Letters, March 29, 2013

Good to see big acts in the town

Well done Kiss. I can’t stand Tinie Tempah, Dizzie Rascal or any other rap or what we today call RnB but until we can afford Fleetwood Mac or Springsteen it will do. It’s good to see big acts in town whoever they are. And good to see something for the young people.


aged 45 and a half,

Great Yarmouth

Don’t blame the port questioners

I note your report in the latest edition of the Mercury that a councillor is quoted as saying that negative comments harm the port’s reputation.

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This may be true but we should not be blaming the authors of these remarks who are patently local and extremely worried by the current mess, having nothing to gain from telling the truth or seeking an explanation of the obvious problems. The truth will surely become public knowledge eventually.

Like most of the local population some years ago I welcomed the news of the proposed development of our harbour facilities to bring employment, trade and visitors to Great Yarmouth.

This has just not happened. Sadly the current situation is truly dire and the secrecy and obfuscation which surrounds it has the whiff of what could be regarded as a ‘cover up’.

This would all be rectified at a stroke if only all the authorities involved allowed us to know and try to understand what did occur, who was responsible and what is proposed for the immediate future for the good of our townfolk.

International commercial interests and potential customers are unlikely to pay much attention to gossip, wherever it comes from. They deal in hard facts and reliable statistics and I am afraid there is very little to attract them locally. We are told other UK ports are struggling in today’s uncertain commercial and industrial climate but Britain is after all an island and reliant to a degree on sea trade.

To my mind a competitive, well run port, with the necessary infrastructure, should function in a satisfactory manner without being a drain on the public purse and property as in the past few years. Perhaps the councillor and his colleagues could address these questions in a more proactive way for the good of the community.

I can easily provide evidence of one UK port which is investing millions of pounds in handling up to 3.5m containers per year. Some decline in trade!



Tyring to locate my aunt Brenda

This is a bit of a long shot but I hope your readers can help. On June 6 2009, the Mercury published an anniversary notice for Donald Hammond from his wife Brenda. I’m trying to locate Brenda as she is a great aunt.

My grandmother is originally from Liverpool but moved to the United States back in the late 1940’s. Brenda is her youngest sister and my mother’s namesake. I’ve tried everything I can think of to find her. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Brenda’s maiden name was Rainsford. My grandmother’s name is Eileen.



I am concerned about the horses

I am writing to support Richard Kozlowski’s letter concerning horses along the Acle Straight. I have also phoned the RSPCA and was told that the horses could fend for themselves.

I’m not sure this is the case when their field is badly overgrazed and in subzero temperatures there is no form of shelter or hedges.


The Green,


Horses have no place to shelter

I would like to expand further on the letter from Richard Kozlowski about the plight of the horses (and other animals) on the Acle Straight In the wild these poor animals would roam and find shelter in bushes and under trees, none of which are available to them in the fenced off fields.

They have nothing to help them withstand all that nature throws, the biting wind, driving rain, frost, sleet, and snow, even the burning sun (when we get it).

They have no horse rugs to wear, no shed to huddle in, no wind break to hide behind, nothing. We wear extra or fewer layers to match the weather conditions, they have just the one skin, with which they must face everything.

They stand there all night when the temperature drops, and when we’re tucked up indoors sheltered from the elements.

I feel dreadful every time I travel this road and see them standing there, heads bent low looking thoroughly miserable, and completely wretched.



Trying to locate Gingerbread pals

I lived in Yarmouth over 17 years ago and joined a single parent group, Gingerbread, and had many friends.

I moved away and have recently come back to Yarmouth to live and would love to meet up with my old friends. I have no surnames or addresses as we met up in a hall each week. I scan faces whenever I go out, however 18 years was a long time ago. Is there anyone who can help find any of them?



Hippies comment is disgusting

I am all for the concert on the beach in June, and feel S Colman’s comment that we will be invaded by unwashed hippies is disgusting. My 19 year old son is a typical teenager who likes concerts and festivals but he is neither a hippie or unwashed so I strongly object.

As for K G Lamb’s comment about the parking, does he truly believe that all the young people that will be coming to Great Yarmouth drive, I don’t think so. Most will be coming by train, bus or coach as in this day and age teenagers cannot afford a car.

Hopefully this will be a concert that takes place every year and will help liven up Great Yarmouth and bring some much needed money into the town. Keeping my fingers crossed that the sun will shine for all.



Looking for my grandad Hunter

I have for some years now been tracing my family history. Most of which has been relatively easy as the records have been good. But I have one missing link: John Hunter, my grandfather on my mother’s side.

I am fortunate enough to have a picture of him found amongst my grandmother’s possessions in an envelope marked 1937, although I have a suspicion the photograph might be earlier. From other information in May 1922 he is an ex farm bailiff living in Loddon Ingloss, but there is also a connection with Ellingham.

I note there are still several Hunters living in the Great Yarmouth area and maybe there is someone who knows of John William Hunter? I can be contacted by email on peterjosling@hotmail.com.



We need this beach festival

Why all the opposition to the proposed festival on the beach? Unless it has escaped anyone’s notice, poor old Yarmouth is dying on its feet. The pubs, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs and hotels are merely scraping a living at best.

Surely anything that brings large numbers of people who are prepared to spend money into the town can only be a good thing. We need to move with the times. The vast majority of people these days have absolutely no interest in sticks of rock, kiss me quick hats and eating chips in the rain.

If Yarmouth is to stand any chance of remaining a commercially viable holiday resort, more needs to be on offer than the current tired “attractions”.


North Drive,

Great Yarmouth

No attendants are redundant

In response to the letter from P Henley, March 22, Clean Toilets a must for Resort, I would just like to put a few facts straight.

The cost to local council tax payers of running our public toilets is £601,000 per year, of which staff costs are £76,600 for tourism and £184,500 for environmental services, totaling £261,100. With the changes to the service we are looking to make savings of £81,000 per year from these staffing costs.

No toilet attendants are being made redundant; from our nine attendants, five have opted for voluntary severance on enhanced terms, three are being retained for the mobile cleansing service (not one man in a van as stated) and one will be offered re-deployment if possible.

We do not have 130 public loos in the borough but 22, and only nine of these have attendants at present. Plans are already in place to provide additional toilets for the Live Nation Event in June.

With these proposals, whilst helping the council with the unavoidable need to reduce costs, will actually provide an enhanced service in respect of extending opening times for a number of the toilets.

Council officers are satisfied that the frequency of visits agreed with GYB Services within these arrangements, is sufficient to provide the appropriate cleansing, although this will be kept under constant review following implementation.


Magdalen Ward

Is port to blame for tourists fall?

“Negative talk bad for port” is the Mercury headline, also “Visitor numbers slide”!

These two articles are so connected they should be joined under one headline. We read the view of the council leader Cllr Wainwright asking that negative talk about the port should cease! On a different page tourism leaders are wanting English Tourism Week to boost tourism.

Tourism in Norfolk would not be the subject in last week’s Mercury if councillors had ensured in 2007 the deals made with public money produced what was sold to the taxpayers. the ferry!

Our councillors issued glossy brochures “sailings 3 times daily” 120,000 foreign and UK tourists earmarked to visit our borough.

Cllr Wainwright talks of the negative views “putting off international companies coming here”, but when is Mr Wainwright going to start caring for existing businesses within the port. By ignoring the companies that are not happy with the council’s attitude makes a mockery of his words in the Mercury.

It is late in the day for tourist bosses to blame government inaction, the blame for the lack of tourists coming to the borough rests solely in the way councillors voted back in 2007.


Burnt Lane


I worked at the beachside hotel

The recent article about the shifting sands at Caister revealing the Manor House Hotel reminded me of the time I worked there in 1941. At 14, I had just started as an apprentice electrician at Lacons building maintenance depot in Rampart Road, Yarmouth which was under Mr A W Ecclestone.

I was at the hotel helping to remove some of the electrical equipment before the building fell into the sea. Much of the wiring was in wooden box capping. Lacons’ electrician was called up and Mr Ecclestone allowed me to continue carrying out minor electrical repairs in many of Lacons pubs.

After a few months, those workshops were gutted by incendiary bombs and the works were moved to St Nicholas Road. It was arranged for me to transfer to Bowers & Barr in Regent Street and continue to carry out Lacons work

I also worked at Struan House on Gorleston Cliffs, where I can remember a large number of sergeant WRAFS sitting at radio positions in the bedrooms; It was a listening post for German radio transmissions.



Festival thanks for the support

Once again the members of the Gorleston St Andrew’s Competitive Festival Committee would like to express their appreciation to the many people and organisations, who have given their support to the Festival this year. The Festival has had the financial support of the Great Yarmouth Borough Council in partnership with Seachange Arts, Norfolk County Council, the Gorleston Rotary Club and all the advertisers in the Festival programme.

As in previous years, Allen’s Music Centre loaned the piano in the Chapter House for the duration of the Festival.

The committee would like to thank all the special guests who attended the final events and presented awards - the Mayor, Cllr Colleen Walker and her consort, Cllr Sylvia Pratt, Cllr Bert and Mrs Maureen Collins, Gorleston Rotary Club President, David Johnson and Mrs Johnson, Mr and Mrs Alan Barham, Mr Mike Cassidy for representing the Rev Steven Bradford during some sessions and Festival Patron, Patrick Hawes, for adjudicating the new Church Music Classes.

Our thanks are also due to Tony Mallion, who compèred the Junior Concert, and everyone who helped with stewarding duties during the fortnight.

The committee is aware that the Festival’s events disrupted some of the meetings of the church organisations so is grateful for their patience and co-operation. Thanks must also be given to Eileen Wood for the flower arrangement, the flowers being supplied by Sprig of Heather of Gorleston.

The Festival congratulates the many competitors and appreciates the dedication of teachers, accompanists, parents or guardians who supported them in their endeavours.

I would like to conclude by giving a special personal thank you to the hard-working, voluntary members of the committee who have given much time and commitment to organise the Festival to ensure its continuation and success.


Festival Chairman

Vauxhall Park holiday gift

Great Yarmouth Go-Ahead Club (a social club for adults with learning disabilities) would like to say a really big thank you to Vauxhall Holiday Park for donating a holiday for six people for next year’s Shake Rattle and Roll Weekender at the park. They have given us this holiday to use at our Charity Rock and Roll Fundraiser on April 13 at the Ocean Room when we have the Jets, Lights Out and Mark ‘Memphis’ King helping us raise money to take members of the Go-Ahead Club on holiday in October. So again, thank you very much to Vauxhall Holiday Park



Let’s see what politicians offer

We do need a debate between UKIP, Labour and the Conservatives. I am surprised that neither Labour nor the Conservatives are interested in having a debate with UKIP before the county council elections. If UKIP’s arguments are indeed weak, as they claim, then surely this would be a great chance for them to prove this at a public forum?

With UKIP seeing such a surge nationally and with a good chance of adding to the County Council seat they already hold in Great Yarmouth we should be giving them a platform to be scrutinised with the other parties.

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage has visited Great Yarmouth twice in the last year and is regularly topping polls as the most trustworthy and popular of the political party leaders, it would be a chance to see what UKIP has to offer and for Labour and the Conservatives to try and prove their claims true.


Brasenose Avenue,


Festival is just what town needs

In reply to the letters by C Colman and K G Lamb regarding the Beach Festival in June. They said about unwashed hippes, surely I remember this as the 1970s not 2013. And drunks taking over the seafront is not the same every Saturday night when the clubs and pubs turn out, just look at the Cases in Court every week.

As for rubbish and mess, what about the dog mess, broken glass and plastic cups we find when we take our great grandchildren to the beach now?

As for holidaymakers, maybe they would like the festival along with local young people, as there is not much done for them in a town which has more empty shops and charity shops than anywhere else I know. Let’s bring some much needed money to this “Great” place.


Prince of Wales Road

Caister on Sea

Question the future of town

As reported in the Mercury, the open forum session was held in the Town Hall, on March 14, when residents of the borough had the opportunity to question the leader and members of the council. The number of residents attending was disappointing, but the quality of questioning and discussion was more than impressive with Tony Mallion being an open and impartial chairman.

I had asked for this meeting to take place with the previous administration a few years ago, they declined my offer. The aim in this matter was to be impartial, non political and open, offering the chance for the residents of Great Yarmouth to question those who make the decisions in the borough. This is our town, we should be proud of our past and to question its future.

As a joint letter from myself and the leader of the council may I thank all who attended and we look forward to co-hosting a meeting in 2014. As a correction, my input was as a resident, and not in connection with any Tenant and Resident Group.




Leader, Borough Council

Disagree about the negative talk

I totally disagree with Trevor Wainwright about negative talk about the outer harbour. All the talk about jobs and ferries, where are they? If it wasn’t for the likes of Dennis Durrant and John Cooper we wouldn’t have known anything. Perhaps when the inquiry gets under way the people of the town will know the real truth then they might think twice when they vote.


Spencer Avenue,


Proud of what we accomplished

I was glad to see the letter from P Sutton last week explaining the luncheon clubs at Martham and Hemsby were still operating on a weekly basis. For 14 years until 2002, I was district officer and sole member of staff for Age Concern Gt Yarmouth and I remember calling a meeting at Hemsby to put forward the idea of gathering a group of people prepared to operate luncheon clubs in local villages.

I was totally surprised by the numbers who turned up and also the level of enthusiasm and determination to get the project up and running. I realised very quickly that Age Concern had played its part and that this dedicated group would carry out an excellent job. Age Concern was also responsible for initiating the luncheon club at Wherry Way. A huge input from our chairman and his wife, toegther with a small band of volunteers and the Wherry Way kitchen staff enabled the residents to enjoy a weekly lunch for many years.

It was a great time for volunteers, there were 84 social clubs for the Over Sixties affiliated to Age Concern GY, with a combined total of more than 2,000 members.

Further evidence of the calibre of volunteers became evident when Paul Green from Amec handed me a chque for £1,000 with the suggestion Yarmouth run it’s own Message-In-A-Bottle schjeme (MIAB). I wrote to the Mercury’s letters page and asked for interested people to join us. Another good response and a management group was formed.

We could offer our time but the £1,000 wasn’t going to last. A group member asked Boots if they would supply us with the small, empty black plastic tubs which hold rolls of film for us to use as “bottles”. They gave us hundreds.

Someone approached Asda, yes they would be glad to supply small see-through plastic bags in which to place the bottles. A local printer agreed to print at cost the detail-bearing forms essential to the efficient working of MIAB and so it progressed.

We were up and running and again the volunteers did most of the work and the packs remain available from Age Concern, albeit now much more expertly packaged and presented. I am grateful to have been around at a time when ordinary members of our community readily came forward without any financial gain to offer time and goodwill. I am glad and proud to have been part of it all.


formerly Sayers

Kipling Close,

Caister on Sea

Pity there will be no public debate

It is a pity that the two other parties in Great Yarmouth do not wish to have a public debate with UKIP. I would have thought that members of the public would have been very interested to hear what the three main parties in the coming county council elections on May 2, had to say about the town, the county and the country.


Chairman, UKIP Yarmouth

There is solution to coastal erosion

Interesting and somewhat controversial subject in the news last week relating to the impact of coastal erosion around our beaches and I have to say I agree totally with comments made by Jack Dye in as much as whilst they continue to remove millions of tonnes of aggregate from the sea , those cavernous gaps have to be filled by materials from elsewhere.

It is well known that even the mono-piles and platforms offshore suffer from scour at their bases, that is why concrete matting and thousands of tonnes of imported rocks are dumped around the turbines and platforms to protect and stabilise.

A possible solution to coastal erosion was available as far back as 2000 when a proposal was put forward using waste materials mixed with aggregates to form blocks which could have been used as secondary sea defences. The offer was deemed of little value and as such was put on the back burner until a few months ago when two brothers were asked if they had any innovative ideas for a Dragons Den presentation at Pulham St Mary. They did a 12 minute power point and received very good feedback from the Dragons and this has inspired them to reconsider the project.

Design changes accommodate additional waste streams which would normally go to ever decreasing landfill and they have located a conversion unit to convert asbestos wastes into inert material with 100pc destruction. This action leaves a cementacious product that can be mixed easily with other materials to create blocks of various sizes and weights, ideal for secondary sea defences and anti-scour systems for offshore. The project can save literally millions of tonnes of waste going to landfill, has tremendous potential for job creation, and energy derived from the conversion unit can be put back into the grid.

The efforts of the borough council and Scratby Coastal Erosion Group must be applauded as they look for cheaper alternatives to imported rock, however I was under the impression gabions were designed for shoring up embankments. The report says gabions are designed to let in sea water but stop waves crashing into the dunes. I am no expert but clearly there will be over wash that will bite into and take sand from dunes as the sea retreats. The gabions, or steel mesh cages, are purchased in the Midlands but surely they could be fabricated by local companies; that would also help create employment.

The sea will continue to take our coastline unless we stop taking millions of tonnes of aggregate from it or support our coastal defences with robust materials with indefinite life spans. There are alternatives, all that is required is the support of local residents, the council and the Environment Agency.


Holly Avenue,


No politician for High Steward job

I have been giving a great deal of thought as to whom might have the credentials to be the next High Steward of our great borough.

Like Michael Falcon, I believe that person should come from the business within the borough, a business that has been established for at least 100 years, has contributed in a voluntary capacity to the furtherment of education and cultural activity in our town. Also shown a measure of philanthropy through their business or personally to our town, have a record of supporting civic functions through personal attendance at events, and have a keen interest in the history and further development of our borough.

A Great Yarmouth citizen through and through. It should not be a politician as they can become mayor or a county A-lister and they can become High Sheriff. These parameters should produce a short list of at least half a dozen worthy candidates if it’s not too late.


High Street