Letters, June 12 2015

Caister parish hall consultation

As a result of a plan by Caister Parish Council to explore the possibility of building a new council hall for residents, a public consultation was held in the council hall on Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 30.

The public were asked to indicate what they thought of the idea and also what activities they would like to see taking place in the proposed new centre. The suggested activities ranged from wedding venue to film shows for all age groups in the community. Among requests, one of the most popular was the provision of toddler group activities and better facilities for the local groups.

The consultation was well attended and the results of the answers provided by the public will be published in the near future. In preparation for the consultation all Caister schools took part in their own consultations and their results were displayed in the council hall for residents to see as they went round to make their own choices.

Members of Caister Parish Council were on hand at the consultations to assist and answer questions from interested visitors to the hall.

The plan named The Phoenix Project is being led by Cllr Bob Coe and further consultations for the whole village are in the pipeline when each home in the village will get the chance to express their opinions on the plans and suggest the way ahead for the building and financing the centre.


Most Read

Vice chairman

Caister Parish Council

My grandmother was a Patterson

Re: your two-page article on the Patterson family in the Mercury, May 29. I am a family member.

My grandmother was Charlotte Patterson, who married Horace Gedge, who was a well known local shrimper and a Yarmouth lifeboatman, serving on the Hugh Taylor and the John Burch until the station closed.

They lived at 61 Lancaster Road and my mother, Dorothy May, was one of their daughters,and she married my father George Herbert Smith in 1936.

I have been communicating with Sid Patterson for sometime and have exchanged various items of family history..

It was my grandad’s shrimp boat YH321 (her original number was YH32),that was restored by Graham Hussey and later purchased by Great Yarmouth Councl,and is now at the Excelsior Trust at Oulton Broad.



Speed cameras may be answer

I think there is nothing wrong with the Acle Straight. It is the drivers who do not comply with the speed restrictions. Perhaps speed cameras at frequent intervals would be more efficient, and make money in the process?



Why wasn’t road dualled in 1953?

It’s amazing how many times the Acle road is in the news. My father Charles “Mike” Reynolds had a smallholding along the road when he returned from serving in Mesopotamia in the WW1.

The local council also employed him as road man to maintain the eight-mile stretch, and he planted the original willows along the dykes to secure the verges.

He was an unlucky man in his ventures, one of his horses went mad and had to be shot, and a cow developed foot and mouth. The first was a complete loss, and for the second there was a well known remedy, polish the hooves with shoe polish and send the cow to the sale yard!.

Sadly, when the council came to inspect the road, father was working on the farm when he should have been fixing the road and got the sack.

In the 1930s the family lived at 6 Saloon Street, Runham Vauxhall; my elder brothers would spend the summers camping at a small inlet on the Bure called the Freshwater, living on mushrooms growing in the fields. Their main sport was to race up and down the Acle Straight on land yachts at great speed.

The great mystery to me is why, after the 1953 floods when the land was useless, didn’t the council re-lay and dual the road?


Mill Road,


Headline pulled in the readers

“Ragwort Pulling”. What a splendid headline. Pithy and straight to the point. Not sure how you would get “Homicide Victims Rarely Talk to Police” or “Parents Keep Kids Home to Protest School Closures” down to two words, but I am sure you will keep trying.

In the meantime there is always “Teeth Pulling” or “Tractor Pulling” to be going on with.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Stop sinning to follow Jesus

Last week I walked by a church near Gorleston High Street. On its noticeboard was a poster with the words “Jesus loves you, no strings attached.”

The message this sends every passerby is that God loves every person, no matter how much they hate Him or love their sin.

Yes, God the Father, in His love sent God the Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place, to take the punishment we all deserve from a holy God for our sins. Jesus came to open the only way for us to become God’s children and stop sinning, to be changed more and more into Jesus’ image, until one day we’re holy enough to live in heaven (Romans 6:22).

But this becomes possible only if we are willing to stop sinning and become Jesus’ follower.

The message of many modern churches is light years away from what the Bible says. There we read: “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness” (Proverbs 15:9).

And Jesus says, “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him” (John 14:21).


Albemarle Road


Thanks for help for my mother

A big thank you to the two ladies who helped my mom and I on Wednesday, May 20. She fell and hit her head on School Lane, Gorleston and they kindly called an ambulance and put blankets on her and stayed with us. I didn’t get your names but a huge thank you to you both.

My mom is okay and very fortunate.


East Anglian Way,


We already have hospice charity

I refer to the front page headline in the Mercury last week “Plans for a hospice on Paget site” which confuses me greatly as does the statement “let us raise the roof etc.”

Does our area not have a charity already formed with just this in mind? I refer of course to East Coast Hospice. This charity has planning permission granted for a 10 bedroomed hospice on their independently owned site just a stone’s throw away from the hospital.

I am therefore at a loss to understand why, if Ms Lovick and friends are so desperate to have such a facility opened in this area, they do not support East Coast Hospice’s work instead of confusing the public and potentially restricting the fundraising of both charities.

Why use the same publicity line “Raise the roof” which has been East Coast Hospices punch line for over a year now.

What further concerns me is, with so many NHS funding cuts happening, if the hospice was built on the Paget site, what would happen if more wards were needed or funds cut? Would the publicly funded building then disappear within the hospital structure?

I have seen the plans for the East Coast Hospice building, it is beautiful, with all rooms private including a private garden, as well as day care facilities, family areas and bereavement services. How can a building on the Paget site compete with this?

This area needs a hospice as soon as possible, why start from scratch at the Paget site when there is already a site, planning permission and a dedicated team of staff and volunteers at East Coast Hospice well on the way to making this dream a reality?


Somerton Road


Another access needed to A47

I am responding to your article on the dualling of the A47, to report that in all the years I used to travel daily along the Acle Straight, the accidents invariably appeared to be down to careless and inconsiderate motorists. Not allowing for weather conditions etc. Whether dualling will solve any of these problems we have yet to see.

My major gripe over the A47 is the disregard for Blofield and Brundall (to a certain extent), in that we already have issues gaining access onto and off the A47, due to only having one roundabout at Cucumber Lane. There are 105 houses nearing completion, with access close to the roundabout end of this road!

The traffic flow tends to favour the fast moving east-west movements from the dual carriageway. Imagine how this situation will become when Blofield has a housing increase of over 45pc with the possibility of more housing applications, and a proposed development of a boat building yard behind McDonalds! Included in this scheme is another supermarket - there is already planning permission for one on the Blofield Manor Park site, to include a pub, restaurant and other work units.

There are other potential applications in the pipeline, and according to an earlier article, Norfolk County Council wants to swell their coffers by selling land for more housing, Blofield being included in this venture!

With all these developments we need another access onto the A47, and a suggestion of constructing another roundabout to the east of the village might make sense. What do you think?



Pleased to read of hospice plan

As former chairman of the East Coast Hospice charity I was pleased to read about the plans for a hospice on the Paget site. Two years ago the local NHS declared this was their preferred option for a local hospice on both clinical and cost grounds, and I was disappointed at the time that it was not possible to forge a working partnership between the Paget and ECH to build and deliver the service.

When we reached a sticking point my preference was to draw a line under the talks and try to start again behind the scenes to iron out differences; there was a lot of goodwill from the local NHS that would have helped and I and others felt progress could have been made.

This was utterly impossible because there had already been resistance within ECH to the very idea of even starting to talk to the Paget. This stepped up significantly and I decided to resign because I was unwilling to put my name any further to what in my opinion was now a pie in the sky project for an independent hospice on an independent site.

During the last two years I have been troubled by the fact ECH seemed intent on following a path leading nowhere and even if they managed to raise the £5m build cost (yes, in late 2012 the estimated construction cost was in excess of £5m as I remember it), how could they ever raise the £2m a year to run it independently?

It has long been established the local need is for 10 hospice beds so the idea of having two hospices each with 10 beds is totally out of the question anyway. Wake up ECH and start putting some money into services that actually provide care and which are needed right now.

In 2013 other regional hospices were urging ECH to do something concrete for end of life care by providing a hospice at home service, but the charity refused to consider it then, so why don’t they get on and do it now and put their money to good use?

There are many people enthusiastic and eager to see a local hospice service. Realistic plans are now on the table, and I would urge all of them to add their donations, voices and energy to the new appeal to make it a reality sooner rather than later.


Cliff Hill,


Thanks for your hospice support

I would like to say thank you to everyone who took time to visit the East Coast Hospice stand at our charity partner’s (Sainsbury’s) Carers Day on Monday, and kindly assured ECH of their support for our vision of providing an independent hospice for our community.

I will be at Sainsbury’s again today, Friday, please come and have a look at our hospice plans, learn about our fantastic progress and have a chat, whatever your ideas on hospice provision for this area.


Community Fundraiser

Man on go-kart on pavement!

I enjoy my frequent visits to Great Yarmouth town centre but last week l could not believe my eyes.

A elderly man driving what was clearly a go-kart disguised as a mobility scooter. It was being driven on the pavement and clearly had a petrol engine.

Is this the latest thing to disturb pedestrians?

And is it really legal? Or is the town centre now an even more hazardous place for the older and younger generations to wander around in peace!



Why decision been changed?

I am writing in response to your lead article last week regarding proposals to build a hospice adjacent to the Louise Hamilton Centre and to express my concerns about this.

When funds were being raised to build the centre many people and organisations got behind this in the belief it would contain end of life beds but this proved not to be the case and one has to ask the question - if it was not right then why is it right now?

East Coast Hospice plans have been clearly explained from the outset and surely this 10 bed facility in beautiful surroundings only five minutes away from the hospital is the ideal choice for anyone in an end of life situation. Perhaps, more importantly, both these organisations rely heavily on the generosity of local people and to have appeals for two hospices at the same time could be detrimental to both.

Far better, surely, to get behind East Coast Hospice and get this up and running and then in a few years time consider the need for a second hospice.

To make one final point, where would you prefer to spend your remaining days ? In a rural, peaceful and quiet setting or looking out onto the hospital car park with the constant noise of the A12 in background. I do feel very strongly that this proposal is wrong and hope that those involved will have a rethink and maybe even put some of their energies into getting behind the East Coast Hospice.



No infrastructure for A47 dualling

What an overwhelming effort by Mercury readers with their letters in a drive to get something done about the dualling of the Acle Straight. And I am probably going to upset quite a few people by asking why?

I have been on the scene now for many years, long before the second river crossing; when our demands had the weight of industry behind them; when we learned who we were up against. I speak of the battle between Birds Eye and human life.

But now let us use a bit of logic. Firstly, infrastructure in Yarmouth. We know the snarl up of traffic in Yarmouth, with a single line or traffic coming in. Imagine having two lanes coming in!

Yarmouth hasn’t the infrastructure for the Acle Straight to be dualled.


Gonville Road,


Congratulations on performance

We attended a concert at the Minster on Saturday evening. Mr John Stephens is to be congratulated for putting on such a great performance with Orchestrated!. Well done to all who played and sang and danced.



Leisurely drivers present problems

Not condoning excessive speed, but could the single track Acle Straight present a danger with leisurely drivers also?

On one occasion I was impeded by a considerable strength of vehicles ahead and, on looking behind, my friend saw a queue for quite a distance.

Hoping to arrive at my destination on the appointed time, I endeavoured to overtake when lo and behold I was met by a coach travelling in the opposite direction. Although still scared, I made a second attempt only to be confronted by a lorry!

On succeeding to overtake, I discovered this crawl was caused by a gentleman travelling at approximately 30mph.

By all means consider our wildlife but abandon the piecemeal proposals and excuses and respect human life also by dualling this road its entire length.


Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

I have a black ashtray from Mars

For all his brilliance, Admiral Lord Nelson is not loved by everyone. When he sailed to Copenhagen and did a smash and grab raid for instance. Among the defenceless ships he sunk in 1801 was one named Mars.

Later, some of the timbers from that vessel were salvaged and used in various ways. I believe the largest pieces were made into a writing desk for the then King.

My grandfather who was working at the naval shipyards before the First World War acquired some small items one of which I now have. An ashtray of black oak stamped Mars 1807.

Much the same has been done with timber from the Victory.


North Road, Ormesby

Great to read of hospice proposal

It’s great to read about another Palliative Care centre coming to Great Yarmouth, based at the JPUH a mile or so away from the East Coast Hospice project. Great Yarmouth has just had a number of residential homes consolidated onto one site and it is heard some GP surgeries are to be grouped together.

Although these two new centres will be under different umbrellas would it be sensible to have one large one of these rather than two small ones for economic and other reasons?

I raised over £1,000 for the Louise Hamilton Centre – if donating to the two proposed palliative centres do I divide anything I may give between them?

I hope talks are taking place between the two organisations now rather than in a few years’ time when inevitably the decision-makers will propose the two palliative centres become one. Especially as we read the hospital could have a £27m deficit in the near future!

Also, have the decision-makers related to the two proposed investments considered car parking which is bad enough at the hospital now? Palliative care will attract visitors to see their loved one while people attending the new surgery will want to drop off there quickly – but parking spaces at the surgery will inevitably be taken up by people visiting the hospital nearby!


Park Road,


MP should vote on our views

A friend of mine recently received a letter from the office of Brandon Lewis in respect of the Hunting Act 2004. I quote his comments: “The Prime Minister has said that a majority Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.

“In the event of a such a vote, I would vote to repeal it. In my judgement the Act does nothing to protect wild animals and, in many cases, is actually detrimental to animal welfare when other methods of control are deployed, a number of which can be indiscriminate.

“I am sorry if this is not the response you were seeking but I do appreciate that many people have strongly held views about hunting. I respect this and this and that is why the issue has been voted on a basis of, a free vote for many years.”

My point is that even though this is a “free vote”, Brandon Lewis should vote based on the representations of the Greater Yarmouth electorate and not his own beliefs – after all he is supposed to be serving us.

Please support me in stopping the re-introduction of this barbaric and cruel pastime of a few privileged groups of people by writing to directly to Brandon Lewis at Sussex Road Business Centre, Sussex Road, Gorleston, NR31 6PF and signing our petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/530/774/173/

Please use Twitter and Facebook to get this message out to all your friends if you want to do something to protect the rights of innocent wild animals.