Letters, July 11, 2014

Dreadful neglect of graveyards

I am writing on behalf of my mother-in-law who is 89 years old and partially sighted.

The ashes of my father in-law, Basil Laws, by his request were placed in St Nicholas Minister churchyard in the grave of his grandparents in 2000.

Both my son and I have visited the grave on separate occasions over the last few weeks, and it is like ploughing through a meadow with the grass knee high. Attempting to find the grave is difficult enough without tripping over the uneven surface.

My mother in law is frightened to visit the grave, but would dearly love to do so. Not cutting the grass is nothing to do with protecting and encouraging wildlife but about cost cutting and saving money by the council.

Neglected graveyards in towns encourage vandalism. I observed a lady on a mobility scooter with dog, clear up her dog’s mess and then chuck the black bag into the grass. Also a group of drinkers had congregated together and were rowdy.

A churchyard should be a place of safety, peace and quiet to mourn, to gather thoughts.

Most Read

A place to sit and read a book, eat sandwiches and enjoy the sun, not a place to be frightened to walk through.



Road grass verges are a disgrace

Please can, and will, someone give me answer? As you pass the James Paget Hospital and approach the roundabout on the southern end of the A12, what a mess it is.

You then turn right and arrive at the roundabout at the end of the bypass and that is a disgrace. It has probably taken years to get to this state, You then turn left onto the by pass where the verges and drains are full of weeds and rubbish. What do visitors think of this approach to Great Yarmouth? I do wonder!

I have lived in Gorleston for 20 months and there has been a sign on the verge of the bypass towards the southern end stating New Road Layout. Has this happened or is it still to be done? Perhaps someone will reply.


Middleton Road.


Don’t allow the rubbish to fester

It is not good enough or acceptable to allow piles of smelly unhygienic rubbish to fester in the street of the picturesque village of Thurne which is in the Borough of Great Yarmouth, or anywhere else for that matter.

A collection in a compound has been provided for at least 60 years for Broads users which are an essential part of the economy of the area and the borough council collects commercially in the village on Wednesdays and domestic rubbish on Thursdays.

Boat users should not be expected to keep rotting rubbish on board in a small space for days on end because there is inadequate provision for rubbish collection in the area.

It is the 21st century and although there is still no mains sewage in Thurne there is no need for the only street in the village to become a rubbish dump.

Come on councillors and Broads Authority representatives, please get your act together as the Broads season is about to take off. Find a solution to provide what is an essential service.



Priests work for the people

It was with great sadness I recently read, in Great Yarmouth Parish Life, an article written by Father Chris Terry. It refers to the relationships between priests and congregation and that once a priest leaves the parish then ties should be cut.

Priests are not “allowed” to return to take marriages or funerals without the permission from “head office”. This is absolutely ridiculous. Priests are men of God and their work is for the people.

If someone’s wishes are to be married or have a funeral service attended by a priest who they respect and like, regardless of where they practice, then there should be no restrictions to do so. Did Jesus say no to people who were not in his area?

People should be allowed to call on any priest who they feel comfortable with and there should be no rules to this. God has no restrictions: love all, without jealousy, judging, rules and hierarchy.

Name and Address withheld

Drama’s music a joy to the ear

We volunteers involved with the Lydia Eva have enjoyed immensely the wonderful displays of herring fishing-related artwork in Great Yarmouth over the last few weeks and we looked forward with great anticipation to the Get Up And Tie Your Fingers musical drama at St George’s Theatre last week. A group of us went to see the show on Friday and we were immediately immersed in the tough and hazardous life of the herring hunters of the 19th century.

The harshness of the fisher lassies lives was brilliantly portrayed by the professional actors but what we all really enjoyed was the music.

The way the local choir blended with the show’s travelling professionals was a real harmonious joy to the ear.

The unique atmosphere of our beautifully restored St George’s Theatre was an ideal venue for this production which was very relevant to Yarmouth’s own fishing heritage.

We are very fortunate in Yarmouth to have the opportunity to see first hand what life was like on board an old herring drifter. The 84 year old Lydia Eva, the world’s last operational steam drifter, is moored next to the Town Hall and is open to visitors seven days a week.

Along with its sister ship Mincarlo in Lowestoft it is part of a charitable trust and entry and guided tours are free of charge for all. There is the opportunity to sail on Lydia later this summer and Mincarlo will also be firing up its 50 year old engines - have a look on our website for more details.


Trustee, Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust


Credit due to the naval air stations

I enjoyed reading an article in the Advertiser last week, as far as it went, but I guess it upset quite a few old fogies like me who are ex-service personnel.

It was mentioned that many of the records of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) date from 1912 and that the RAF was formed on April 1 1918. What was not mentioned was that the origins of the RFC (and the RAF) were superseded by the formation of another air service in 1910.

At the end of the war, prior to April 1 1918, this other service had at its disposal some 3,000 aircraft, over 100 airships and 67,000 men and women of all ranks. I refer of course to the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS).

In 1912, there were 13 Air Stations in the East Anglia area alone. They were at Holt, Bacton, Hickling Broad (seaplanes), Great Yarmouth South Denes (seaplanes), Burgh Castle, Pulham (airships), Kings Lynn, Lowestoft, Halesworth (HMS Sparrowhawk), Cove Hithe, Shotley (HMS Ganges), and Felixstow (seaplanes).

After November 1918 only four Air Stations were retained for Royal Navy use: Gosport, Lee on Solent Leuchars and Calshot.

I know the subject of the article was the newly released archives but my point is that the RAF was begot by the amalgamation of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps and hopefully the records will contain a lot of ex-naval personnel?

Incidentally, the RNAS were the first in the world to take off from a ship, sink a ship by torpedo, bomb Germany (22.9.14), shoot down a Zeppelin (7.6.15) and many other “firsts”.

In the second world war, despite the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) only having 225 aircraft, 58 pilots fought in the Battle of Britain of which nine were killed. A FAA pilot attached to Douglas Bader’s 242 Squadron shot down that squadron’s first German.

At the end of hostilities in1945, the Fleet Air Arm had 59 aircraft carriers, 3,800 aircraft and 72,000 men and women serving in some 56 Naval Air Sations at home and abroad.

Yes, I am ex FAA and proud of it. During my service I lost a few friends along the way so I get upset when people ignore the FAA’s existence, more through ignorance than anything else.


West Caister

Wealthy church is struggling

I read in the July issue of Great Yarmouth Parish Life that the Church of England in Yarmouth recently invited one boy and one girl from each class of the 10 schools in the parish to the Minster for a day of prayers and activities for Pentecost.

This reminded me of past school summer holidays when my children were younger. They attended a whole week at the church, Fun Week organised by the Church Army. Every child in the parish was invited and the church was full of families having fun, everyone having a great time and some even went on to join Sunday school. The Holy Spirit was certainly at work.

I turned a page and read that the Church of England’s investments have gone up 15.9pc in 2013 from £5.5bn to £6.1bn. Great investments in housing and development and work in deprived areas have taken place, but nothing can be spent on a fun week for Yarmouth children in the school holidays. It’s been done before so we know it works, but no. No paid staff to run it, no community involvement, no helpers... no children.

I need uplifting, so like a good parishioner I look to my priest and read “From the Rectory”. This month Father Chris tells us all we cannot choose a “favourite” priest to conduct our wedding or baptism or funeral; the cure of souls dictates we can only have our parish priest of that time, and if a past priest interferes because a family would like them to officiate - an archdeacon may have to have a “quiet word”.

So there we have it: a wealthy church successfully managing their money but struggling to encourage children and young families through the door and parishioners travelling to other churches away from the parish as they would like a choice.

But let’s end on a light note. Soon the Minster will be asking for volunteers to change the 1,000 light bulbs to LED. Now that will brighten up the future of our church and I bet it will draw a good crowd too. It’s building work.

Name and Address withheld

Shame harbour road is barred

I wholeheartedly agree with Jennifer Elliott’s comments (Letters, June 20) about the loss of access to the harbour mouth road on the Great Yarmouth side.

It was lovely to walk, or sit in the area, and enjoy an ice cream whilst being close to sand and sea, or to walk to the end of the harbour wall. Assuming there are sufficient locals and visitors in agreement, I only wish we could persuade the authorities to do something positive about it.

It is to the shame of those responsible for allowing an area that has clearly been so popular to generations of local and visiting people to have been lost like this, when it should have been possible to insist on conditions in the contract that the body taking over the site maintain access to this much-loved amenity.


Hopton on Sea

Contradictions in the good book

Atheists. The scourge of religion. Daring to question rather than submit. It’s funny how in one small sentence, Mr Barkhuizen can go from almost being able to touch those pearly white gates to condemning himself to eternal torture. He writes, again from his book of make believe, and I quote:

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).

Now, this is where it gets interesting for Mr Barkhuizen. Also in his book of dreams is a passage:

Whosoever shall say Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire (Matthew 5:22).

Now, I’m no expert (except in pointing out Christianity’s failings), but it seems pretty clear what’s going to happen.

But this is only one of hundreds of contradictions in the book of wizards. Can’t wait to see what next week brings!



Dereliction is blighting town

It is interesting to read the on-going saga of derelict land at the former Newtown Halt off Salisbury Road. (Mercury, July 4). The land has been an underused car park for about 50 years. Much of the time it has seen use as a dump and scrub but suddenly some of the residents have woken up now a new use for homes is proposed.

I see hotels, boarding houses and pubs closed - some in significant sites. This reflects our changing fortunes but will impact on neighbouring properties as litter and fly posters move in.

Our town has serious problems of dereliction. The problem is widespread. The town centre, King Street, Arcade and Rows host an array of empty shops and offices.

Why has the TSB not returned to the TSB? Surely the sold-off People’s Bank still has a role in the town? I see Stead and Simpson is closing down and Hughes is due to relocate. Others have been empty for years.

A recent trip to the Quay, which was described by Daniel Defoe as “the finest quay in England if not in Europe at least equalling Marseilles”, was another wake up call. The banks’ evacuation to the town centre and other offices closed has left splendid buildings at risk and some an eyesore.

Surely the banks could use the buildings as their enterprise hubs or incubators for new businesses. Failing that they could be converted into home like the former post office. It is wasteful and unhelpful to have buildings like this standing empty. Likewise, the empty buildings of the South Quay hardly enhance the town.

These are classic cases of the private sector seeking to maximise profits with a disregard for the future use of their former buildings and the town. The public sector is so stretched it will struggle to put things right.

If things carry on like this there will be no need to go up town.


Victoria Street,


Waste operation 24 hours a day?

Three bio incinerators. Two on the South Denes one in the Outer Harbour. Great stuff one may say, more ships, more jobs, but think about it.

Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), this company based in Cambridge, is an investment company just like Global Infrastructure Partners who are the financial backers of our Port Company head office, International Port Holdings.

The Mercury article last week does not mention who will build the three plants, but I cannot see the Port Company doing it as they will be the landlord and have arranged finance.

I cannot remember the size of the failed Kings Lynn incinerator; do the three coming here equate to that one?

I live opposite to where the third river crossing is to go Eon’s base which is on the Yarmouth side of the proposed bridge and there are quite a few residents living around it. Will the bridge still go ahead? What will the families think of possible Norfolk waste and wood being burnt 24 hours a day? I know I don’t want to look out east and see a chimney blasting away.


Burnt Lane,


Bure Clinic’s start at the Northgate

I refer to an article your newspaper re the setting up of the Bure Clinic at the James Paget Hospital. The Bure Clinic had been part of the Northgate Hospital until 1991 and prior to this originated as the “Special Clinic” on Escourt Road, Great Yarmouth.

Their records dated back to pre and post-war years and this clinic was headed in the 1990s by Dr Sulaiman and Dr Meaden, both of whom had left when the transfer to James Paget Hospital took place.

The Bure Clinic in 1991 at James Paget appointed Dr Nadanajah Balakuman as the head of department and he was solely responsible for managing the clinic until his untimely demise.


Address withheld

My hospital stay was very good

I broke my hip on May 24 and had to go to hospital. My stay in the James Paget Hospital was very good and the nurses, doctors and other staff were very understanding and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. I had a cancer operation in 2009 so had to have a soft diet, the food was very good and when something was too much to digest an alternative was offered. My stay on wards 6 and 9 was very good thanking you all once again.


Grove Close,


I, too, wonder about lost cups

It was with great interest I read David Tubby’s enquiries as to the whereabouts of the cups awarded to the winners of swimming competitions that were held in Yarmouth many years ago.

Many times I have wondered the whereabouts of the Great Yarmouth Badminton Association Cups, that were awarded to the winners of the yearly championship competitions held in the town. The reason for my interest is because my name is on the Ladies Singles Cup for several consecutive years (eight, if my memory serves me right, both scratch and handicap), and I would hate to think that they are gathering dust somewhere.

Hope someone can solve the mystery.


West Avenue

Great Ormesby

‘This is my own, my native land’

Mr Roger F Thompson’s letter saddened me. Se he is glad he has left England, well one poet wasn’t - I quote: “Breathes there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself, hath said, This is my own, my native land?”


Marine Parade,


Transform old Co-op into asset

Re the former railway land at Salisbury Road and Co-op building in the Market Place. So, Cllr Castle is at it again. This time branding residents as “nimbys” just because they are trying to protect a valuable piece of green space and transform it into an environmental asset, rather than have bland boxes of so-called housing plonked on it, when there are plenty of brownfield sites in the town that could be used.

I wish residents good luck with their task. Considering Cllr Castle is involved in school and education issues I would have thought he would have welcomed residents’ ideas for a pleasant green space instead of name-calling them and favouring developers.

This, especially when Cllr Castle was pictured in the paper proposing a new use for the delightful 1930-built former Co-op department store as a school.

I hope it is refurbished and not demolished. There is one more query: I believe the building is for rental and is still owned by the Co-op. Would the borough council use council taxpayers’ money to make the Co-op an offer for the freehold it could not refuse? Perhaps Cllr Castle could answer these points through these columns in case people wonder why I, as a Thorpe resident, am concerned about these issues.

I have long connections with this town and do not like what is happening to it. Thorpe is rapidly being spoilt too, thanks to councillors ignoring residents wishes.


Thorpe St Andrew,


Extravaganza of music a delight

I was privileged to attend an extravaganza of music, dance and song. For two hours I was blown away with the enthusiasm and talent laid before me. The 14 acts, yes, 14, went like clockwork.

The talent of the acts was top class with some of the dancers outstanding. The show closed with a very fine solo sung by a talented young lady, Lydia Bunnewell.

The show Great Yarmouth schools presented, Our World Extravaganza 2014, was staged at the Britannia Theatre and all the talent came from the seven schools in our area. Thank you for a very enjoyable evening.


North Denes Road,

Great Yarmouth

Bible study was life-changing

Yesterday I drove past a local holiday camp. The sign at the top said, “The Fun Never Stops!” It made me think how true this seems to be of some of the East Anglian churches, where fun and games, or social activities, have pushed out the regular Bible study and prayer meeting.

I remember how different it was in our church on another continent in the 1970s. We had a prayer meeting every Tuesday, an exciting time in God’s presence, the Holy Spirit being there (see 1 Corinthians 12). Then every Wednesday we had a life-changing Bible study from one of the church elders – men who had the Holy Spirit, men without a paper leadership “qualification” from a theological college, men like the fishermen Peter and John, who knew Jesus (see Acts 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:2).

Then every Friday we young people would meet at one of the church elders’ houses before going out on the streets in twos to tell people the good news of Jesus, of the eternal life He offers those willing to stop sinning and follow Him. What an adventure church was in those days!

On Sundays we celebrated the Lord’s Supper, had another amazing time in His holy presence (and no ungodly “contemporary worship” in our meetings). We left there spiritually filled and refreshed, having met with the living God.

Today I find it shocking that the people who go to the fun houses that call themselves a “church” think they please God. And that they’re on their way to heaven. No. If you get into the wrong car and travel the wrong road, you end up in the wrong town. It’s time these places shut down, and those who happily go there wake up, turn from their sins and follow the true Jesus.

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’.’” (Jeremiah 6:16).


Albemarle Road,


Thanks for great sports day

I went to my son’s sports day on a nice hot sunny day at Cliff Park Infant School and it was the best sports day I seen in ages as the staff all took part in a warm up song with the kids. It was great to see the staff taking part. Thanks for the good sports day.

Mr and Mrs T LONG

This place is no cultural desert

So often I have heard Great Yarmouth and Gorleston descrtibed as “a cultural desert”, not so in the light the last week! It only took a few fishwives and herring lassies to Tie Up Their Fingers and transport us back to the 19th century where their lives were dominated by hard work and a cruel sea.

An electrifying storm brewed at St George’s Theatre. Telling their story with a mix of professional and amateur actors and singers, a riveting performaqnce, directed and staffed with real flair and sensitivity.

Whilst at the Minster, the Chorus of St Ceclia gave a fine edition of Salt, Smoke and Silver Darlings, composed by Mick Warmsley and over the bridge at Gorleston another talented community choir was making money for charity and doing their founder proud.

How appropriate that next Sunday is Sea Sunday which gives us all the opportunity to be grateful to all tose who “go down to the sea in ships” and to those who artistic talents help keep their exploits every fresh in our minds.


Lings Road,


North Drive car park a raceway

I wonder how long it will be before someone is knocked down while using the car park opposite the Burlington Hotel cars are using it as a raceway to get to their chosen parking bay. Why, I do not know, as it not cheap to park on there. A sign or two saying 5mph would not go a miss.



Mental health services suffer

I refer to your story: Mental health services at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust on road to recovery, says care minister.

We have yet to officially open the Labour Action Resource Area but already have visitors every day desperately trying to engage with mental health services.

Their cries for help are before they reach crisis point and at a time when intervention could save them a great deal of pain whilst saving public services the additional cost of hospitalisation.

Unfortunately cuts to mental health services mean that until your reach crisis there is simply not the support to help.

The staff are all wonderful, you don’t work in this field to get rich. But their hands are tied and their resources stretched beyond limit.

Recently I asked a GP how I could get in touch with services for those near crisis and in need. He told me he didn’t know but to give him a ring if I ever found out!

Every single person I speak to, whether they be in health, social care or the voluntary sector tells me that mental health care in Norfolk and Suffolk is in crisis.

Norman Lamb has an opportunity to do something about this. Instead he trots out the Government Line...Everything in the garden is Rosy...well I smell something but it sure ain’t roses.


Labour PPC for Great Yarmouth

Biomass plants to be welcomed

It is welcome news that new biomass generating plants will be constructed in Great Yarmouth, although it seems unlikely that this will result in any increased activity in the outer harbour. I am informed that they will occupy land that was gifted to the Port Company some years ago so perhaps our town will eventually see some small benefit from this development.


Seafield Close,

Great Yarmouth

Thanks for the sponsorship

We would like to pass on our thanks to Cllr Carl Annison for his generous donation from his allowance in sponsorship of Stephen Swallow who is taking part in a sponsored bike ride from Bristol to Weston Super Mare, in aid of prostate cancer, a charity close to us due to the recent loss of my father.

Cllr Carl Annison has been hugely supportive. If anyone would like to sponsor Stephen they can through http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StephenSwallow



New College Close