penny is not.

As an aging non driver with mobility issues the council might like to know that if they close any more loos my family and I will be looking for somewhere else to spend our holidays – and pennies!

At present a local bus ride affords many opportunities to visit nice spots where one can hop off, have a look around and then hop again to another nice spot.

No more if the loos mentioned are closed, and with plans to revamp the boating lake I would have thought the North Drive loo was essential.

If it is the one I am thinking of it is the first one between the Seashore Camp and the town and also services the little coffee chalets. I think it would be a good idea is the council saved money by not looking into daft schemes and used it to pay for the loos!


Wolsey Road,

Sunbury on Thames

Charge and keep public toilets

On reading your article “Toilets going down the pan”, I think it quite acceptable the council should charge to use them and help regenerate the £140,000 cost to maintain them.

As a local resident I find it most infuriating that after the summer a lot are closed especially in outside villages.

We walk a lot and as of a delicate age find the need to visit often.

Hemsby has a toilet block near the village which is open. The one a mile away near the beach is closed as is the disabled one. We walked from Hemsby to Scratby only to find that their toilet block was also closed. Some thought for us “oldies”.

If you pay it could reduce vandalism and stop people filling toilets with sand/rubbish. And £140,000 could soon be recouped with holidaymakers in time.

Does the council consider other people and not just holidaymakers?


The Pastures,


Pilot was dead in ejector seat

In the Mercury January 16, Peggotty wrote again about plane crashes in the local area. I was interested in what he said about the USAF jet plane crash of 1955. I remember it quite well.

The story and facts I heard after the crash are different to what has been said.

I lived at the time in St Anne’s Crescent and when word got round of the jet crashing some of us boys jumped on our bikes and set off to find it.

We followed where other people were going. I am sure we went by Hertford Way and Oriel Avenue and the crash site was a field off Gorleston Lane or Cley Lane. Trucks and servicemen from the USAF were there and had cordoned off the field. But we could see the plane’s fuselage. I don’t remember any crater at all.

It looked like the plane did not dive into the ground and explode into pieces, I heard later the pilot tried to crash land in the field but it had been ploughed over with deep furrows. As the pilot was found dead still in the ejector seat some 50 yards away perhaps it was fired accidentally due to the very rough landing.

Perhaps another reader who was there at the crash site can add details. People were just grateful it didn’t come down on houses.


Church Road,


Paget was like six star hotel!

I was taken to the James Paget Hospital on September 9 last year and came out January 9. The nurses, doctors and cleaners were all very caring, kind and dedicated in their work.

It was like being in a six star hotel; the food was delicious and I could not fault anything. I would like to thank the doctors and nurses for saving my life for which I will always been grateful.

The James Paget is one of the best hospitals in England and the nurses should get a good pay rise as they work so hard.


Address withheld

Parking fees will drive out people

What planet are these people on? The car parking fees that they are proposing are just ridiculous. It’s a sure thing it won’t bring more people into the town – it will drive people to shop out of town where you can park for nothing and get everything you need under one roof or in the surrounding area.

It would be good if all the shops over Gapton got together to organise a bus for people to shop there. Maybe three times a week would be great for people with no transport.



The sparkle has gone from town

How sad that Marks & Spencer should remove the “Magic and Sparkle” from the heart of Great Yarmouth!


Main Road,

Ormesby St Michael

We need MPs of the real world

This week I received a couple of Labour printed “What we believe in” type of letters, and one from Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Great Yarmouth, which was a double-sided sheet of A4 in colour with a small image and her name (no other details given) and what Labour was going to do.

This could have been from any political party, they all send out the same end of term report; mainly about how bad the other parties did and no firm promises for the future if elected.

This got me thinking, we only have just over 600 MPs to run the largest business in the country and where every vote passed by them can make massive differences to the population, be it tax changes or going to war.

The Labour prospective parliamentary candidate on this occasion, a lady, told us absolutely nothing about herself and why she felt she had the experience to help run our country. No mention of education, academic qualifications, past work experience, knowledge of government at any level, or business experience, but she wants to help run the country, and wanted my vote.

She was probably selected by a dozen or so Labour members, representing a minute proportion of the electoral numbers of voters in our constituency; and most likely the same selection process could be aimed at all parties trying to be elected in this town.

Most of us have political parties we support by voting, but few bother to join those parties. Maybe the time has come to vote for prospective parliamentary candidates who can show some skills they can apply in government and whilst not party members, could align themselves to a party as Independent Labour, Conservative etc so we could have a wide choice of candidate and prove they will be of use as one of the 600 odd “directors” of the UK plc, rather than the professional MPs we see so much of today, who have no real world experience.


Internet Workwear Ltd,

Great Yarmouth

Chip in and buy the Pontins site

As many people in Hemsby would like to see the Pontin’s site still used in some way as a holiday park, why do they not get together and form some sort of company and buy it between them. Each person could say, have so many shares at £1 a share.

That way the park could stay as it was, make many jobs and be up and running again.

What could also be better for the site would be small arena with car parking at one end. This would go down well as this is just what East Anglia is short of.

As for the letter asking if anyone was interested in buying the falling down Winter Gardens, I would be in the queue. Just think what could be done.



Is the borough going bankrupt?

Having lived in the borough of Great Yarmouth for the past 88 years I have never been more confused with the happenings than I am now.

The shuffle of properties, shuffled finances and shuffled minds, leave us all wondering where we are heading. After the “conspiracy” of the outer harbour – with its 340-year embargo – we get a mind-your-own-business attitude.

How much more money can we recoup before someone asks: are we bankrupt?


Gonville Road