Letters, June 15, 2012

Having a car has become a hassle

I FEEL particularly fed up at the moment: driving has become a real hassle.

1 A person scraped and dented the side of my car in a local supermarket car park. They didn’t have the decency to own up and simply left the scene. Of course, no-one witnessed it.

2 The council has provided fee paying disabled car parking bays in the town’s car parks; probably through duty. I don’t know the relevant rules and regulations but obviously a lot of blue badge holders will still be inclined to park on the roadside for free. If I was faced with this situation, I would. On busy days, when the car parks are crowded other members of the public can’t use these parking bays and they remain empty. Why not make these spaces free of charge for those with badges? It might clear the roadsides of a few of these sometimes awkwardly-parked cars.

3 Community speedwatch: I’m afraid you people do put my blood pressure up. Yes, I am aware speed kills. However, we are watched so much by Big Brother in the form of speed cameras, police with their hand-held speed guns and mobile units. I think community speedwatch is just a bit of an irritation.

End of gripe, but if I could, I’d chuck all three in Room 101 and quite possibly throw away the key!


Most Read

Caledonian Way,


Anyone recall the

Bobby visit?

CAN anyone help us trace the photographer who took pictures of my wife, Pat Osborne, at the Turnstone public house in Hopton in 1984, alongside Bobby Moore and Martin Peters.

Whitbread Brewery had organised a publicity event at the Turnstone and Bobby and Martin visited local pubs and played darts and pool with the regulars.

On the night this photo was taken two girls, Pat and the daughter of the landlord, Maria, played darts against the footballers and a local man who was a regular, took several pictures. I think he was a keen photographer and would probably have lived in Hopton or the surrounding area as I used to see him in the Turnstone regularly.We had this photo given to us a week after Bobby and Martin’s visit and my wife treasured it, keeping it in a drawer along with a beermat signed by Bobby Moore.

We moved to Bristol in 1984, and during a further move we appeared to lose one of the packing cases containing personal items, including this photograph. I wondered if anyone can help. I can be contacted at chris.osborne48@btinternet.com



Fun but let down

by pool parking

THANK you friends and family for a lovely afternoon on Sunday, June 3 despite the weather! The gazebos did a fine job in sheltering us from the rain and I can honestly say I have never had that much fun doing a sack race in my life.

The only blot on the day was from the general Phoenix swimming pool. We asked to leave our cars in the pool car park but because the next two days were bank holidays the pool was closed.

The staff at the pool bent over backwards to try and accommodate us but were unable to allow us to have a key or leave the pool car park open for us.

This was an extraordinary request and I think it was against the community spirit of the occasion to refuse to help us. We watch over the pool when it is shut and get nothing in return.

To everybody else who shared the day you are all stars and let’s do it again in 10 years time!



Lack of space in

the Marina pool

I AM writing in support of Shirley Crosbie and her email of May 25. I too am one of the group of swimmers who use the Marina Centre Swimming pool on a regular basis and am being denied full use of the facility due to the condoning off, of various sections of the pool.

I have voiced my concerns over the lack of swimming space on a number of occasions but the situation continues and with the busy summer periods almost upon us it looks like I will have to forgo my only means of regular exercise.

Come on Marina Centre, restore the pool to its full size so that the whole community, both young and old can enjoy.



Stan should be

carrying a torch

THANK you, M Harvey (Letters, Mercury June 1). My family and I have harboured thoughts of who would be worthy of carrying the Olympic Torch for Norfolk and your letter gave us the push. We would like to belatedly nominate Stan Ward. Stan, 91 (going on 21) has given a lot to this town in particular the Physical Culture Club and training members for many shows at the then Floral Hall, Caister Holiday Camp and the Corton and Potters Holiday Camps. Voluntary work was never paid for and he willingly gave up his leisure time to this, making sacrifices along the way. He was fortunate in attending the 1948 Olympic games as a spectator.

The second world war gave him a six-year gap and as serving in the RAF in India and Burma he is proud to be a member of the Burma Star Association. His war service entailed him supplying the “Chindits” by air.

JOYCE WARD and Family

Elmhurst Close


Demolition of

wall a disgrace

FURTHER to the article: Anger over wall work, June 8. The demolition of a long wall on a very narrow part of Blackwall Reach, Gorleston to make way for the construction of three terrace houses in the back garden of Burt the former High Street Dentist without prior warning to local residents, is a disgrace.

It raises issues, not only for myself as the resident most affected in terms of road safety and The Party Wall Act (for which I have received no notice), but also, more generally, it illustrates a general lack of local democratic accountability.

The original proposal was refused in May 2009 and overturned by a Government Inspector in March 2010 without my knowledge and after a very brief visit. The original concern was for increased traffic and parking on what is a very narrow road. The front doors of the new houses will be almost directly on the road. My property has already been repeatedly damaged by vehicles attempting to squeeze through between the parked cars, of non-residents and existing residents, and my house.

I find it astonishing that a remote government inspector can throw out these concerns and justify his decision on the basis that: “Awareness among potential occupiers of the local road and parking conditions would ... act as a deterrent to car ownership or to parking a vehicle in close proximity to the site” (quote). This is arrant, self-justifying nonsense. And there is no further appeal!


Blackwall Reach,


Grant does not

need justifying

IN response to the rant made by an anonymous member of the public regarding our youth group, TS Warrior, I would like to know where such ideas were derived? Not only is this slanderous to a very worthwhile organisation, it is not any of this anonymous person’s business.

As an acting officer within the organisation, I can say the �30,000 will be going towards a worthwhile cause, however, this seems to me like a jealous rant and this does not need to be justified.

Before vocalising any opinions I feel the organisation itself should be contacted and spoken to. We look forward to hearing from you “name and address withheld”, and of course all of the other youth clubs who feel vexed by the donation given to us.

Name and address withheld

Grant letter was


AS chairman of TS Warrior Cadets I was deeply saddened and disappointed to read the unfounded allegations seemingly made against the group by one of your readers last week.

The serious and untrue accusations have potentially huge, damaging consequences for the group’s hard earned reputation regionally. I would be personally devastated to see over 100 dedicated and hardworking young people lose chances and opportunities due to such malicious and baseless rumours.

Every week 28 adult volunteers come together, to support over 100 young people learn, thrive, and develop skills which enhance their employment chances and wellbeing. Their passion, dedication and integrity has made TS Warrior is the success it is today.

TS Warrior has been humbled by the multitude of generous awards received in recent years from a variety of funders. The �30,000, referred to in last week’s letter, is a substantial contribution towards the Marine Skills Match project which TS Warrior has been strategically planning since 2009 in partnership with the local community, businesses and statutory services.

This skills match project will see hundreds of young people from across the borough trained in qualifications required by the local marine industry. This will provide a unique opportunity for local young people to access local employment upon leaving school.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Baroness Newlove, the police, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Marine East, Norfolk County Council, the NHS, local councillors, local residents and the voluntary sector community for the overwhelming support received in the development of this project.

It is unfortunate the author of last week’s letter chose to withhold their contact details, because, as a transparent and open organisation, I am more than happy to discuss any queries or questions with members of the public. I would encourage the author and any other interested individuals/groups to contact me on dboyne7@aol.com.

TS Warrior also encourage ideas, suggestions and offers of support, if you would like to get involved in the group or the Skills Match project, please get in touch.



TS Warrior Cadets

We apologise for the offence the letter last week caused. It was published in good faith and was from a regular letter writer. The opinion in no way reflected those of the Mercury.

People shouldn’t

park on footpath

I AM sick of people parking on the footpath on the Mallard Estate in Caister. I have been in touch with the council who won’t do anything and say it’s a police matter. The police said they couldn’t do anything either and it was a highways matter. And then they said they can’t do anything either.

Everyone has a driveway or allocated parking space but they still park on the pavement outside their house. There are many children that play on the estate and they have to walk on the road to get by as cars block the pavement. No-one seems to want to take responsibility or do anything about this, and before long someone will be run over.

Name and address withheld

French respect

for our Queen

OVER the Jubilee weekend we received this email from our French friends in Paris:

“God Saves the Queen!” We are thinking of you and all English people. The French will watch TV as you. We ‘guillotined’ our King and Queen, so we borrow our neighbour’s queen and celebrate with our English friends.”

What wonderful friendship.


Buxton Avenue, Gorleston

I had a similar

scam phone call

WITH regard to Mr Platford’s letter in the Mercury about receiving a call regarding money he was supposedly entitled to: I also received a similar call.

With me it was for a PPI linked to a mortgage I had taken out in the 1960s. It would have been a nice amount to receive but I had to pay �99 up front to a young lady who would call at my house the next day.

We would then go to my bank where she would present me with my cheque (oh yeah)..I asked them to deposit my cheque in my account first and then I would pay them, naturally they declined. After finishing the call with them I rang the police who are well aware of these scams and advised me to not pay any money at all, not that I was going to anyway. So as Mr. Platford also advised, be aware of these really convincing callers.



Why it’s called

the Union flag

I REFER to the recent letters from readers regarding the correct way to fly the Union flag. It has been great to see so many flying in recent times, but creates frustration when then are not flown correctly. I thought an explanation into its creation would help readers understand why there is a correct way to fly the flag.

On 12 April 1606, the National Flags of Scotland and England were united for use at sea, thus making the first Union “Jack”. Ashore however, the old flags of England and Scotland continued to be used by their respective countries. The Welsh dragon does not appear on the flag because Wales was already united with England from the 13th century. This meant that Wales as a Principality instead of a Kingdom could not be included.

A royal decree declared that the ships of the Kingdom of Great Britain “shall bear on their maintops the red cross, commonly called St George’s cross, and the white cross, commonly called St Andrew’s cross.”

On 1 January 1801, Ireland was united with Great Britain and it became necessary to have a new National Flag in which Ireland was represented. The cross St Patrick was combined with the Union Flag of St George and St Andrew, to create the Union Flag that has been flown ever since.

The broader (wider) diagonal white stripe should be at the top left hand side of the flag nearest the flagpole. This is because the white diagonal (St Andrew’s cross) needs to be shown above the red diagonal (St Patrick’s cross) to recognise that Scotland joined the Union over 200 years before Ireland.

Flying the Union flag the wrong way up is theoretically still a criminal offence of “lese Majeste” (which means insulting the Crown) but was last prosecuted in 1715! I hope this may encourage more people to now fly our national flag correctly.



Mercury refund!

IN reply to Mrs Knowles letter last week. Mr Barkhuizen’s letters are not missed, so let’s not hear anymore concerning this issue or I will be forced into demanding a refund for the 65p for my Mercury.



Bonus payout

is an eye opener

THE knowledge revealed by the Radio Norfolk that Mr Peter Hardy, whilst CEO of Eastport Great Yarmouth Ltd, was paid a �25,000 bonus for getting the parties (NCC, GYBC, GYPA, and IPH) to signature stage is an eye-opener.

Why pay a bonus when Mr Hardy was on a good wage of some �75,000? Why pay a bonus at all when we did not get jobs or the ferry neither did the end deal enhance the town as we were all led to believe?


For and on behalf of the Greater Yarmouth Heritage and Scrutiny Group

Harbour inquiry

is necessary

MANY letters have appeared in the Mercury on the subject of the outer harbour. John Cooper providing details from his copious research and myself trying to make sense of negotiations and vast amounts of public money and the give away of a viable port that led to a project without a purpose, or was it?

Did the government encourage and support it by grants to get a deep water port between the Humber and Harwich to support the wind farms being built at Sheringham and later further south? Because this is what it basically is now?

Andrew Turner of Radio Norfolk has turned up an interesting piece of information by a Freedom of Information request after I had tried in vain to get a reply. A council officer received a �25,000 bonus - a third of his salary for obtaining a signature on the contract with IPH to build the outer harbour. We had been told the outer harbour would bring thousands of tourists to boost our seafront industries and prosperity to us all – and 1000 jobs.

So keen were the two councils to get this holy grail, the fruition of their ambition to replace the roll on roll off work we lost when the port was unable to provide the facilities required and Norfolk Line were forced to pull out. It all appears to boil down to getting it built and the rest would look after itself.

Worse still, only very few councillors were privy to the negotiations. The opposition party and all the others only knew the edited version.

With government encouragement at ministerial level giving backing for public and EU grants the possibility was realised. The dash to fruition was almost uncontrollable. There were originally three contenders.

This new information has put a little more light on a secret project where for some reason, the negotiations have been hidden in an archive for 30 years. Bit by bit it will leak out and but sooner those involved tell us the real story the the better it will be for our borough. This is a big problem which needs an inquiry to show some democracy still remains in our country.


Brett Avenue,


Looking for any

spare bunting

MAY I ask if any reader has any bunting, flags etc left over from Jubilee celebrations, that they no longer need? Centre 81 in Tarworks Road, Great Yarmouth, is holding a 30th birthday festival in St George’s Park on August 18 and would appreciate donations of the above to help decorate the park. Please call 01493 852573. Thanks in advance to all who can help.



Government is

making mistakes

I SEE I made a typo in my letter of last week and may have given the impression that MPs are cheap to run. Our MP actually cost �134k (plus salary) last year. We must hope he will be good value for money and the area will be better for his efforts. There is loads to do and a slow start.

Good to see Lord Somerleyton writing to the Mercury about the caravan tax u-turn of the Government. As a caravan park owner, he is obviously happy. There should, however, have been no need for a u-turn. It was a mistake by highly paid ministers who should have forseen the problems This is the sort of mistake that happens with a tired Government near the end of their time, not two years into a five-year reign.

I also wonder if another u-turn is on its way with universities complaining that immigration restrictions will affect their intake and income. Some, like the UEA and the private Buckingham University, will be hard hit. Higher education is a key earner for the country with our service sector economy after losing so much of our manufacturing sector over the years. While permanent immigration may be a concern, students from overseas attending genuine courses make a valuable contribution to our economy.


Victoria Street,


Critic should be


I WAS a cadet at TS Warrior for over five years and never saw anything as described by a letter writer in last week’s columns. My little brother is a cadet now, as are my two sons. One of my sons has ADHD and since being involved with the cadets he has changed for the better. The people who run TS Warrior are all unpaid and give up their own time to help children progress in life. You should make the person who wrote the letter write another one apologising to the staff at TS Warrior.



Cadet club is


I AM writing in regard to the letter last week complaining about funding gained by the Sea Cadets group in Great Yarmouth. I strongly disagree with this disgruntled individual regarding their comments about gaining grants and allowing drinking on their premises with underage persons in attendance.

I have worked within Her Majesty’s Prison Service and have run groups for excluded children and young offenders. I have visited TS Warriors, met staff and been shown around their premises and seen for myself what they have to offer, and they cater for a wide range of disadvantaged children and young adults from all backgrounds within the Great Yarmouth borough.

Not once did I see on my visits any signs of alcoholic beverages or a bar, including my attendance at their Jubilee celebration party. I’ve been in the instructors mess to discuss the possibility of my two sons joining, as my oldest son suffers from ADHD and has been excluded from school numerous times and banned from other out of school groups due to his challenging behaviour. Since both my boys have joined,(now going on six months) both their attitudes and behaviour have changed for the better.

The letter was a direct insult towards a much needed family orientated youth club catering for the whole of the borough.


Queens Crescent


No to return

WE all have our beliefs but try not to force them on others. There’s a whole world of enjoyment out there. Please no more letters from Mr Barkhuizen. Find something happy to read.


Tile Street


Borough lead the

way in beacons

I WOULD like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the lighting of beacons as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons on June 4 in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Borough of Great Yarmouth had more beacons than any borough throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man that night, so I congratulate them all.

Our aim was to light 2,012 beacons throughout the world however, over 4,200 were lit that historic night, proving the continuous respect and gratitude of our nation and the Commonwealth for The Queen, even after 60 years on the throne.

The success of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons was down to all those who took part, especially as they had put many months of planning into their events, to ensure this event succeeded in the dramatic way it did.



We’re not all in

it together

I RECENTLY read a newsletter from Brandon Lewis MP concerning the government’s intended benefits cap with great interest. He stated the cap of �26,000 far exceeds the average income of the “hardworking taxpayers in Great. Yarmouth” and such a cap would be fairer to everyone. He neglected to mention the cap will be enforced nationwide.

In London, for example, the monthly rent for a modest family home can be �1,500. This is an annual rent of �18,000. Doesn’t leave much to live on out of �26,000 does it?

He also failed to mention that his salary of approximately �65,000 also far exceeds the average household income in Yarmouth, which is paid for by the “hardworking taxpayers” he is so concerned about.

He further stated that Labour wants to make it more worthwhile to stay at home and live on benefits. As our MP, I am sure he is aware of the high unemployment rate which exists locally. Many people have no option but to stay at home and live on benefits. Most would love to be “hardworking tax payers.” I suggest he should try to live on the equivalent of benefits for a few weeks so he can speak from personal experience.

His claim the benefits cap will be fairer to everyone is as empty as “We’re all in it together.”


Victoria Road,


Why not join


I THART thar mawther Anne Edwards will allow me tar seh a few wards, oi wud loike tar point ewt thart those O yew wot moight be interearsted in thar Norfolk doilect, thar is an organoisetion wot seek to promote it an they publish a quorterly magazine.

Thar organoisetion is called Thar Friends O that Norfolk Doilect and thar magazine is called thar Merry Mawkin. Yer ken foind ewt orl yer need ta know boi emelling : www.norfolkdialect.com. Its well warth a read if yew hev thar toime.

On thar question O toime, it remoinded me O when Oi yusta go to thar Church Rood Skule on Charch len, many yars ago, Oi hed to wulk as thar wus no uther way O getting tar skule. Thart wus in thar days afore thar parents had O motor cars. Many yars leiter o course, I hed a boike tar git to skule on, but thart wus a long toime ago new and expect not many o thar readers kairn rember agorn ta skule loike thart.

Thart o course wus in thar dairs when thar mothers told O kids not to tearke sweets orf strengers. Oi oftan wunder if thar mothers still seh thart to thar kids. Oi expect newadays thar seh: ‘Dornt yew go-a tearkin any dewnloads of puter gemes.

Well, thus orl Oi wunt to seh for thar moment except tar seh thart thar summer isa cummin at larst, orny oi noticed thart thar is a lot o flois in thar garden and thart is orlwehs a soin o summer so weit yew along, noicer dehs are acummin, dornt lose hart.

Do emel thar above soit if yar hev any interest in thar doilect and Oi horp ta see ya at one o thar meetins. Orl thar best



We’ve lost our

sport space

FURTHER to Sam Russell’s article “Secure home for town arts charity”. I write on behalf of Sports Club 88, numbering in excess of 85 members, which has used York Road Drill Hall as its base for over 20 years. We are very disappointed the sporting users of the Drill Hall have had their bookings so severely disrupted since Seachange Arts has taken over.

Far from we sports users being able to continue to use the hall, as stated in the article, this is being severely curtailed. One court has now been taken over as a storage area for temporary accommodation for visiting artists, thus reducing the four courts previously available to three. Additionally there are so many dates that non-availability has been advised that it is proving impossible for our club to continue to use the venue.

We have currently relocated to the Marina Centre, where the management have gone out of their way to make us welcome and accommodate our needs, and we are very grateful. York Road Drill Hall remains the preferred venue for many of our members.

The Drill Hall is locally acknowledged as having by far the best sprung floor locally for a range of sporting activities. We fail to understand why this excellent sporting resource has been taken over for the development of circus activities, when the town already has the only permanent circus building in the country; surely some arrangements could have been made to encompass this new development into the existing circus provision, so enabling Seachange Arts to achieve their vision, without preventing sports players from continuing with their very long established use. There are many other empty buildings available to purchase within the Yarmouth area, which could surely have been considered for the development of their other activities, such as the building of carnival floats, without depriving the sporting community of their favourite venue.


Treasurer, Sports Club 88

Let’s CQC the

chemist stores

PEOPLE tend to complain about public sector organisations as if private sector ones had no faults! Today I took a prescription for nine, basic medicines into a national chemists chain in Great Yarmouth. This major chemist was unbelievably out of stock of six, ie 66pc of the item I required. I was informed the items might be delivered to the branch later that day.

At noon I complained to the company’s HQ. They arranged for the branch to telephone me about the situation latter in the afternoon. No call was forthcoming. I telephoned the branch but received no reply. Later visiting the branch again none of the medicines had been delivered.

Telephoning the HQ again about 6pm I was told they had tried to call the branch but could not get a reply. Later in the evening I telephoned the branch again. I received no reply. So I asked BT to check the phone line concerned – I was told it was working but apparently not being answered.

If pharmacies were under the Care Quality Commission (CQC) like the James Paget University Hospital is, this chemist company would receive unfavourable warnings about their operational performance – perhaps even to the extent of closing them. It seems the system related to the regulation of pharmacies needs to be looked into.

My conclusion is it would have been better for me to have gone to a small independent chemist. Even if they had have had a stock out they would have provided a follow through of customer care.


Park Road


Surgery loss

is disturbing

I FELT a pang of remorse on reading the report in the Mercury last week, of the distress felt among our elderly and disabled neighbours in the Belton area by the regrettable and ill prepared closure of their local surgery.

This marks the end of any era of service to them, started by my father in 1920 at his branch surgery in Station Road, which he regularly held until his retirement some 60 years later.

This move is but one more example of an ill thought-out and pointless reorganisation inflicted upon us all which is disturbing the invaluable age old doctor patient relationship which is so vital in our care of them, and the foundation of family care and trust in general practice.



An alternative

to street life

I WAS most incensed to read a letter in last week’s Mercury which indicated that the TS Warrior Cadets were actively encouraging the staff and cadets to drink alcohol on their premises.

As one of the sponsors of what we consider an asset to the community, that keeps youngsters off the streets, we feel that the person who submitted the letter obviously has never visited the premises or they would know that only snacks and soft drinks are available to the members.

We feel sure that Eric Pickles and Baroness Newlove would be most upset at the inference that the �30K donation was to support an organisation that encouraged children to drink alcohol, when in fact they do all they can to give the cadets an alternative. This is a voluntary organisation and the supervisors are doing a sterling job.

I have put my name to this letter as I am sure of my facts which is more than can be said of the anonymous person last week. Please publish this letter so that the public may be informed of the true situation.


Swift Taxis & Private Hire Ltd

Great Yarmouth

In praise of the

unsung heroes

YES, yet another letter about the James Paget Hosptital. Perhaps just for a few moments we could forget cuts and failings to remember some of the unsung heroes affected by it all.

As a volunteer chaplain I am privileged to be alongside the beds of many sick and dying patients. It is also my privilege to be there for those who minister to them. I was clearly reminded of this at the weekend when I had to spend the day in Ward 22 and from my own experience I know that the staff, surgeons, doctors, anaesthetists, recovery teams, porters, tea ladies, cleaners and administration etc do care about the patients and continue to work so hard often under frustrating and depressing circumstances.

I often hear it said that “it’s their job” - for many it is also a vocation and I see examples of such dedication every day in our hospital.

But for many it is also a vocation and I for one would like to publicly express my gratitude to all the staff who remain cheerfully there for us.


Links Road, Gorleston