Letters, June 7, 2013

Football club too deserves praise

In your letters’ page we see very many letters full of well-deserved praise for local organisations such as the James Paget Hospital. I would like to add to these by thanking Gorleston Football Club for the very great pleasure they have given me and many other regular spectators during the past season.

Of course the players and managers of the various teams that have done so well this year deserve very high praise and I hope all these players all continue giving us similar pleasure during next season.

However my pleasure is very much due to the team efforts of many people who work tirelessly behind the scenes. These are just a few who come to mind. They include the grounds men who have all the year provided and outstanding pitch, then come the people who run our canteen also the bar staff. Others rarely seen include the club secretary, programme editor, treasurer, sponsors, kit man, physio, toilet block and ground cleaners, gatekeepers, tannoy announcer, I must not forget the lady who with her children collects the footballs kicked out of the ground. I am sure I have missed someone but those I mention and to everyone else who has given me so much simple pleasure - my thanks.

Over the years I have at times written about some appalling refereees I have seen who have ruined matches for me at Gorleston due their very poor decisions. How different this season has been. The standards and ability of all the referees I have seen at all levels at Gorleston football this year has been a real eye opener as they have been really first class and so they also have contributed a great deal to everyone’s enjoyment. I often stop and have a chat with these referees before the match, and one told me of his initial comment to teams before the game commences: “Now look lads I will not have swearing here at this match today and especially none at me. If I want to be sworn at this Saturday afternoon I would have stayed at home and listened to my mother in law.”

I thought it was a really good way to start, so my thanks also go to referees and linesmen. So to sum up my thanks goes to everyone at Gorleston Football Club.


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Busseys Loke, Bradwell

Market Place is slur on our town

Is it not time for Great Yarmouth to clean up its market place? It will never happen all the time folks sit around in the open eating chips and discarding the wrappings. What ever happened to health and safety?

There is a large store standing empty overlooking the market. I can visualise a lovely food shop there. Hot and cold food, English and foreign, choices like we see elsewhere. A delight for locals and visitors alike. Fish and chips, crepe suzettes, hot doughnuts, Polish, full English, you name it, there’s room for all. We have some very good fresh fruit and veg, uncooked meat, fashion and hardware stalls etc already and more would then be encouraged if the place had an uplift and was clean and tidy. If necessary, get rid of the car parking twice per week. Let’s have more entertainment there too - it’s what a seaside is for. It would take time but could be done and Yarmouth would lose its grubby name along with a few pigeons. Other areas need not worry, for more people would be encouraged to visit us. It would still increase the numbers as there are many who will not come here at the moment because of its grubby market place. It is a slur on the whole town.

Come on Great Yarmouth, get with it!


Rampart Road

Great Yarmouth

Unemployed too busy job hunting

Regarding Nigel Smith’s letter in The Mercury May 31. Whilst I am in agreement that Great Yarmouth beach needs to be cleaned up, considering that it is one of the main reasons for the holiday makers to visit, I do not think that it should be the unemployed that do so, as they should be actively seeking paid employment, which is extremely difficult at the moment. The people who are doing community service could be used.



Railway is not value for money

Greater Anglia continue to amaze me.

It seems that their search for profits means that rail replacement buses follow the rail route as to provide a non stop service from Norwich to Acle and Yarmouth would be uneconomic. An hour on their bus instead of half on the train -the X1 does it quicker! It is certainly uneconomic for me to spend extra time visiting obscure villages. What Greater Anglia are saying is that profits come before passengers. They still charge the full fare as well.

Further lack of thought comes when one finds the main car park full. The overflow one is not obvious as it sits in with the business units. There is a sign detailing all the rules and signs on the road but neither are obvious when driving. One of the station staff thought it was all obvious- it would be if you work there. They need to see things as an outsider. Likewise, the signs to the footpath are hardly the most obvious and the route is a disgrace. Hopefully the bridge when it re-opens will see an improvement and may have a welcome sign but that will dent their profits again. Meanwhile, there is no progress in upgrading the approaches to the station either

The MP was supposed to be sorting this out but now elected has lost interest. Greater Anglia has had their contract extended, because the Government messed up the refranchising, so have no need to bother.

I have also discovered a through train to the town from Liverpool and the Midlands but this is not advertised. There was another unadvertised from Cambridge last year. The town would benefit from more through trains as thousands used to visit from the Midlands and might come back to relive their younger days if the trains were there. I also discovered some non stop trains to Norwich are now running which have not been well publicised.

Billions go into the privatised railway and we are not getting value for money. Fares are getting out of control too.


Victoria Street


Post office use for corner shop?

I notice that the shop on the corner of Beccles Road and Long Lane is again standing empty as the phone people have given up the lease.

What a pity it can’t be returned to its original use as Bradwell’s Post Office as the present arrangement is cramped and the parking situation atrocious.

Talking of all things postal, Summer must be coming as the postmen are wearing their shorts.



I remember the maypole do you?

Regarding the Maypole dancing in the Old Church yard at Hopton in May.

It was suggested that there has not been a Maypole in the village for 200 years. This is not the case as several of us can remember dancing around the Maypole that Miss Coe, head mistress of the village school, arranged on the old ‘Rec’ in the 1940s, which was our playing field.

We had suitable dresses, bonnets and smocks and performed to her wind-up gramophone - Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill is the one I remember.

Whether this was to celebrate May Day, St George’s Day or Empire Day I can’t remember now.

Miss Coe was a brilliant teacher of an enormous range of subjects, including nature walks in the woods.

Lessons were backed up by the schools wireless programmes, with a young Betty Driver.

Who else can remember those happy times?



Cyclist nearly hit me on pavement

So Brian Granger (Letters May 31) thinks that cyclists should be permitted to use pavements. Given that I was nearly bowled over on Monday by a headphone-wearing lunatic of a cyclist who was riding at speed on a pavement and simultaneously checking his mobile, I have to say I cannot agree with Mr Granger’s sentiments. People out walking should be able to do so without the fear of being struck by inconsiderate cyclists, screaming abuse at you to get out of the way.


Parkland Drive,


Christian given hero’s welcome

On Saturday a hero of mine visited Great Yarmouth. His name is Christian. Last August when Christian, an ex serviceman, found himself homeless he decided to use his misfortune for good.

He left Blackpool on foot with a determination to raise awareness of homelessness and money for Help for Heroes by walking the entire coast of Britain. He sleeps rough every night, has been walking for 300 days and when I realised he was coming our way I wanted to help and contacted his team. Picking up the phone and finding a telephone number, I got really excited when I realised the area code was 01493.

One of his dedicated volunteers, Bob, lives right here so we decided that we had to pull out the stops.

It was then the rest of the Heroes came forward so that Great Yarmouth could be the first town in England to give him the heroes welcome he deserved.

The council were amazing laying on a reception and a camp site so that all Christian’s friends and family could surprise him and stay with him for the night - the first time they were able to since he began his amazing journey. Local businesses gave generous gifts and donations, TS Warrior marched right behind him along South Quay where residents came out of their houses to cheer and wave, Caister lifeboat took him with his family on a training exercise and local restaurants fed him.

Christian said that he was really sad to leave because be loved the town and the people of Great Yarmouth - he also said, he will definitely be back.

Christian makes me proud to be British. He is followed all around the world and all those who helped and gave this weekend have shown the rest of the country what Great Yarmouth can do. You are all Heroes in my book.

You can follow Christian on Facebook twitter or on his website http://www.christianaroundbritain.co.uk/


Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Great Yarmouth

If you don’t like, don’t read it!

As one of the contributers on a religious theme carried by the Great Yarmouth Mercury from time to time, I can’t understand the objections raised by Messrs Burroughes, Carr, Higgins and Gervais in last week’s edition. The letters must have been of interest to them because, I assume, they must have take the trouble to read them, each week. The solution is simple, if these letters upset them so much, be more selective in what they read and do as I do, I only read those that interest me.

By printing their letters the editor has extended to them the same right to “freedom of speech.” I now claim the same right of reply; hence this letter defending freedom of speech similar to the letter defending a “Man of the Cloth” less perfect than Mr Barkhuizen I wrote the other week.

I believe that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Saying that,

some of the drivel, purporting to be written by a God-fearing Christian needs to be challenged. Normally I adopt a similar attitude as Messrs Gervais, but with an open mind, and try to keep my own counsel when it comes to religion. But that there Mr Barkhuizen “he get me a go-in” with his “I know best” attitude.


West Caister

Cycling decision is thoughtless

The council’s decision to allow cycling on Gorleston Esplanade was just a thoughtless copy-cat reaction to arrangements in other resorts such as Bournemouth.

Planners did not advise that the comparison with Bournemouth was not ‘like-with-like’. Cycling on the promenade at Bournemouth is, sensibly, banned between 10am and 6pm in July and August. And since their promenade is about seven miles long cyclists have somewhere to go. Cycling on the Esplanade will be hardly worth the effort of riding up the cliffs at the other end.

Claims that cycling is dangerous may be technically true but relatively it is not that dangerous. In the years 2010 - 2012 inclusive there were just two accidents in Gorleston which involved cyclists, according to police statistics. One of them caused slight injuries. About half of cyclists are to blame for their accidents so that it can reasonably be said that cyclists make the roads dangerous. Will they now make the Esplandae dangerous? Cycling into pedestrians is rare but it does happen so one may wonder if accidents on the Marine Parade will be reduced by more than those caused by cyclists riding on the Esplade.

Of course most cyclists will be considerate but as we all know there will always be a minority who are not. Even the presence of cyclists will cause some anxiety to pedestrians especially if they are accompanied by young children and more so if they are in groups which some people find intimidating.

The scheme is supposed to be for a so-called trial period but one doubts if much thought will have been given to just how it will be evaluated.

Supporters of the plan are no different from certain other agitators, always in your face making demands for some new right or privilege with no thought for others. Cyclists already have enough space to cycle in, on roads by right and on pavements in practice. There seems to be no good reason why ill-advised councillors overturned what has presumably been the accepted wisdom since Edwardian times and which has ensured a totally carefree experience for visitors.


Elmgrove Road


Jobless should not clean up

In response to Nigel Smith’s letter of last week I would just like to say, on behalf of the unemployed of Great Yarmouth, get stuffed. Why should we be responsible for other people’s dog poo, just because we are unemployed? I would just like to point out a few things someone like you may not of thought of:

Unemployed people can’t afford to go to the beach.

Mainly local people use the beach, that includes working and retired people.

Just because we are unemployed, that doesn’t make us irresponsible pet owners.

We are career challenged, not jobless!



Hippodrome is great town asset

May we through your letters page thank Richard Hughes and the Jay family for a fantastic evening at the Hippodrome on Sunday. To be able to have the opportunity to sit in the ring, eat fabulous food and be entertained by an astonishing magician and breathtaking aerial performers was wonderful enough – to then be invited backstage to witness the history of the circus was the cherry on top of Mr Hughes wonderful dessert. It’s not every day you get up close and personal with a Chinese dragon or a huge pair of clown shoes.

Whatever you think of Yarmouth (Great or otherwise) we are incredibly lucky to have the historical Hippodrome on our doorstep. It’s not easy running a family business (we know, we run one) here or anywhere else at the moment but the Jays do a great job, as does Richard Hughes with his restaurants and cookery school, all helping to keep Great Yarmouth and Norfolk firmly on the map.



Lovely article made me smile

What a wonderful moment of serendipity in last week’s Yarmouth Mercury.

In Lauren Rogers lovely article on page 13 Valerie Howkins was talking about the Queen’s 1985 visit to the town.

She mentioned that the Queen had visited the parish church and how a special arrangement of the National Anthem was sung.

I sang in the choir on that occasion which was made up of local singers; it was directed by the Master of Music at the parish church, John Farmer. It was John who had made the special arrangement of the National Anthem.

When I got to page 57 of last week’s Yarmouth Mercury I smiled when I saw a picture of John playing the piano in the parish church during a fund raising concert. What a happy coincidence!After we sang the National Anthem the Queen walked round the church looking at the Town Tapestries and floral displays as a flower festival had been organized to coincide with Her Majesty’s visit. My memories of that day were that The Queen walked very close to the choir and I was able to take some pictures as she was shown round the church. I thought that perhaps Her Majesty might smile at the choir or acknowledge our presence (it was a very large choir!). But no; she passed us by as it we were not there. I assume that as we were not part of the ‘royal visit schedule’ so we did not warrant a smile! Or perhaps the vicar forgot to point us out to the Queen?

I shall have to scan in the pictures and send them to you as perhaps your readers might be interested in seeing them.


Waverley Drive



Warning over ‘jobsworths’

I was pleased to see in the Mercury that the parking permits have made a profit and that keeping the scheme has been justified.

However, I think people should be warned that the previous 10 minutes allowed by the wardens has been reduced to five minutes without any warning.

In the school holidays my daughter drops her son off at around 8.30am on her way to work. Our visitor’s pass was being used by our other daughter who works in a college at Norwich and was visiting for the weekend.

When my daughter arrived on Tuesday May 28 with my grandson who is on the autistic spectrum has aspergers and ADHD I told her not to worry as the wardens give ten minutes grace. Having brought him in with all his bits and pieces confirmed that he has eaten his breakfast and took his medication on leaving the house she discovered a parking ticket for a stay of just seven minutes.

Her plea to the parking services to have the ticket cancelled received no sympathy and was rejected out of hand. They basically said that the grace period in line with Government standards was actually two minutes and the only solution was to find alternative parking. Is it two minutes or five minutes - hardly enough time to park and retrieve a permit?

This is not easy around the Lancaster Road area with a mentally handicapped child. We pay £120 per year for two resident permits and one visitor permit. Parking services will not allow a second visitor permit despite my daughter offering to pay for one and there seems to be no solution to her dilemma during school holidays if my other daughter is visiting.

Be warned of this “jobsworth” attitude before you park for even a second.


Lancaster Road

Great Yarmouth

Thanks to all at JPH for care

I recently had first-hand experience of being a patient at the James Paget University Hospital after suffering a severe lung infection which necessitated me being hospitalised for over two weeks. It is due to the care and professionalism of the staff at the hospital, from the paramedics who took me there, to the nurses and doctors who cared for me and brought about my recovery, to the cleaners and kitchen staff who made sure I was well looked after during my stay, that I am able to write this letter today. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who took care of me from the moment I arrived to the day I left. The selfless people who work in the hospital and the ambulance service are dedicated beyond measure, doing their jobs with great humility and attention to detail under enormous pressure. The National Health Service itself is a fine institution, and although no service can ever be perfect, I must ask where would we be without it? Of course our taxes pay for many things but the NHS, in its staff and hospitals show us, the public, what we get for our money. It is a life-saving service of which we should be immensely proud, staffed by angels with hearts of 24 carat gold.

MR D FALCO, Gorleston

Watching costs but not people

I drove via Lawn avenue at around 11.30am on Wednesday. The road was being resurfaced as traffic was still flowing, obviously slowly. I pondered what sort of professional schedules this sort of activity at the height of the day’s traffic. Our car passed the tar laying lorry by less than a metre, through no choice. Stones flying every which way from on-coming traffic also. When at our destination I checked the car and it was peppered down the left hand side with tar while the underside and wheels were totally covered (white car, seven days old).

It is quite clear that the sensible time for this type of job is at night on a well lit road, when the limited traffic can easily be re-routed (lets be clear we are not talking about re-surfacing the M1). Let’s think why the responsible parties would do such a thing - obviously down to money. I would like to see the risk assessment for this job, for starters let’s look at the post-job clean-up by all the affected public victims. I would like see what the tar constituents are and during the two hours it took me to clean off the stubborn mess, what risk was I to it’s harmful ingredients - is it carcinogenic?

Sometimes I really wonder who these people are that we employ to run our local authorities, how are they trained, what processes are they using to arrive at a decision like this? While they have to watch the costs, common sense should be paramount and public exposure should be limited when possible. Here it was possible and they let us down.