Letters, March 15, 2013

Street lighting like ‘blackout’

About two weeks ago, returning home around 12.30am, I noticed two lamp-posts out in Estcourt Road off Northgate Street in Yarmouth. The next day I notified Norfolk County Council street lighting department and they said they would be attended to within five working days,

Ten days later the whole road of 11 lamps, with the exception of two were out. I contacted street lighting again, they passed me onto the part lighting department. They explained it was the part lighting scheme that the lights went out at midnight and came on again at 5am, and said this was the case all over Norfolk.

I said this was a very unsatisfactory situation; it was like the wartime blackout after midnight and open invitation to burglars to do their dastardly deeds.

I was told that was the policy. I contacted Graham Plant, county councillor cabinet member and he told me burglars did not like the dark, they liked the lights on so they could see what they were doing. So with the lights out the crime figures went down, and anyway there’s nobody about after midnight.

With the bars and clubs on the seafront not closing until after 3am or 4am where does he think all those people spilling out of them go, into thin air! No they wander home in a semi drunken state and some, not all, decide to smash open the odd car or set light to a wheelie bin and then disappear in to the dark abyss.

I realise councils are stretched for money and perhaps a better idea would be to turn every alternate light out permanently and this would produce an 50pc saving in electricity and we would not be in a complete blackout.

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Complain about animal slaughter

I agree with Peter Tennant that the production of Halal meat is undesirable. I make a point of refusing to purchase such. However it is allowed by the law.

I suggest that Peter and anybody else who is angered by this method of slaughter contact their local MP. And if that MP is Brandon Lewis then I hope that he pays more attention to them than he did to me when I raised an issue with him.



Technical High School reunion

A reunion has been arranged for Friday, April 5 at the Burlington Hotel, North Drive, Great Yarmouth for students of the Technical High School, 1946-1970. The event is at 7.30pm and there will be a two course buffet.

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



Editor’s note: Apologies for printing as 1846 last week.

Unfairness of pub tax system

Barry Austin, landlord of the St John’s Head, was correct when he complained in the Mercury, March 8, about the unfairness of the tax system for pub landlords.

For many pubs, especially the smaller ones, the selling of alcoholic products is their only source of business.

Their small size means they are unable to diversify into other areas, such as catering. Supermarkets, on the other hand, have the ability to buy alcoholic products in bulk and at much lower prices than pubs. They can also sell these products at a much lower price, undercutting the local pub.

This unfairness, therefore, has led to pubs closing at an alarming rate, resulting in a loss to the community as well as jobs.

You only need to look at the number of pubs that have gone out of business in the Yarmouth area over the past few years to see the damage caused by ill-conceived government legislation. So perhaps our parliamentary representative might represent his constituents for a change and help save the local pub by supporting pub landlords like Barry Austin.



Distressing to find crem locked

What a bad start to Mothering Sunday. Distressful as it was, I arrived at 7.20am to find Gorleston Crem closed; okay it wasn’t supposed to be open until 7.30pm. Others arrived and it still wasn’t open and 8am came and went.

I finally made a call to the council’s emergency number and a kind gentleman said he would ring the two numbers he had. Just under 10 minutes later someone opened the gates at 8.20am.

It made me late for work but there was a poor old gentleman who had come by foot from Yarmouth and we were cold waiting. It’s the first time I have had to queue to get in.



Pillars: Let me clarify reason

I would just like to clarify that the reason Sutton Media did not pay the GYTA for three years is because there existed no agreement between the parties.

The borough council saw fit to allocate the rights to advertise on the public information pillars to the GYTA who didn’t own them, and it took three years for the two parties to come to agreement about who should maintain the pillars, who should sell the space, who should insure them and so on.

Things are not as simple as they sometimes look.


General Manager

Sutton Media Ltd

Was spirit from tragic bomber?

I have told several times of the visit my then husband Bryan and I witnessed one morning in the early 1980s when we lived in Common Road, Hemsby.

After loud, heavy footsteps woke us from our sleep, there in the doorway stood a young man in air force uniform.

As he slid his haversack down from his shoulder he looked from one to the other of us, shook his head, then just faded away. To tell folks you have seen a ghost, or spirit as I prefer to call it, you are met either with silence, disbelief or that you are crazy.

Reading in the recent club life notes I learn that a Stirling plane crashed just off the beach in Hemsby and it has sent me wondering. Did our spirit die in this crash? He wasn’t in a bomber jacket, but in a “walking out” uniform…in colour by the way, with a peaked cap.

If I remember rightly, a Short’s Stirling was a bomber. Was he returning from a mission? Was he a local man? Why is he not now at rest?

I was in South Wales and my home town in Kent during the war and know nothing about Great Yarmouth during that time so had no previous knowledge of the plane crash at Hemsby until reading the club news from the aviation historians. Can anyone enlighten me?


Rampart Road,

Great Yarmouth

Mother’s Day tea and empathy

As I pen these few lines, I am still trying to thaw out from a grey, bitterly cold day at Yarmouth crematorium from where I have just retired after wandering around, speaking to familiar and new faces of so many lovely people paying respect to their loves ones whom they see no more.

This day has been a special one, Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day as it has become known.

The doors of the crematorium opened in welcome and short services provided courtesy of the Rev Peter Paine and his team of volunteers for those wishing to avail themselves of a little tea and empathy in a warm and caring atmosphere to brighten their day,.

The beatitudes in the Bible tell us: “Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be composed.”

Thus providing us with yet another opportunity to love our neighbours in this sad old world of ours.

It was such a good day somehow – I just had to tell you all about it.


Links Road,


Town is full of roadworkings

I’m fed up with all the roadworks around Yarmouth. It doesn’t matter in which direction you drive you seem to come up across a “Diversion” sign!

I do agree it’s good all this upheaval is happening now instead of during the busy summer months; but couldn’t it have been started sooner ie October and phased in with a break for Christmas?

Bus timetables have gone out of the window and the poor drivers get the flak for being late, and in some cases I hear, having to miss out stops in order to make up time.



Sad to hear of Kenny Ball death

Like many others, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball. I worked with him on a number of occasions.

He told me once in an interview recorded at a sixties festival, that he owed much success to Lonnie Donegan at Pye records and that although he and his band had recorded a version of Hello Dolly, no-one could match the original version by Louis Armstrong.

That was Kenny, appreciative and modest about his own achievements both here in the UK and abroad including the US and Russia.

One programme I co-produced was Kenny’s Personal Choice from Bristol which was broadcast by Radio 2 on Easter Monday 1991.

I am just so pleased to have been given the privilege to work at some time or another with the three B’s, Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and Chris Barber.

Ask anyone over 50 now who recorded Midnight in Moscow and the answer will come back straight away as Kenny Ball. Will the artists of today be remembered after such a long period?

Time will tell.

A thoroughly genuine person has now gone to rest. God bless you mate, you will be missed.


Former producer, Radio 2

North Walsham

We must focus on tidal power

It is high time that, as a county, we focused on the huge possibilities that exist in generating tidal power in many areas around our coast. This could be done very cheaply, by taking advantage of the power lines and infrastructure already in place for offshore wind.

It could, furthermore, around some parts of our coast be combined with flood defences (and/or with defences against coastal erosion).

This is especially relevant to Great Yarmouth, where cleverly-installed tidal power devices on the river could simultaneously act as a flood defence system.

Tidal power has the tremendous advantage that it is completely reliable, and that it is at its maximum power at different times at different points on the coast (because high tide happens at different times at different points).

This makes it an ideal ‘free’ and everlasting energy source for providing ‘baseload’ power.

I believe that in years to come the sea of opportunity that encompasses our coast here in East Anglia will offer us much, and that tidal power will be the greatest thing of all that it will offer. As a Green, and as your prospective MEP, I intend to work to ensure that that time of opportunity comes as soon as possible.



Please help poor horses in cold

After contacting the RSPCA several times I feel somebody should be aware of the plight of the horses down the Acle Straight, left out in the snow and minus zero temperatures. We travelled both ways on Monday and these poor creatures have no shelter or blankets etc. This is wrong and somebody should listen.



Don’t dump your white goods!

When are people going to realise that fridges and freezers are collected free of charge?

These are being dumped round the back of Brasenose Avenue, causing a hazard and a total eyesore.

All it takes is a phone call to Yarmouth Council and they will take it away.

No, the refuse collection service does not remove them. If it’s just a case of “can’t be bothered to make a call”, then leave them outside your own property and see how you like looking out of your window at it.

If anyone sees people dumping these, they should be reported for flytipping.

A fine will cost far more than a quick phone call!!



Get out those flares from 70s

Caister High School’s class of 79 are holding a reunion on May 31 at the California Tavern. Myself and Philip Newson are selling tickets at £6 for this event which includes a buffet. There will be the Glamtastics playing all our favourite 70s tunes so bring your flared jeans.

Contact me on 07772 387166 or at Oakdene, Main Road, Rollesby, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. NR29 5ER, or Phil on 07771 636337



Cutbacks close luncheon club

The Hemsby and Martham Luncheon Club, which was formed in 2000 with the assistance of Patricia Sayers of Age Concern has had to close.

The first committee was made up Hemsby parish councillors and members of the Women’s Institute and lunches have been provided twice a week at both Hemsby and Martham for 13 years.

Regrettably, the luncheon club has become a victim of the government cutback in funding to local authorities.

The committee, now made up of parish councillors from both Hemsby and Martham and still supported by the Women’s Institute would like to thank all who have served on the committee and those volunteers who, over the years, came in at lunchtimes to help the cook and to serve meals and wash up.


Chairman, Hemsby and Martham Luncheon Club

My knights in reflector jackets

The age of chivalry is not dead. Last week, on my way back from collecting my morning paper with friends, a lorry was driving passed at a “lick”.

To avoid the down draught, I sidestepped on the pavement and put my foot in some dog poo (lucky me). I took a few steps forward to the grass verge to wipe my foot and promptly over-balanced and fell backwards, crashing on to the pavement and road.

Within seconds a lorry pulled up and two men got out and rushed over to help me up. I’m no lightweight, my friends would have had a job pulling me up, but these two got me to my feet and were very solicitous about my welfare. Also a car stopped and a woman driver asked if I needed a lift, which I refused.

I’d like to say thank you again to those two men and the woman driver. You’ve given me back my faith in human nature.

When I got home I went to the freezer and got out a packet of beans and placed them on my head, walking around with them, as a lump was growing on my head. Once again, thanks to my knights in reflector jackets and the woman driver.


Beach Road,