Letters, May 2 2014

Where is this retail quarter?

The new Lloyds Bank “will inject new life into the retail quarter”, (Mercury, April 25). Really?

And what retail quarter might this be? Surely not all the boarded-up shops, charity outlets, betting shops and nail parlours? The Victoria Arcade is like a walk-through mausoleum - though some units are fighting a sort of rearguard action.

As for the once majestic river frontage of Hall Quay with its really imposing proper bank edifices and the chief and true Post Office – well, in its present state it would be a disgrace to any town or city.

The banks and the big four supermarkets are there for their shareholders, and customers are a very low priority, though there are exceptions and the rapid growth of Aldi and Lidl is reassuring. Also in a week when Primark topped the FTSE 100, wouldn’t that have been a much better option for where Lloyds is now? Not a chance of course, and as my dear mother used to say: “Tthe whole world’s gone mad hasn’t it?”


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MIKE SPRAGG

Collingwood Road,

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Great Yarmouth

Don’t take your dogs to the fair

It was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves at the Easter Fair in the Market Place this year, but why do people take their poor dogs along? It was far too noisy and busy and they looked so frightened. It is not fair on them and they should have been left at home.

JOCELYN BULLEN

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Show off our town’s history

The anniversary of the Suspension Bridge Disaster is on May 2 and it feels so nice to see that this year the memorial is in place and gives people a place to pay their respects. It is so important history is never forgotten and an idea I have had for a few years is to fill our empty shop windows with snapshots of our past. Great Yarmouth has an amazing history and to look at history has so much more impact than to read about it. The Co-op store windows have been empty for years in the centre of town, and that window would make an amazing display to capture a moment from the past, the first world war, or second world war, the herring industry, Nelson and Dickens, are just a few.

It reminds us all of how things used to be plus it is much better than looking at empty shops making the town seem unloved.

JULIE STAFF

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New link road will ease traffic

The extension of Beaufort Way from Captain Manby to the A143 Beccles Road has been long awaited and will in my opinion improve the quality of life currently being experienced by residents living on Long Lane, Trinity Avenue, Brasenose Avenue and all the roads either side.

The extension of Beaufort Way will appear like the cross-bar in the letter H and will enable traffic to link more efficiently between the A12 and the A143. When completed we should see a major reduction in heavy traffic using Brasenose as a short cut which in turn should create a safer area for children, cyclists and elder folk. A further benefit to the completion of Beaufort Way will mean that ambulances which routinely travel to and from the James Paget Hospital via Long, Trinity and Brasenose as well as Hobland Road under emergency road conditions, will most likely use Beaufort Way as it will be more expedient and better for the patients being conveyed.

Name and Address withheld

Putting right faith report

Thank you for giving such good coverage of the Inter-Faith and Belief Network (Mercury, April 25). However, by using the term “faith leaders” your reporter has missed a very important point that was made at the meeting: we were there as individuals from various faith groups and not there as representatives of our faith groups.

LES COCKRILL

Lowestoft Road,

Gorleston

Easter does have pagan origins

Of course, Mr Barkhuizen is right over the pagan origin of Easter. I once asked a clergyman why he taught these things in his church when they are not based on the scriptures. “My dear boy,” he said. “That’s my job, that’s what I’m paid for, if people like it that’s what I give them.”

PHILIP KNIGHT

Wherry Way,

Great Yarmouth

Gapton Hall Road is too busy

After reading the comments in last week’s Mercury regarding the width restriction on Gapton Hall Road, I felt the need to voice my opinion too. This road was never as busy as it is now and as you know the bottleneck down at Macdonalds roundabout is a joke.

I agree the heavy traffic is as inconvenient using Burgh Road as it is Gapton Hall Road, maybe they should be doing the same as they are by joining the A12 with the 143 to help traffic, but how is this helping the congestion into the town?

If they were to put a road round the back of Gapton Hall Industrial estate (Breydon side) the traffic could bypass Gapton Hall Road, and heavy traffic would be able to access the industrial estate and Rainbow without disturbing normal everyday use of the Gapton Hall Road or Burgh Road.

The road could join up with the bridge enabling traffic going to Norwich or north of the town or those coming in from those areas to avoid the congestion at the Macdonalds roundabout.

This is another bad design as the people who queue for Macdonalds cause a backlog of traffic and people cannot get into the car park if they want to shop. It should have been build further into the retail park and then the traffic would be able to flow.

Also, having one entrance in and out of such a busy area that is not governed by traffic lights is an absolute nightmare to enter or leave. Whoever designs our towns’ infrastructure obviously does not live here or they would see the bad design faults for themselves!

IAN PHIPPS

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Sand extraction causes erosion

Yet again we are hearing concern of erosion along our coastline; Hemsby, Hopton, south Lowestoft and beyond.

When will it become obvious that aggregate extraction and erosion are one and the same - movement of the sea bed. The sea off the coast is peppered with coordinates, each one being a small quarry which in turn is having aggregate sucked from it. Aggregate which they inform us is self-regenerating. Actually it is regenerating from one to the other now as the coordinates have lost their area giving us one big quarry for which our coastal area is providing the material for the regeneration. This sucking of aggregates from the seabed which alters currents which in turn are shifting sandbanks causing tidal flows to change: putting and pushing water where it should not be.

JACK DYE

Gonville Road,

Gorleston

Quiet road now a Brands Hatch

The writer of the letter requesting that the width restriction at Gapton be removed obviously does not live on Mill Lane.

When we moved here many years ago, it was a quiet village road. Since the opening of the Gapton Industrial Estate the road has turned into Brands Hatch, as this is now a rat run through the village. We accept this is the price we pay for progress, however the reason the “narrows” were installed was to prevent huge lorries from joining in the race. Not only would it be dangerous but the roads are not wide enough to accommodate such heavy vehicles.

It’s difficult enough trying to back out of one’s driveway as it is, without the risk of ten ton trucks thundering through, taking a short cut on what is a residential road. The reason that problems arise is because ignorant drivers chose to ignore the numerous width restriction signs!

PAULINE LYNCH

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Use restriction signs on road

It is my understanding the Gapton width restriction was introduced to prevent large and heavy traffic using Burgh Road as a short cut to the industrial and commercial premises on Gapton Hall Road. The width restriction also compels large and heavy vehicles making deliveries to the shops at Blackbird Close to use Burgh Road. It would appear to make better sense if the width restriction was to be removed and all large and heavy traffic was restricted to using Gapton Hall Road. Access to Blackbird Close by large/heavy vehicles could be prevented by weight restriction signs with those specifically requiring access to the petrol station and stores allowed by “Except for Delivery” signs. Restriction Signs could prevent large vehicles using Burgh Road as a short cut.

Name and Address withheld

Sanders a very reliable service

I feel I must reply to S V Gudgin’s letter, April 25. I was waiting on Church Plain for the 1.35pm Sanders bus, when it did not arrive. I phoned the company and was told the bus had broken down, so I walked to Market Gates and waited with another lady. The bus that S V Gudgin saw leaving was in fact the 1.35pm bus leaving late. If the person had waited 10 minutes they would have got the 2.50pm bus, because as we turned into Northgate Street the 2.50pm was heading to Market Gates. My partner and I use this service every day, we know most of the drivers’ names, they are friendly and wait for people to sit down before moving off. It is a very good reliable service.

Mrs M MOLESWORTH

Evans Lombe Close,

Repps with Bastwick

Site is clogged with vehicles

Councillor Linden’s letter regarding the proposed development off Salisbury Road is a wonderful example of mixing a few facts with a lot of hot air. She is correct in saying this area has been previously looked at and been discounted. It is clear more accommodation is needed for single people and small families however to shoehorn housing in a spot just because it is empty misses the point entirely.

Has Councillor Linden actually visited the site in the school term time? Her comments suggest she hasn’t.

Had she done so she will have seen how the area is totally clogged with parked vehicles. To remove the only off-street parking in the area will create serious problems and is likely to cause accidents.

Where is she proposing to put the short-term parking for the local shop which also housse the only post office in the area? A majority of the shop customers use the existing car park which is planned to disappear under housing.

The community already has an asset, which until a few years ago, GYBC totally ignored. There is no more flytipping in this area than anywhere else in the vicinity. Has Councillor Linden seen the mural recently? Does she appreciate the additions made?

GYBCis clearly intent upon ignoring the local community and I have to wonder how it can adjudicate on the Saffron Housing planning proposal when it has an interest in the outcome.

Perhaps GYBC could also explain why it allowed housing on Beach coach station car park, none of which is less than three bedrooms?

M RANDALL

Blake Road,

Great Yarmouth

Thank you for supporting us

I am sending you this to ask if Great Yarmouth Macmillan Cancer Support can, through the Mercury, thank Poundland in Market Place, Yarmouth for allowing us to have a collection outside the shop on March 7 and 29, and April 18, which were a great success. A big thank you also to all who put money in buckets because without this support we would not be able to provide the vital work Macmillan Cancer Support does.

Our major fundraising event is the Macmillan Summer Ball, this year taking place at the Assembly Room in the Town Hall, Yarmouth on Friday, June 20. Anybody wishing for further details as to tickets etc please contact Maureen Collins on 01493 857063.

CAROL CALVER

Great Yarmouth Macmillan Cancer Support volunteer

Co-op facade is part of heritage

I trust none of our administrators are so indifferent as to permit demolition of the Co-op building.

This handsome facade is now regarded by those us who share a pride in our town as virtually part of our hertitage and should be respected when assessing viability.

DAVID KING

Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

Hopton Ruins gardens closed

Our volunteers have maintained the Millennium Gardens surrounding the ruins of Old St Margaret’s Church, Hopton for a number of years. Our work has won awards in the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston In Bloom competition for three years running.

The parish council has now closed the gardens to the public while preservation work on the ruins is carried out. Unfortunately access and other restrictions imposed on us by the council has obliged us to discontinue our work in the gardens.

We wish to thank Ritson Lodge, Hopton WI, and everyone else who have donated plants and money to the gardens. We also thank the public who supported the many events staged by volunteers. They contributed some £8,000 towards the preservation work at present under way.

Finally we would like to thank volunteers past and present. Their efforts have contributed greatly to the amenity value of the gardens for the enjoyment of all.

GRAHAM & ALISON MILLS

On behalf of Friends of Old St Margaret’s, Hopton

Such hidden local talent!

May we say through your paper how much we enjoyed the concert at the John Green Institute on Saturday put on by the Belton Events Committee lead by Barbara and Nora.

Such hidden local talent! A big thank you to all concerned, we are sure, from all of us that were there.

ERIC and DOROTHY FOSTER

Porters Loke,

Burgh Castle

Winterton bend always a worry

I am a very long term resident of Martham, 42 years, and then Winterton for 14 years. This Mill Farm bend on Hemsby Road in Winterton has always been a worry for us residents, as many near misses have occurred on negotiating this bend.

We have learned to keep well up the left hand bank and go fairly slowly as you travel round this bend because you just do not know what is coming around the corner in the opposite direction. Buses, lorries, farm machinery, and the like need more than half the road to get by.

But the worse problem is drivers going too fast in the middle of the bend; they may think they can swerve and break in time. They usually do manage it but it tends to put the fear of god into the unsuspecting oncoming motorist. The fright makes your fingers tingle and does nothing to help mood and blood pressure.

I cannot fathom why there has not been a fatality at this bend before now.

Reducing the traffic to 20mph for a quarter of a mile either side and through the bend, with the addition of a solar speed indicator approaching the bend from each end, should do the trick. They always make me take immediate notice, especially when on an unfamiliar road.

No need for a bypass, just good warning and reduced speed limits.

PAMELA KEELEY

Winterton-on-Sea

Take pride in Wellesley Road

The Mercury three weeks ago reported that Wellesley Road in Great Yarmouth had been named as the fifth best street in Britain for tourist accommodation in choice, variety and quality.

It seems a real shame the borough council and planners don’t see this accolade as a plus for the town as granting planning to change some of the smaller properties into five one-bedroom flats will start an avalanche of people applying for the same.

We residents fought to keep the residents’ parking and by granting everyone the possibility of up to five cars each property the parking will be horrendous.

Also, as most properties have built at the rear it will result in wheelie bins being stored in the front gardens - again taking away from this acclaimed street.

WILLIE SCOTT

Wellesley Road,

Great Yarmouth

Better action than sacrifice

Regarding the S bend, Hemsby Road in Winterton. A couple of years ago, our newsagent displayed in his window a complaint (I assume) from a visitor who had experienced a near-miss while walking the dog around the bend. The complainant pointed out the only reason there had been no injury was because the motorist had been cautious.

There is no guarantee all motorists are like that one. The main street in the locality of London E17 where I lived had no proper pedestrian crossing in place until a junior-aged schoolgirl had been killed when crossing that road.

Will it take a “blood sacrifice” before that S bend is sorted out? Cannot the parcel of land that constitutes the blind spot be purchased and straightened out to the advantage of all who use that stretch of highway?

What’s a life worth: £18,400 for three vehicle activated speedsigns; the cost of a piece of land that creates a ‘blind’ spot.

A friend told me there had been no accident there in 25 years.

There had been no junior schoolgirl killed on that E17 main road until there was!

MARGARET STEWART

Black Street,

Winterton on Sea

‘Skins’ known to family as ‘Plum’

“Skins” was our Uncle Bill Gates, although in the family he was called “Plum”. One of the last who made a living wild-fowling and eeling on Breydon Water.

If you stand on the bridge that replaced the Breydon swingbridge and look into Breydon his houseboat gave a homely touch to the first mud-flat on the right; this it lost when the boat was swept away in the 1953 floods.

He was interviewed in a promotional video in the mid 1950s on Yarmouth and talked of wild-fowling nd seeing a mate eel-fishing from his bedroom window during the ‘53 floods.

I must have spent hours watching him re-loading the brass cartridges for his punt and shoulder shotguns on the kitchen table or making eel traps in his shed.

His transport was a trade bike, with a box in the carrier for the dog to sit in and if she was in heat, was followed by a trail of other dogs. In a change of occupation he took on the job of pilot on the Queen of the Broads changing his grubby flat cap for a white, naval peaked hat.

Plum never married and died in 1974.

HARVEY GATES

Ludlow

Shropshire

Thank you for all the replies to the appeal, and the information. about “Skins”. They have been passed on.

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