Letters, March 8, 2013



JPH thanks are appreciated

On behalf of our staff, I would like to thank your correspondents who take the trouble to write in to praise the care they have received at the James Paget University Hospital.

There are clearly weaknesses in the health service, and heaven knows we are not perfect ourselves, but I believe the vast majority of the staff here try their best to give excellent care. It is great they are appreciated by so many people.

Yet when we do fail it is important too that we hear about it so that we can learn and do better for others.

We have recently had a further unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission which shows we are compliant in all the standards they assessed. This is a fantastic achievement by our staff and recognition for their dedication and commitment to providing high quality care. It is wonderful to receive positive feedback from our patients, after all, they are the people we are here for. Theirs is the most important judgement and the one that we need to strive for every time.



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James Paget University Hospitals

What kind of justice is that?

I can’t believe that once again magistrates who are supposed to put the victims first, have decided the perpetrator deserves to go virtually unpunished.

This was for a crime that caused untold carnage to vehicles and serious injuries to the victims.

The man who caused a four vehicle pile up due to his drink driving (nearly three times over the limit) was not jailed because he pleaded guilty. What kind of justice is that?

He has to send money home (this would have been taken into consideration when deciding how much disposable income he had for compensation to the victims) well he had enough money left to spend on alcohol (he is a regular drinker).

In the report he is quoted as saying: “In my country we insure the car not the driver” this from a man who does not have a driving licence in his country never mind ours. How did he manage to hire a car without a licence?

He can reduce his driving ban if he attends a Drink Driver’s Awareness Course by 2015. Surely the first step would be like everyone else do “theory first then road test” to obtain a driver’s licence.

The £300 compensation to each of three victims. This is scandalous, when are they going to punish uninsured drivers instead of the victim. I wonder how quickly the victims will get their compensation. This payment should come before any money gets sent “home”

The motorcyclist who was badly injured, had worked really hard to buy his motorbike, pay for his licence and of course he was insured. His insurance is likely to go up, he lost earnings due to his injuries. He missed his exam he had studied for. I think he was punished far more than the guilty man.

As I see it the diving ban and suspended prison sentence was for drink driving, Was the 200 hours community service for no licence, no insurance? Therefore no financial punishment.

Is this Justice?



Surprised to see coastguard dad

What a surprise I had when reading the article by Sam Russell about the Coastguard Station being closed, to turn the page and see a picture of my father who served in the service from 1946 until his retirement in 1965, having previously served 30 years in the Royal Navy.

In the photograph my father is standing fourth from the right on the front row next to Commander Bartlett, the officer in charge.

He started his service at Sea Palling as a watchkeeper moving to Yarmouth in 1947/48 and finished his service as a writer to Commander Bartlett. It was also nice to see a photograph of the Coastguard Station, where I lived until my marriage in 1958.

At one time the look-out was positioned at the end of the Britannia Pier, and my father was on duty there on the night of the floods in 1953, he had to abandon his post as the waves were so ferocious they were breaking over the look-out and it was eventually washed away. After this, the look-out position was moved to the North Denes where it is still situated today.



Our ‘Queen’ was Potteries first

Reading last Friday’s Mercury I see that Ernie and Karen are to retire and that the Potteries are up for sale. Memories came flooding back...

I went to see Ernie in 1982 to ask if they would help me raise money for The Fishermen’s Hospital for it’s renovation and to keep it as an alms house for retired fishermen. Ernie came up with the idea of a tankard and the first edition was born. The first 500 sold very well and the moulds were broken. The Queen had number 1 on her visit to the hospital in Yarmouth.

The second edition was just out and organisers said if the Duke came my way then I could present him with one. The Duke made a beeline to Percy and myself and he was delighted with the tankard.

Ernie’s last tankard was for the Queen’s 60th anniversary last year. So Ernie started with our Queen and finished with our Queen! How about that for a bit of Great Yarmouth history?

Thanks Ernie and Karen, have a great retirement.



Caister on Sea

Technical High Scool reunion

A reunion for former students of Yarmouth Technical High School – 1846-1970 - has been arranged for the evening of Friday, April 5, at The Burlington Hotel, North Drive, Great Yarmouth. There will be a two-course buffet.

For further details please contact: Pat Dinsdale on 01493 300674, or write to 60 Lowestoft Road, Gorleston or email junedyble@btinternet.com



MP pledged to live in Yarmouth

At the last general election, Brandon Lewis, who went on to become Great Yarmouth’s MP, promised he would live here. Today, he lives in Brentwood. I understand he does have a house in the borough but he continues to live 100 miles away in Essex. Is Great Yarmouth not good enough for him?



This was not a storm in teacup

As a resident and council tax payer for the borough I wish to reply to David Marsh’s claims that your front page story is “a storm in a teacup”.

I am sure most people in the borough do not agree with his comments. Services have been cut and town hall staff made redundant. Yet Mr Marsh thinks it is fair and proper that the tourist authority receives income for advertising space but it had not been paid by Sutton Media for three years.

As a member of the Trades Council who has no political affiliation, I am appalled by his comments. In these times of cuts and austerity I would remind Mr Marsh that funding of the tourist authority is not a statutory requirement for council tax payers.

We as a trades council wish to expose whoever is guilty of not chasing up this money.


Clarendon Drive,


Killing method is barbaric

In reply to Mr P Smith’s letter in last week’s Mercury, I entirely agree that Britain has one of the best animal welfare conditions in the world. However, perhaps he would like to comment on the barbaric method of slaughter of animals which is allowed for the production of Halal meat for certain religious groups in this country.

There should be no exemptions to the Welfare of Animals Regulations 1995 for the humane slaughter of animals for any religious groups or anybody else.


Ormesby St Margaret

Do they live in the real world?

Are magistrates fit for purpose? A man who had no driving licence, no insurance and was almost three times over the allowed alcohol limit, caused untold damage to four other vehicles and escaped with a slap on the wrist and was seen leaving the court with a grin on his face.

I can only suggest we get magistrates who live in the real world.


Marjoram Road,


Amazed no-one to defend move

I was amazed to find at last week’s Harbour Revision Order pre inquiry briefing that Great Yarmouth Port Company were calling no witnesses and even more concerned that NCC, GYBC and the Port Authority who were responsible for the vast amounts of public funds invested in the outer harbour were showing no interest in defending their position as such.

As far as I am aware there was nobody from GYBC at this meeting.

GYBC have said the grants were from a regeneration fund. The inner harbour, land and buildings were also given away, probably all together a total investment of about £70m. This was all for regeneration and thousands of jobs for the area. In six years little has been achieved.

Have activities been monitored? Are GYBC happy with the situation? They represent a vast investment by our government, the European Parliament, Both county and Yarmouth Borough ratepayers.

We vote for our councillors to make decisions but sometimes they are bad ones. I won’t go through the list again.

The “great give away” is not just covered in secrecy it is completely buried for a minimum of 30 years. I believe the council are afraid to come out and query the HRO for the outer harbour which is a disgrace to democracy. Sitting on the fence just isn’t an option for a public body.

One can only assume that from the Port Company’s point of view calling no witness means they can’t be questioned. Businesses have their shareholders to answer to, just as councils have taxpayers to answer to. For our councils and a trust port to just sit on the fence is preposterous. Do they believe the Port Company deserve the HRO and if so why? Do they believe the HRO should wait until the Port company proves its capability? They must get off the fence while there is time.

One can only believe that fear in revealing flawed negotiations makes the two councils and the Port Authority fall in behind the Port Company plan to not use witnesses.


Brett Avenue,

Gorleston on Sea

Brewer was a church founder

I read with interest the letter (March 1) referring to A Cole, the brewer who didn’t drink!

Albert Cole (who was affectionately called Taffy) was a founding member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in Great Yarmouth in 1932. Taffy, like other members of the church, followed a strict health code which included not drinking alcohol.

There was a congregation in Yarmouth prior to that time as people were joining the church here in the 1850s, although most of these emigrated to the United States. There is currently a congregation of about 80-100 people who meet every week in our chapel in Gorleston.


Cedar Close,


Children aim to be aspirational

In 2012, Edward Worlledge Junior School held an Aspirations Week, when local individuals who are successful, in many different ways in their working life came into our school. They did a really good job instilling into the children the importance of education and learning.

Next week, we are holding another week of aspiration.

Last year, I wrote to a number of local employers and businesses (between 40 and 50) asking them to support school, not with money or goods but with knowledge and or time. We were hoping they would visit the school or take part in an assembly or work alongside the children in classroom projects.

The purpose being that our pupils could and should be aware of why they study the curriculum subjects they do and how their learning at school is directly related to or used in the workplace.

Unfortunately, most did not reply - we had four in all and they replied within the week! Asda’s was positive but two had to decline our request as they already supported local schools.

The fourth reply came from Becky and her team at Barclays in Yarmouth. I would like to express Edward Worlledge’s sincere gratitude and thanks as they came into school nine times to support money-skills teaching in maths – as well as providing the children with some treats and rewards.

We look forward to continuing working with Becky and Barclays.

Therefore, we would be most grateful if you, the employers and local businesses of the Yarmouth area, feel you could offer Edward Worlledge children some of your time, at any time, not just next week.

I know and understand that it is hard for everyone in these times of austerity and it is a lot to ask, but an offer, no matter how small would be so, so appreciated.

Our ultimate aim is to widen the aspirations of our children and enable them to realise they live in a big wide world, with many opportunities open to them. They are our future.


Deputy Headteacher,

Edward Worlledge Junior School

Embargo down to PSA contract?

As we near the Harbour Revision Order inquiry, the spectre of the 30-year embargo still looms ever baffling. Trawling through back copies of the Mercury, I came across an article that could give us a clue as to the reason for it.

In an article dated May 28 2010, I came across the following: headed, Port boss sees a bright future. It reads: “Peter Hambly, general manager at PSA Great Yarmouth, which runs the harbour’s container terminal, said in an exclusive interview with the Mercury, that negotiations are ongoing with interested parties – more than one less then 10, and there are a number of shipping lines who have been to visit and seen the facilities.”

But Mr Hambly warned the current economic climate was a tough one in which to start business and he pointed to losses experienced by shipping firms worldwide. However, he went on to say in the article that PSA GY were having a good tenant-landlord relationship with Great Yarmouth Port Company and would be responsible for moving and storing containers from ships.

It said in the report that PSA GY had a 30-year contract and a further 30-year option, and was looking to expand to 12 hectares with the ability to move 5,000 containers a week when business allows it.

Surely this 30-year contract is not still operational and holding us to a 30-year embargo ransom?


Gonville Road


Why are trees being chopped?

A small piece of Cedar Croft Garden in our Mill Lane, where listed trees grew, has just crudely lost them. Is this an old East Anglia custom, trampling, to achieve more rateable income? Borough planners are the ones to ask.


Mill Lane,


Join Yarmouth Carnival plans

Would Mercury readers like to be involved in this year’s Great Yarmouth Carnival? If so, interested parties are invited to make their feelings known as soon as possible.

Please send your comments to Norfolk Promotions, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope if a reply is requested, or for a form to be forwarded for any part of the event. Write to the address below.

To sponsor the event, send for a form or send a cheque with SAE for receipt, only if you can afford to help. To take part in any way of organising a float, maybe arranging for a group or band to enter the parade; to be considered for the beauty pageant and Carnival Queen, Prince/Princess on the day; wishing to have a stand at the final destination – then we have a form for everything.

In fact whatever you can do to help we need to hear from you. Maybe you would like to be a steward or collect money for charity on the day.

The date and route for the parade will be decided on March 15, and will be publicised in this paper. The last time we put this event on it was a 100pc success so we must do it again as Yarmouth really needs the boost. Carnivals bring so much enjoyment it is a crime it was allowed to cease. Sponsors are desperately needed. I can be contacted on 01603 766215.


Norfolk Promotions (Charity Events), 36 Cherry Close,

Norwich NR1 3HR

Trying to find my lost cousins

I am trying to trace relatives of my late father, Cecil Robert Knights, also known as Ben.

He was born on March 31 1915 and his father was called Frank - I believe he used to look after the donkeys on the beach - and his mother Beatrice. My father had siblings Norman, Lorna, Patricia and Marie. Marie used to run a bed and breakfast in Great Yarmouth with her husband and if I remember correctly, his name was Victor and they had two sons.

I hope someone can help me, I’m sure I must have numerous cousins somewhere. I can be contacted on 01634 406671.


nee Knights

Rochester, Kent

Animals were driven to deaths

Thank you for printing my letter re the horsemeat shop, what a response. At one time, and it continued for many years, a herd of cattle was driven from the cattle market at the north end of Stafford Road, Southtown, through the town to the slaughter house, which abutted the Town Wall, to the left of Market Gates.

The sight of those poor frightened animals being driven to their deaths was terrible, as no doubt they could smell death in the air as they approached their destination.

This regular occurrence was on cattle sale day. At least people knew how their meat was achieved.


The victims lose out yet again

Martin Dodd’s views on sentencing by the courts are reinforced by the leniency shown by the magistrates towards the drink-driver who mowed down the unfortunate motorcyclist, injured other motorists, and caused extensive and expensive damage.

How on earth can an early admission of guilt be allowed to influence the court into handing down a reduced sentence? But is this not all about money?

Has plea-bargaining been entered into to save police and the court time and money? Even Donald Duck could have prosecuted and easily won this case based on the overwhelming evidence available without needing to chat up the accused.

But maybe it’s just that criminals are not supposed to be locked up. Either way, justice comes off second best.

I never knew that attending a drink-driver awareness course could teach a driver how to handle a car safely while under the influence of drink. Silly me.

And the motorcyclist and other victims? What time did the bench spend on their plight before passing sentence? The perpetrator was certainly let off. But how much could the magistrates let the victims off for their injuries, pain, horror, damages or anger? Not a jot.

The court records will once again read: Criminal 1 - Victims 0.


High Street,