Letters, March 22, 2013

Poster objections are exaggerated

There appears to be a document circulating around the town and being posted through letter boxes which is objecting to the concert on the beach on the June 29 and 30. The producer of the document does not even have enough confidence in what he or she is saying to put their name on it.

It urges people to write, phone or email the council and object to the event. We discussed this at a recent community safety and pride meeting and everybody at the meeting was in favour of the event which we believe is excellent for the town. Most of the objections in the document are either wrong or grossly exaggerated. I would urge anyone receiving it to either ignore it or write, phone or email the council expressing their support for the event.


The Cottages

Great Yarmouth

Bus stop a stop to nowhere!

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What is the purpose of placing a bus stop at New Road, Belton when it will hardly ever be used? Who is going to get on and off if the sports pavilion is closed? It’s a stop to nowhere.

No doubt a top of the range bus shelter will be erected, nothing like the monstrosity at Bracon Road where you literally get soaked to the skin or blown away whilst waiting for a bus, which is very often delayed or taken off completely



Say no to debate with local UKIP

It is to be hoped that neither the Labour or Conservative leaders in Great Yarmouth agree to the local branch of UKIP’s call to “put themselves forward to public scrutiny” at a debate organised by themselves.

UKIP, despite their most vivid dreams, do not represent the public, though you would never know it from the way they “spam” the comments sections of the online versions of any online debating forum to which they gain access. On March 14 the borough council’s (Labour) cabinet opened themselves up to public scrutiny in an event at the town hall. The event was badly attended, despite being advertised in advance, and was the perfect forum at which to ask hard and searching questions.

UKIP could have ensured almost every question came from their own members but UKIP none of their tiny local band turned up - perhaps because, as those of us who met them on the doorstep during last year’s local election campaign discovered, once out of their comfort zones of immigration and Europe, they have precious little to say.

That explains the flustered, barely concealed anger of the UKIP canvasser who landed on my doorstep, unable to talk about anything other than immigration while I wanted to know something of policies regarding council budgets and spending priorities.

I belong to no political party, and consider myself neither left nor right. I am anti-Europe and strongly believe in sensible immigration control - a good target for UKIP you might think. Unfortunately I am not amenable to wild conspiracy theories regarding the EU (and politics generally) and my belief in fair and sensible immigration control is not a cover for uglier, un-British beliefs.

For our local mainstream political leaders to succumb to UKIP’s publicity seeking request for a debate would lend to UKIP a local respectability it does not deserve.



Lunches are still being served

Following the letter printed in last Friday’s Mercury, I would like to correct the letter concerning the closure of The Hemsby and Martham Lunch Club.

Hemsby WI and Hemsby Parish Council pulled out of providing meals for the local residents at the latter part of last year, due to financial problems and cutbacks, but the meals are still being provided by Frances Hart, who kindly carried on the lunches straight after the council and WI pulled out. Frances was already the cook in charge before the change over so continuity was maintained.

Lunches are being served every Monday at St Mary’s Close and every Tuesday at Martham, continuing its popular meals service. Volunteers are always welcome too. If you would like a delicious, home cooked meal or would just like to help with the washing up, please contact Frances Hart on 01493 731667 or 07802 565898.



A ‘free runners’ park? Oh please!

A park for “free running” or parkour, oh please! Firstly, anybody who is in the least bit interested in real parkour would have no interest in a dedicated park. The whole point is to run and perform jumps on buildings, railings, car parks etc.

So that would be another £80,000 totally wasted. And secondly, and I quote; “it’s not ASBO behaviour”....really? Two boys and one girl walking over the top of cars, youths jumping on cars, running across roof which then collapsed, approximately 25 youths running up and down garage roofs …need I go on?

So this is not anti social behaviour then? These cars are somebody’s property, as are the roofs, gardens and other areas that these “youths” are abusing.

Harriet Winfrey states that “parkour is a good alternative to falling into the wrong crowd”. So it’s okay for them to fall into some poor sod’s garage and wreck their car instead.

It’s about time that the hand wringing liberals stopped pandering to the yobbos, no dedicated park is required. Simply arrest and punish them for criminal damage.


North Drive,

Great Yarmouth

Reassurrances about horses

The RSPCA understands the concerns about the many horses grazing on fields off the Acle Straight.

Our local inspectors are in the area several times a day and have found no horses in a suffering state. The only way that we can act to remove horses is on veterinary advice that they are suffering.

The horses have access to water and hay and are in normal bodily condition. Most of them are cob-types which grow an extra winter coat and should not need rugs or blankets for this reason.

More information on horses in winter can be found at http://www.redwings.org.uk/welfare/advice-and-information/horses-in-winter/

Should anyone see any horse in a suffering state they should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.



Excited about a beach festival

I for one, am very excited by the news of a beach festival. As someone who has been to both Latitude and Reading Festivals, I have full faith in the fact that this festival will be well organised.

As a person who missed the chances to go to Pop Beach when I was younger, I cannot wait to go watch some presumably brilliant acts on my local beach. I will be hoping for an act like Foo Fighters, but I guess that will be unlikely.

And to those who are concerned about the location of the festival. There are lots of towns/cities that have festivals based inside their walls, and create lots of revenue for local businesses.

One example of this would be The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. Local businesses get lots of extra money from the festival being based there. So speaking as an avid festival-goer I welcome the news (just as long as it’s a good line up!).



Sea will gnaw it’s way through

Reference to Barry Collingwood’s picture and comments in last week’s Mercury, asking why the beach is disappearing from Hopton. My thoughts on the reason are, and always have been, that it is due to the aggregate extraction of over-zealous marine suction vessels.

The extraction of at least six million tonnes of aggregate per annum is creating deep water inshore which is altering the gradient all along our coastline, both to the north and south of Great Yarmouth.

If this is allowed to carry on, the sea will gnaw its way through to the waterways at Stokesby and Potter Heigham to the north, and Oulton and Beccles to the south.


Gonville Road,


We don’t want to be ‘invaded’

I am gravely alarmed with GYBC plans to sanction the invasion of our town and beaches by tens of thousands of unwashed hippies.

In previous years, I have observed many of the attendees of the Latitude event while driving along the A12. We simply do not want these creatures and their “festival of disruption” anywhere in the Great Yarmouth area. Let them go to Lowestoft.

The only “opportunity” such an event presents is to deter loyal Great Yarmouth holidaymakers from booking during this period and possibly, at any time in the future. I genuinely fear for the safety of those families with small children that may have already booked during this period, were this mayhem to take place.

My sincere thanks to the person(s) who are distributing leaflets to oppose this catastrophic event.

The council should be doing more to clean up the summer rubbish, not invite it !



Halal protests but no changes

I would like to assure Patrick Smith (last week’s Mercury) that I have contacted our MP Brandon Lewis on more than one occasion concerning the barbaric slaughter of animals for Halal meat.

He simply passes my letters to the appropriate minister who then replies quoting various regulations but all this means the status quo remains and nothing changes. Perhaps all this has a political implication?


Yarmouth Road,

Ormesby St Margaret

Why not ask a fair price?

I’ve heard it all now...Great Yarmouth Borough Council has seen fit to sell two historical buildings behind the Town Hall, for 50p each. A two bedroom house in Yarmouth costs over £40,000 to buy, so how can they justify selling these two buildings for a pittance, if they have to be sold, come on, ask a fair price.

Even £40,000 for the two is cheap. Not much money going back into our borough’s coffer’s there then! Oh well, the old ratepayer loses out every time, we could have earned a rebate on the rates.

I think the council needs to call in some business advice, I’m sure “The Dragons” off the TV show, would be of great assistance there. One fiasco – the Outer Harbour - for this town is quite enough, too much ratepayer’s money being wasted. Why was it all shrouded in mystery, didn’t even know the buildings were for sale, until sold!

I might have offered them a lot more than fifty pence each.



Drunks will take over the town

I object very strongly about the forthcoming beach party on June 29 and 30. If this licence application is passed we will have thousands of young people getting drunk and taking over the town. There will be lots of noise and rubbish will be everywhere, crime rates will go up and the police will not be able to cope.

Parking will be a problem there is not enough room for residents and holidaymakers let along thousands of youngsters who will park wherever they like. Overall, a disaster.


Nelson Road North,

Great Yarmouth

Need to preserve the reserve

The headline invitation of your article on 15 March about the Somerton wind farm is too tempting to ignore. I am a great enthusiast of Winterton and Horsey Dunes National Nature Reserve and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is becoming an important eco-tourist attraction as people from near and far look for healthy and affordable leisure pursuits.

The reserve is unrivalled in the borough and the wider area as a popular natural visual and recreational public amenity. When the original windfarm, one of the first in the country, was erected people were told they were an inevitable necessity. A decade later, in a nationwide survey to find the ten worst national eyesores windfarms topped the poll. The report used a photograph of West Somerton wind farm to illustrate why.

The turbines form an unnatural and dominating backdrop to the Reserve and AONB. When the original windfarm was developed the offshore turbines were still a thing of the future,

Cllr Weymouth will not be the only person breathing a sigh of relief that the ten original turbines should soon be demolished, thereby removing the fear they would be left to rot. However, are we to understand this will only happen if permission is granted to replace them with two more turbines with a relatively small increase in overall height?

As I understand it, the proposed replacements will have lower hub heights but much longer rotating arms. It is these that cause the visual and audible impact and are also responsible for any interruption of TV and communications signals for those living in their shadow. I am guessing this is more likely to affect people in Winterton than West Somerton.

Nowadays courts are ruling more and more in favour of objectors. In Somerton’s case it would surely be better to add two more turbines to those now out at sea if they must go somewhere? If the turbines at Somerton are not completely removed, the Dunes National Nature Reserve will continue to have wind turbines to right and to left, both on land and at sea, and its days as an AONB could be numbered as a result.

People who enjoy the Dunes Reserve and want to preserve and enhance its visual amenity by objecting to the erection of two new turbines at Somerton, will need to let their views be known to borough and parish councillors and to the local planning authority at Yarmouth Town Hall. They could also write to the Mercury, as could those wishing to support the application. It is particularly important for the residents of Somerton and Winterton to let their views be known. They are the ones who live and vote in the ward and they also need to attend public meetings if they possibly can.

Doing nothing is likely to lead to planning consent being given and It is clear once turbines are erected they are there for the next 20 years at least,



Charity show theatre packed

I would like to extend a big “Thank You” to everyone who helped me with my charity variety show, “Live@St George’s” on Saturday evening. It was a delight to see the theatre packed with over 200 people enjoying local talent from throughout the borough.

Thank you to the artists of all ages together with the staff and volunteers at St George’s, who gave freely of their time to produce a stunning spectacle. I also wish to express my gratitude to sponsors, donors, parents and teachers who contributed to a successful fund raising event. I will write again in the near future to announce the final total.

It was a pleasure to see visitors from all over the area having an enjoyable time in such a stunning venue.



Call to ex-pupils of Worlledge

Edward Worlledge Junior School in Suffolk Road, Great Yarmouth has recently joined the Norfolk Heritage Project. We are looking for as much information as possible about the school since 1906.

If you are a past pupil or staff member and you have any information, photographs or anecdotes you would like to share with us, we would be very grateful if you could get in touch and share your experiences. We are particularly interested in information relating to the history of our school badge.

You can email: office@edwardworlledge.norfolk.sch.uk or write to Edward Worlledge Junior School, Suffolk Road, Great Yarmouth, NR31 0ER. Alternatively, please phone 01493 603462 to make an appointment with Mrs Parker or Miss Hardy, the teachers involved with this project.


School Support Manager

Clean toilets a must for resort

I thought your readers might be interested to learn despite clear local opposition and public outrage, demonstrated by a 13,000 signature petition, the borough council has seen fit to make all the permanent toilet attendants redundant. Even the attendant at the Market Gates toilets, the one they claimed to be so eager to save, is to be axed.

Now the cleanliness and hygiene of our public toilets is to be left to the efforts of one man in a van. Great Yarmouth has 130 public loos all in use especially in the summer season when the majority of our visitors are in town. In the absence of clean public facilities, visitors will turn to conveniences provided by local businesses already heavily taxed by their business rates.

Dog walkers responsible or otherwise are banned from Gorleston beach in an effort to keep it clean, it’s a shame they don’t show the same level of concern for our toilets.

As a person employed in the public sector I am all too aware of the pressures on the public purse but there has to be priorities, and for a town that professes to be at the forefront of the British holiday trade then the provisions we make for our visitors must be earmarked for every available piece of cash.

This week the Mercury reported plans to stage a big music weekend in the town. Just imagine how that number of people on the seafront would challenge the provision of public facilities, and on a positive side how a successful event could result in repeat visits.

I am amazed in a month when the council once again decided to retain free parking on Gorleston cliffs and seafront and throws away opportunities to raise revenue they make valued workers redundant and put at risk our image as a good clean family friendly resort. A response from a local councillor would be a change.



NHS treatment was remarkable

I would like to say a few words about my recent dealings with the local paramedics and N&N NHS organisations. A month or so ago a member of my family was taken ill at 7.45am on a Friday, with what turned out to be a severe heart attack. We were obviously very concerned.

After calling the local ambulance a fast-track lone paramedic turned up almost in the blink of an eye, and straight away in a friendly, professional manner started dealing with my relative and put us at ease. Then another couple of paramedics were with him, had him diagnosed as having a heart attack and were sending all the heart scans and information needed to the heart surgeons at the N&N. My relative was driven to the N&N and had two stents put into a blocked artery, and was back to the cardiac ward by the time I arrived at 9.45am.

Recently the local paramedic service has taken some criticism, but my experience shows the unsung heroics and brilliant service we get from both the paramedics and our local health services. Within two hours of a serious heart attack my relative was diagnosed, taken to Norwich and operated on, and back on the ward feeling healthier than he had done for quite some time.

Quite remarkable.


Great Yarmouth

All survived the Stirling ditching

With reference to Mrs Langstone’s letter in last week’s Mercury regarding the crashed Stirling bomber off Hemsby beach. The aircraft was from 196 Squadron which was formed at Witchford, Cambs in August 1943. Witchford is two miles south of Ely and it was not a popular posting as the runways were often waterlogged and one had a steep incline which made take-offs hazardous.

The aircraft in question “C” Charlie, had been having engine problems on number 2 engine and it was decided to change it. On completion it was put back into operation.

On the night October 8/9, “C” Charlie was part of a diversionary raid to Bremen. After take-off and over the North Sea, the cockpit escape hatches blew off but P/O Peter Dyson carried on. Over the Dutch coast, number two engine blew up. He decided to ditch his bombs in the sea and attempted a return to base.

The Stirling continued to descend so P/O Dyson decided to ditch off the coast at Hemsby. He made a text book crash landing approx 100 yards offshore and the crew got ashore and were taken to the Lacon Tavern which was being used as a Navy listening post manned by Wrens, where according to Peter Dyson they were well looked after.

In the morning the crew were taken and photographed in front of their aircraft, the fin and rudder poking out of the sea. All the crew survived and survived the war.

During the 1980s when there was an exceptionally low tide the wreckage of the bomber came to light and s salvage crew from RAF Coltishall tried to retrieve it, but in vain. The only thing salvaged was the undercarriage and the rest was removed as scrap.

Three of my colleagues and myself did manage to remove a small wing panel and Byron Scott made seven encapsulated paperweights with the name of the crew member and his crew station engraved on. Peter Dyson came to Yarmouth personally to pick them up which it why I know the facts are correct.


Caister on Sea

Shame no reply to challenge

It is good to see the Great Yarmouth Mercury have reported on UKIP’s challenge to Labour and the Conservatives for a debate in Great Yarmouth surrounding the forthcoming County Elections.

However it is a shame that after well over a week neither Labour Council leader Trevor Wainwright or the Conservative Association have got back to us to put forward a candidate for these debates.

UKIP beat the Conservatives and Labour in numerous places across Great Yarmouth last year and there is a real likelihood we will win seats this year. We believe it would only be fair that we can be scrutinised in a debate along with the Labour and the Conservatives.

We are looking forward to taking questions from the public and hope Labour and the Conservatives will not shirk from the challenge.


UKIP Great Yarmouth

Hope debate will be going ahead

I read with interest in the news section of last week’s Mercury that UKIP have challenged the local Labour and Conservative parties to a debate. I hope this is something that goes ahead as it would be a chance to scrutinise the main three parties in Great Yarmouth.

Labour and the Conservatives have made their mistakes but it would also be a chance to see what UKIP have to offer local residents.


Great Yarmouth

Minster tower is at last revealed

With the tower of St Nicholas’ Minster covered in scaffolding, I have hardly given it a glance for a long time. However, I was practically stopped in my tracks one day last week when I noticed the scaffolding had been removed and the finished result revealed.

On one of the rare sunny afternoons this winter, the tower looked simply stunning above the Yarmouth skyline.

Congratulations to everyone who was involved in any way, whether it was the fundraising, the actual restoration work or the countless other tasks most of us never hear about, Very well done.


Barnard Crescent,

Great Yarmouth

Excellent care at the James Paget

On March 14, I suddenly became very ill. I was in my house and experienced what was later diagnosed as a TIA (transient ischaemic attack), or sometimes referred to as a mini stroke.

Within 15 minutes an ambulance arrived at my home and two paramedics immediately got to work with my problem. Within a further 10 minutes a second ambulance arrived kitted out with more suitable equipment for my problem.

After diagnosing me, we travelled to the James Paget. Wheeled straight into A&E we waited for less than 10 minutes to be handed over to hospital staff who immediately took care of me and I was booked into ward 1, the stroke ward.

The following morning I awoke, having been monitored overnight, to a new shift of equally wonderful staff. the food I received was very pleasant and most adequate for my needs, meals such as shepherd’s pie, jacket potatoes and fish and chips. The attention and care I received was excellent.

I would like through your pages to thank the ambulance and the hospital staff for the great care I received during my short but very necessary stay and feel the attention greatly helped my recovery.


Mill Road,

Great Yarmouth