Letters, March 13 2015

The dunes are our protection

I have been reading the details of what the Haven Holiday Camp at Caister on Sea are doing in the name they say of updating the beach front and I am in disbelief.

Where do they get the arrogance to think they are in the right to just change what was in existence before they even owned the site? First of all the dunes and marram grass are a community protection area that is there to help the area protect itself from tidal surges and high water, and should not be arbitrarily removed by Haven so the caravan users can see the sea from their vans.

If they need to see the sea they just need to get out and climb the dunes. Do the directors of the camp not remember the problems the sea produced last year with houses tumbling into the sea, the loss of the beach and the rivers of water left on our beach because of the erosion, or is it they just don’t care? After all, they don’t live here, do they.

If they really want to do something to improve the site’s image, cleaning up their storage area by the sea might be somewhere to start. There rubbish blows along the gorse, brambles and marram grass and they do nothing to prevent it or clear it up.

I was talking on the radio with a DJ a couple of years back, and he asked me where I lived. I told him Caister on Sea and he replied “Oh yes, the jewel in the crown of Norfolk”. If only he knew what is being allowed to go on with our “jewel” in the name of making a fast buck.

The Haven camp has irrevocably damaged the environment in three areas now over the last couple of years. What next will they just come in and bulldoze? The rest of the dunes, the sea wall, marram grass and the wildlife just because they have been allowed to get away with it this time?

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I can’t understand why the borough council just buried their collective heads in the sand, quoting only the items they thought they were obliged to check. If we were to try and put it back we would find that the full power of the law would be brought to bear to stop us and ensure we put it back.

I wonder who Haven think they are, making a statement that it should improve the conditions of the dunes in the long term, I think they were pretty good to start with and have developed to this condition over many years, apart from the dirt and debris brought and dumped on the beaches and dunes by their customers.


Greenhill Avenue,

Caister on Sea

Let’s have the events sequence

I know it is easy to be wise after the event but was it really necessary for police to take six hours to decide that a “suspicious package” found in Tesco’s Pasteur Road store was a hoax?

It would surely be in the public interest for us to be given a step-by-step guide to the sequence of events which resulted in the evacuation of the shop, the setting up of 100m-wide exclusion zone and the abandonment of cars and shopping inside the store.

What attempts were made to trace the source of the hoax call?

What were the dimensions of the package in question?

Can we see a photograph of it?

What were the actual contents?

How did the army explosive disposal officers “safely” dispose of it?

Did they blow it up?

What reasoning did they use to deduce it was a hoax that the police officer in charge of the incident couldn’t have used?

During this period of cuts in police budgets it seems reasonable to suggest a nucleus of police or scenes of crimes officers should be given some basic training in filtering out obvious hoaxes from the credible calls of this nature.

But I’ve been advocating in vain such a policy for years. If the cost of Friday’s fiasco was published then maybe somebody in authority might listen?



Why wasn’t road cleared earlier?

On Wednesday last week about 2.30pm, I was on my way to Norwich on A47 when I came to a standstill in traffic on the approach to Acle roundabout. When I finally got to the roundabout I discovered a caravan transporter had broken down on the roundabout junction.

I returned from Norwich about 5.30pm and discovered the lorry still stuck at the roundabout. I carried on, with my final destination being Bradwell, but the traffic en route was backed up bumper to bumper all the way to the Harfrey’s estate.

Could somebody please explain why this lorry was not towed away off the main road, especially as this was an evening home match at Norwich and this lorry was still there after some three hours.

The police car sitting near the lorry was doing no good so why did they not use the nice expensive Land Rover they have to pull it off the roundabout. This lorry must have cost us a fortune in time and fuel.



Just wait for the east winds blow

Can anyone clarify if Haven Holidays own the land that they have decimated by destroying vital habitat for the wildlife?

We have seen deer, pheasant, lizard, the odd snake, fox… now it is all gone. People who walk that route daily must be mortified, but on a brighter note at least they have buried all the dog mess.

Lastly, along with many others each night, I will be praying for a very strong Easterly gale so they can play with their diggers and shovel all the sand back on the beach. Remember you mostly reap what you sow, blow wind blow.


Jordan Road,

Caister on sea

Local surgeries are well placed

I fully agree with Derek Appleton with regard to surgery closures in the Gorleston/Bradwell areas, (Mercury, March 6). I have undergone many surgical procedures and have received excellent care pre operation and post operation from my local surgery; the after care could not have been better. These surgeries are placed in these positions for a specific purpose - to serve the surrounding population with easy access. Further congestion at the hospital would be unacceptable but may add to the car parking coffers (that would be a plus for the bean counters).


Peterhouse Avenue,


Help to find the family of Charles

I am trying to find any family or friend who may have known Charles Albert Kittle, who lived at 3 Drift Road, East Caister. His mother lived at 2 Faith Cottages.

He was a fisherman on the “Helpmate” before the outbreak of the second world war when he was transferred from the Royal Naval Reserve to the Royal Navy. He served throughout the war with the Royal Naval Patrol Service.

He died in January 1950 at the age of 38. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I can be contacted on 01603 432291


Lionwood Road,


I remember life on Manby Road

Re the article “Hidden history of Manby House” (Mercury, February 27). I was born on Manby Road, Great Yarmouth in 1933, my mother also lived there from 1917 with her aunt Mrs Adams.

She was the sister to Mr King who lived in Manby House which was up the passage between numbers 9 and 10. After Mr King died his son Percy lived there with his family. The back door came out in Trueman’s Place between numbers 12 and 13.

Mr Bob High lived next door but one to Manby House with his wife and daughter Gladys. Ivy, his other girl, came back now and again. About the pigeons he kept: it was rumoured they were used by the Forces.

About Trueman’s Place: the late Sir Kenneth McMillan’s family lived there. They later moved to Stanley Terrace but he was always back on Manby. One day the air raid siren went and he ran home. I believe Dysons was bombed and he had to pass the workplace which backed onto the Manby. His family could not find him and they thought he was killed but later on they found him in the air raid shelter on Manby Road.


(nee England)

Shakespeare Road,

Great Yarmouth

I’m named after tragic air gunner

We read on the internet with great interest your article regarding the Second World War bomber crash at Horsey in 1944, researched by William Buck, and published in 2014.

My association with this story is with air gunner Malcolm McKay.

If you can picture two young men in Australia, one being Malcolm McKay and the other being my father Desmond Gutzke. They grew up together and were inseparable.

When the time came to enlist, Malcolm went into the Royal Australian Air Force and my dad was employed in essential industry so he was prevented from enlisting. However, he was able to enlist in the militia.

On Malcolm’s departure overseas they both made a pact that if one survived the other he would call their first son after the one that did not return. Because of this crash of 1944 in which Malcolm lost his life, that is how I received my name.

I wear this name with a great deal of pride and always a degree of respect within the McKay family because of being named after Malcolm.

Finding your article on the internet has helped me and will also help the remaining members of the McKay family to know exactly what happened in 1944.

Thank you for running the article and placing it on the internet and also thanks to William Buck for the research. The family has a story that they landed on Horsey beach and hit a mine.




Drivers blatantly using mobiles

There seems to be a great deal of drivers who blatantly use hand-held phones whilst driving: Gorleston seems to have this in abundance. I have frequently observed this practice and when I asked who I should report it to I was told “No-one”!

I don’t think it is any particular group as lorries, vans and cars seem to equally offend. Whilst travelling by coach, the coach driver was on a mobile phone for the best part of the journey. On another occasion, again on a coach which was in heavy traffic approaching London, I saw a superstore van driver using a hand-held phone, texting with both hands while the vehicle was in motion. He was behind a coach carrying children! Numerous van drivers are guilty of making calls and drivers of private cars carrying passengers also offend.

I suppose it depends on the time of day to decide who’s doing what and when! In small towns and villages people think they can get away with it, the same thing happens with illegal parking - they know when it’s more likely to go undetected.



Korea war dead pictures appeal

I am acting on behalf of the authorities at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Busan South Korea, where over 800 British servicemen are buried

The authorities there wish to obtain photographs of those servicemen interred there and, also, of those who died but have no known grave. The photographs will be attached to their records, and will also be displayed on the walls of the Cemetery Hall of Remembrance for all time.

The following names are just some of the young men from East Anglia who gave their lives in Korea; Fusilier John Dockerill, Private Francis W Holder, Fusilier John M Snare, Private Roy H McDonald, Captain David L Astley-Cooper, Private George H Overy, Captain John L Lane, 2nd Lieutenant Jonathan Wormald, Private Maurice A Bell, Fusilier Derek T Mack, Private Graham S R James, Private Herbert W Graveling, Private Noel A Haynes.

Any family who lost a loved one in the Korean War 1950-53 and who wishes to take part, can send the photograph to me, James Grundy, 102 College Croft, Eccles, Manchester M30 0AN, or for further details call 0161 789 7633, or email james.grundy102@yahoo.com.

You can also contact Brian Hough on 0161 368 5622. or, 07467 037742.



Right wind will blow the sand

I see Caister Haven has taken on its own back to clear and level the sand dunes that are a natural sea defence. They have taken about eight to 10 feet off the top and as for those unsightly brambles (which by the way are wild blackberry bushes ) with the marram grass, they create a natural binding to stop the wind from blowing the sand away.

But now it’s left with loose sand so with a good wind it could reduce it more. I hope it’s not for Haven to help extend its boundaries and have a few more caravans. The van owners seem to do what they like with erecting fences and making patio areas on the path that is past the camp’s boundary.

Don’t you think this coast has enough erosion without the help of mechanical excavators. Was it done to enhance the scenery or was it greed boundaries?


Caister on sea

Where has the egg seller gone?

A question for your readers please. Does anyone know where the egg seller, who was in the car park by Argos off Pasteur Road, Great Yarmouth, has gone?



Young need more career guidance

It was interesting to see Brandon Lewis showing an interest in careers work at the recent local careers event. The government has decimated careers guidance services, changing funding arrangements and leaving it to schools to make their own arrangements.

Connexions was decimated in many areas, with the centre in Brewery Plain closed.

Some schools offer excellent support but many were judged in an Ofsted report (Going in The Right Direction - September 2013) to be inadequate. After the changes, 75pc of schools failed to offer impartial advice. Vocational training and apprenticeships were rarely promoted with A levels being seen as the gold standard.

There is low awareness of the National Careers Service which was initially targeted at adults. Few schools knew how to provide an effective service or had trained skilled staff. The Princes Trust found only 5pc of young people had effective careers guidance and 69% had ineffective provision. A House of Commons Select Committee found careers guidance services to young people have deteriorated and will continue to do so unless action is taken. Former Education Secretary, Mr Gove is reported, in the Guardian, to have dismissed the criticisms as “garbage” from a “self interested careers lobby” and careers advice can be just left to employers visiting schools!

The Tories, in 1994, privatised parts of careers guidance services with the usual results of money and effort being spent on bidding for contracts, contract compliance staff, profit taking, pay increases for managers, reductions in qualified staff and uncertain futures for staff. Managers became focused on targets and funding with adjustments to statistics to meet them.

Another report shows many schools do not know where many of their school leavers went on leaving. This raises questions about how far NEET (not in education employment or training) figures are accurate. Strange that there were meant to be no school leavers in an Election year as they all were meant to be in education or work with training or training.

I recently came across a school leaver who was offered courses in English, maths, IT and media so he could become a carpenter. No mention of the traditional route of an apprenticeship or college preparatory course.

Likewise, a potential mechanic was pointed towards a college course rather than an apprenticeship or to look more broadly at engineering options. It is also a shame we fail to train enough builders, nurses and doctors and still rely on recruitment from overseas.

These are further examples of how funding cuts are impacting on real lives. Careers guidance is more than an odd careers event. In a town with high unemployment and low pay, careers guidance could provide further help schools motivate pupils.


Victoria Street,

Caister on sea

Circular seafront bus route need

As we approach Easter, it comes at a time when we are “not” welcoming visitors again, with reintroduction of parking charges along the seafront.

During the winter, when we have coach party visitors using seafront hotels, we see them huddled waiting for non existent buses, to get them into the town centre!

We have also bemoaned the fact that M&S have relocated and many cannot get to the new store. Surely it is time we gave thought to these problems before we drive all our visitors away.

The introduction of a circular bus route for Great Yarmouth only, would help the situation. For example - via Jellicoe Road, over the bridge to North Denes School and Seashore Camp along the seafront using existing bus stops as far as the Marina, turning right along Trafalgar Road, with stops for guest houses and the Park.

Then along Deneside stopping for the town centre, Regent Street and over Haven Bridge, with stops for B&Q/Tesco. Over the roundabout to M&S, coming back via Vauxhall Park/Premier Inn and along Lawn Avenue, back to Jellicoe Road.

This would incorporate schools, holiday parks, residential homes, the Marina, encourage more people into the town centre, and along Lawn Avenue would provide a badly-needed bus service.

A special circular day pass, where you could hop on and off en route, would also encourage users and if used during business hours would surely be profitable for providers and residents alike, throughout the year.

During the winter months, I have seen many coaches outside hotels, bringing many elderly people who cannot walk the distances to town - perhaps this idea might help them.

Name and Address withheld

Street light been on for two years!

Penny Bailey’s letter last week mentioned a light she had reported a few weeks ago.

Well I can point out one that has been on for over two years. It is on the A12 flyover near the Beccles slip road. There is another one a few up from that that has been on for six to seven months. Surely the council check for this sort of fault so as not to waste electricity, or do they?

I would hate the bill just for that one light that has been on for a couple of years.


Burgh Road