Letters, May 31, 2013

Most cyclists act responsibly

Some views on the recent correspondence about cycling along Gorleston Promenade. As a cyclist, I think most of us are careful when we share space with pedestrians. I don’t agree with cycling on the pavement and get off and walk in busy areas such as Yarmouth marketplace.

Problems are caused by those who would break the rules anyway, whether it’s reckless use of bikes, cars or leaving threatening dogs to run loose. Those people will always be there, sadly, and I don’t believe the many benefits of cycling should be compromised because of a minority.

There is much positive work being done locally to develop cycle facilities and well done to the campaign groups who work to this end, they make the roads safer and friendlier for us all. Not so well done, I have to say, to Living Streets!

The Promenade is a local issue and best left to local people. Living Streets does not currently have an official campaign about any issue in this area nor indeed Norwich, according to its website (with no news or updates).

Mr Peacock seems to be acting on his own - perhaps he would make this clear? I appreciate his enthusiasm but if he would like a local issue to get involved in, how about making Gorleston High Street safer? Isn’t pedestrianisation long overdue there, with an end to the high levels of noise, pollution and congestion? I would support him in that but feel his protests about the Promenade are misplaced and unhelpful.


Most Read

Upper Cliff Road,


Grateful for the cycling ban lift

I fall into the categories of dog walker, cyclist and cafe customer and have used the promenade regularly for the last 23 years. Cyclists and pedestrians can mix but as in every other walk of life...only if there is tolerance and consideration on every side.

If cyclists dismounted when passing the cafes and stayed on one side of the prom (the red tarmac could be designated as cycle path and the grey tarmac for pedestrians) going at a reasonable pace rather than going as fast as they could, the dangers would be greatly reduced. If dogs were kept on leads along the promenade (as the by laws say they’re supposed to) the dangers would be reduced.

And if children were educated to get off their bikes instead of racing through the cafe area, again the dangers would be reduced. It is simply a case of being alert to others and having consideration for our fellow human beings, rather than demanding that one group of individuals has “rights” and entitlements over another group.

I’m grateful for the ban being lifted; I just pray that those cyclists who don’t consider other promenade users won’t make the council overturn their decision.



Jobless could clean up beach

Today, May 22, I went on a field trip with Great Yarmouth Primary Academy to clean rubbish up on the beach and I was disgusted at the state of the beach. Myself and two children picked up 30 plus bags of dog poo.

When I got home I phoned the town hall and talked to someone in environmental health who told me the south end of Yarmouth didn’t have money spent on it as it was being used in other parts of the town. I’m sorry, but it’s about time this town woke up. Why don’t they get the unemployed down there to clean it up?



Beach cafe is a community hub

It didn’t take long did it? As soon as cyclists have the okay to use the prom we have someone complaining about the positioning of tables outside Jay Jays beach cafe.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have a lovely sea view from our home so Jay Jays is a much appreciated facility for the enjoyment of the area. It has become a community hub and meeting place for those of us who appreciate the best that Gorleston has to offer.

The beach cafe has demonstrated that people enjoy al fresco facilities so perhaps less parking and more pedestrianisation at the other end of the lower esplanade would benefit the businesses there.



Anniversary of Sports Club 80

Sports Club 88 is celebrating its 25th anniversary this July. A buffet dance has been organised for Friday July 12, 7pm for 7.30 pm at the Furzedown Hotel. We would be delighted to see any previous members who would like to join us. Price £15 per head. Anyone interested should contact Charlie Hutcheson on 01493 308880, Lyn Hudson on 01493 668482 or email Ann Keable on a.keable@yahoo.co.uk, We would really love to see any of our old friends at the event.


Treasurer – Sports Club 88

Boy racers still cause problems

I would like to reply to the letter page in the edition May 24 from Sheena McBain. For mine and the 30 plus other residents of Frank Stone Court the situation has far from improved.

Practically every weekend, and in some instances starting from Thursday evening, we are subjected to cars racing up and down the drive between Queens Road and Main Cross Road. Loud music is also being played and the drivers of these cars using the adjacent car park and area of playing field as toilets.

I, and other residents, have attended numerous meeting over the last few years regarding this matter and have constantly been told by the police and council officers that there is next to nothing they can do as these car owners are not breaking any laws and they are not speeding. It is only our perception that this is taking place due to the modifications made to exhausts etc and that we should just shut our curtains and forget about the noise.

This is hard to do when it sounds like the start of a grand prix every time they set off down the drive before going round the roundabout to come back and repeat the process countless times over and over again.

As regards the residents’ meeting and the poor attendance, could it be lack of knowledge of the event or knowing that as in previous meetings we get assurances that the council and police will do something but in reality nothing really changes?

I would have been at the meeting but for a previous arrangement to take my grandson and family out to celebrate his 21st birthday that evening.



Political alliance looks forward

I should like to thank people living between the Market Place and the racecourse for electing me as their County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central for the coming four years. I look forward to representing this community to the best of my ability and will work to defend local services in these difficult times.

It has taken three weeks to form an administration at County Hall because no single party had a majority of councillors but I am pleased to announce that Labour Leader George Nobbs has now been elected as Leader of the County Council heading a “Rainbow Alliance” of non-Tory councillors. He has appointed me as Cabinet Member for Education - Schools, which will be give me quite a challenge given the sorry recent record of Norfolk schools against our neighbouring counties.

Clearly the new administration sees this as a key priority for improvement.


County Councillor

Yarmouth North and Central

Many changes on our seafront

A year of change so far in Gorleston.

The Beach: Sand has built up and formed mini cliffs on the south end. Great fun for children but a bit of a struggle for the oldies like myself when leaving the beach there. The fishermen came and went and some left us gifts of hooks, knives, drink cans and wet newspapers. The few spoiling it for the many. The dog walkers out in good and bad weather having a chat. The majority are responsible people who clear up behind their dogs but again there are those that don’t. The few spoiling it for the many.

The man who, while walking his three dogs takes a carrier bag and stick and fills it with rubbish up before he leaves the beach. The dog walkers who are ignoring the ban on the beach near to the Pier Hotel. The few spoiling it for the many.

The diggers moved all the sand towards the sea and the north easterly blew it all back again on more than one occasion.

The Promenade: We lost all of the old wooden seats opposite the Ocean Rooms. The new railings are nice but you cannot sit the little ones on them whilst cleaning the sand from their feet. Seats are very few now so get your towels ready to do battle!

The only shelter opposite Maggie’s Cafe got a paint up but sadly no one bothered to clean the windows.

Cyclists are now using the prom in various ways. There are the “Lycra Boys” who launch themselves down the slopes and try to get up to 20mph before reaching the tarmac at the bottom. It is then a game of chance to avoid the tables and chairs at Jay Jays cafe.

There are also an assortment of various vehicles parked around the cafe so that adds to the excitement. They then go on to overtake people who are walking along blissfully unaware of the approaching peril. Bikes today have no bells so you get no warning.

They love it if they can pass within six inches and scare you half to death!

The ones that really puzzle me are those who sit up on their bikes, arms folded and pass you whilst their thighs are pumping like pistons. What’s that all about? Hands free?

The re-vamped shelters are nearly finished and looking really good.

The Cliff Top Footpath: A lovely area to stroll and look out over the sea. Again the cyclists are there too so you have to be careful. Lots of new benches to enjoy the view.

I love Gorleston and so do lots of other people. And the reason they love it is because it is plain and unassuming. Simplicity at its best. Why do the few want to change it? Why can’t it be known for a lovely place to walk, free of cars and cyclists?

The majority of visitors say how lovely our beach and prom are. Leave well alone so walkers can admire the view, sit on a seat and have their icecream. You get to see so much more when you walk. You can talk to people and kids can enjoy freedom too.

Let’s hope those few on the council come and talk to the many who like Gorleston Prom and Cliffs for walking and enjoying the lovely place it is. Quiet and unassuming.


Cherry Road

Gorleston on Sea

Put religion on the centerfold

I would like to strongly endorse the sentiment expressed by A Goodwin regarding the number of letters with a religious content; might I suggest a centrefold which could easily be detached and disposed of without spoiling the rest of the paper.


Queens Road,

Great Yarmouth

Underestimating grandson Ben

With reference to Patrick Smith’s letter, May 24, I think he may be underestimating or misinterpreting his grandson’s actions.

Although he worries about the lad’s “erratic directions” I believe that Ben could well be ahead in his own thinking. He is probably aware of the problems yet to surface, and is just honing his skills and manoeuvring in an attempt to avoid the cyclists, skateboarders, loose dogs and the usual deposits left there by the irresponsible dog owners along the prom.

The younger generation never ceases to surprise me in their thinking and I would guess that Ben will hopefully not be in one of the imminent cycle or dog accidents or have the need to get his shoes cleaned by his grandad of dogs’ mess before he goes home.

And as for Patrick informing the borough council, I expect that would fall on deaf ears as it has so far has been shown for all that oppose this fiasco. Kudos to you Ben.


Oxford Avenue,


Minster shut in face of mourner

I had relations staying with me the week before last for a few days. They had travelled from overseas and from the north east of Scotland to attend our last remaining “bloodline” relative’s funeral.

After the committal, one of them, a leading church elder himself, sought entrance to the Minster for a moments contemplation and prayer. His entrance was denied, the locked door was opened and then closed in his face having been told the Minster was “closed for rehearsals”. I find this unforgivable and a dereliction of duty to those seeking the solace to be found in a House of God in time of trial.

Having attended many other Minsters and Cathedrals in England where they have been preparing for concerts and recordings, the priority has always been for the house to be open for prayer.



West Caister

Where have our seats gone?

What has happened to the seats on the seafront at Gorleston between the Pier Hotel and the inflatables? Have they just took them away like they did the ones where they wanted to build a car park opposite to the boating lake?

We went for a walk this afternoon and there was a lot of people leaning on the nice new railings but I am sure they would have rather been seated. Has this got anything to do with the new icecream parlour? These benches were used an awful lot by people coming off the beach, having an icecream, watching the world go by.

Over the years since I was a child I have sat there. amd often as a child as a parent as a grandmother. I have seen nothing about them being taken out or whether they will ever be replaced.



Agreement with religious view

May I wholeheartedly endorse the letter of A Goodwin in last week’s letters relating to the recent correspondence about religious beliefs. Enough is enough.



Four letters for an appointment!

I received a letter from the JPH regarding an outpatient’s appointment that I have for next week. I was asked to confirm, by telephone, that I would be attending. This was done as requested. Twenty-four hours later I received three more identical letters concerning the same outpatient’s appointment.

At a cost of 39p per letter it doesn’t require a mathematician to calculate the cost. So if each outpatient is receiving similar letters it is not surprising that the NHS has no money.

Perhaps somebody from the JPH would like to comment.


Bately Avenue,


Anyone know of artist WE Mayes?

I am researching the life and achievements of William Edward Mayes (1860-1952), who lived and worked in Great Yarmouth, and wonder if your readers can help. I hope, ultimately, to publish a book on this rather remarkable man of various talents.

First though, I must declare an interest: W E Mayes was my great-grandfather’s brother. W E Mayes’ artwork is still in strong demand. He was a very prolific painter, mainly of water colour depictions of Norfolk Broad scenes. His paintings are regularly listed in auction catalogues in the UK and abroad.

But there was more to this man. As manager of the Great Yarmouth Foundry he designed various ironwork items for civic projects in Great Yarmouth that helped to foster the resort’s reputation for early 20th century elegance.

An example: working in the then popular art nouveau style, W E Mayes designed splendid ironwork gates for Yarmouth cemetery with a peacock motif. These gates no longer exist – presumably they were victims of the war effort, but perhaps your readers remember these gates and can tell me more about them – or, even better, provide a photo.

He seemingly also had a social conscience: taking an interest in the Poor Law, he was a member of the Board of Guardians and an overseer of the poor for the district of Runhall Vauxhall under the East and West Flegg Incorporation. Can any of your readers tell me more about his work there? Can any reader remember that their ancestors benefited in any way from this charitable institution?

And finally, this multi-talented son of Yarmouth invented the so-called Mayes reversible rowlock for rowing boats which attracted the interest of the Royal National Lifeboat Association. Do any of your readers have any further information?

I would be more than grateful for information from your readers on any of the above questions which continue to deprive me of sleep.



60s/70s Rangers team was best

Congratulations to Peter Self, manager of Catfield FC on winning the Norfolk Junior Cup and their success over the years.

But in their football notes he says that he thinks Catfield are the best side ever to grace the GYBL. I think Gorleston Rangers team of the 60s/70s run by the late Derek Brown take some beating, winning every cup in the Norfolk League against stronger opposition - Potter Heigham, Acle, Greenacre, Reedham, Town Hall, Southtown Utd).


Ex Gorleston Rangers footballer

Resurfaced road is a disgrace

Has anyone had the displeasure of driving through Northgate Street in Great Yarmouth recently? Whoever is responsible for resurfacing this busy thoroughfare should be looking for a new job.

The uneven surface is a disgrace, never mind the grit everywhere. I think the person holding the pen to pay for this shoddy workmanship should drive the length of Northgate Street. Then question whether taxpayer’s money should be spent.


West Avenue,


Parking permits scheme well done

Re parking permits make first profits, Mercury May 24. We told you so; how many times in life this seems to happen. Residents and local councillors pleaded with the council to run the residents’ parking scheme in a sustainable way with permit increases in line with inflation.

A local election, a change in council, and a viable residents’ parking scheme. Well done.


St George’s Road,

Great Yarmouth

Hire local hall to quote testaments

Thank God (pun intended) for A Goodwin. I thought I was the only one who has had enough of the constant bible quoting. I sometimes read their letters if I can’t sleep or want to read adults thinking like children.

Please, please, please, it’s bad enough I have people knocking on my door to shove their beliefs down my throat (I’m then the bad one when I tell them I’m atheist!) but to read it virtually every week is beyond a joke. I suggest you hire the local hall and quote whatever testament you want till your hearts’ content.


Downing Road,


Cycling on prom:Tony is correct

I don’t usually react in writing to the opinions expressed weekly in the Mercury but on the subject of seafront cycling, I found myself cheering loudly at Tony Mallion’s informed and sensible letter last week, so I’m joining him in print.

Firstly, as I don’t have any pets, readers may be assured no animals were harmed by my outburst!

The reason why I so agree with Mr Mallion’s call for commonsense (remember that quaint concept?) is that the “debate” over this issue is yet another example of what I view as an insidious “campaign”, perpetrated by well-meaning but ultra careful people who are devoted to the cause of wrapping us all up in cotton wool – just in case some mishap may occur, minor or otherwise.

The result of this suffocating, “let’s not even think of exposing ourselves to any risk” attitude, is that people, especially youngsters, are not encouraged or expected to stand on their own two feet and take responsibility for their own actions. So we have a burgeoning culture of dependency, looking for other people to shoulder the blame when something goes wrong in our lives – and then to seek compensation, one of the less welcome ways of life which we seem to have imported from the USA. This was not the British way until recent years.

I believe a more balanced approach is required if we are to bring up our children to face life outside the increasingly protective cocoon of school where discipline of miscreants has become very difficult for teachers.

I await the time when a school leaver instructs a lawyer to sue the education secretary for presiding over an education system which has not prepared him/her to face the relative harshness of the outside world of employment!

As Mr Mallion said in his letter, we’re talking about a wide road with a clearly marked pavement area - surely plenty of room for cyclists and pedestrians alike?

And while we’re about it, how about changing our laws to permit cyclists to use pavements when it is more dangerous to insist they cycle on busy roads? Enforce the use of cycle bells or some form of warning to alert pedestrians that a cyclist is riding behind them (like we used to have) and instruct cyclists to dismount when pavements are too crowded for them to cycle safely. Our traffic conditions have moved on, so should the Law.

Is this rocket science? Obviously some people would think so!



Please help save our skills group

This is an appeal from the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Remap Panel.

The panel is in need of a secretary due to the retirement of our existing secretary. We are the local panel of a national charity that make and design bespoke pieces of equipment for clients who have a disability or special needs.

The position would be suitable for someone male or female to take notes at meetings of the minutes and type them to be posted to panel members. Mileage is paid for travelling to meetings and any other expenses incurred such as stationary postage and any other expenses relating to Remap. If there are any engineers, technicians, craftsmen, DIY skilled who would like to join Remap to help design and make theses devices and volunteers for the post of secretary please contact me on 01493 728050.



Keep just letters on letters pages

I would like to thank A Goodwin, Letters May 24, for advocating on behalf of the town’s Christians by suggesting we have our own letters page. May I suggest we keep pages 10 and 11, moving other letters to the back of the paper.


Beccles Road,


Good idea from reader A Goodwin

Oh, what a good idea of A Goodwin’s to bunch all the religious clap-trap together. If these letters represent the believers I am delighted not to be one of them.


Three Street,


Mormons have added Bible book

Over the past couple of weeks there has been an odd letter or two, about Mormonism, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I would like to say that even though they are genuine, and are quite nice people, nevertheless, they are a cult.

Certain beliefs that they have do not equate with Christian teaching. They believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers, when nothing could be further from the truth. Satan is a fallen angel who rebelled against God, and is awaiting judgement. Jesus Christ is the perfect Son of God.

They do not believe the Bible is reliable. They have also added another book to the bible, called the Book of Mormon, which is full of untruth. They also believe salvation is earnt through good works.

I could go into a lot more, but there is not the printing space, and if you are thinking of joining the Mormons then think again.


Turin Way,

Hopton on Sea