Letters, May 24, 2013

Market spuds take a bashing

We are frequently urged by the regional and local press to support our local shops and businesses as opposed to using out of town supermarkets. As a reluctant shopper I was tasked by my wife to buy some baking potatoes and decided to use Yarmouth market for my purchase. I paid 90p per lb for these items, which were marked up at the same price at other stalls.

The vendor seemed embarrassed and explained that the price was high due to difficult growing conditions. Out of curiosity on my way home, I called into a minor supermarket chain where I found the same items on sale for the equivalent of 45p per lb, 50pc cheaper! This represents a deplorable mark up for the stall holder and I for one, as a pensioner, will think very carefully before buying local again without prior comparison.

I think perhaps that in the past, without competition, local suppliers have overcharged the public to their advantage, and should now accept that their excessive profiteering days are over.



Bylaw plan just for motorcyclists

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What is John Peacock, the pedestrian’s champion, and other letter writers on about? Are they seriously suggesting that lifting the ban on summer cycling along Gorleston’s Lower Prom will result in people being suddenly mown down by marauding bikes?

We’re talking about a wide boulevard with an equally clearly marked wide pavement area. Have these people never been to Cambridge, Oxford, Amsterdam or, for that matter, the cycling mecca of Center Parcs where cyclists and walkers happily co-exist?

Often at Center Parcs holiday villages people who haven’t been on a bike for years hire them and, despite fairly narrow paths, seem to manage and wobble, without injuring others.

Not only is all of this alarmist nonsense the bylaw has always been a wonderful example of that Dickensian observation that “the law is an ass”.

The facts are these:

In the 1970s the late former Gorleston councillor and mayor, John Malley, who lived at nearby Bernard Road, was concerned about young motorcyclists on the prom. He asked for a bylaw to stop this.

My suspicion is that through laziness or simply taking a “model” bylaw off the shelf, the Town Hall officials came up with a piece of “catch all” legislation which banned anything on two wheels rather than just the motorised version.

As the Mercury reporter covering the council at the time I have (I hope) a clear memory that the ban was far more than Mr Malley requested, not that it seemed important at the time. For that reason I’ve not been alone in ignoring this totally unnecessary restriction on the use of one of the best cycle lanes in town.

Some years ago in my days presenting the BBC Radio Norfolk drive time programme I regularly championed the cause of cycling with the then county road safety officer Rob Marshall. We highlighted the case for lifting the ban, something which the county and newly formed Great Yarmouth Cycle Forum supported.

The then council cabinet was minded to rescind the bylaw but, at the last minute, felt it should go to the full council where a handful of members turned it down.

I am delighted after some years others have tried again, the new council has agreed and I and many others can at last cycle along with the wind in our hair and a clear conscience.

There were two other cycling needs to which we drew attention back in my radio days – one the provision of cycle racks at the Marina Centre, the other the proper surfacing of Warren Road as an alternative to the A12 route to Hopton. So that’s two out of three, and one still to go. I live in hope.


Lowestoft Road,


Put religion on separate page

I believe the time has come: could we please have a Letters page dedicated solely for the use of Mr Derek Brown, Mr Barkhuizen and anyone else with religious views to air. That way, the rest of us could simply turn the page and ignore them completely in one go.


Paget Road,

Great Yarmouth

Cycling furore is a diversion

The furore over the cyclists at Gorleston and along North Drive in Yarmouth is understandable but it seems that it has diverted attention away from two other issues relating to the local natural environment, its amenity value and the means of gaining access to it.

Firstly, north of the coastguard station on North Denes the holiday camp has established what I would call access boardwalks, (quite commendable in their own right), but in so doing appears to have removed most of the sand dunes on the landward side of the seawall. This is both surprising and unacceptable when we consider what nature itself has recently done to our coastline.

Secondly, one of perhaps only four “green” pathways into the town, and in some ways the most high profile, the Weaver’s Way, appears to be closed until further notice as flood defence works are put into place.

You don’t close motorways completely when roadworks are taking place - you provide alternative routes. There is no reason why this cannot be done here.

So can we have some answers please - on whose authority were these actions taken and was there due process with regards to planning permission, public notices and the like? I think we should be told.


Collingwood Road,,

Great Yarmouth

Anyone know of shipmate Dave?

I am trying to track down an old shipmate who was born and bred in Norfolk. i sailed with Dave Ellis many times with Cayzer Irvine shipping. I can be contacted at 45 Rye Road, Hastings, East Sussex, or by phone on 01424 729680, or email ken.baldwin1@sky.com



Yarmouth strong in cup credits

Heartiest congratulations go to Catfield football club on winning the Norfolk Junior Cup. or the “Holy Grail “ as their long-serving manager, Peter Self calls it.

Catfield are latest of of long line of Yarmouth District League clubs to lift the Junior Cup. The first was Gorleston back in 1906, as members of the Aldred League, the forerunner to The District League. Two seasons later The Royal Naval Hospital were victorious.

In 1913 the wonderfully named Yare Barrel Factory did the double of District League and Junior Cup with a narrow 1-0 win over Sheringham. The inter-wars peroid saw two local sides lift the cup. In 1925 Jewsons Athletic travlled to Newmarket Road and in front of over 2,000 spectators they defeated Diss Town 1-0

In 1938 The Caledonians beat Walsingham United 4-1, all their goals coming from centre forward, Lenny Warner. 1948 saw Reedham defeating hot favourites Kings Lynn North End. Acle United were the next local side to win the trophy in 1956, and Acle won the cup again in 1960.

1963 saw Gorleston Rangers triumph over West Norfolk side Southery Rovers, all their goals coming from David Seaman. The 1969 final was an all-Yarmouth League affair when Potter Heigham defeated Reedham 3-2 in what many believe was the best final ever.

1970 and 1971 Yarmouth Town Hall won back to back victories and in the second game Town Hall’s number four was none other than Catfield manager Peter Self.

The last time a local side won the Junior Cup was in 1974 when Burgh Castle had a 4-0 win over Wells Town, thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Bowie.


Harbord Crescent,

Great Yarmouth

Lions invite to book fete stalls

Norfolk Broads Lions Club invite volunteer groups to book a stall at the Caister Fete which is being held on Sunday, June 30 on the King George V Playing Field in Caister. A full programme for the day has been arranged. The fete commences at noon and closes between 5pm and 6pm.

A wide variety of refreshments will be available, there is plenty of free parking available.

For information and bookings for the fete, please contact either David Amiss on 01493 750705 or Tony Taylor on 01493 855079.



Dog mess on woodland walk

I have just got back from a walk around the new woodland walk near Beacon Park in Gorleston. I am very pleased with the time and effort some kind folks have spent to lay this out.

But I feel I must write to bring to everyone’s attention the way this is being misused by dog walkers who let their dogs mess on the walkways and do not clean up afterwards; or clear up and bag it then leave the bag in the trees or on the ground.

On my walk tonight, I counted seven bags of dog mess either in the tree or on the ground; there was so much less on the pathways I could not count them.

Can I ask Great Yarmouth Borough Council to put at least one collection bin near the main entrance to this woodlands walkway.


Bridgford Close,

Gorleston on Sea

Help Palmers to choose a charity

Every few years, Palmers Department Store’s staff committee likes to choose one local charity to which all the proceeds of our fundraising efforts are donated. Since 2009 we have raised in excess of £10,000 which has helped several local charities.

This year we are looking for a new local charity to help, and we are asking local charities to contact us with basic background information and contact details in order to make our final decision. Please be aware your charity needs to be a local charity to fit the criteria.

Send all details to Hannah or Lindsay, Palmers Staff Committee, Palmers Stores, 37-39 Market Place, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1LU.


Great Yarmouth

People ignoring the speed limit

I feel compelled to write in and question the safety of the children on the A149 past Rollesby School. I drive past this school four times a day with my children, and keep to the 30mph speed limit.

It’s just a shame a large proportion of other drivers on the road don’t seem to realise the speed limit also applies to them!

I have had rude gestures, horns sounded, and even one driver recently, in such an important hurry, that he mounted the kerb, drove along it for about five metres while undertaking me and the car waiting to turn in front.

It is truly disgusting how people drive, what if he’d hit a child?

Why do people get impatient and angry when the speed limits are there to protect? Would they like traffic zooming passed their children?

With reference to the article in last week’s Mercury, parents should be allowed to use the suggested car park if they feel it’s safer for their families, but what happens when the congestion on the roadside is removed?

I fear it will just provide a clear path for drivers to speed past even faster than before.

I for one would welcome the return of the police presence that always used to be there through Rollesby, and reducing the limit outside all schools to 20mph.



Will Ben be safe to run on prom?

My five year old grandson Ben enjoys a walk along the prom. But when he is running on his little legs he has a habit of being a bit erratic in his directions.

It was one of the few places that were free of traffic and safe. Now that cyclists are being encouraged to use the same space collisions are inevitably going to occur.

If one should flatten him I am pretty sure that I would mention it to them at the time, possibly emphasising my point with the toe of my boot. I am quietly confident I would also explain the event fully to the kind nurses at A&E. Probably the police may get a call too.

However, after such an event the last people that I would have considered to inform would have been the borough council as cycling campaigners of www.Iwanttorideonmorepavements.org has encouraged us to do.



Transport forum meet at library

East Norfolk Transport Users Association (ENTUA) is the public transport users group for the East Norfolk area.

We will be holding a Public Transport Forum at Gorleston Library on Tuesday, May 28 at 2.30pm.

Everyone is invited to attend and meet members of the association and make suggestions or pass comments on local bus and rail services. These will then be noted and passed onto to the local operators when we next meet them. A selection of the latest bus and rail timetables should be available as well as information regarding the activities of our association. For more details call 07890 846778.



I learned typing and shorthand

I was especially interested in Peggotty’s article last week for two reasons - my friend John Brooke’s memories of the Shrublands Youth and Adult Centre Drama Group to which I belonged. With many other former members I am in regular contact with John.

I am one of the Archives Group, meeting each week at Shrublands Youth and Adult Centre compiling the Centre’s history through its members and activities from 1949-1980; some 2000 photographs, Mercury news cuttings, members’ memories - a vast collection. All recorded and with a website.

The second reason is touch typing. I learned that and Pitman’s shorthand at a small private class in 1939-40; book-keeping came later. An LC Smith typewriter was one of the manuals; one could type up to six carbon copies if necessary, a hard rubber to erase mistakes!

My favourite typewriter later was the Imperial with the interchangable long carriage. I still find shorthand useful and have this electronic typewriter.


St Margaret’s Way,

Hopton on Sea

Help us fight the beach erosion

The Mercury has been running stories regarding the erosion of our beach at Hemsby and at last people are begining to realise how desperate it is and that action needs to be taken quickly.

We are organising lots of fundraising events as we need to raise approx £128,000 to build enough blocks to protect the beach.

To do this we need to get together as many Hemsby residents as possible to help our Save Hemsby Coastline campaign.

I need an army of volunteers who would be prepared to give two hours of their time once a week for the whole of the summer season to rattle a bucket in Hemsby Gap.

If we can man a table from 10-4pm every day at the entrance to the beach with photos showing the beach in days gone by and the recent devastation, and a collection bucket, we should raise not only money but awareness and support.

I can be contacted on email at naylorjoan@hotmail.com



Cars situation has improved

Through the Mercury, I would like to firstly thank the police for all the hard work they have done along the seafront with the car enthusiasts.

Over the past five years, things have improved significantly on South Beach Parade.

Secondly though, I am both disappointed and annoyed at the lack of residents attending the meeting on Sunday evening.

This was arranged so that the residents could have their say, voice any issues they may have or ask questions to both the police and the boy racers.

In fact, only four residents turned up!

We do have a residents association, although you wouldn’t have known it on Sunday evening! Where were you all for the community clean up? Come on people! This is your community, take a little more pride and have a little less apathy.



Reassuring to know of care

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all staff on ward one, together with the physiotherapy team, at the James Paget University Hospital, for their professionalism, care and kindess in looking after my mum during her stay.

At such a worrying time it was so reassuring to know my mum was being looked after with the highest level of care and I cannot thank them enough.

The James Paget should be extremely proud of how this ward is run and the staff are a superb example of the NHS at it’s best.


The Boulters


Mormon book a ‘work of fiction’

Mr Cooper in his letter two weeks ago wrote of the need for the Book of Mormon. Here are three facts about this book.

1 Much of the book quotes directly from the King James Bible – and includes translation errors found only in that version of the Bible!

2 A man named Ethan Smith wrote a book called the “View of the Hebrews” in 1824. This book was very similar to the Book of Mormon, first printed in 1830. Oliver Cowdrey, Joseph Smith’s close associate, attended the church where Ethan Smith was the minister. Draw your own conclusion.

3 Modern science confirms the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction. DNA evidence proves the book’s claim that Native Americans are descended from ancient Israelites is nonsense. And no archaeological evidence backs up the (non-biblical) events described in the book.

To find out what the Mormons really believe, and whether or not the Jesus of the Book of Mormon is the Jesus of the Bible, go to http://tinyurl.com/cbuwn9a


Albemarle Road,


It is ‘till death do us part’

With regards the letter of May 10 from Mr Barkhuizen explaining the way to heaven, he forgot to say that even if a man and his wife both get to heaven at the resurrection, they will not be married to each other anyway (Matthew 22), which explains the phrase “till death do us part”.

And with regards to Mr Cooper’s letter, I had a quick peek at the Book of Mormon but it very soon became as bloodthirsty and improbable as the Bible, so I think I’ll give that a miss too.


Havelock Road,

Great Yarmouth

Why put up with drunks?

THIS week I parked in the car park behind King Street, opposite the NHS building to take my young sons to buy a birthday gift for their father.

However, we will not be coming in to Yarmouth again to shop during the week; there were four drunk men, probably in their 40s or 50s sitting on the wall of the little private car park, and they were swearing, shouting and clearly drunk.

A woman passed us by and heard me tell my sons to ignore them, and she said it was regular and she hated walking through the alley from the car park into King Street for fear of meeting some of these people. Can’t the police move them on?