Letters, June 29, 2012

Pride fading like the resort itself

WHAT an utter disgrace that someone should be paid a huge bonus for being part of the outer harbour fiasco.

As usual in this town the benefits from most local enterprises do nothing to benefit the ordinary man or woman.

I have read the reports from the Rough Guide to Norfolk of a faded and desperate resort, and who is to blame?

Over the years I have seen Great Yarmouth degenerate into a gaudy, dirty town with few job opportunities.

Local people’s views are not listened to and this is now starting to creep across the river to Gorleston. I had understood that there would not be another food outlet on the parade, but suddenly one appears, how did that happen?

I used to be proud of Great Yarmouth, not any more.

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via email

Window sparks history search

I AM currently updating the history of Norfolk and Suffolk Wing of the Air Training Corps and have recently learned of a stained glass window which is installed in the Parish Church of St Nicholas, Great Yarmouth. Unfortunately I have been unable to find any information as to who offered it to the church, who designed it or whether there was a special parade of ATC Squadrons when it was installed.

Because of its historical significance to the current Wing, if anyone has any knowledge, recollections or information regarding this window I would appreciate any help so that the details may be recorded in the updated history. I can be contacted on 01603 409730 or via email at refg0ueb@talktalk.net.

Norfolk and Suffolk Wing was formed 40 years ago by the amalgamation of the two County Wings. To celebrate this anniversary a parade of every Squadron in the Wing will be held at Norwich Cathedral on Sunday July 8 at 12.45pm. At 1pm there will be a fly past by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight followed by a Service of Thanksgiving in the Cathedral at 2pm. If any former ATC staff or Cadets would like to attend they would be most welcome.


Wing Historian

Which one really is the largest?

WiTH regard to Brian Philpot’s letter in last week’s Mercury about the largest parish church in the country it is correct to say that Holy Trinity, Hull and also St Mary’s Church, Boston Spa along with our St Nicholas’ claim to be the largest parish church in the country.

As far as I am aware no one has actually accurately measured the three claimant churches, although with modern technology, this would be simple. The basis of the measurement would have to be agreed. For example; would it be total floor area or foot print, the actual worship area, volume etc. It was written that, with the building of the two vestries at the east end of St Nicholas’s Church in 1899, this made it the largest in the country. Edward Lupson, the long-serving clerk of St Nicholas’ Church, writing in his book on the church at the turn of the 20th century gives the following figures for the surface area of the claimant churches: Yarmouth 23,265 sq ft, Coventry (destroyed in the second world war) 22,080 sq ft, Boston 20,270 sq ft and Hull 20,040 sq ft.

Perhaps it would be better not to know the truth, so that all three churches can continue to make the claim; of course, in the most friendly way!


Archivist, Great Yarmouth Minster.

North Denes Road

Great Yarmouth

Share your view on wind turbines

ALTHOUGH I am probably classed as a climate change sceptic, I do support action to tackle what might soon become a crisis in our electricity supply industry. I think the use of onshore wind turbines needs to be carefully controlled in order to avoid reliance on an expensive and inefficient method of electricity generation and also unacceptable damage to the countryside. I was therefore pleased to see the application for a site near Great Yarmouth recently refused planning permission.

Many people in our county are really worried about the huge increase in applications for wind turbines and I am concerned that many of these proposals are made by large energy companies that don’t pay enough attention to local concerns and want to site turbines at inappropriate locations, while collecting lucrative government grants to do so.

I would like the Government to recognise that the current situation is undermining confidence in the planning system and the government’s long-term energy strategy (if it has one). Not only that, it is not supporting local communities that are keen to tackle climate change but do not wish to sacrifice the beauty of their precious landscapes for an unreliable and cost-ineffective method of generation. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) recently published a report recommending a new approach to onshore wind that makes sense. They want the Government to have a more strategic approach to where turbines go, and for this to be more sensitive to the landscape - with local people having a greater say in what renewable energy they think is best in their area.

I have written to our MP through the CPRE website, www.cpre.org.uk, calling for strong leadership on this matter, and I would like to encourage other readers to do the same.


Bracecamp Close

Ormesby St Margaret

Lamenting loss of cherry trees

MY sympathies go to Gary Baker concerning the loss of trees where he lives.

We live on Cherry Road and have seen a massive loss of our lovely cherry trees that were a picture in springtime. The trees were planted to identify different roads in our area that carry the same name. I enclose a copy of a reply from the relevant authority when I complained concerning the cutting down and what actions would be taken to replace them.

This from Norfolk County Council:

Thank you for your email dated 6 June 2007 regarding the trees on Cherry Road. As I have previously stated many of the trees on this road were either causing obstructions, needed severe pruning or removal as they were unsafe. It is still our intention for replanting to take place when we refurbish the footways within this area, as we would on all locations that have existing trees. At this time a full consultation with the residents will take place to agree the location and type of planting. A scheme to refurbish the existing footways remains within our forward programme and all similar work is reviewed annually. I am unable at this stage to give you any indication as to when these works will take place as this is dependant upon many factors including the amount and condition of all other footways identified for replacement within the borough and available funding.

Sadly nothing has been done and we have lost even more trees since my letter back in 2007. As these people don’t live here, there is a total lack of interest. We have to put up with barren landscapes, they don’t.

To Mr Harman concerning the grass verges, well again you may like to live on a nice road with grass verges not littered with cars, but sadly not everyone feels the same way. I complained to different authorities as far back as 2006 but again, a total lack of interest as it does not affect those who could do something about it. Parking lay-bys should be put in and people made to use them. There does not seem to be any solution to this problem.

I did contact The Woodland Trust to see if they could help with re-planting our trees, but they said they only plant native trees and cherry trees do not come into that category.

So we have to put up with buildings and vehicles instead of natural things.


Cherry Road


Credit to school music teaching

WHAT a wonderful mix of talent performed for us at the Great Yarmouth Schools Music Association Concert in Great Yarmouth Minster last Thursday evening. Musicians and singers of all ages. From the very cute smiles and sweet voices of six year old choir newcomers to the exceptionally accomplished Flegg High School Band and to cap the evening two songs by the newly formed, talented and hugely enthusiastic Edward Worlledge staff choir. If anyone wants proof of the benefits of music as a compulsory part of the educational curriculum then the message could be seen and heard reverberating round the packed church last Thursday evening. The enjoyment and pride of those taking part was obvious and likewise we in the audience took immense pleasure from every part of the concert which culminated in a standing ovation for the finale, the combined cast singing the Jubilee Song.

Congratulations and thank you to all involved.


St Nicholas Court


Fencing spoils the sea views

I HAVE just been to look at the refurbished car park at Gorleston Pier. While I appreciate that it has been well done I can’t understand why it has been surrounded in expensive fencing. I would have thought that one of the main attractions for parking there would have been the sea view that is now completely obscured. It does not encourage me to park there.


via email

Put Great back in Yarmouth

IN answer to Mr Jeal. I have lived in Great Yarmouth since 1987 but in the last 10 to 12 years Yarmouth has dropped in favourite places to holiday. We are in the last week of June and The Pleasure Beach is only open a few days a week. It shows Yarmouth is on for a few days only in August. The beaches are no good in our climate, yes the seafront looks good but it could do better if we had the illuminations back. Many businesses are finding it hard to survive. Wake up Mr Jeal we need the money spent wisely. We need a better outlook on tourism in Great Yarmouth. Don’t spend the money stupidly ie the famous tourist TVs. Let’s get the lights all working on the seafront instead of one here and one there. Come on you traders speak up for yourselves, tell the tourism bosses what needs to change let’s wake them up. Let’s get the Great back in Great Yarmouth.


Great Yarmouth

Thanks to our faithful Legion

MAY I through your letters column thank the Great Yarmouth Branch of the Royal British Legion for their outstanding commitment to this borough they are always in attendance at our civic events and at all of the memorial days no matter what the weather. We should be proud of the members old and new, long may they continue. Please also give a message of congratulations to the cadets of Winterton Marine Corps for yet another brilliant passing out parade. Well done to all the recipients.


Paddock Close


Fine team work in roof rescue

AT times when all we often hear is criticism of our emergency services, I would like to commend all those involved in the rescue of the fallen scaffolder on Wednesday June 20. Each and every person involved with the rescue conducted themselves with complete professionalism. There were personnel from various bases from Great Yarmouth and the Norwich area, but each one worked together as a team, each knowing their own role and responsibilities. The spontaneous applause from the watching crowd was well deserved.

We should be proud of our Fire and Rescue Service for a job very well done.

Rev Andrew Avery

Great Yarmouth

Our shelter plea was answered

WE would like to thank the Mercury for printing our previous letters about the removal of the windows in the Jetty shelters on the sea-wall and the council for taking note of our discomfort.

The windows were replaced on Thursday and, especially in this atrocious weather, we are now able to sit and have refreshment without being blown away or to simply take cover when it rains.

The council are to be congratulated on acting on our complaint and once again a big thank you.

MOLLIE TIMBY and friends

Call for reliable bus service

I AGREE with N S Williamson about the no 2 bus service. This is a regular occurrence. We cannot rely on it at all.

We have no bus at all Sundays or bank holidays.

If we have appointments to keep we have to leave about an hour earlier to be sure of getting there on time. Over the Jubilee weekend we had no bus for three days then the day when it was supposed to be back to normal they took the 9.20 off.

Many people who live around here are unable to walk to the next stop so at weekends and holidays they have no option but to stay at home. Please can we have a decent reliable bus service.


Rambouillet Close


Tribute is there to Anna Sewell

SHEILA Wilkinson, writing in last week’s Mercury, asks why a blue plaque is not erected to Anna Sewell on the house where she lived in Church Plain. The answer is quite simple. There is a large board on the gable of the house stating: “Anna Sewell, the authoress of Black Beauty, was born here on March 30th 1820”.

Therefore, as she is so commemorated, resources are available for erecting other blue plaques in the town. Blue plaques are erected by the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society to encourage interest in the heritage of the town. The plaques cost �60 to manufacture. However, the society has limited financial resources, although recently sponsors have come forward to finance some of the blue plaques, for which the society is grateful. Apart from the financial considerations, permission has to be obtained from the owners of the property, which in some cases has been difficult, met with silence or even declined.

Over the last 30 years the society has erected 38 blue plaques, of which 14 have been in the last 12 months, commemorating people and events of Great Yarmouth.


Chair of Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society

Shame on those who stay away

HEMBSY Flower Festival took place last weekend at St Mary’s Church and visitor numbers were quite disappointing. Once again many local people did not support the event. The church looked absolutely beautiful with the lovely floral tributes created by local groups and individuals including the school children. There were many donations from local businesses and individuals and it was a shame that the festival was not appreciated by the local community as a whole. The numbers attending the School Children’s Choir on the Saturday night was quite abysmal considering the amount of children we have in the school and all their relatives and friends that could have supported them.

Come on residents of Hemsby get off your back-sides and support your local community and the people who try their hardest to provide the village with entertainment and creation of community spirit within the village. We have the Hemsby Village Festival and Sunday Carnival coming up on July 14 and 15 so please turn out and support the festival so that the organisers can carry on providing this event for the community to enjoy for future years.



Target people who deserve it

JUST when I think the callous Tory government cannot get any worse it proves me wrong. This time it is to do with cutting housing benefit to the under 25s. Presumably they and their children do not need anywhere to live.

Not content with cutting other benefits and cutting jobs, with the result that people need benefits more than ever, David Cameron has had the breathtakingly draconian idea of cutting housing benefit. I wonder why he decided to target under 25s. Is there a reason or did he pluck this age group out of the air? Is there some significance that he has not shared with us? What next? Bring back workhouses perhaps.

This government is intent on blaming the poor and vulnerable as the authors of their own predicament instead of laying the blame at the door of the people who caused the present financial crisis. How convenient to blame the victims.

Of course, there will always be those who cheat the benefits system, just as there have been some MPs willing to fiddle their expenses and some rich Tory donors willing to avoid tax. Tax avoiders cost the country far more than benefit cheats so why is Mr Cameron not doing more to target them?

I would support the cuts wholeheartedly if there were jobs for everyone, but they are simply not there.

I have emailed Brandon Lewis as our MP in an area which suffers from low pay, temporary and part time jobs, and a high level of unemployment, not to support David Cameron’s latest disgraceful idea. If not it might be difficult for Mr Lewis to look his constituents in the eye at the next election.


Victoria Rd


Bravo for return of old standards

BRAVO Mr Gove. It was reported last week that he has plans to bring back the old style General Certificate of Education. What a good idea.

Over the past decade or so, education standards have slipped to such an extent that Great Britain is now 16th in the league table behind Croatia.

When I was at school discipline was harsh, teachers were strict and learning was the priority. The only National Curriculum exam was the ‘Matriculation of Education’ set by Cambridge.

There were seven subjects, of which two were compulsory. One mathematical/science and one English language. There were no calculators (they had not been invented) and slide rules were forbidden in exams. All mathematical problems, albeit algebra, geometry or trigonometry had to be worked out in the margin, and were marked accordingly.

Nowadays it seems that calculators are allowed and some questions/answers are multiple choice with the student having a one in four chance of the right answer.

During the early 1950s the matriculation was phased out and and GCEs introduced.

The number of subjects was increased from seven to 14 including languages like French and Latin. All subjects were academic, and approved by the Cambridge Examinations Board. My own recollections are that our school produced some very fine officers for the armed services, including the Mercantile Marine, and some of the top businessmen, solicitors and accountants in the town today.

The latest to be honoured is Brian Potter who was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s birthday lists.

It is the benefits of education that will prevail in life, so well done Mr Gove, welcome to the sensible world.


Caister on Sea

Wheel possibility for the future

WITH regards to the letter in last week’s Mercury, Friday June 22, from Tony Moore regarding the old cycle hire service at the South Denes holiday camp.

As a resident of the town and a business advisor, I am part of a network of community groups and service providers in Great Yarmouth that is aiming to create more employment as well as self-employment opportunities for local people.

At our last meeting three weeks ago, the potential of a cycle hire business was proposed, offering bikes for hire for people wanting to use a greener alternative to get to work, as well as for holidaymakers wishing to explore the wider reaches of the town.

The project is currently being investigated along with a range of other ideas to boost jobs and new business creation in Great Yarmouth.

So a doff of the hat to Mr Moore, your idea is a very valid one indeed and your comments have been noted, so hopefully you may be able to enjoy your visits to our town even more from the vantage of a bicycle built for one (or two!)


Seafield Close

Great Yarmouth

Hard work made a great concert

ON Friday I attended my granddaughter’s Year 6 leaving concert at the Greenacre Primary and Nursery School. I would like to thank the headmaster, staff and especially all the children involved for a wonderful performance. A lot of hard work from everyone was put into this concert, so once again thank you to everyone at Greenacre. Well done. I am a very proud nanny.


Havelock Road

Great Yarmouth

‘Daring’ to give pupils a chance

I READ with interest the story on the front page of the Mercury on June 22 concerning the changes to Greenacre Primary and Nursery School by headmaster Bill Holledge and Theodore Agnew.

I would like to add to the debate about the changes. It seems to me that there are voices for and against this idea, how dare a person want to increase the next generation of school leaver’s chances of fulfilling their potential and experiences of life? Where is the next generation of lowly educated, low achieving non-employable school leavers going to come from? It seems to me that this dangerous radicalism that allows children to try to fufil their potential other than in school work is very dangerous thinking indeed.

Why soon children will be told that all people are equal and that they have the right to achieve things in life rather than spend a life on benefits to the detriment of the leaders of the main political parties wringing their hands in public and shedding crocodile tears while saying that it is everybody’s fault except theirs.

Why soon the thought will enter people’s heads that there is something better than a life on the dole and that they can work for a better life, yes, yes, a very dangerous thought indeed; one that needs to be stopped as soon as possible.

Things must be allowed to continue in the same vein, so that school leavers do not have any hope of a better life. Everybody knows that in international league tables British education is at best, in the middle and is some cases, like in languages, very near the bottom. How dare Mr Agnew say that school children must work hard to achieve anything in life? The parents who are against this idea are right, their children must know where their place is and not have their own dreams or aspirations of what they can do.

Yes, the next generation of school leavers must know their place, do as you are told, like we do and anyone who tries to change the present perfect education system is to be viewed as a dangerous radical indeed. Look around the world at other education systems, the pupils all work a lot longer and a lot harder than our school children and do not have the holidays that our school children have. Yes in modern Britain if you are rich and earn more in one week than what most people earn in a year, everything that you do is perfect and if you are poor, you have to take what is left and not think, just do what you are told, and definitely do not have dreams or aspirations.


Sturdee Avenue

Great Yarmouth

I remember the aircraft tragedy

RE Peggotty article Four Died in Aircraft Plunge Great Yarmouth Mercury May 25.

I was walking with my family nearby and witnessed this event. I watched the aircraft approach its normal turn round point and commence what looked to me like a normal turn. What followed was the aircraft entering a spin and plunging almost vertically. There would have been no opportunity for the pilot to execute an emergency landing on the “former railway track” or anywhere else as the aircraft had “departed from controlled flight” at that point, leaving the pilot unable to influence the aircraft’s flight path.


via email

Salute to John and his smile

ANYONE, and I mean anyone, who met John Green MBE for the first time, basically fell in love with him. I never, in the short time I have known John, ever saw him without a smile, and “How are you dear boy?”

He was what one would call “a character.” Shopping in Great Yarmouth market on his scooter with its Union Jack and a BLESMA (BritishLimbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association) collection box.

Over the years he collected thousands of pounds for this worthwhile charity. It was a shock to him, and many of his followers when someone, we don’t know who, approached him and said, “What you are doing is illegal,” and ran away. Later he was notified that he needed a licence for his collection box.

Naturally John was a little upset, but he told me it wouldn’t have been so bad if that person would have stopped and had a chat with him. As was his nature, John felt no malice against that person, just sorry that they wern’t man enough to talk to him.

His MBE was well deserved. He will be missed by all at BLESMA, head office and Great Yarmouth. I salute you John.


Yallop Avenue


Locals should be carrying the torch

HERE we go at last, I thought; our chance to participate. I had imagined the torch would be carried through Acle by worthy Acle people, likewise for Filby and Yarmouth. Silly me! The Acle stint has two from Norwich and one from Yarmouth; Filby has Quidenham, Scratby and Norwich; Yarmouth will be done by folk from Wisbech, Norwich and Lowestoft, as well as a few from Yarmouth. What a mess! Add to that the whole paraphernalia of the cavalcade, as they load up the transporters to go from one area to the next. I think I’ll stay at home.


via email

Call for volunteers to help at station

FOLLOWING the article in last week’s Mercury regarding ‘Welcome Hosts’ at Great Yarmouth station, I would like to thank everyone who contacted me to express an interest in the scheme. As noted we are operating a welcoming service, operated by volunteers, at the station to give directions, advice and information on the Great Yarmouth area to arriving holidaymakers and day trippers. We are keen to recruit more people as volunteers to become involved in this activity so if you are interested please contact me.

We are also working in partnership with Greater Anglia on other proposals including a cycle hire scheme and refurbishment activities at the station. We are hoping that these will be commenced shortly, again with the assistance of volunteers.

If you are interested in finding out more and/or would like to be involved in any of these schemes please contact me at The Priory Centre on 01493 743000 tony-rozier@gyctrust.co.uk.


Great Yarmouth Community Trust

Priory Plain

Praise for Paget’s care of our mum THE James Paget Hospital takes a lot of stick so I, on behalf of all my family, felt we needed to just express how very grateful we are to wards one and 14 for the wonderful care of our mum.

We have just sat at her bedside for the last two weeks, day and night, as her poor body slowly shut down and left this world.

The care, patience and tenderness shown not only to our mum but to our family was second to none. People are all too quick to criticise but not to praise. The staff – from nurses to domestics – were wonderful and we wish to thank each and every one of them for every little thing they did. Thank you all so much.


Clover Way


Troop ‘a credit to their families’

CONGRATULATIONS on behalf of Gorleston and Great Yarmouth Royal Norfolk/Royal Anglian Regimental Association branch members who were invited to attend the 901 troop marine cadets’ (TS Fearless) passing out display at Flegg High School, Martham.

We were all impressed by the smartness and professionalism of the young cadets in everything they did. They are a credit to their families and to Lt Col Byrne MBE and the other troop leaders.

We are sure that any youngster in the area (girl or boy) would enjoy and benefit from being part of such a magnificent troop.


Larch Drive