Letters, January 2016

Social service has failed me

Regarding your correspondent, January 1 and his praise of social services. Perhaps he was very lucky as we were treated like rubbish. Like him we had a very nice home and did not bother anyone, and I will hold them responsible for losing my home.

My wife had had a slight stroke which became worse giving her dementia. I had to have a heart pacemaker and when I returned from hospital there was this woman taking notes. Who sent her I do not know.

This continued for two days until this man came in and said my wife was crazy. This made things worse and he decided to take her to Norwich hospital and said if she did not go he would get the police and put me in residential care.

A while after that they sent her to Carlton Court.

We were apart for six months and then they decided to put us into residential care together as my wife was ill.

We had a lovely year together and just made our 43 years wedding anniversary but two days after she had a brain haemorrhage. I sat holding her hand all day then she had another to finish it. I am just heartbroken.

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Great Yarmouth

At least Maggie ignored lottery

I note the inclusion of Margaret Thatcher’s visit to Great Yarmouth in the Mercury’s Showbiz and Change Seventies supplement, January 8, which prompts me to say although not an advocate for many of her policies, giving credit where it is due (not always evident in politics), she did not introduce the National Lottery when numerous people of modest means are ofiated into hopefully becoming millionaires; in effect at the expense of their similarly placed fellow being.

While on her positive aspect I recall a memorable incident when after visiting an institute for young people with learning difficulties, who because of their conditions were struggling to accomplish their allotted tasks she told them: “One thing I have learned today is so-called important people are ten-a-penny compared to you!”


Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

Centre remains a monstrosity

Two very positive things caught my eye in last week’s paper. Firstly there was another splendid supplement, this time about Showbiz and Change in the Seventies. Many positives here, though Market Gates seems to have been a monstrosity when it was put up, just as it remains in many respects today. Certainly not a gateway to the market, as I presume was meant to be the original intention.

Secondly, the lady who still owns a black and white TV. Good for her as most TV is unwatchable, the device allowing people who haven’t anything to do to watch people who can’t do anything. I was amused to read elsewhere that the greatest per capita ownership of black and white TVs in the UK is in the Outer Hebrides - mainly because the inspectors can’t get out there to check just what type of set you have got. By the way, is there any truth in the rumour that Palmers is to start selling mangles again next week?


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Always receive good HNS care

Very recently I stayed on Ward 7 at the James Paget Hospital and can only praise all the staff who work incredibly hard delivering care and compassion, sometimes under the most difficult of circumstances. All staff on the ward never stopped; from the moment they reported for duty they worked flat out until the completion of their shift.

A day does not go by without the NHS featuring in the media, and as I have personally used the services especially in the James Paget on quite a few occasions over the last 12 years, I have always received excellent care from the hospital and the district nursing teams.


Borough Councillor for Caister North

Thanks to Paget eye care clinic

You hear so much in the press about how bad the NHS and some hospitals are but I would like to thank the James Paget Hospital eye clinic.

I saw my optician last week and he referred me to the clinic and in less than 48 hours I had a phone call asking me if I could attend that afternoon.

This is the third time in the last five years I have been sent to the clinic and I cannot praise the doctors, nurses and all the staff enough. They are so kind and efficient. This time I did not need any treatment, only a diagnosis and reassurance which is such a relief when you think you may lose your sight.

I also had to attend A&E on two occasions last year and again the staff were amazing. They work so hard under a great deal of pressure.

Well done JPH and the NHS!



Road signs need to be put up

I drove on the new road linking up the A12 to the Beccles Road in Bradwell.

Clearly this will open up a great deal of land for building, for better or worse?

When I came back from Lowestoft, much to my amazement there were no signs that I could see which pointed out the new road from the A12. I thought part of the reason was to ease traffic going into and out of Gorleston to the White Horse roundabout to get to the Beccles Road.

It means any holidaymakers or others not local and coming with their caravans etc, will not be aware of this road that would lead them onto a better road to the holiday parks in Belton. It is well signed from Belton, but why only at this end of the new road.

This is unbelievable after all the money spent on the road itself.



Ooops, Chippie demobbed me!

Risking “goodness me, not another one!” for stories regarding the larger-than-life Chippie Brown, I recall a very embarrassing episode while serving as a sea cadet during the 1950s aboard the old Ocean Emperor.

I learned a lot about seamanship in Chippie’s Navy and even today the bowlines and sheepshanks come in handy at time. I did well and reached the grand rank of leading seaman and thought I would go on to be the next nelson. Chippie had other ideas.

We were to parade at Caister in support of the lifeboat fete and, as I was nearing 17 at the time and getting a bit old for the cadets, I told Chippie I would make this my last parade before leaving with, my self esteem told me, full honours.

“Oh no, you b…y” well won’t!” said Chippie in his blunt, down to earth manner. “I won’t have any boy staying on just to be part of a wonderful occasion and then finishing straight after that so you can leave now. Go on home and take your uniform off and bring it back immediately. I won’t have you here any longer.”

So Chippie demobbed me on the spot – or more like it I suppose, I was rather ignominiously kicked out.


Hill Avenue,


Panto had us all laughing

In response to the letter regarding St George’s production of Cinderalla. Luckily people are different. Some hate Marmite, others love it; some enjoy a cruise, to others they are the stuff of nightmares, so perhaps the same applies to pantomimes.

My wife and I took a number of grandchildren, aged seven to 17 to the show, and as I am no lover of pantomimes I had resigned myself to being bored.

The show started slowly but once the two Ugly Sisters entered the stage I was transfixed. Their costumes were inventive their humour brilliant and their ability to play off each other was a joy. They also worked well with Buttons. We all suspected some ad lib and felt it actually added to the performance.

Cinderalla had a sweet singing voice, lovely smile and good stage presence. The smiling Buttons interacted well with the audience and cast, and had a fantastic singing voice. The whole cast deserves praise.

I thought the production was great and have never laughed so much for a long time. The couple I sat next to could not stop laughing as did most of the audience. I watched my grandchildren laughing, participating and smiling and asked afterwards if they had enjoyed the show; their praise was unanimous.

At times the humour might have been aimed more at adults, and more interaction with the children would have been a plus, but any remarks about Great Yarmouth were tame and the single derogatory mention of Lowestoft was well received.

My wife has been to pantomimes all her life, starting with the likes of Cyril Fletcher, Roy Hudd and Hugh Lloyd, and she felt her outing to St George’s did not disappoint. The production had all the elements of a proper pantomime, along with real actors putting lots of effort and energy into entertaining us. We were not expecting a West End production, but my goodness we all enjoyed the evening just as much.


Address withheld

Dentures price was wrong

How many more paid too much? Last Friday I visited my dentist as I inadvertently lost my lower dentures. I was under the impression the cost for lost dentures was £66.81.

When I spoke to the practice about an appointment I was told it would be £220, I argued that on the website it stated quite clearly “lost denture £66.81.”

I was told that figure applied to children’s braces. But I knew that children under the age of 18 do not pay for any dental work.

I asked the practice to check the price as at £220 the dentist would be making a 300pc profit on NHS work. I returned home and had another look at the practice website and I phoned quoting the price on the website but I was as far as they were concerned the price was £220.

I wrote to my MP sending him the details on the website and I copied in the dentist head office. The practice phoned me this week saying: “Mr. Cooper you are correct, it is £66.81 replacement plate.”

I sneezed while flushing the loo and my teeth flew out and are now somewhere in the sewer, and I wonder just how many people have lost a denture. If anyone has paid £220 for NHS replacement dentures ask for a refund.


Burnt Lane


Help with our Pavilion project

We are writing to ask if any Mercury readers might have information about the Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston. We are researching the Pavilion for a school heritage project and would like to hear of any readers’ memories or information on its history.

We would also love to see any old photographs of the Pavilion. If you can help us with our school heritage project please email or telephone our school office. Email office@edwardworlledge.norfolk.sch.uk or call 01493 603462.


Edward Worlledge Primary School

Where are these birds going to?

For the last few weeks, about 3.30pm to 4pm, big birds fly over in a V shape.

They come from the sea area, across at an angle, over the north side of Morrisons in Gorleston, veering south over our house and Lowestoft road and beyond.

What are they? Where are they from? Where are they going? They are lovely to see and hope readers can help with answer my questions.


Blackwall Reach,


Where is sense of fair play?

Ours is supposedly the oldest parliamentary democracy in the world, and we talk often of our British belief in fair play. Yet with the Trade Union Bill, this Government are putting these values at risk.

We’ve already seen them make it harder to register to vote, soon they will redraw the Parliamentary map in a way that benefits the Conservative Party. Furthermore, hidden in the Trade Union Bill is a clause that designed to cut off trade unions’ financial support for the Labour Party - while doing nothing to limit the hedge funds and millionaires that support the Tories. They’re attacking democracy by silencing opposition, whether it’s from unions, campaigners, or charities; and by changing the rules to make it harder for anyone else to win an election.

As the House of Lords debate the Bill over the next weeks, I can only hope the Government will take the opportunity to embody the values of democracy and decency they claim to support, and drop these unfair proposals.


Commodore Road,

Oulton Broad