Letters, June 27, 2014

Talking housing, and democracy

What a load of sanctimonious hog-wash from Cllr Castle, not content with the democratic vote on the proposed housing disaster on Salisbury Road he throws all his toys out of his pram and hopes Saffron will appeal this decision, thereby costing everybody involved more money - and not his money! Talking of housing, what is happening to the Northgate Hospital site, now a weed infested eyesore, or is Cllr Castle waiting for it to be designated an area of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England.

Also, about democracy, where is the evidence of both the main parties listening to the people by utilising the 10 UKIP newly-elected councillors in the town’s decision-making or is it once again “Jobs for the Boys.” On another note, once again Cllrs Wainwright and Castle have alienated residents with another half-baked parking scheme, Prices up on the seafront and now half-price parking in residential areas.

How much will this cost to administer, or don’t councillors care?


Alderson Road,

Great Yarmouth

Most Read

So glad I left the shores of Britain

Having watched the Great Yarmouth instalment of Benefits Britain:Life on the Dole, I can only say that I am glad I left the town in 1967. If most British urban areas are like the one portrayed I am glad I left Britain in 2004.


St Germain de Tallevende


My care in JPH was exceptional

I recently spent a stay of over three weeks at the James Paget Hospital and I have to say the treatment I received and the care was exceptional, especially on Ward 5 where I spent the majority of my stay.

The staff worked very hard and they are rushed off their feet but they still had time to provide the most wonderful care and attention to myself and I cannot thank them enough.

The food was really good and the cleaning on the ward was extremely well done; A&E were marvellous and worked very quickly, providing great care and attention.

For too long this hospital has received negative feedback but please print this so people can see just what a wonderful hospital this is and we are so lucky to have this service in our area.



Anyone recall the ‘fire divers’?

After reading the letter from Mike King about “fire divers” in the 1960s I was reminded of the story my late Dad would tell us about similar goings on in the 1930s. According to Dad a chap used to set fire to himself and then dive off the Britannia Pier. We thought this was hilarious and would make remarks such as ‘I bet he only did it the once!’. Dad was adamant this was true.

A few years ago I was told that a lady went into Yarmouth library asking if they had any information on this “fire diver” as he was her father. Perhaps Dad was right after all!



We need more affordable homes

I would like to thank Mick Castle for responding in the Mercury and also writing what he stands for. I’ve criticised many councillors for not getting involved in debate or giving us their opinions.

The only time you hear from them is elections or when their picture is to be taken in propaganda, so although I disagree with Mick Castle, thank you for your response.

Regardless of the Salisbury Road development, I’m afraid the point is being missed. The fact is large numbers of affordable homes are needed, If the council hits new developments with a requirement for 25pc affordable homes then the Bradwell site would provide around 35 homes and not a mere 15.

Mick Castle highlights the old fire and police station again, I agree with him on this, yet this month another two buildings on the quay are going for auction. These should be given to an association. Also several properties have had compulsory purchase orders (CPO) on them to bring them into use, again, a good idea but then the council sells them on again to the private sector which in turn will rip off another renter.

The council should consider a new housing trust or company which could borrow against the value of the council stock and build hundreds of homes as opposed to dozens. The council has CPO powers and with the right people in charge could regenerate several areas of desolate industrial to the south of the Barracks with new decent energy efficient homes and then begin clearing existing houses which I believe are not fit for purpose.

The money for this would come from selling around 40pc of the new homes to private buyers and also the rents from the other 60pc. So yes, GYBC has done well with their 20 homes and the associations as well, but they could in fact build hundreds and at the same time regenerate the entire town fom one end to the other. Along with this we could return to the bidding system and have a housing department willing to house hardworking, low paid citizens which it was originally for.



Caister on Sea

Village’s dog fouling worsens

I have lived at Fleggburgh for 24 years and have noticed dog fouling since I’ve been here. It has got worse in the last six months or more. People just let their dogs foul the footpaths, communal lawns etc. Some pick up after their dog’s mess, but others do not. I believe some people are walking their dogs late at night and cannot be bothered.

I was talking to one lady on the estate and she was telling me a dog had messed right near her window where she tends a garden. She was very upset about it as dogs had messed there before. I just think it is disgusting. I believe people should get their act together and clear up after their dogs.


St Margaret’s Way,


Open harbour mouth road

I read with great interest Phil Thompson’s letter in the Mercury last week. Now in my late 60s I was one of the hundreds who worked at Erie Resister in the late 1960s/70s when the town was booming with companies and businesses ie oil companies.

I agree totally with what Mr Thompson says on all aspects of the town from the Co-op on the market to the harbour mouth! How very sad and depressing the areas are now.

What I would like to ask is who had the authority and right to ‘block off’ ‘shut down’ ‘close’ the road all the way round the harbour mouth from one side to the other? And why now the rubbish outer harbour which never took off can’t be re-opened? Why? How nice it was back then to be able to just drive there in the lunch hour and sit and look.

I wish there could be a vote by the people to find out exactly how many would want that part of Yarmouth to be re-opened?

I wonder too when Albert Jones’s The Edge casino complex gets built would it be a thought then? But I won’t hold my breath.

As for the Co-op being turned into a school this is also so sad. We need people to visit our town and say how lovely it is but a school stuck in the middle of a market? No way. Not a good idea. Let’s have a decent store with cafe facilities etc. It is a beautiful building, time and time again we read letters like Phil’s but nothing is ever answered or done.


Green Lane,


Build school on old school land

So we need another high school? Whose bright idea is it to use the old Co-op building?

Why did they pull down Claydon School, also known as the Goreston Girls? It was only built in the 1950s and would have been great as another high school for the area to take the extra pupils. It also had the room to add on.

Our council does not think long term. What is wrong with building another school on the land or did our council sell that off cheap?


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Fighting nature to find grave

Last week I went to visit my family grave in the Kitchener Road cemetery. I was horrified to see the state of the place, how I got to my grave without falling over I’ll never know. The weeds came up to my waist and I had no idea where I was putting my feet – one step on an uneven ground and I could have broken my ankle or neck and never been found!

Now this week I have learned to “Look out for invasive alien plant species”. Well, around the grave I was trying to attend, were the biggest, thickest plants I’ve seen growing, like soldiers guarding it.

I tried to pull them up to no avail, they wouldn’t move.

I have since tried secateurs – no use. I then had to fight my way back to the public path, exhausted. Could these be the alien species from outer space? If not, would the hard-worked corporation send a number of their task force to investigate and please, please remove them.


Stanley Road,

Great Yarmouth

God, or no God, we live by rules

I fully agree there can be no scientific proof or non-existence of God. However, belief in God inspired the formulation, attributed to Moses, of the Ten Commandments by which, more or less, the whole of civilisation lives.

In addition, it inspired the life and teaching of Jesus Christ which has been and is responsible for miucyh of the good in human life today. Against this, what have the Atheists to offer?

While accepting there are many shortcomings in the organised religions, on the whole I find myself on the side of the Believers.

P Reeve

Springfield Road,


Many complain about rubbish

Channel 5. Right or Wrong? Brandon Lewis and the Mercury Editor in her comment are quite correct, the programme should not have been shown so near the tourist season as it has done unimaginable harm.

But as an avid Mercury follower I draw Brandon and Anne’s attention to the many reader letters the Mercury has printed since 2000. Many complain about the rubbish and filth found in the back roads of the Golden Mile.

It has always been a problem but successive councils have held the attitude “It’s not on the Golden Mile, so beggar it!”

As for the numbers of people on benefit, this is a problem brought about by various governments spending the oil revenue on social benefits which is easier than putting the cash into business to create employment.

In doing so, this they have created a deprived group who are now, through two generations have decided that “money for nothing is their right”

I particularly liked the two ladies talking about pensioners, “give them a blanket why should they get more cash”.

Well ladies, in the present pensioners era we worked and paid our national insurance stamps. If someone was unemployed they had to sign on twice a week, prove they were knocking on doors for a job, queue for their dole money, or go to the National Assistance Board and get told to sell possessions before given a food voucher to take to the corner shop.

No, Brandon and Anne you miss the point. Gorleston, Bradwell, Belton, Hopton were not mentioned just Yarmouth.

It does need clearing up, and if the council had not encouraged the unemployed from other deprived areas to come to Yarmouth for the holiday trade then local people would be able to get employment in the summer season and in the winter clean up the town for their dole money just as pensioners did clearing snow for dole in their day.

The other big point you have missed is, if the present council joined forces with the Port Users and the Port Company then programme makers would see we have a thriving business community. Instead the council is striving to make South Denes a wasteland as well.


Burnt Lane


Hurrah, cliff top grass dealt with

Prior to the local elections I promised myself I would write to however was voted in for Gorleston to request something be done over the disgrace of the neglected grass at the cliff top.

I did write to Councillor Kay Grey who I am pleased to say was already on the case. Now, at last, sense has prevailed and the grassy slopes at Gorleston Cliffs are slowly being transformed from the neglected overgrown mess we have seen for the past two summers to the formal Victorian vision for which they were built.

I am aware there will be some folk who feel the wild flowers which grow in untended areas the world over should not be removed.

However, as these will only sprout up and spread to grassy banks, lawns and greens which are neglected I would say this is not the place to allow such spread and the hedgerows, fields and private gardens around the area provide a more appropriate environment for wild flowers and wildlife.

If people wish for a wildlife area then perhaps a designate specific area be created which could be left to ‘grow wild’ which would encourage the butterflies, bees etc and we would enjoy that too.

This week we see once again children sliding down the slopes (do still be beware of dog poo) and dogs charging about as the council ‘Spider’ cutter wends its’ way along the cliffs.

Thank you to Cllr Kay Grey for pursuing this with the GYB Services, as last year they only cut the edges and we never saw the beauty of these formal slopes once the ‘weeds’ grew,

I for one appreciate you taking the time to go and have a look and taking a real interest in our, and your, community, well done. Let’s just hope they continue to maintain this area of the borough for us all to enjoy and not just the tourists



TV highlighted town’s problems

Benefits Britain did not help the image of our town but it did highlight the problems of being unemployed and the benefit system.

I worked with unemployed people for years. The loss of income and benefit dependency causes all sorts of problems, affecting relationships and self esteem.

Most people want to work. Young people, with limited work experience can soon slip into unhelpful lifestyles. Offenders face major disadvantages in the struggle to find work. Older people face the age barriers and can be too experienced.

I am amazed how people can cope on benefits and how they help each other out.

In the past, we had job creation schemes and training programmes to provide skills and experience and retain the work disciplines. With so many things to improve the town, benefits money could have been used to provide work and training rather than wasting our talented workforce.

Older workers can train the young. Overall, of course, there are not enough jobs in the area.

Likewise, there are many forgotten people who are under-employed and not using their skills, qualifications and experience fully.

The town is jaded and there are areas where litter and rubbish abound with the town centre with the empty shops and pubs not helping the image. I see there has been an attempt to improve Regent Road and then some garden sheds are put up!

It is excellent the Regent is back in action with some good ideas and even an under18s event.

The approaches to the town by road and rail are hardly inspiring. The town needs a major review but if the Government continually cuts funding there is little that can be done as the private sector needs a return on any investment.

Planning laws do not help as developments go out of town.


Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

A better look for railway visitors

Now that Summer is here, I would like to say how much better it must look for visitors coming to Yarmouth by train. Even with only one half of the bridge painted it is a great improvement.

The murals are excellent too, giving people something a bit different and interesting to look at.

I believe the Vauxhall Links Group have worked hard in their own time to achieve this, and many people have given generously to the Bridge Project.

Now it would be nice to have the other half repaired and painted, the station improved and the surrounding area pleasantly landscaped.

Are there any plans to finish this project?


Palgrave Road,

Great Yarmouth

He ‘is angry with the wicked...’

In his Viewpoint article two weeks ago, Allan Jeavons writes of “The God of Love ... who is not angry with us”.

I wonder if he has ever read Psalms 5:5 and 7:11, which say of God, “You hate all evildoers” and He “is angry with the wicked every day”. And Psalm 9:17: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”


Albemarle Road,


Remember pier to pier swim race?

Whilst walking along the promenade and then seeing pictures in the Mercury of the Britannia and Wellington Piers not surrounded by the sea always brings to mind memories of the annual race of the Great Yarmouth Swimming Club for the Shearley Cup.

This was a handicap race and we would dive into the sea from a landing stage in the middle of the Britannia Pier and then swim (race) with the tide to the Wellington Pier.

I never did win this race as being one of the stronger swimmers I was invariably one of the last to dive in, by which time the first off would be almost at the Jetty, now since demolished.

I often wonder of the reaction if health and safety had been involved as the only concession to safety was two men in a rowing boat following the swimmers. Happy days.



Thanks for help

I would like to give a big thank you to the people from Norwich for all their help, and Nancy for getting my wife, after I had a fall in Palmers car park on Saturday, June 21. Also the paramedic for his good work and the James Paget Hospital staff for all the care they gave me.



I recall letter of strange skies

On September 26, 2003 your letters page carried a very strange letter that attracted my attention. The writer forwarded a photo taken from Albemarle Road of the sky above. In short the writer summised that “chemtrails in the sky” were caused by some kind of goverment plot to make us all ill or subdue us or whatever.

Instead of writing every week about religion, Mr Barkhuizen should perhaps return to his original subject and let us know if he still believes what he wrote almost 11 years ago about the chemtrails in the sky.

If he enters this subject in an internet search engine today (as he suggested in 2003) he will find all those theorist theories have been completely debunked.

No doubt some will continue to believe them!



Why swearing?

Nowhere in Gorleston or Great Yarmouth can you escape foul language in the streets, especially from the young. It’s appalling. Why? Discuss!

MABEL TRY, email