Letters, March 1, 2013

When will law learn to change?

Last week’s Mercury tells on the front page of a young man being seriously injured by a motorist with no insurance cover, thus causing him hefty financial costs. Several other innocent people were also affected, through no fault of their own.

In the paper’s same edition, the Page 4 Cases in Court column tells of another driver without insurance cover, who is fined £70 with £50 costs, which is almost derisory!

When will the Law and Judiciary accept that driving without insurance is just as harmful as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Innocent people are under threat by both actions, but the penalties are not in keeping with the crimes.

MARTIN DODD

High Road

Gorleston on Sea

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I remember the horsemeat shop

I, like Vera Traynier, remember the horsemeat shop opposite the Feathers in Yarmouth. If my memory serves me right it supplied mostly horsemeat for dogs.

After it closed, Nicholls used it to prepare chips for their stall and restaurant which was where Boots/Market Gates centre is now.

My father worked for Nicholls as a fish fryer and shop manager. They had a lot of trouble with cars parking on the forecourt until my father put a sign on the forecourt saying “You may park here, £25 a day”, this was in the 60s and that was two weeks wages for many.

IVOR St J HALSEY

Cowtrott Lane,

Rollesby

Phoenix pool let down the public

We are encouraged to keep our kids fit and healthy, and how important physical activity is. However this half term the Phoenix swimming pool has let its community down.

Their website had not been updated at all, it listed the school term timetable. I spent an hour trying to phone them and on some occasions, not only did no one answer but there was no recorded message listing swim times, and it was not possible to leave a message on an answer machine.

I had to contact the Marina Centre who did manage to give me details of swim times. So great, eventually my daughter and her friend arrive at the Phoenix only to be told they couldn’t swim because they had taken a booking for 75 people, the same for the next day as well! So no general swim for the general public!

How many of you have been told the only time you can book the pool for private hire (which is what this amounts to), on a Saturday at a certain time? So us taxpayers, what public services are we actually getting to access? Still waiting for an explanation please.

DENISE GROOME

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Queues formed during the war

In reply to Vera Traynier’s letter about the horsemeat shop. Lots of people do. We were only talking about it in the barbers the other day.

The shop was owned by my father. All the meat sold was of course pet food and it was open Wednesdays and Saturdays selling cooked meats, beef, mutton and sometimes horsemeat, all of which were fallen animals, so was deemed unfit for human consumption.

The business was first run in our family by my grandfather Henry (Harry) Frosdick from the slaughter house (knackers yard) off Caister Road. He took it on I think in the 1920’s or maybe earlier. My father Arthur joined him at age 18 and continued until he retired in 1976 at 65.

In the early days the meat was sold from a stall on the market. When the meat was sold raw it had to be dyed green to show it was unfit for human consumption but later on it had to be cooked.

I don’t know when the shop was take over but can remember stories of queues around the block for meat when there was food rationing. Obviously it had to close when Market Gates was built in the early 1970s.

DEREK FROSDICK

Selwyn Drive

Belton

Buy British for good welfare

I read Mr Tennant’s contribution in last week’s Mercury concerning information on packs of meat.

I have just retired after 28 years as an Animal Health and Welfare Inspector. I have to say that I do not recognise many of the activities that he seems to believe are endemic within our farming industry. In Britain generally we have the best animal welfare conditions in the world for our livestock. Plus, unlike other countries, we also monitor and enforce those conditions.

I can assure him that any farmer who lost 27pc of his flock would be out of business in a very short time. It is always in the farmer’s interest to keep his stock well because that way they grow quicker.

If you want to support animal welfare then the food label already exists. It says “British”.

P SMITH

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Why the need to destroy trees?

Can some one tell me why someone would need to authorise the cutting down of a small ornamental tree on Garnham Road in Gorleston,

This little tree had been there for years, in nobody’s way. We will soon have treeless streets. It is a pity a bit more tree felling/trimming isn’t being done on some of our country roads. We travel a lot, and often see trees with dead branches overhanging the highway.

But please leave the trees that are quite safe, alone, especially as none seem to be replaced. I remember a Mulberry tree in Gorleston being taken down, apparently by mistake, but it was never replaced.

If it was a householder who had done this, they would be forced to replace it with another!

Mrs T WEST

Garnham Road,

Gorleston on Sea

The bright green horsemeat shop

In answer to Vera Traynier’s letter – I certainly remember Yarmouth’s horsemeat shop. I recall passing it as a child of around nine in the late 50s and my Kelly’s Street Directory for 1957 lists it as number 3 Market Gates – Frosdick HA and Son, horse slaughterers.

It was a bright green, small shop and I remember people queuing to buy the meat.

KENNETH BROWN

Exeter Road,

Gorleston on Sea

Horsemeat cuts on sale in shop

Two queries arose in last week’s Mercury and I think I could have some information which might be helpful.

First, Vera Traynier asked about a shop that sold horsemeat in the market. Well, Frosdick’s had a shop on the north side of Market Road. To my knowledge, it closed during the mid 1950s.

I can still vividly remember the gleaming white tiles at the front of the shop with cuts of horsemeat for sale.

Second, Shirley Waring inquired about St Andrew’s School in Gorleston. Sited on the corner of School Lane and High Street (not certain which corner) was St Andrew’s Church School, formerly the National School when it opened in 1840.

P HUBBARD

Spencer Avenue,

Gorleston on Sea

Band acts were a real credit

I have just returned from my third week of judging the battle of the bands contest at the Oakwood live venue in Great Yarmouth (formerly O’Grady’s).

I must say firstly how fantastic the standard of acts are! This environment is the very best in which to see live music - each act has shortlisted it’s best material and refined rehearsals to meet the requirements of this gig - which is like no other.

Also, each act has attended to view the competition but to support them as well.

The whole thing has been unbelievably competitive - which is good for listeners, and yet the sporting spirit of the contest has been quite beautiful. No malevolence or ill-will - just big-ups and respect all round.

These events have underlined what an amazingly talented and creative and hub the Yarmouth and indeed wider Norfolk and Suffolk area has become. The attendance has each week left me quite staggered.

There really is no other venue in the entire region that is as lively on a Sunday evening - believe!

DOM SHILLITO

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A milestone for High schoolgirls

1953 is a year that resonates with most people in Yarmouth. For 60 women aged 70 it has an extra resonance, for it was the year they passed the 11 Plus and started their secondary education at Great Yarmouth High School for Girls.

We arrived at the school, then an old building in Trafalgar Road that had been the Boys’ Grammar School, and which has now been pulled down.

We were fully kitted out with all the things on the list. Our winter uniform was a navy gym slip worn over a white cotton blouse, with a striped tie in our house colour. For summer, we had gingham dresses in house colours: red, blue, yellow or green.

A navy gabardine coat, a navy and white striped knitted scarf, outdoor shoes, and little white cotton socks were what we had outdoors in the winter. No-one seemed to think it odd that there was nothing to bridge the gap between the coat and the socks.

After 60 years, I can still feel that east wind whipping round my bare legs. We each had a navy velours hat with a brim, a navy and white striped hatband round it, and elastic under the chin to keep it on as we pedalled to school over the bridge or along the seafront.

All that was a long time ago. But we are going to celebrate it 60 years on from September 1953. A 60th anniversary reunion has been arranged at the Burlington Hotel in Yarmouth on Thursday, September 12. There will be time to chat and look at old photos in the afternoon and the cost for the day will be £22.

If you were one of those girls and would like to come to the reunion, please contact Carole Dane Owen at Laurel Cottage, Pipers Green Road, Brasted Chart, Westerham, Kent TN16 1ND. There’s no need to commit yourself, or pay, until a few weeks before the reunion, but it would be helpful to know how many might come.

CAROLE DANE OWEN

Inquiry decision is ‘incredible’

I read the Mercury’s comment on the Outer Harbour Inquiry and I am sure it will be reported fairly on both the pre-inquiry and the full event as they take place.

This is a matter of great importance to the town and we will be relying on the Mercury to present a clear picture of the situation as it develops.

The Mercury quoted the leader of the borough council saying that they have no objections to the Harbour Revision Order.

This seems to imply that they have adopted the opposite stance and support it. Either way the electors have a right to know, and an explanation of, the decisions taken in their name which will almost certainly be referred to.

It is quite incredible that Great Yarmouth should have no official representation at this examination into what has been a huge investment in our port.

NICK POWNALL

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Traders do not want to sell fish

I have been asked to ask you if you would print a correction next week to the article in the Mercury, February 22, re the Market Place chip stalls.

The borough council recently approved a report that gave all of the existing eight chip stall holders on the market the opportunity to sell fish and chips.

All of the traders were personally consulted and not one of them wished to add fish to their licences!

Some expressed a desire to sell other items such as sausages or pies or drinks but as I explained to your reporter these items were not offered because we have several other stalls already selling those items and we wish to maintain the balance of the trades that we have.

At the Market Traders quarterly meeting last week some of the chip stall holders again expressed this desire to sell sausages, pies and drinks but we reiterated our position which was backed by other chip stall holders who expressed their own desire to maintain the long established tradition that exists at the market with stalls selling solely chips (and as the report says we are world renowned).

The council is only interested in improving the market and increasing what’s on offer to the public. Yarmouth Market has been fully let for over 10 years but have one vacant unit at the moment.

DUNCAN MALLETT

Market Manager

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Use shop front to guide footfall

Although I admire the attempt to tidy up store front with large stickers – the former Adams and Select shop fronts – I am wondering is this is a new trend. Are we going to see all the empty store fronts stickered?

Why can’t we use these spaces to advertise parts of the town that could do with increased footfall?

I can see the idea of the stickers is to spark a passer by into the belief they could fill the unit with a new business but the harsh reality is with the rent and rates on those units no independent person is every going to be able to tackle the huge costs.

Clearly we are aiming at multi-nationals in which case they will not be walking past looking for empty shops; they will sit in offices and go online.

The independents are the only way we will keep bringing people into town and ones that are here are fighting like mad to stay alive.

Advertise sections of the town that have low footfall; for instance we took part in a town meeting a couple of years back to address the fact that since road and path changes to King Street only two per cent of trade now enters the road at all.

The council bumbled away saying they would do anything to help support King Street, now two years later all they have done is take King Street out of the GYBID and removed any support.

Anyone else noted there was no Christmas lights in King Street last year?

Big arrows on stickers in empty units may help the retailers in the area advertise what they have to offer, it includes toys, key cutting, dance wear, evening wear, crafts, opticians etc. This could be done for all parts of the town.

Help save our town centre before it is too late.

JAMES RODGERS

King Street,

Great Yarmouth

Let down over twin town visit

Regarding your article Twinning Fiasco. I would like to express my views as the person referred to as the main driver.

A request was sent to the council in Rambouillet to provide host accommodation in the usual manner. Normally we would expect to receive details at least four weeks before the planned trip, when this did not materialise we sent urgent messages. The students and teachers came up with the suggestion they could stay in a hostel in Paris and use the train to get to Rambouillet each day.

I had serious doubts about such an arrangement for the following reasons; 1 A detour into central Paris during the rush hour would have added at least three hours to our journey time.

2 For the return journey on Sunday they would have to leave by 6.30am after a very early breakfast, drive into the centre of Paris to collect the rest of the party, and then head to Calais.

3 Three weeks before the trip I received an email from Eurotunnel saying the return crossing was on one of their busiest days of the year. If we missed our slot, there would not be any spare capacity to fit us on a subsequent shuttle.

4 I do not like driving in cities. Although sat-nav has virtually eliminated the possibility of getting lost, it does not relieve the frustration of being held up in traffic jams.

I believe it was the right decision to cancel the trip in the circumstances, and that our duty of care was to be cautious and not take any risks when making arrangements. I’m extremely annoyed by what appears to have been an oversight at the Town Hall (Mairie) in Rambouillet and I’m sure they are as embarrassed (if not more so), than we are.

In conclusion can I say I too am very disappointed not to be going, and I sympathise fully with the students and their parents. I do hope the trip can be re-arranged and we will do all we can to bring that about.

JOHN RUSSELL

Butt Lane,

Burgh Castle

Please step out of sidelines

The Harbour Revision Order for which the public inquiry is being held on April 9, is a legal statute and as far as I am aware all evidence should be available for consumption by all parties in matters of statute and law before a rational decision is made.

I assume this must be the case before an Act of Parliament is made. The Agreement made between the three authorities, the Port Authority, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council, as constituent members, in establishing Eastport UK in 2007, is crucial in understanding the arrangements and terms agreed between various parties which have now resulted in the arrangements for the control of the Port which are giving widespread concern today.

If there is no access to agree-ments reached on May 25 2007 it is difficult to understand the validity of Great Yarmouth Port Company’s application for a Harbour Revision Order which involves a transfer of statutory powers from the established Yarmouth Port Authority.

With the new regime in the Town Hall (Labour) who a year ago spoke of “openness, transparency and due diligence” in all matters, it is hoped that, at the Public Inquiry the present reigning power will step out of the sidelines and take on board the chance, fought for these past five years, to get answers from directors of the company formed to take care of taxpayers interests. Will they respond?

JOHN L COOPER

Burnt Lane,

Gorleston on Sea

I recall meat being chopped

RE the letter from Vera Traynier, yes, I too remember the old horsemeat shop. I am 74 and recall it was just round the corner from the tobacconist shop that was on the corner, and I do believe it was next door to a leather shop. I think there used to be man inside the shop chopping up meat.

Mr M HOLT

Stone Road,

Cobholm

Horse not sold for burgers!

REF the letter from Vera Traynier last week. There was a Mr Frosdick I believe who had a knackers yard along the River Bure, passed the old Smiths faciory in the 1950s.

He would slaughter horses, cows, goat etc which were unfit for human consumption, sell the hides to tanners, cook the meat and sell in the shop near the Feathers for pet food, not for burgers!

RICHARD MOSCROP

Clapham Road North,

Lowestoft

Brewer who didn’t drink!

I was interested in the article by Peggotty re Lacons brewery as I knew a Mr A Cole who worked there, I believe as a brewer, but he didn’t drink alcohol.

His nickname was Taffy as he had a very nice voice and he was either the founder or founder member of the Mormon Church in Great Yarmouth.

As I lived next door to him I was mate to his son Alec, and I went to church with him which was situated in a room in one of the big houses on South Quay.

I would also like to comment on Peggotty’s previous article crossing the River Yare by the Upper Ferry as I used to live in Ferry Lane (now defunct) and remember Joe.

There were also two brothers in law, Horace and Freddy Harris who lived in the “backroads” Lichfield/Stafford etc who came to an untimely end as they left the ferry and had job as lightermen with the General Steam Navigation Co; your archives no doubt reported their deaths as they were crossing Breydon with a lighter full of coal for Norwich power station when they shipped water and were drowned.

My father was a lighterman for many years and I used to have my holidays on board going to Norwich. It took nearly a week.

E R STANNARD

Audley Street,

Great Yarmouth

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