Letters, May 13
Share memories of great times
HAVING been born and “dragged up” in Great Yarmouth, I went from being a Rocker to a Mod in the 1960s’ era.
What a great time! In those days I was nicknamed Lucky, and was one of the GY 59’ers with my fun Lambretta LD registered BEX 325; does anyone know the whereabouts of this scooter now?
Currently living in Norwich, I am writing a book about my experiences in and around that era.
Having lost contact with all friends from that time I would be grateful to the Mercury if an appeal for photos, memories and, of course, old friends, from those heady times to get in touch with me. They can contact me via email on email@example.com.
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MIKE ‘Lucky’ SYMONDS
Poor turnout on this special day
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AT a Civic Service on May 8, the 50th anniversary of the re-dedication of the Parish Church of St Nicholas, the congregation commemorated its rebuilding after being fire-bombed in the second world war.
Great Yarmouth can justifiably be proud of the splendidly robed mayor, deputy mayor, managing director, sword and mace bearers and visiting dignitaries, with smart cadet escort, as they proceeded from the Town Hall on a beautiful spring day to attend the ceremony conducted by the Lord Bishop.
The event was a memorable example of what our borough and its ancient church can achieve to celebrate its heritage.
How very sad, and what a poor precedent to set to the public, that a mere handful out of almost 40 elected councillors could spare a couple of hours to represent their wards and pay respect on this historic occasion.
Diatribe holds no interest for me
AN open letter to correspondent E Barkhuizen: Would you be interested in reading about my life as a great-grandmother and womanhood in general? I doubt it. To be honest your diatribe holds no interest to me.
You appear to be under the illusion that Mercury readers are somewhat lacking in erudition, not so E Barkhuizen. Your religious beliefs are your business, as mine are my business.
You obviously feel assured about your entrance through The Pearly Gates. You need have no worries about me as I will be scattered in the sea, my “soul” hopefully floating through the Universe having a ball.
If it is your wish to convert the rest of us to your beliefs, do try to temper yourself. You delude yourself if you think your views will make any difference to most of us. You could, of course, book a hall, maybe invite the owners of our own Area 51 and a couple of councillors.
This is my first correspondence to any publication, so it is fair to say you have got to me. I may see this as a burgeoning, if somewhat late, career move,
Yet again it’s the same old faces
WELL done Great Yarmouth, yet again you have voted in the same old faces to the borough council, all I have to say is that you deserve all you get, so let’s not have moans and groans in the future.
You had the chance to vote to get an elected mayor to control the council but you voted against it, so we are in the status quo position.
Shame on all those who did not bother to vote, and thank you to the people who had the courage to vote for me as a UKIP candidate.
We need new faces on Yarmouth Borough Council but if you do not bother to vote for change then you will get your just desserts.
Hopton on Sea
Let punishments fit the crimes
A WHILE ago I had a letter published asking what planet some of our magistrates are on with some of the punishments they deliver.
Each week I have a look through the Cases in Court list published, and again this week some of the punishments and fines amaze me, and again make me ask what planet are some of these people living on? While I agree if people break the law then they should be punished, surely the punishment should fit the crime?
Two people fishing without licences received fines and costs totalling �492 and �342 respectively, and yet someone speeding or driving without insurance received fines of less than half of this.
Who, I ask, is of more risk to the general public and should receive the higher punishment?
Someone in court on the same list for using a vehicle with no insurance, using a vehicle with no licence and using a vehicle with no MoT received six points on their licence (which they don’t have anyway), no fine and just �75 in costs.
Come on. Get it right and let the punishment fit the crime.
Never too old to be asked to leave
AS a youngster growing up in Gorleston, I was once asked to leave the Coliseum Cinema by the manager Mr Attree because, during a horror film I removed a shoe and sock and dangled my bare leg over the shoulders of the girls in the row in front of me. Their screams caused panic.
Today, in my State Pension year, I was asked to leave the town’s Sainsbury supermarket.
I entered the shop at 7.45am unaware that the official trading time is 8am, at the moment.
Three gracious assistants asked me to leave, explaining I could enter at 7.50am but only use the automatic checkout from 8am, which I duly did.
All the above was in good humour but what shame after all these years to be “thrown out” again.
My dad prompted a police chase!
FOLLOWING on from a letter in the Mercury last week regarding a cycling offence committed by Michael Harvey in 1949, my father, Bernard Sewell, 80 this month, sent me a scan of the clipping, with his own story at the same place!
He said: “I just had to send you this letter shown in last week’s Mercury. I found it so amusing I though you might like to read it.
“You may remember me telling you about the time when I worked at the Star Supply Stores. Well, one day I was given the job to call on some bad paying customers to try and collect some money they owed from outstanding bills... not the best job, I can assure you.
“I was calling on people in Newtown. When I was on my way back, I cycled down Barnard Avenue and round Barnard Crescent onto Caister Road along Lawn Avenue to the Post office near the town hall.
“When I got off my bike to go into the post office, a cop, also on a bike pulled up and came over to tell me I had caused an offence by cycling out of a junction on Caister Road without stopping, and asked if I had anything to say.
“I told him I did remember doing that, but I was riding very slowly at the time so I could see if the road was clear enough for me to pull out without any danger. I said I could see clearly that the road was clear and thought it was pointless to actually stop. He gave me a small lecture and let me off.
“I thought about him afterwards and had a grin on my face thinking about him peddling like mad all the way from Caister Road in a police uniform and helmet trying to catch me. I was really going fast on that old bike of mine which is still in my garage.
“I didn’t know he was behind me at the time till he pulled up at the post office. He had quite a sweat on. I imagined afterwards he was thinking ‘I’ll get that little sod if that’s the last thing I do.’
“It’s funny to look back on things like this when you see what they get away with today.”
Have the decency to clear dog mess
MY grandchildren and I thank the person who stood outside my property and let their dog mess the pavement, and then walked away and left it.
I wasn’t looking at the ground and inadvertently ran over it bringing it into my home all over the carpet. As I am a double amputee it was left to my wife with her arthritic knee to clean it up.
It’s times like this that I wish I could catch one or two of you on camera and place your pictures all over Gorleston clifftop, shops and promenade, to show your family and friends the sort of person you are.
There are, unfortunately, many others like you who foul our cliff-top grass areas, and beaches with your dog’s mess.
You probably kick the sand over it to hide it, where some unfortunate child digging in the sand to play finds their hands covered in your dog poo.
There is no excuse of not enough bins. You let your dog off the lead to wander around behind you, or chat to your companion, so you purposely look away.
I liken you to those idiots that cover their faces on protest marches. If I, who am disabled can pick up my dog’s mess, then why can’t you? If you like, I’ll swop places; give me your legs and I’ll give you my scooter and wheelchair.
If you buy, steal, or just pick up a Mercury that someone has left, I plead to your common sense.
Finally, this is a holiday resort, we the people who live here are judged by how we keep our beaches and play areas, clean. I know if it wasn’t for the borough cleaner who in all weathers, picks up your mess this area would be a filthy place.
Clean up eyesore
WHEN is the entrance to the erstwhile Empire Cinema going to be cleaned up; or is it being left to give credence to the critic who dubbed our resort “tatty”? Please! Don’t blame the pigeons.
One thing I don’t talk is rubbish
AT the election count on Friday when John Cooper obtained a very credible 418 votes, I was surprised how arrogant someone who asks to be elected to represent residents can be.
When I greeted one current councillor with a polite hello he grimaced and walked past.
I was brought up to believe such an attitude is utter rudeness, so I suggested to him that it wasn’t courteous for a man in his position to behave in such a way.
This brought on the rant: “I don’t have to talk to you and I don’t want to talk to you because you talk rubbish”.
I am critical of our council who have made many mistakes over the years and continually refuse to answer any queries concerning their actions.
I have answered letters in the press pointing out errors, but rubbish I have certainly not written. It may be critical but it is always positive.
Regarding the outer harbour, certain people concerned have admitted privately there were errors made, then add “but it is now built, so a public inquiry would be expensive and do no good”.
We have seen bad judgment in the past but the outer harbour included nearly �20m of public money. Now that is really a lot of money.
When will government or our MP question the validity?
The reason for the outer harbour was not to just have boats come in and go out to allow a private company to make money. The grants were given to bring jobs, regeneration and prosperity to this area and if this doesn’t happen responsibility must be taken by those who promoted it because the grants would have been obtained on a false premise.
The campaign by our group has not been rubbish but poses questions the councillors concerned need to answer, and when this doesn’t happen there must be a reason. There is no accusation of wrong-doing, but did we get the right deal and was the project fit for purpose?
Please GYBC don’t call me vexatious, troublemaker, rubbish talker, poisonous and disgusting or any other term used to salve consciences, but listen and be sufficiently responsible to explain what actually happened over the whole outer harbour deal, and why you are now pushing for a Harbour Revision Order to give Eastport extensive powers over the peninsular?
Why is there a complete wall of silence about the whole project? How do you project success at the outer harbour, not by spin but hard facts this time please. The real reply in a democracy would be a full explanation of all those unanswered questions.
Signs point to a road to nowhere
WHICH way? Travelling north over the Breydon Bridge there is a large green sign pointing to “industrial area”.
This is telling you that you should turn right by about 200 degrees at the roundabout. Go a bit further and the white marking on the road points you straight ahead to the “Ind”. Is this short for India? This leaves only one lane to get into Great Yarmouth and the north.
Pity the driver of a commercial vehicle who drives straight on as per the road markings.
There is no other way out so he or she has to turn round and come out the way he or she came in. No easy matter with the length that they are allowed by law.
As this new marking has only recently appeared can we ask why this has been done? Or are they trying to create a second Gapton?
I’m loathe to call changes progress
LAST week, the Mercury had letters and reports on three items which I feel compelled to comment on, as I wonder if any other readers feel the same way I do?
Changing wedding services from Ferryside to Great Yarmouth Library? Why change a perfectly lovely wedding setup to a room upstairs in the local library? I am a regular library user which I go to, surprisingly enough, borrow books, not to watch a wedding take place! Our libraries have so much going on within them and, as it is, it is hard enough to find a quiet spot. Now, with the idea of weddings trotting through with hustle, bustle, noise and, as stated last week, non-existent parking and up two flights of stairs, this is surely not progress?
There was also the report of removing pews and moving the font at Filby Church to cater for new groups wishing to use the church, as apparently these pews and the font are in the way, so to speak? This church, along with many others, are our history. They are absolutely beautiful, wonderful historic buildings, so why do we need to be updating and improving a building to suit the needs of whoever? If the church is not suitable structurally, then I am sorry to say these groups will have to look for alternative buildings such as village halls or community centres, not start breaking up and destroying our places of sanctuary and peace!
Finally, the report on the updating and improving of Furnishaid? Why? People like myself and my husband on a very low income regularly go to Furnishaid because of the old-style layout offering quality but low-priced furniture for those in need. If we wanted a brand new place, would this not raise the prices, in which case we could not afford to use it at all? Furnishaid works so well as it is, so why change it?
Some people will read this and say this lady is opposed to change and moving forward and to this I would say I am not wishing to stay in the past nor am I opposed to any change if it is for the better.
Don’t waste jetty
KEEP the Great Yarmouth jetty until good sense and money can save it. The Nelson Monument stands proudly, mainly due to the efforts of a few.
We seem to have values skewed
THE recent fire in the roof of a thatched cottage opposite St Catherine’s Church and graveyard in Ludham, should surely serve as a warning.
Ludham Parish Council still persists in holding firework displays on New Year’s Eve in the graveyard of St Catherine’s Church, only feet away from all the thatched roofs of these Grade II listed cottages.
The display now takes place round the war memorial and war graves which stand in the graveyard and is described in council publications as the centre of the village.
Wootton Bassett recently received the Royal title of Royal Wootton Bassett for the respect they have shown to those that pay the ultimate price for our country and our freedom.
Last Remembrance Day saw just a few people turn out to pay their respects at the Ludham memorial, yet 400 turned out to watch the firework display just a few weeks later round the same memorial. The parish council hails it as a successful event when surely the statistics only stand to highlight the level of disrespect being encouraged here.
Recently Ludham residents had a leaflet put through their doors informing them St Catherine’s was to become a licensed premises with a licensed bar at all evening events held in the church again this summer.
Recently those that think these controversial events are a good idea called a meeting seeking help and ideas for the church.
Surely we shouldc treat the church and our war heroes with the respect and dignity they deserve and move the licensed bar and the fireworks to a more suitable venue, thus preserving the good name and integrity of Ludham.
MR RB DAVISON
Driver should not have driven on
MY daughter this morning (May 4) let our four cats out before she went to work. At approximately 9am I took our dog to the playing field for a run only to be collected by a neighbour at 9.30am saying one of the cats had been hit on our road, Moorland Way, Belton.
My main reason for writing is to say I hope the person responsible for this feels just a little guilty for doing this and then driving off. He left our “little girl” unconscious and bleeding severely from the mouth in the middle of the road ready to be finished off by the next idiot who drives at an unbelievable speed up our road to the school.
This person could have stopped, I know accidents happen, but an apology would have been good or even an offer of lift to the vets. This could have been a child. Come on, slow down, this road was not meant for the volume of traffic it now has to deal with.
As most of these people live in the village why don’t they walk, it would do them good and keep Moorland Way safe.
Thank you to all the people who helped and cared for Mabel until I could get her to the vets. Mabel was only two but she had a happy short life. Rest in life sweetheart.
Many thanks for your hard work
Thank to all who supported me at last week’s Borough Elections for the Magdalen Ward; also all the people who worked at the polling stations and who were involved in the count on the Friday.
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I WAS delighted to be elected once again as Councillor for the Claydon Ward. Through the Mercury letters page, may I thank all those who voted for me and assure everyone in the Ward that I am here to help and represent them. I look forward to continuing our work on community projects begun before the election and I hope that you will contact me if you need support in putting good ideas for your area into practice. If you wish to speak with me, I am always present at Neighbourhood Board meetings, Tenants and Residents meetings and Community Association meetings.
Cllr BERNARD WILLIAMSON
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I WONDER if I may take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to the residents of Belton, Browston, Burgh Castle, Fritton and St Olaves following my re-�election as the Councillor for the Lothingland Ward.
I have served the ward for the past 11 years and I have been truly humbled by the support that I have received from the residents in these fine parishes. As a “Belton Boy” who grew up in the village I have the deepest sense of pride and honour in being returned as the councillor for the area. I promise to do my best for all of the residents of the Lothingland Ward, regardless of their vote on the May 5. If you would like the chance to meet informally with me, please do log on to my website at www.councillorthompson.co.uk where I shall be publishing dates of “street-�meets” and talks I shall be hosting locally.
Cllr MARK THOMPSON
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MY first incursion into the realms of local government was most gratifying. It gave me first hand insight into electioneering and I found it bears no relationship to what happens when a candidate gets in office.
Through each ward in Lothingland Division I was treated by every one with great kindness, not once ridiculed for my passion of “openness and transparency”, I would like to thank, not only the 418 ratepayers that voted for me but also to all those who were kind enough to listen to my views on how I feel things should be.
On the hustings, I heard from other candidates a statement on the following:
“We took on the liabilities of the Bridge and West Bank repairs because we did not want to sink the ship for a penny worth of tar.” They were of course meaning that the deal would be scuppered if Eastport did not agree to hand over the assets to IPH and Eastport did not take over the liabilities for the ratepayers.
Our councils are now made up of so many “twin hatters and husband and wife teams”, it is becoming a closed shop. It would be more beneficial to the borough and county if our councils were made up with younger brains from the business community. But in the real world it is rare to achieve what is best
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THROUGH these columns, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who supported me, voted for me on May 5 and helped me to such a resounding victory. I will continue to listen to everyone and help in any way I can to put the views and comments of all ward members to the appropriate people. As Mayoress in the coming year, I will be privileged to support my husband, Barry, who will become Civic Mayor of Great Yarmouth on May 16. I promise not to neglect my duties as councillor during that time. As I have been fortunate enough to be allowed to continue on the winning Conservative team on the borough council, I will make every effort to promote the good of all the villages in the West Flegg Ward and the Borough as a whole.
Cllr MARY COLEMAN
West Flegg Ward
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WE would like to say a big thank you to everybody on Springfield Road, Gorleston for the great turn out to the Street Party on April 29. From the seed of an idea from Tammy and Tanya it bloomed into a great occasion everybody will remember. A few special thanks should go to Mr Steele and Cliff Park Infant and Junior Schools for the loan of tables, chairs, games and bunting, and to Mr and Mrs Wooden for the loan of tables and chairs from their church and also for their balloon creations for the children on the day. Thanks to Kumar and Ramish from the Premier Stores for their generous donation of wine on the day. Also thanks to GOSH, Seagulls Centre and Priory Centres for the loan of display boards and bunting. Thanks to all who contributed to the memory board display especially Dennis Durrant for his fountain of knowledge of all things Gorleston, and also to everybody who helped out on the day.
We would also just like to say we have been proud to have been one of the very few streets to have arranged a street party in Gorleston, and would encourage other streets to take the opportunity next year for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games (hopefully the road closure will be at reduced rate again).
Not everybody has to be a supporter of the Royal Family, it is just a good opportunity to bring residents together and create a day we will all remember. It has been a great experience for the children who enjoyed the novelty of having no cars on the street for a while and having simple activities such as just using chalks on the street being enough to keep them entertained. So is it same again next year Springfield Road?
TANYA, TAMMY and RACHEL
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MAY I, through the letters page of your newspaper, thank everyone who gave me their vote at the recent borough council elections and to all the members of my family and friends who assisted me to deliver my literature. I will continue to represent you all at parish council level and do my best to improve the quality of life in Bradwell and will assist in any way I can those who are in need of my attention.