Letters June 3

At last, we have our allotments

HOORAY, allotments for Hemsby at last. Following a meeting on Sunday morning at the new allotment site on Yarmouth Road, Hemsby, between Richard Hirst and those people who had contacted him for an allotment, seven people agreed to have an allotment and, after signing the agreement with Richard, they will be able to get on the land and start growing their own fruit and veg.

The plots were measured out and numbered there and then, and allocated to the seven plot holders. These are the first people to be able to have an allotment in Hemsby for more than half a century.

This is great news for the residents and the village as a whole. For those people who are wanting a plot but were unable to attend the impromptu meeting, they will be able to sign up by getting in touch with Richard on 01493 732307 or Peggy Sutton 01493 731378.

There is space for about 20 large plots in total. Each large plot costs �60 per year and a small plot is �30pa. As a goodwill gesture and because we are now late into the growing season, Richard has deferred payment of the rents until September which is the start of the growing year, so it will give everyone the chance to get their plot shipshape and ready to go for the next season.

Richard will be planting a hedge to screen the allotments from the road, at no cost to the plot holders.There will be no car parking maintenance costs; the water will be on line in two weeks’ time, and will be metered, and the bill to be shared by the plot holders.

Sheds can be put up, size 6ft x 4ft, and any person interested can buy one through the bulk-buying scheme to ensure uniformity and economic sense.

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This was a very successful and positive meeting with smiles on many faces. At last Hemsby has allotments. Hooray.



Praise to council for acting swiftly

ON Monday morning last week, I found a dead cat in my back garden.

It didn’t belong to me and I don’t know whose it was, so I spoke to the environmental health department at the Town Hall at 9.15am and was told that they would arrange for it to be picked it up.

When my wife and I had been for our usual morning walk and returned to our house at 11.15am, the body had been taken away.

We hear complaints about lack of interest at council offices but this ought to be recorded.


University Crescent


I’m researching welfare benefits

I AM undertaking an Access to Higher Education course in Norwich and, for my final assignment, I have to complete a written project of my choice. I have decided to write about disabled people and how they will be affected by the changes in welfare benefits.

If any reader would care to contact me by email to explain their circumstances and how they will be affected by these changes I would be most grateful.

I can be contacted at siobhanmeade19@gmail.com All correspondence will be treated confidentially.


This idea surely must take root

FANTASTIC idea! We would like to offer our support to Mr Coleman’s idea of turning the Winter Gardens into a mini Eden.

What a great idea, and to rejuvenate our currently run-down and dilapidated structure into a place filled with lush greenery and bright colours will surely bring a new wave of visitors to our town, which would be a benefit to us all.


Trafalgar Road

Great Yarmouth

A big ‘yes’ to a giant greenhouse

IT would be great if the Winter Gardens was once again filled with plants and flowers.

We seem to be losing so much of old Great Yarmouth, it would be lovely if this unique structure was given a new lease of life.

I can remember going to dances in the 1960s there, it was freezing and smelled of tom cats, but as a giant greenhouse – bring it on!



Legal, yes – but is it democatic?

SURPRISE, surprise. Even at the age of 74 one can be quite gullible.

On the hustings for the Lothingland by-election for the seat made vacant by the sad loss of Cllr Cook, in a conversation with a leading Conservative Councillor, I was told by him the next by-election would be for the St Andrews ward but not before September this year. This was also mentioned by a leading Labour councillor whilst on the Hustings at Belton.

Today, the Mercury informed me nominations for the St Andrews ward on the borough council are now closed! Gutted (not a word I use often) is putting it mildly; there are only two nominees, one Tory and one Labour.

On complaining to the town hall, I was told everything was done above board correctly; they advertised the vacancy on their website, in the library, and on the town hall noticeboard.

If the town hall makes available the information to the Mercury who the nominees are after the closing date, why not advertise the closing date for the nominations in the Mercury to be read by everyone.

What were they afraid of by telling me it won’t be until September? Those leading councillors must have known when the by-election would be.

Here I am sitting on 2000 leaflets ready, willing and very able to throw my hat into the ring to represent the people of St Andrews ward as an Independent, only to find I stood no chance because, without breaking any laws, they have managed to have just two nominees – nominated because their parties were in the know, because in our town hall we only have Tory and Labour.

So unless we look on the council website, visit the library, or go in the town hall, it stands to reason any other nominees do not stand a chance.

Why? Because our system, though legal, is a real democratic failure, which is why this borough will never be governed in a truly democratic way.

Does anyone want 2000 leaflets paid for out of my pension?


Burnt Lane


Happy memories of Yarmouth days

I FEEL I must correct Peggotty’s statements re the Glen Mary. She was actually built for Wilson Bros, Bobbin Co Liverpool. Everards acquired her in 1929.

Having been practically born into the company I remember her well. In fact, on leaving school at the end of July 1938, I joined the sailing barge Greenhithe, and she towed us down to Poole in Dorset. Her master was Capt Joe Eade, known as Holy Joe because he never swore.

My father was skipper of the Ethel Everard from the time she was built until he had to abandon her at Dunkirk. My brother and I were away with her every summer.

She was a frequent visitor to Yarmouth and Norwich, she also made many trips to Cantley with coal, reloading sugar away. Everards had a tug called the Faverole stationed in Yarmouth to take the barges as far as Cantley. Either the Gensteam or the Mustard Pot would tow us up to Norwich, with the steam wherry Opal doing on occasion.

Towing into the harbour was done by either paddle tug United Services or the George Jewson. The charge for towage was �2.10s and for upriver �7.10s. If the wind was in the right direction, we would opt to sail in as the skipper and mate were paid by the share and had to pay half the towage.

As it happened, I was mate of the Lady Maud when she sailed into Yarmouth and I was standing outside the Druid’s Arms in Middlegate Street with some friends listening to Chamberlain announcing we had declared war on Germany.

I have many fond memories of Yarmouth. As Peggotty said, there were many crew members from the Yarmouth area and I have been privileged to know and sail with them.




Please heed the people’s wishes

IN last week’s Mercury it was interesting to see Start was talking to Mr Freeman, but I am concerned at what their ultimate aims are and what they to expect to achieve, apart from a few cosmetic improvements. I see no evidence of a “flurry of activity”. What was this and where did it take place?

Mr Freeman states the pier does look a “shade better and will look better still when we have finished”. This indicates there is a plan but what is it and what has to be done to finish it? Did Mrs Ward establish what is meant by this?

If re-concreting the fenced area is a satisfactory fix, I presume there are no problems with the substructure; so why can’t the car park area have the same treatment? The great majority of residents regard the return of the car park as key to the continued success of the resort and the enjoyment of those who used to park overlooking the sea view. I don’t read that this is all important to Mrs Ward and the handful of people who constitute Start.

The pier is an asset and needs to be recognised as such not only for residents, but also to encourage the increasing number of visitors to the resort, of which the pier should be a vital part.

I am not comfortable with a handful of people negotiating with Mr Freeman on behalf of all the residents, particularly when we don’t know their ultimate aims and what will be regarded as success.

The real answer has to be that sufficient pressure is put on the council for them to listen to what the town says and wants, to make them put the case, because after all the pier is in a conservation area which gives them powers which need implementing to return the pier to the asset it always was.

Another article relates to a promise of thousands of jobs across East Anglia. In fact, Brandon Lewis states if the enterprise zone is attained, it could create more than 2,000 new jobs. Is this on top of the 1,000 we were promised from the outer harbour?

Another paragraph states the bid from Yarmouth and Lowestoft is still being worked up, so where do these figures come from? Is it, as I suspect with the outer harbour, based on over optimistic figures gleaned from insufficient foresight and information?

I hope we will be given hard facts this time and our MP and others will be able to substantiate their figures. I look forward to this, also where are the sites in Yarmouth?


Brett Avenue,


Some causes are worth fighting for

WHILE hors de combat using another of my nine lives, I have been following local affairs in the columns of the Mercury.

I have also been completing my book on the history of the Parish Church (Mercury, April 29). I was interested by several of the letters, such as Edwin Wadhams and his family’s service as captains in the Everard fleet which used to sail into the river at Great Yarmouth; Mr Castle with another lost cause of an elected mayor after the town had already spoken finally it wished to retain its historical mayoralty and giving him a resounding no; also the interesting picture of the Outer Harbour with siltation clearly visible inside the southern breakwater arm.

There is also Miriam Kikis’ valiant campaign to preserve the Vauxhall Bridge coming home to success, and the disgraceful tale of Norfolk County Council and a third river crossing.

Of all these I shall have some interesting times viewing in the Mercury and perhaps some comment as time goes on.

The valiant and committed stand up to Yarmouth and campaign, the likes of John Cooper, Dennis Durrant and Miriam Kikis, while others such as certain politicians have had a severely negative effect on the town. Two pairs of stories are linked.

Firstly the telling picture of siltation in the Outer Harbour and Mr Castle. The construction of the outer harbour by Eastport has strayed from the tested hydraulic designs by two major world class laboratories, without an overlapping southern breakwater arm.

I, when port chief executive, tested a variety of design options over a 100-year scenario of storm tide cycles of wave penetration of the banks. This would mitigate the number of occasions when the harbour might have downtime in dealing with ro-ro or other services. Other solutions are just fiddling with the problem.

The swell might not be so critical for offshore traffic if that is now Miss O’Toole’s refocused aim. The fact the outer harbour was allowed to pass into her and her associates’ hands might be landed at the feet of three men.

Those who live by the sword, die by the sword and words uttered more recently will unravel as the two public inquiries into the Port Company’s Harbour Revision Order and the borough and county’s agreement with Eastport inevitably follow.

Those who have not followed proper or correct paths will gradually be revealed as my history of the port expands and will find the truth, so long cloaked by political intrigue, comes out into the sunlight.

Now for the valiant and the good Dr Hamilton Deane in his 80s and continuing to keep the Jetty issue alive and Mr Morden who asks this octogenarian to put his hand in his pocket.

I am pleased Mr Morden is ready with his funds and Dr Deane, I and others in the town feel the jetty where Nelson landed is worth saving, even if it needs a very special excavation. These people at least stand up for the town and fight for it.

I have fought for Great Yarmouth all my life and am appalled at the apathy of so many who are prepared to snipe or do nothing. Some causes are worth fighting for, and the jetty is one of these.

Are we in Yarmouth weak in the causes we believe in? I believe we are not and we will show those defeatists differently by a determined try to see the big picture in which the jetty will be saved.


Local Historian

Doctrine at root of many troubles

WHILE agreeing with Mr Barkhuisen on some points, I believe the problems with Christianity began much earlier, mainly through one man, the Apostle Paul.

I do not deny that Paul was a great man and perfectly sincere in what he believed and taught, but his doctrine of original sin and redemption over-rode all else. It appears that he was little concerned with Jesus’s life and teaching, it was sufficient for Paul that he had died. He said “We preach Christ crucified”, and that is what he did, no more and no less.

The early churches were thus founded on Paul’s teaching rather than that of Jesus. In all the epistles attributed to him there is no mention of anything Jesus ever said or did, barring the words at the Last Supper.

So it went on with endless arguments until finally the Catholic Churches were formed.

In the meantime, we should thank those four men, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John who took the trouble to collect and publish all they could on Jesus’s life and message.

For the next 1500 years or so, however, these Gospels were locked away in the priesthood before finally being made accessible to all. From then on, changes took place for the better, for instance, the abolition of slavery and equal human rights.

Both Evangelicals and Catholics have done sterling work for the poor of many nations. However, doctrinal arguments caused the recent troubles in Northern Ireland, the excesses of the anti-abortionists in America and the persecution of homosexuals by Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

Unlike your correspondent, I cannot describe myself as a Bible Christian, one reason being that I believe solely in the teaching of Jesus Christ who said: “No man comes to the Father except through me.”


Springfield Road


Bible has always been dipped into

I HAVE been following with interest the discussions on religion over the past few weeks but did not see any reason to interfere when correspondents were enjoying themselves.

However I feel I must take issue with Stephen Conway’s claim that you can’t pick and mix with the Bible. This is exactly what has been done with the Bible right from the start.

The first council of Nicaea did exactly that when they decided what they would have in the Bible and what would be left out.

Although it has had some re-interpretation and various translations over the years since, this is basically the Bible that most people use today. Of course various religious sects and ministers have also done this by taking the bits out they preferred and ignoring anything that did not suit them.

A glaring example must be why our Queen is head of the Church of England, which is of course because Henry VIII decided that the Bible does not mention popes but does talk about kings being in charge.

While writing, I would like to put in a word for the jetty. Of course we don’t want to lose it. It is a much better tourist attraction than a television screen that practically nobody watches.

Why can’t we take a leaf out of the Isle of Wight’s Yarmouth’s book and take donations for planks.

Their very smart jetty has a name on each plank and I am sure many residents would pay to have a plank with their name on. We could also look at Southwold Pier with its brass plaques which may well be a popular idea if properly sold.


Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

Heaven may be full of surprises

I WAS sent this poem and thought, despite all his pontifications, would we see Mr Barkhuizen “up there” come judgment day?

The Bible is, like all good books of instructions, for the guidance of the wise and the obedience of fools.

I think this poem shows a realistic view of religion; in the interpretation of God’s word nobody has the monopoly.

Running through the New Testament is the true message of God’s word; love tolerance and forgiveness.

Mr Barkhuizen seems to me not to be following the basic word of God. Jesus gave us the two greatest Commandments to live by. No doubt Mr Barkhuizen will be able to quote them but does he live by them?

“I was shocked, confused, bewildered

As I entered Heaven’s door,

Not by the beauty of it all,

Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven

Who made me sputter and gasp –

The thieves, the liars, the sinners,

The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade

Who swiped my lunch money twice.

Next to him was my old neighbor

who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought

Was rotting away in hell,

Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,

Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?

I would love to hear Your take.

How’d all the sinners get up here?

God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why is everyone so quiet,

So somber – give me a clue.’

‘Hush, child,’ He said,

‘they’re all in shock.

No one thought they’d be seeing you.”