Letters May 27

Please make lane markings clearer

A FEW months back, the road markings were changed at the A12/A47 Vauxhall roundabout at Great Yarmouth. The change resulted in only one lane turning right towards the town centre. The middle lane now goes to the industrial area and the left hand lane turns left towards Acle Straight.

I have today been at the centre of a road rage incident because a van driver tried turning right from the middle lane. Whilst I was turning right from the correct lane. I saw that they have put down more road markings but people seem unaware of them.

I am asking the highways department: if you must make these changes can you install large roadside signs to show the correct lanes to use? A no right turn sign in the middle lane might help, might.

With the usual holiday traffic this roundabout will be a nightmare. Have any of your other readers commented on this roundabout?

DAVE HUBBLE

Email

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Dykes, not ditches

I have noticed that recently when the A47 road improvements are mentioned in the Mercury the drainage dykes either side of the road have been referred to as ditches. It would be nice to see the local language used in the local paper.

S ALLEN

via email

‘Pudding’ was a different animal

REFERRING to the article on the old burial ground in the Mercury, May 20, it appears the town had a hitherto unknown industry many years ago, that of black pudding making.

The article states the tower in the burial ground is the Pudding Tower overlooking the grounds “and used to be the home of the local black pudding industry”. This medieval tower is known as the Hospital Tower and the Pudding Gate in the town wall stood across what is now St Nicholas Road.

The name ‘pudding’ comes from the butchers’ waste which was dumped in the moat just outside this part of the wall, the butchery or shambles being along the eastern side of the Market Place.

Any unwanted parts of a slaughtered animal were known as pudding. No health and safety to worry about in those days. The Sainsbury store and car park stand on the site of this contaminated moat.

COLIN TOOKE

Local historian

Caister

We’ve been used as guinea pigs

CONFIRMATION at last, in the eyes of some of our councillors and MPs here in Norfolk that the views of ratepayers are inconsequential. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond told MPs last week that the proposed �300m privatisation of Dover and other trust ports will be conditional on “community involvement”.

Too late it confirms our previous suspicions that the “Trust Port” of Great Yarmouth was misused as a guinea pig for the privatisation of trust ports and in total conflict with HM Government’s document Modernising Trust Ports 2000.

Like most things, other ports and boroughs get looked after and ratepayers are consulted, but if it’s not the “Golden Mile”, we are immaterial. As shown last week, other trust ports will share in the profits, we just have one �1.75 share in Eastport UK

It seems obvious to me the Labour government orchestrated the manipulation of two “naive” Conservative-controlled councils (Norfolk County and Great Yarmouth Borough) into surrendering our Port Assets, with a carrot of �18m of public funds. The Labour government knew that NCC and GYBC could not resist this golden opportunity and that “locals”, with a few notable exceptions, would a) not notice and b) not be bothered.

I have no doubt the people of Dover as well as those of other Trust Ports owe a vote of thanks to the Mercury and the small band of residents that have, through its pages, highlighted the acts of plunder of what once was ours.

Didn’t we do well?

JOHN COOPER

Gorleston

Who was staying in these camps?

RECENT research into the second world war, locally, has produced several facts of which I was previously unaware, but have also brought to light further questions.

I have an inquiry from a David Harvey, originally sent to Hemsby Church. He says he is “carrying out some (amateur) historical research following the discovery of a British Officer’s military grave in Dublin. He was Lieutenant Ferdinand Arthur Richards.”

Mr Harvey says: “This officer had a varied past, having attended Heidelberg University in his youth. During the first world war he served with the Artists Rifles and then was on special duties at the end of that war. At the outbreak of the second world war he was immediately reactivated, and posted to Hemsby Internment Camp.

“This is where the puzzle begins. I cannot find any record, nor have I received any replies to my queries regarding this camp. Lt Richards’ records show the camp was open by 9/9/1939 which was very early for a WW2 internment camp as there were under a dozen ‘aliens’ in custody then and they were detained mostly in established prisons in the south of England.”

I cannot throw much light on the subject. We know both Seacroft and Maddieson’s Holiday Camps were taken over by the military early in the war. My parents said it was intended to hold Prisoners of War in the camps but this plan was rejected because of proximity to the coast. The accommodation was available and to what degree it was fenced in at that period I am not sure but it could be guarded.

I recall a Mrs Wilson who lived at Newport who was a German National who had come to England as a lady’s maid many years before the war.

She was not enthusiastic about the Third Reich and of no threat to the realm. It may have been her and people in a similar situation the good Lt Richards was guarding for a brief period because I believe it was British Army personnel who occupied the two camps in Hemsby up to the end of the war.

I wonder if your readers have any information on this matter.

ANDREW FAKES

Lawn Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

Furnishaid will keep operating

IN response to Sue Little’s letter of May 13, regarding the proposed improvements to the Nelson Drill Hall from which First Move Furnishaid operates, I would like to clear up any misconceptions.

It is the intention of the Furnishaid Board to continue to offer quality furniture at low cost for the un-waged, unemployed, and people in need, and improve the other services offered. This is one of our objectives stated in our governance, which we have to abide by.

Built in 1861 as a Volunteer Auxilliary Army Hall, with donated monies, extended in 1906, the drill hall is in need of a lot of tlc. It is one of three drill halls left in Great Yarmouth and was used by the army up to 1951. The main features will still be there, the grooved floor, the wonderful raftered roof, Welsh slated outside roof, Victorian brickwork, which has to be specially re-pointed, and other features.

If my bid for capital funding is successful, it will enable the building to be improved and modernised, giving the public easier access to our amenities.

The newly refurbished drop-in room is a much needed community facility in this deprived area. I am pleased to say that we are already receiving inquiries about hiring it. The number to phone is 01493 854551.

Sue Little is more than welcome to have a look at the plans if she would like to contact me personally on 01493 440662 or 07759832386. Donations of furniture are always needed. We offer a free collection service. The number to call for this is 01493 331919.

CLLR PATRICIA PAGE

Chairman First Move Furnishaid Ltd.

Great Yarmouth

Thank you to all who voted ‘Yes’

I WOULD like to record my thanks to the 10,051 people who voted in favour of a directly elected mayor for Great Yarmouth. It was a privilege to serve on the Yes campaign committee.

This non-party-political committee consisting of just a few active people, ably led by Mick Castle and Peter Kirkpatrick, worked well together and sought funding and delivered all their own leaflets.

As reported in the fair report in the Local Government Association magazine FIRST, dated May 14, the 60 to 40 vote against the proposal was a close-run thing.

Elected mayors have worked well in other towns and I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this in Great Yarmouth.

Thank you once again to all who voted Yes on May 5. It was an honour to give you all the opportunity to do so.

ANTHONY JOHN HARRIS

Churchill Road

Great Yarmouth

Glad to see back of this campaign

THANK goodness the elected mayor idea bit the dust. We already have a flawed system with the cabinet of six making all the decisions, so I fail to see how one person would have been any better. Surely democracy is about every councillor being involved in voting on important issues.

We have all had to suffer the consequences of decisions made by a handful.

A “Yes” vote would have resulted in the electorate having to stump up more money for another election.

Also to replace a professional CEO only to hand the reins over to an enthusiastic amateur doesn’t seem a good idea either.

PAULINE LYNCH

Mill Lane

Bradwell

Store fundraiser was a winner

ON behalf of Gorleston District Girlguiding, we would like to say a very big thank-you to Mr Bruce Sturrock and Jane of Palmers Department Store for arranging the Clarins charity event on Thursday, May 12.

It helped us raise funds to take 32 Brownies and Guides to Adelboden in Switzerland in August this year. Also, many thanks to Hayley and the rest of the Clarins team for hosting such an enjoyable evening.

The generosity of both Palmers and Clarins for providing refreshments and such lovely prizes is very much appreciated by all concerned.

Thank you to all who came along to support us so generously and made this such a successful evening.

LINDA and SHIRLEY

Such a pleasure to ride in taxi

I WOULD like to say how nice it was to get a taxi from outside Marks and Spencer in Great Yarmouth and be greeted by a well-groomed driver in a clean Mercedes.

To see a taxi driver wearing a shirt and tie these days is a rarity so well done Albies. All the rest should take note and clean up their cars and themselves to these standards.

Albies should reward their drivers who make an effort so they keep up the image.

JOAN PETERS

Admiralty Road

Great Yarmouth

Sad obsession with celebrities

SUPER injunctions and Twitter are very much a topic of discussion at the moment. Millions of people are devouring news print, hundreds of hours of radio and television reporting, and joining in with hours of tweeting – for what? Trivial life episodes of celebrities – just how sad can this be?

How many are prepared to stand up for our democracy and liberty to learn and know what is being done in our name and what are the consequences of it all?

Democracy suffers because of public apathy. Voting is becoming farcical when voters know nothing of the people they are electing, just the colour of their party.

There are far more important public concerns that need looking into, other than the sex life of a celebrity.

Our council signed a long term agreement with Eastport, which involved a massive amount of public funding, where there appear to be no controls concerning the main reason millions of pounds were put into the outer harbour.

That is jobs and regeneration. Not forgetting the GYBC assets which were given away without a share in the profits of the enterprise. Shouldn’t there be a public outcry? Shouldn’t this have been something fought over in the election? Why isn’t there a clamour for a public inquiry?

The present situation is a cabinet with a handful of senior councillors and some officers of the council making all decisions which were voted for without the rank and file knowing the details of the negotiations or what was being given away.

The rank and file councillors voted for something, relying on what they were told – no scrutiny – and a confidential agreement to ensure the public wouldn’t know for at least 30 years because the big secret is safely locked away in the Records Office at Norwich.

Ask rank and file councillors and you will find out as I have that they know very little and really understand little of the present situation. Is this democracy?

It is costing us all money, and most seem more interested in living their own life through the antics of so called celebrities. You wonder why we are no longer a great nation? Well I don’t – because I know.

DENNIS DURRANT

Brett Avenue

Gorleston

Such kindness

AFTER having an accident while boarding a bus on Southtown Road on Tuesday, May 10, I would like to sincerely thank the many people who came to my aid, especially the retired nurse who was a Godsend and stopped my leg from bleeding so much.

Also the bus driver who dealt with the problem so well and stayed with me until I went to hospital.

Bless you all. I am pleased to say my leg is slowly improving.

MRS D MADDISON

High Road

Gorleston

We would return to support club

I AM so glad that someone has taken up the challenge to re-open the Burrage centre at last.

Having been a member of the club for over 20 years, we as a family really miss the club, and used to spend many happy hours there until recently.

I and a lot of the old regulars I have spoken to would certainly like to see it open again, and run as it used to be in the past. We would return and support the re-opening of the centre as I am sure many others would as well.

Although it was built as a staff social club, it was open to non staff members to join and became our local meeting place, and we made many long-term friends through the club and it was the same I know for other members of the local community.

Sadly, I watched the decline of the club over the past year and I do not think that it was only down to the recession and no smoking. Some of those issues were there prior to Burrage SC taking it over but the club was still a money-making club.

I agree that the hospital cannot take the responsibility for the club, but they never did, it was independent from them. Everything in the club was bought by members’ money.

And, if in the unlikely event that it does not re-open, what happens to all the contents of the club? Are these to be sold and money given to staff social funds?

It would be so sad to see this unique club not given another chance. So, come on James Paget, let the staff have their club. The community does a lot for you – give them something back.

CAROL COLBY

Marine Close

Gorleston

Centre lost touch with customers

OVER many years I have been a member of the Burrage Centre, and for a period of time I was a commitee member. I am very uspet about the centre being closed but I fully support all efforts to re-open it.

My view is that over the years the centre lost touch with its customers. It got to the point on the commitee that one evening they had a debate about how big the Sunday carvery plate should be and the cost of a plate of spuds!

The point of serious change came with the departure of Lisa Harding, a lady who had worked at the centre for many years and knew the customers and their needs.

Once the private company of the Burrage SC stepped in, it was apparent to me that the personal customer service was gone. The place was going downhill fast, it had lost touch with the needs of the customer.

Simply, if it had been in touch with its customers and just kept good simple food, good drink, friendly loyal bar staff and a fair price, perhaps it would still be open.

At the end of the day, the percentage of NHS staff who used the centre was far too small, it was not supported enough. It is as simple as that.

I urge all readers to fully support the bid to re-open our once great pub, maybe bring back Lisa Harding to run the place, and re-create a happy safe environment for us and our families to use once again and enjoy.

CARL ANNISON

Primrose Way

Bradwell

We need help to formulate plan

WE are writing to inform you that local councillors representing people living in the town areas between the Market Place and the Racecourse have started the process of bringing together a Resilience Plan for North Yarmouth.

We recognised that after the 2007 flooding, there is a clear need for the townspeople to be collectively prepared for any future emergency.

We are working closely with local community groups, the police and town centre businesses to come up with a comprehensive plan that would be able to guide people to work effectively together in the event of flooding or a variety of other emergency situations, should they occur.

We should very much like to hear from individuals living in that area who would like to contribute to preparation of the plan or are very kindly willing to offer “hands on” practical help in the event of an emergency.

Our intention over time is to work with colleagues in South Yarmouth and Southtown and Cobholm to bring together a cohesive plan for the whole of the town area of Yarmouth. If you can volunteer, would like to share your experiences, or would like more information on the project, we can be contacted by email on cmamc@great-yarmouth.gov.uk and thomas.garrod@norfolk.gov.uk.

TOM GARROD

County Councillor

Chairman of the North Yarmouth Resilience Plan working group

MICK CASTLE

Borough Councillor

Vice Chairman of the North Yarmouth Resilience Plan working group

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