Letters, July 22

Pier picture was happy reminder

WONDERFUL to see your picture of Gorleston pier in Porthole (July 15). It brought back lots of great memories.

When I was a boy, we used to spend lots of time on the pier watching ships go in and out, especially on Sunday nights when the Queen of the Channel used to come back from Ostend ablaze with lights. Wonderful.

We would run around the “capstan” in the foreground and just sit about in the “cosies”. We could even be in the picture!

The tug to the right looks like the George Newson and the ship in the distance the Trinity supply vessel, Patricia. No doubt the wood ship to the right would be going to unload at Palgrave Browns on Southtown Road.

We would cycle up to the quay to watch dockers unload the ship, running up and down on planks laid ship to shore, and had whole planks of wood on their shoulders. It used to amaze us as to the agility and speed at which they worked and unloaded. Cannot recall ever seeing an accident. They were brilliant.

How things have changed. Thank you.

Most Read


Elm Avenue,

Gorleston on sea

Appearances can be deceptive

IN response to Mrs EU Foster’s letter (July 15) about the chap who ate from a discarded fast food container.

She states she was disgusted by the actions of this normal, respectable and not looking like a starved man. I ask this, do people think every person who is unfortunate enough to find themselves without food or a home looks dishevelled, unkempt and generally a mess?

Several years ago the only “refuge’’ I had from a domestic abuse situation was indeed the streets. I slept in shop doorways for three nights. I was cold, hungry and scared.

However, I doubt if many people would have known, because I looked “normal, respectable and didn’t look starving’’. The situation at home was worse for me than the prospect of being on the street.

How could Mrs Foster possibly know what that chap’s circumstances were? Maybe the next time people pass a homeless person they could spare him a few coppers for a hot drink.

Name and Address withheld

Seafront really does us proud

WHILE holidaying in Kent recently, we decided to visit one of the well-known seaside towns.

What a shock! Derelict buildings, boarded-up shops, faded paintwork and a general air of desolation. In contrast, our seafront is bright, clean and vibrant with lots to do. Gaudy yes, but that’s Great Yarmouth. Our golden beach is second to none, we should be very proud.

Provided visitors keep well away from the shambles that is the Harbour Mouth, then they should go away with a good impression of the resort!



A catalogue of flawed projects

BANKERS have caused chaos by their greedy actions. Individual MPs claimed excessive expenses. It now seems the police, like politicians, were in bed with the press for their own advantage. A newspaper has caused much grief to many people.

Legal men look for ways to circumnavigate the law. All because of mainly one thing, lack of accountability and responsibility, often mixed with a measure of greed. Is our government capable despite their platitudes and do they have the stomach to ensure a Freedom of Information act with more teeth. I have said before our whole political system right down to the lowest level is flawed. Openness and transparency which is often talked of never happens.

I heard Nick Clegg on Sunday morning say: “A great deal of power without accountability and things go wrong”. David Milliband wrote in a Sunday newspaper: “Power without responsibility is the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.”

The truth of these statements is apparent but from politicians they are empty statements.

A book reviewer commented in the same newspaper: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This statement applies today more than ever as history shows. Accountability is a cornerstone of democracy.

Politicians, bankers and others, both past and present, have ignored these truths to their peril. The News of the World is alleged to have tried to get round spin and silence by other means.

We have our own illustration of lack of accountability and responsibility in that our council refuses to allow us any information of the negotiations in our name regarding the outer harbour project. Freedom of Information has insufficient power to be helpful and they have even gone to the extent of ensuring information is safely locked away for a period of 30 years in Norfolk Record Office.

From one document it makes me wonder how much sway the government had in the project apart from assistance with grants. I do not believe we have value for money in the outer harbour and GYBC will not defend their position.

We were fed much spin about ferries, trips to the continent etc but most of all we were told that nearly �20m in grants would provide a thousand local jobs and regeneration. What a kick in the teeth for those desperate for work.

Other flawed projects by GYBC were the giant screen televisions; the overspend on the �17m grant for Yarmouth seafront and the Icelandic bank affair.

We have a new leader of the council who is indicating he would like more openness and discussion with residents. We can but hope the proof will be in the pudding.


Brett Avenue


A wise, caring, trustworthy man

I HAVE known Mr John Green for most of his life and know him to be most trustworthy and honourable. I have spoken to him and he is still his stoic and cheerful self. (War veteran’s charity shock, Page 1, July 15)

He feels sorry for the warped person or persons who reported him to the local authority for collecting money on his disabled scooter for Blesma, the charity for injured ex-servicemen and women.

I know for a fact there are hundreds of war disabled and war widows who have been helped by his wise counsel and advice both in the borough of Great Yarmouth and over all East Anglia.

I believe that the vast majority, like myself, back Mr Green to the hilt and assure him that he and his wonderful organisation The British Limbless Association, every success.

Remember when you lose a limb it is for life, and you carry that burden to the grave. He does not know or particularly care who reported his “misdemeanour” and hopes whoever he or she is sleeps peacefully in their beds whilst our boys and girls are being killed and maimed.

The information about who reported him is privy to Great Yarmouth corporation.

Name and Address withheld

Please, drivers – just slow down

THIS is for the drivers who speed down Trinity Avenue, Gorleston. Living on this busy road, it’s more like a Formula One circuit. The speed some of them go will probably mean, one day, there is going to be a serious accident.

I am surprised there hasn’t been one before. There is a speed camera halfway down, but do the mad drivers take any notice? No they do not.

Whatever speed they go,they will still get there in the end. They should just try and think of others... and slow down.


Trinity Avenue,


Word of praise for traffic wardens!

I AM sure that many of my fellow readers were aware of the failure of the traffic lights on the Southtown Road crossroads opposite Matalan in Great Yarmouth on Monday this week. I had the misfortune of being caught in the resulting queues.

However, imagine my surprise when I reached the front of the queue to find the crossroads being controlled by a team of traffic wardens. In the current climate of criticising everything and negating praise, I could have concentrated on criticising many things, such as the resulting jams at rush hour and the state of our towns’ road network.

Yet, I shall impart praise where praise is due and commend these traffic wardens who seamlessly managed to control rush hour traffic approaching a major junction from four different directions without incident.

Their professional handling of the situation and their polite but assertive manner undoubtedly prevented a serious failure in road signalling from becoming a highly dangerous situation.

It is not often that anyone has many positive things to say in support of traffic wardens but on this day they surely earned the respect and thanks of many motorists for helping them on their journeys home.



Swan madness

WHY are herds of swans being dumped on Ormesby broad? The water company has already upset the balance by taking fish from the water in the past in a failed experiment. Putting more swans on a piece of water will surely put more pressure on the local water bird wildlife competing for food and territory.



Church history book delayed

I AM writing through the columns of the Mercury to follow up previous publicity on the book I am writing to celebrate 50 years since the Restoration of St Nicholas Church.

The original publication date was scheduled to be at the end of June, however the author’s unexpected indisposition has resulted in a delay of approximately two months in publication.

The book is substantially written but after a discussion with my printer on production and binding, the new timescale is a practical one. The history covered is considerably more substantial than when I started the project in January and the book larger than originally conceived.

I have found writing it very exciting and I have learned much about the energy of our fellow townsmen 50 years ago in restoring this great parish church after its destruction to a shell in 1942. The many pictures and illustrations I am using in the book will record what was sadly lost and how the building was magnificently restored.

Can I request that those who have become subscribers to the edition and thus supported the repair work of the St Nicholas Preservation Trust and have written to me, particularly those who have used the form published in the Mercury, contact me in the next week, preferably by email if you have it, or telephone if you have not, so I can check I have their details correctly for the subscribers’ list. I ask this because I have had some trouble with postal deliveries not arriving.

My e-mail is michael@boon15.freeserve.co.uk and my telephone number, if you do not have an email, is 01493 665862. The Mercury will carry details of how to acquire the book when printing is complete and where it will be on sale.


Local Historian

Voices sent my spirits soaring

LAST week the RC diocese of East Anglia saw the passing of a saintly man, Bishop Michael Evans, whose faith, courage and humility in the face of illness was an example to all who knew him.

Saddened by his loss, yet full of expectancy, I attended a Summer Concert at St Nicholas’ in Great Yarmouth featuring as well as the Chorus of St Cecilia, the choir of St Mary’s School.

I write therefore in praise of song, which in the talented voices of both choirs (and soloist Hannah Long) combining together, sent spirits soaring, and was like a tribute in itself to a wonderful man whose care of young people especially was second to none. How fortunate we are to have such dedicated teachers and conductors in this area.

On July 30, I shall be introducing yet another choir to the stage of the Pavilion Theatre, giving their time to help a young man achieve his ambition in the professional theatre. The Gorleston Community Choir, who in a short time has already given much pleasure to the town. And so to Matthew Hardy, to Jackie Whiting and all our local teachers, it is very easy for me in the words of song to “give thanks” because we are truly “blessed with the sound of music”.


Links Road


Plea to our MP

HAVING read the last two letters regarding the reduction of the fuel allowance for pensioners, we were completely unaware of this. Could the elected MP for Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis, please inform us if this is true and how much the cut is to be? A reply to this letter would be greatly appreciated.