Letters, May 6

Can we have our public road back

I BECAME a resident of Great Yarmouth to take up a job as a professional drummer in a thriving entertainment centre in Marine Parade in 1975.

During that glorious summer I spent many happy days relaxing on the South Beach. It was easy to park and was not too crowded, providing the typical golden sand to sit on and for me a sea wall upon which to rest my back while I enjoyed reading my books.

The South Beach was a wonderful amenity for the residents and visitors to our premier summer resort and was where my love of the town began. It even inspired me to write a song in its praise that was featured on Channel 4’s Big Breakfast show.

Now I find the coast route is gated and blocked to the public by the Great Yarmouth Port Company. On the south side there is a high wall which obscures views of the harbour and sea. On the north side there is a barbed wire-topped mesh fence running for miles of coastline giving the impression of a prison camp rather than a holiday resort.

If this public amenity downgrading was for the town’s financial benefit I may be able to understand. However, the outcome so far has been the telling removal of the container cranes.

With no government plans, in the foreseeable future, to improve access to the country’s main arterial road systems, there is a slim prospect for the Outer Harbour fulfilling its predictions for many years. If that is the case, and until such times change, can we have our public road re-opened, and the wall and fences taken down, to at least give us back a little of what we had?

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I do not wish to be too condemning of the planners of this bold project but it is worth remembering, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”


Mill Lane


We deserve to be told the truth

THE letters page of a local press could be construed as an indicator as to what is on the community’s mind.

Without doubt recent letters to the Mercury show not just a sample of themes, but for some the long-running and widely felt issues that affect our community. Certainly issues over the Bible, elected mayor, or dog fouling, will come to the fore driven by current events. However, the prize for the most consistent column inches must go to the Eastport project by a long way.

With a regularity less than the appearance of Halley’s Comet, we now actually get a letter from within Area 51 from Eliza O’Toole in her quest to put the record straight over the actual cost of the demise of the never-used-in-anger cranes.

This is the same spokesman that admitted at the recent scrutiny committee that Eastport had done themselves few favours on the public relations front, and furthermore, they would then set out on a path of public engagement. Well to use one such Bible quote “...according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged”.

We would welcome the published dates of the promised public meetings, or perhaps a glimpse at the schedule of the proper reinstatement of Gorleston Pier.

Whether as a pleasure cruise owner affected by the opening of Haven bridge, or a member of the public asking about when will the harbour road open, all deserve the same courtesy of putting the record straight. We are still waiting.


Clarence Road


NR31 6DT

Hardly surprising an error occured

IT was interesting to see Eliza O’Toole’s short, terse letter in last week’s Mercury expressing her frustration that an incorrect detail concerning the cranes had been expressed more than once by residents in this newspaper.

This was quite a legitimate error bearing in mind that the greater majority of people in the borough do believe the outer harbour we have got isn’t the same as that promised by GYBC prior to the negotiations.

Neither of our councils or IPH are willing to give residents who feel cheated, the full details of what actually happened, so how could you not foresee this kind of misconception arising? Lots of changes and concessions were made by our negotiators right up to the last minute.

I cannot take issue with IPH for what it accomplished because that is what companies do in order to satisfy their shareholders. My complaints are against GYBC and others,who so desperately wanted to achieve an outer harbour that they appear to have allowed themselves be out-gunned all the way through.

They sold us on 1,000 new local jobs but apparently this isn’t stipulated in the agreement because IPH can choose projects that make profits but don’t necessarily ultimately provide those all important jobs.

This is why we feel so strongly there should be a public inquiry. Obviously the harbour is now built and working, but our council needs to take responsibility for what has been achieved, or should I say not achieved and perhaps find out if sufficient has been gained for ratepayers in view of the enormous grants given. Nearly �20m is a lot of money for which some serious benefits need to be achieved or it wasn’t fit for purpose. Our purpose that is, which was the reason for the grants.

I do however, take issue with Eastport concerning Gorleston pier. A few weeks ago Mr Freeman said that as a matter of urgency he was having the pier inspected to see what was necessary to restore it. Since then nothing.

Eliza O’Toole admitted personally at the NCC scrutiny meeting that her company’s PR had been bad, in fact it has been non-existent. She then stated things would improve, without indicating how or when. Now is your chance Ms O’Toole.


Brett Avenue,


Visit to arcade left a sour taste

I WAS a visitor in Great Yarmouth on April 30, and, as always, spent time in the amusement arcades. I was playing on an adult noughts and crosses machine where I deposited about �30 and accumulated �50.

When I came to collect the cash from the machine it refused to pay out. I informed the cashier who called the attendant, but during that time the credit had disappeared off the screen and showed �00.00.I had witnesses to say there was �50 on the machine. The attendant informed me the machine had not been calibrated that morning and there was nothing they could do and they offered me �10 goodwill. I felt compelled to take this.

I wonder how many of your readers or visitors have fallen into the same trap. I do not intend visiting the said establishment again, that is if I decide to visit Great Yarmouth again, as this has left me very bitter.



Let’s bring this project back

LAST year, we tried unsuccessfully to bring T4 back to the beach of Great Yarmouth, so my thought is why not do it ourselves. T4 proved there is a demand so where do we start?

First, would be to find if there is enough support out there for the project and people to give their time for free? I have looked at the project for a while, having spoken to agents and have a working title, but it could be too much for one person.

If anyone is interested in seeing if we can get this project off the ground, please email me at m.swift3@ntlworld.com.



Commandments are all we need

WITH regard to the recent debate over aspects of Christianity and the Christian religion, I felt I should state my own view.

I believe that almost from the beginning, according to the evidence of the New Testament, Christianity took a wrong turn. In this, Christ’s teaching was virtually suppressed and replaced by the Christian religion and it became all-important what you believed rather than what you did.

This led to various doctrines and heresies causing persecution, and worse. Due to the accessibility to all of the Bible and particularly the Gospel, we have moved on somewhat but, judging by the recent correspondence, the fruitless arguments still persist.

It is, of course, essential that we accept Christ’s life and teaching no matter who he was. Apart from that his message is simple: “If you love me keep my Commandments.” If that had been the case from the start what a different place the world would now be.


Springfield Road,


As Christians, we have same goals

AS a reader of the Mercury for many years, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing the topic of Christian religion to run for a few weeks.

I would like to thank those who have replied, in particular Mr Barkhuizen who has expressed such conviction. Though Orthodoxy does not agree with Fundamentalism or vice versa, I still love my brother in Jesus Christ ie Mr Barkhuizen, and promise to pray for him (and readers of the Mercury) at every daily Mass.

Though we disagree on certain fundamentals, Mr Barkhuizen and I would readily concur that in this world of turmoil and uncertainty, there is absolutely nothing to fear from any institution or government or the ever-present threat of obliteration from the cosmos (or whatever wiped out the dinosaurs).

Almighty God created this world. He did so for a purpose and willed everyone to live for all eternity. That is still His will. But we must all die, yet (Scripture says) “we shall rise from the dead”.

The pathway to eternity begins in the here and now and is via one agent: Jesus Christ, every other route ends in the grave.

Meanwhile at the festive time of Eastertide, which Christians celebrate for six weeks, we celebrate His death for our sins. Only the victim of our disobedience can pay the price of our redemption but being God Himself, death could not hold Him and He rose from the grave having conquered death.

So too, we must die, but He promises to restore us to life beyond our mortal death for all eternity. You have only to say to Him ‘yes’, thus acknowledging our unworthiness and past mistakes and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and you will live for ever just as His Father willed you would.


Beccles Road,


New Bible differs in many ways

IN his letter two weeks ago, Dave Gahan touched on a hot issue: “a different version of the Bible”.

Many churches today use the New International Version (NIV), whose New Testament is based on a Greek text published in 1881 – which changed the traditional text in over 6,500 places. Thus the NIV differs greatly from the Bible God’s church trusted for almost 2,000 years.

Also the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ “New World Translation” often changes the text to match their own beliefs. For example, it twists many texts that say Jesus is God. Its main translator, FW Franz, did not have a degree in Greek or Hebrew. See http://bit.ly/icC4Fm.

And in her letter last week Jill Carter says she’s “bored to death” with letters about spiritual things. But many Mercury readers are keen to read about the Creator of the universe.

These readers are alert to the coming Day of Judgment, when God will punish the ungodly for their deeds: “And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books ... And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12, 15). Dear Mercury reader, are you in the Book of Life?


Albemarle Road


We risk losing a piece of history

REGARDING the article in the Mercury about the relocation of the register office; I fail to see how it is an “exciting opportunity” for the town, for the facility to be transferred from Ferryside House to the public library in Great Yarmouth.

The marriage room at Ferryside has a quietly elegant air and tranquil ambience for the exchanging of marriage vows. It was great improvement on the office room previously provided at the Town Hall for marriages.

The library has a specific purpose, reading and studying; although it does appear now to have become a community centre. There is no attractive arrival space and very little car parking.

The article states: “The registrar service will not encroach on any public space”, although it previously refers to an “upstairs room, possible surrounded by artwork hung for an exhibition.” To me that sounds like the exhibition gallery which is public space. If this is not the case and just an office room is to be provided for marriages, this seems no improvement on the old Town Hall days, and no substitute for the elegance of Ferryside.

What is the future of Ferryside? Is it to be sold to a developer? If so, will the proceeds drop into Norfolk County Council’s capacious pockets? Will any of the proceeds find their way back to Yarmouth Borough Council?

I suggest a slice of any profit should be made available for the potential development of a Gorleston museum: they are taking away an important part of Gorleston’s history.


Church Road

Gorleston on Sea

Has she actually seen the library?

RE Ferryside, Mercury, April 28: This report has some contradictions.

The idea is that the Ferryside Services would be replaced with the library “The Ferryside would make way for the library’s exhibition spaces,” later it states: “Where thousand of couples have said I do, possibly surrounded by artworks hung for an exhibition in the library”. Let’s make up our minds, is the exhibition area to be in the library or Ferryside?

Caroline Clarke stated there are many benefits. What? Such as brides and grooms dressed in their finery (her words) sweeping past “ordinary folk” This is good old-fashioned class distinction – I thought we were all equal!

Again how do they climb two sets of stairs (and descend) dressed in their “finery”? Brides and bridesmaids with long flowing gowns seem like a disaster in the making.

The area for taking photographs has the same problems that I pointed out regarding the Town Hall. It has a north aspect and the backgroumd is even worse. Do not even think of parking and having to cross a busy three-lane highway. And there are only about six parking places at the library.

Caroline states this is “an exciting opportunity for the town”. It makes one wonder if she has actually seen the site of the library.


Claydon Grove

Gorleston on Sea

A look at single mums of the past

THE BBC is making a documentary about the experiences of single mums throughout the last 100 years and we want to find real people to tell their stories to help bring history to life.

The BBC is looking for women who were single mothers during the second world war and would particularly like to speak to women who were not married when they fell pregnant and who would be happy to share their stories.

Given the Norfolk area’s experiences of allied service bases, we hope readers can help us uncover some important and interesting stories about the relationship between war and single motherhood from your area.

The BBC understands that these are all very sensitive and personal stories and so all conversations are held in the strictest confidence.

Did you have a relationship with a soldier or an American GI but due to the circumstances of war were not able to marry? Did you manage to bring up a child as a single parent in the difficult context of war?

If you would be happy to share your story, please contact me Victoria.Stephens@bbc.co.uk or 020800 84660.


Tribute night was simply electric

IF you didn’t “Drive in Saturday” night to Gorleston and “Spend The Night Together” at the Ocean Room then you missed Absolute Bowie, possibly the best tribute act to perform locally this decade.

It was great to see “All The Young Dudes” on the dance floor as Halloween Jack aka David Bowie, the “Starman” of the night, made loads of costume “Changes” singing hit after Bowie hit from his “Golden Years”.

My only “Sorrow” was that there could have been another couple of hundred people there to experience it.

The “Sound and Vision” was spectacular creating a fantastic atmosphere that I haven’t seen or heard for ages. I was constantly being told come on “Let’s Dance”.

In a final twist, just when you thought it was all over, the support band Looney Tunes with a slightly crazy, cheeky Irish singer named “Irish” got everyone back on the floor dancing to a completely varied and mad set to suit all tastes.The atmosphere at the Ocean Room was electric.



At least, voters will have spoken

THERE is no doubt that by the time this week’s Mercury is released, the results of the local referendum will be known or published

Our ‘elected’ councillors have done themselves a great dis-service and have probably encouraged a certain amount of mistrust from the electorate by their disregard for the rules and democratic system, Treating voters like children by their disregard for electorial processes.

They all claim to promote democracy (in some form or other) but forget that where an elected mayor scores above a ceremonial mayor, is that he/she will be elected by those who (bother) to vote, unlike the present system of ‘who’s turn next to wear the robes of office, on behalf of the selective few?

There’s little doubt that both past and present mayors have done splendid work in representing the area where/when they can but, as our Parliamentry Ministers are constantly telling us (when it suits), it’s time to move forward with the times, even our Monarchy has realised this, as recent events have proved.

The financial aspects can be argued either way (democracy at a price or maintain the status quo) but the bottom line is, after some past questionable decisions, does this council carry the trust of the people who they are supposed to represent?

Whichever way the referendum went on (Yes or No) Thursday, at least the majority of voters will have had their input on the matter.