Letters, July 22, 2016

We keenly follow Siobhan and Mac

Good news is always welcome and what more good news than Siobhan Meade’s guide dog Mac, is on the road to recovery!

I always remember how much that first letter she wrote in the Mercury impressed me. I can’t say I wasn’t aware of sight loss (having two cousins born sightless), but she did impress me with her description of the obstacles and hazards she faced daily! Of course then, she was already a celebrity around town with Liza (prior to Mac), so many of us townsfolk follow her and Mac keenly.

Please pass on our best wishes to her and for Mac’s rapid and full recovery,



JPH phone calls wait cost me £35

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As being semi ambulant, I have an out patient appointment at the James Paget Hospital requiring hospital car services for transport. So I phoned the JPH with this request. I was kept on hold on this premium rate 0845 number for about 20 minutes, then the call centre closed abruptly at 6pm; an automated voice repeatedly saying 95pc of calls are answered within two minutes. So the next day I had to phone them again to book transport.

After another eight-minute call to this high rate number, I finally booked a hospital car.

Total cost of calls £35 by any phone provider... In hindsight a taxi would cost approximately £10. Excessive charges for a necessity. There’s no alternative.

Name withheld


A confused idea of Europe?

While noting how pleased Mr John Huggins is with the result of the referendum, I have to question a confused idea of Europe which seems to torment him.

He claims that because Europe is “not a country,” one cannot talk of something - or heaven forbid someone - as “being European”. The millennia of distinctly European culture and civilisation: European language, architecture, literature, philosophy, science, and art from the Hellenic to the post-modern seems to have passed him by. Or he believes his participation in the referendum has willed them into non-being, in which case he ought to be applauded for his optimism.

This optimism in the infinite nature of his faculty (derived from the non-European French faculte and Latin facultas) leads him to, as that fine non-European novel Don Quixote put it, “leap out of the frying-pan into the fire” with a wild statement “the UK can still build a strong relationship with the rest of Europe, but not with the EU.”

I would call this analysis questionable, and I hope Peggotty will remember it when compiling the Mercury’s next compendium of Yarmouth’s unrealisable follies.


Vienna and Great Yarmouth

Thanks to those who cared for me

On Friday last week, I awoke with some kind of vertigo. My wife called an ambulance which arrived in minutes and the crew were superb. I was transported to the James Paget Hospital and taken to A&E. There I received excellent treatment from nurses and doctor and had a brain scan. My heartfelt thanks to all concerned.


Highfield Road,

Great Yarmouth

Boot sale always opened 28 days

“Car boot sale to open for 28 days a year.” Page 3 last week’s Mercury,

What’s new - that car boot always has opened for 28 days in a year. To get around planning laws, Julie has previously used two fields on the opposite sides of Market Road for 14 days each which is permitted without the need for planning permission.

She now wishes to put one of the fields, the one furthest from her property (Crows Farm), back to agricultural use and concentrate all 28 days on to the one field - hence the need for planning permission.

All we have therefore is a car boot for 28 days each year as before but now operating on one field rather than a mid-summer move from one field to the other to avoid the need/cost for planning permission.


Mercury correspondent,

Belton and Burgh Castle

High quality NHS treatment for wife

While on holiday in Hemsby my wife Marie suffered a seizure which necessitated a 999 call for an ambulance to attend. There was brilliant support given over the phone, and on arrival of the ambulance the paramedic crew were fast and very professional.

When all the necessary attention they could give was completed my wife was taken, with me, to the James Paget Hospital A&E and then transferred into a room for further assessments, the paramedic crew were fantastic and after placing my wife onto a trolley bed only then did they leave her side.

After a short while Dr Charles Esene came to see her; he was a very caring and pleasant person who got on with his examination of my wife and being as she could not tell him what had happened he turned to myself for a summary of what had happened, he informed us that she required a CT head scan and blood tests which were carried out.

He returned later with my wife’s results and explained them to us, and it was not long after he returned with the necessary paperwork that we would require on returning home to South Wales.

Both my wife and I would like to express our grateful thanks to all involved, the service we received from the ambulance crew and James Paget was indeed in our opinion of the highest quality. Thank you.



Anyone recall the bank vault party?

In the late summer of 1966, just a few weeks after England won the World Cup, I was working as a bank clerk in the Gorlestion branch of the East Anglian Trustee Savings Bank. Mr Bumfrey was the manager.

The bank was founded in 1816, and to celebrate the anniversary, everyone was given 10 Shillings (50p in today’s money). The Great Yarmouth branch had 24 members of staff, and Gorleston had just six. Two senior members of staff in the Yarmouth branch approached the manager with the proposal to be allowed to use the vaults of the bank as the place to hold a celebration with everyone putting their 10 shillings towards food and refreshment, a total of £15.

A record player, records and coloured lights were provided, and the day to hold this celebration was fixed as September 7. After work that day we made our way over to the Yarmouth branch and down into the vaults. There was a young junior bank clerk named Jean Adams there and I arranged a date with her for that Saturday evening. At that time I was 19 years old and Jean was 17. We have now been married for over 47 years with a son and daughter.

Two years ago we moved from Caister on Sea primarily to be closer to our daughter and her family.

On September 7 it will be the 50th anniversary of our first meeting approximately 15ft underground in Yarmouth town centre. If there is anyone who remembers the 1966 event, Jean and I would love to hear from them. We can be emailed on Green1011@hotmail.co.uk.



Zen Hua 6 our biggest vessel

It is always a pleasure to read Peggotty’s column in the Great Yarmouth Mercury. The stories and anecdotes are always amusing and readily brings a smile to one’s face.

However, Peggotty’s assertion that the Glovis Spendlor is the largest vessel to have sailed into Yarmouth may not be correct.

The Zhen Hua 6, measuring 235 metres (771ft) arrived in the Outer Harbour in May 2009 carrying four gantry cranes and offloaded two in Yarmouth. Due to the downturn in container freight traffic these cranes were later decommissioned and towed to Italy.

The Zhen Hua 6 was longer and deeper than the Glovis Splendor and many photographs exist on the internet of it entering our port.

Hopefully, now that ro-ro vessels like the Gloris Splendor are using the Outer Harbour, we can look forward to passenger ferries doing likewise. I am sure there are many local residents who wouldn’t mind a few days in Holland.


Parkland Drive,


Praise for beach litter volunteers

To all concerned, from the general public to the volunteers, a massive thank you for contributing time and effort to litter pick on Hemsby beach over the past week or two.

Public spirit and community action never ceases to amaze me.



Planning reversal is not logical

Further to your report in the Mercury last week there can be no doubt that this Badger plan is a very good scheme for the former Claydon School site, with well designed quality dwellings, in an open layout that is the very best that we local residents can hope for given the earlier committees’ unwelcome decision to grant outline planning consent to NPS in the first place.

All credit to Badger’s owner, staff, architects, and engineers who have produced this new plan and for their public consultation approach in keeping all of the local residents advised.

Having fought this site development for over 11 years, on the July 13 the time had come to put these objections to rest with this well laid out scheme so I attended the development control meeting in support of the application expecting to hear the committee “approve” it, as was stated in the online report.

I assumed this was an application that did warrant approval for all the right reasons in as much as it had to be in full compliance because all of the preconditions were a matter of record as were Environment Agency requirements.

Badger now finds they have fallen foul of that earlier unwelcome planning consent decision that permitted Norfolk County Council to sell this land for residential development through the NPS outline planning permission grant of June 15, 2012 that allowed for the building of up to 110 dwellings.

Committee minutes of 15 March 2011 show clearly the then responsible authority for water drainage; the Environment Agency had stated: “The Development Control Manager reported that the Environment Agency had reported that outline permission could be granted, subject to the imposition of conditions regarding a surface water drainage scheme which relied on infiltration”.

So here we have it, outline planning permission could be granted here in 2011, clearing the way for a 110 dwellings to be built so long as the Environment Agency conditions are complied with in any new application. The new Badger application is for only three more dwellings.

At the borough planning meeting on July 13, the decision to “defer the approval” following severe flooding of Burgh and Beccles Roads the previous night was not expected.

This particular “deferment” decision does not appear to be based upon the new application submitted by Badger but on local flooding caused by weather events that occurred the previous night.

Badger’s plans should have been approved if they were seen to comply (as they surely did), because the prior intent of the committee at this meeting was to “approve”.

Developers need to be able to submit their applications under the rules in the absolute certainty of a full and proper consideration with well reasoned debate by the authorities prior to grant of any planning consent as a minimum,

Can it now be the case there will be no more development approved for any developer in this locality until such time as the repetitive flooding issues are fully resolved?


Claydon Grove,


We could have had cruise ships

I read this week that the cruise ship Saga Pearl was at Southwold, and on the way to work at 5am on July 19, I saw her from Lowestoft. What a lovely sight, especially as the weather was glorious.

This made me think, why didn’t Great Yarmouth have a large extension made to the outer harbour to take cruise ships? With all the history we have in Norfolk and Suffolk, visitors could go to Norwich, Sandringham, Cambridge at a push, and if the Acle Straight and A47 was improved, then Cambridge would not be that far.

Great Yarmouth has a lot of history with our links to Nelson and our medieval town wall, people could also go to Walsingham and visit many of our lovely churches and castles, Broads trips could be arranged, trips to see the seals along the coast. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in a day, but we need the infrastructure which unfortunately will never happen in this area.

Alas, I will just have to see these ships from a distance.



Do town buses run to timetable?

Every weekday morning I catch the bus to work, waiting at the Gordon Road junction on Southtown Road to go into Yarmouth. It is convenient and only a short walk from my nearby home and the cost of a fare is fairly good I think.

I buy a single ticket and walk home in the evening. I leave my house at 8.45am and am waiting by 8.50am. However, in the last couple of months, the arrival of the buses is so sporadic they are obviously not keeping to a timetable.

A bus used to arrive at 8.55am, then it went to around 9.04am and now I can be waiting for up to 15 minutes - and then three come along: A yellow Anglian one followed by a single decker First and then a double decker First!

When the first one pulls into the bus stop the other two overtake, then when the lead bus stops at Anson Road the two remaining buses overtake that. They leapfrog each other all the way.

My question to First Bus is, is there a timetable in the morning? By 9am there can’t have been any major traffic hold ups anywehere from Gorleston?

Name and Address withheld