Letters, May 9 2014

Full prices were charged at fair

Like a lot of people we went to the opening day of the Easter fair in the centre of Yarmouth. We went with my daughter and her seven year old twins and like most people we spoke to, the half price rides advertised were a major draw.

We were therefore quite surprised when all of the rides the twins went on were full price either £2.50 or £3. No prices were seen on any of the rides.

While the twins were on a ride we saw an official looking man who appeared to be remonstrating with a ride operator who was not displaying a ride price and when made to do so it was the advertised price of £1.50, not the £3 that we and everybody else was being charged.

My daughter spoke to the man and told him most of the rides had no price on and they were all charging the full price. He apologised and even got the ride operator to pay back the £3 they had overcharged my daughter.

As the fair was very, very busy these ride operators have made hundreds of pounds over and above! And these were Yarmouth residents.

As we left we noticed that prices had appeared on most of the rides all at £1/£1.50 so all in all, not a very good experience.

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Repps Road,


Why no response from festival?

I read with interest your article calling for volunteers to help out with the Great Yarmouth Arts Festival, Mercury May 2.

Being a local artist I emailed the organisers twice asking if my work would be considered for inclusion into the festival. On neither occasion did I receive a reply. I then spoke to a friend who knew one of the people on the organising committee who took my details and promised to send details and application forms in the post in the next few days.

This was a number of weeks ago and I have again received nothing. This appears to be something of a “closed shop.”

I display and sell my work in various galleries and shops along the North Norfolk coast and have always been welcomed and indeed sought after by establishments in this area. It is a shame that my local town are not interested.

The organisers talk of raising the profile of local arts and culture in the town. Is this really the way to do it?


West Avenue


Outer road was answer to traffic

Reading Mr Phillips and others recently about the traffic on the inner relief road (bypass) and Gapton Hall Road, it might be of interest to younger readers caught up in the daily nightmare traffic jams in the Gapton and Southtown areas, to realise there were two suggested layouts for this bypass.

There was much opposition to the existing one on the grounds that in relatively few years it would be subject to traffic jams and the decimation of Bells Road as a shopping centre would have been to no purpose. How right the objectors were. The outer road suggestion would have solved all or most of today’s problems.


Middlestone Close,


Keep the Co-op building as retail

It would be a disaster for the Market Place if the Co-op building was used for anything but retail. It is time for the council to take an active interest in its future as a retail building. If Primark aren’t interested in having a presence in Yarmouth then perhaps Marks and Spencer could be persuaded to move from their present site, or it could be developed into multi-occupancy for more than one national retailer.

As far as more secondary school places being needed for Yarmouth and now Gorleston, wouldn’t it be best to build a state-of-the-art school somewhere?




Make housing the top priority

As a resident of Great Yarmouth, I want our newly-elected councillors to make solving the housing shortage their top priority after Thursday, May 22. Many of us are finding it really hard to save enough money to get on the housing ladder, or are struggling with increasing rents while our salaries are staying the same.

I hope that all council candidates will acknowledge this reality and commit to tackling this problem. They need to think about how we can get the right homes, in the right place, at the right price for everybody in Great Yarmouth.

I believe we can solve our housing shortage and that’s why I’m saying Yes to Homes in Great Yarmouth. All we need now are the politicians who can make this a reality.


Great Yarmouth

Marram provides niche habitats

Sometimes I just cannot believe some of the things I am reading in your fine paper. Your eye-catching headline “Grass grab to save storm-swept beach”, (May 2) reads like some sort of gung ho adventure along the lines of Ripping Yarns, with busloads of volunteers about to arrive, shovels at the ready, to remove the marram grass and transplant it further up the coast at Hemsby.

Yes, marram is a hardy grass, but it is so for a reason as its great length allows it to stabilise the dunes and to create niche habitats for other species like sand sedge and sea rocket. Indeed this is one of the reasons why dunes have a much higher ecological status than beaches - think of all the diverse flora and fauna in the former compared to the latter.

I am not even sure that the economic benefit of such a move, as put by the borough council, to the effect that it would help stop the grass from encroaching onto Yarmouth’s sandy “tourist” beach, has much weight these days - when there seem to be almost as many tourists sitting among the dunes as sitting on the beach itself.

This really is ecological vandalism of the worst sort. The marram is there for a reason and should remain there. Just who was it on the borough council who offered this valuable resource for nothing? To say it is ‘just trimming the edge and giving the grass a haircut’ displays an alarming ecological ignorance. It would appear that some people don’t know their berms from their bottoms when it comes down to matters such as this.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Watch out for killer seagulls

After moving to a new home with a big garden, it has been a big shock to learn how indiscriminate seagulls are when it comes to eating. They have turned my garden into a scene of daily carnage.

During the fledgling stage I have been keeping the cats in and watching the baby blackbirds, pigeons and doves being tended to by their parents. One morning I was keeping an eye on a fledgIing dove sat under my apple tree, and a gull swooped down and ripped its head off. I was horrified and rushed out to chase it off. By the time I got outside it was devouring the rest of the baby bird.

Since then I have found an adult woodpigeon with its head ripped off, and have got up to find a gull had knocked eggs out of a nest and was eating them.

Research on the internet revealed that these birds are predators pure and simple and regularly kill and eat pigeons. They also attack people if their nesting is interfered with, and have been known to kill a dog. I would like to make neighbours aware that feeding these birds in built up areas means the gulls will not stop at eating the bread or leftovers they are given, but will decimate the wildlife in the surrounding gardens too! This is very traumatic to watch by an adult, let alone a child.


Lacon Road,

Caister on Sea

Great night at Toyah concert

What a fantastic night we enjoyed at The Aquarium, Lowestoft after winning Toyah tickets in the Mercury competition. Great support from The Bloodshake Chorus, will watch them again locally, very entertaining. Toyah was brilliant, such a professional performer, and so full of energy. Thank you so much.


West Avenue


White elephants into assets

A great suggestion from Julie Staff, organiser of the Suspension Bridge Disaster project (Letters, May 2). This is a very positive suggestion with many benefits for the town and resort which should be followed up by GYBC with the participation of the library service, the museums, the archaeology society, schools and volunteers with Julie as lead because it’s her vision and she has the project experience.

This would turn sad white elephants into assets in prime positions to promote Yarmouth’s enviable heritage for the benefit of tourism, shops and museums and possible sponsors etc.

My suggestion would be a trial at the old Co-op in the Market Place with a generous use of photographs on backgrounds split up into themes which could be sponsored to make this low cost project self supporting.

Changing objects of interest could be placed at the bottom of the windows.

When the Co-op comes back into use the themes could be split up and used elsewhere. Obvious themes could be the museums, fishing industry and landmark buildings etc.


Brett Avenue,


Silence from the Christians

Thanks to Mr Knight for confirming the truth of my letter re the pagan roots of Easter.

But where are the Christian voices in support of the truth? I recently wrote a letter, published in the Mercury, asking the local vicars why their organisation practises Lent, christening and confirmation – not found in the Bible. The response from them and the other local religious leaders and Christians? Silence!

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1).


Albemarle Road,


Loss of amenity of no concern?

Well what would “...the man on the Great Yarmouth Omnibus ...” make of the latest deliberations reported in recent editions of the Mercury?

The parish council at Corton are voicing concerns that beach protection being carried out at nearby Hopton is the cause of their erosion problems.

Hopton are addressing their immediate concerns of coastal erosion, by large scale rock dumping part-funded by Bourne Leisure, to preserve their business interests.

Bourne has been reported publically as attributing the Hopton erosion to the Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour project.

The best expert opinion and legal minds being employed to fight for their respective clients Monday to Friday, whilst no doubt sharing a round of golf over the weekend, fighting to a standstill.

Scale of issue and loss of public amenity is of no concern to our legal profession, a further example being the sorry state of the Gorleston, Beach Road, White Lion steps that the “cash strapped council” are unable to survey because of long running legal recourse from the developers.

This, in an area with no recorded significant ground subsidence, occurs during a period of heavy rain whilst the immediate area is being developed.

It would seem that whilst this “omnibus passenger” comes to a similar cause and effect conclusion as most others, that even with prima facie evidence, you will get the amount of legal recourse and justice that you can afford.


Clarence Road,


Dump narrows and save cars

I believe that doing away with the narrows in Bradwell would be a godsend. I wonder how many motorists have scuffed their wheels and hub caps going through them.

I have lost count over the years, how many caravans, lorries, vans etc have got stuck leading to massive traffic jams both ways.

I don’t believe heavy goods traffic should go down Burgh Road. It’s a problem in a car when all the school traffic is parked, humps in the road and 20mph speed limit. If a lorry goes down there at school time he has no chance.

If the narrows were taken away it would take heavy traffic away from Burgh Road, Mill Lane, Mallard Way onto Gapton Hall Road and on their way home.

Really it makes sense at the end of the day, it’s not rocket science.



Let’s have info boards for buses

Let me address one or two points, following my letter, April 26, and a reply, May 2. I did say in my letter that I found Sanders drivers very polite. It was the state of the vehicles that I was referring to. I was in no way having a go at the driver.

I also mentioned First Bus who also had a breakdown and I do not blame these drivers just their old-fashioned fleet. How a service that finishes at 6pm and does not run on Sundays can be described as excellent, baffles me.

When I was on holiday in Yorkshire several years ago the city had an integrated traffic system where the buses got to the railway station in plenty of time to connect with the trains.

Wherever you were in York you could see on a board how long your bus was going to be. Now Norwich and Lowestoft have gone some way to doing this by having boards at their stops. As usual, Yarmouth is the poor relation and now there isn’t even a bus to the seafront. It is really time that Great Yarmouth caught up with the times.

On the subject of the times of the Sanders bus on that Tuesday with one bus not turning up and timetable not being adhered to: not having a crystal ball and seeing the bus pass me at 2.30pm I reasonably assumed the timetable was still not being adhered to.

I am now living in Yarmouth, so I can now go to Norwich for an evening out and get a bus back.


Alexandra Road,

Great Yarmouth

Playing field noise problems

It was another Bank Holiday. A well earned rest and time off with the family? No it means another cacophony of screaming and swearing. Not to mention constant thuds, bangs and booms that echo from across Bell Lane playing field at Belton.

In September 2013, I and 19 other local residents went to a parish council meeting where the proposed Bell Lane Skate Park was being discussed. We were told that £5000 had been allocated by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to be used for a skateboard park in Belton.

We were told it had to go on the Bell Lane field regardless of the fact it is bordered on three sides by housing. It could not go on the New Road Sports Field on the edge of the village where there is no housing.

One of the reasons given were it was not a sport. I have found out that skateboarding is regarded as a sport and currently a sporting body is trying its hardest to get it recognised as an Olympic sport. Another reason was that the New Road field has to be locked up each night.

We all thought it was a good idea that youngsters should be home by 9pm when the field is locked up instead of screaming late into the evening on a Skateboard Park and playing field near housing.

We were assured materials used were of low noise impact. I’m afraid I beg to differ. The rhino ramps the park is comprised of are made of hollow aluminium and are very noisy indeed. We were told £5000 was allocated for this purpose and that was what it was being spent on!

Then we come to its actual use. How many skateboarders are actually using it? I have taken a small survey recently. The majority of children/ teenagers using it are riding micro scooters up and down the ramps. No safety protection is being worn ie protective knee pads, elbow pads or headgear. I had a discussion with the man that keeps the field tidy and rubbish free. He told me he recently spent nearly two hours sweeping up broken glass from near the skateboard area and he showed me the number of beer bottles and drink cans he had recovered from the playing field, much in the area close to the skateboard, playground and fenced off sports area.

I was surprised how many bottles were smashed and broken. It’s a good job he does his job conscientiously or children could easily be injured.

At the meeting a councillor said, with regard to our reservations: “If you don’t want noise, then don’t live near a playground”. We agreed that the majority of us had moved into our homes when Bell Lane Playing Field was just a green field and there were just two swings and a seesaw.

We suffer enough noise from the young people’s shelter, a structure erected to allow teenagers to congregate on the playing field. Once again made of an unsuitable material - fibreglass that makes a booming sound as balls are kicked at it or it is jumped on. Teenagers can be seen jumping up and down on the roof most weekends and evenings.

We were assured the skateboard area would be policed. Who by and when? Clearly this isn’t happening by the amount of broken glass and swearing that goes on the field. How does the council stand if a parent decides to sue as a result of any injury?

The bad language and screaming is getting worse. In the meantime if you feel unwell /want to rest or enjoy your own home and garden, the playing field’s activities make this very difficult.

All the fears we voiced in September do not seem to have be addressed. Unless Belton Parish Council erects “rhino sound reduction panels” (acoustic barriers) around the field this problem will not go away.



I agree with grass cutting concern

I would agree with Danny Clark, the cutting of the grass in Caister is a disgrace. They cut our verges just before Easter and what a job! They just cut the edges.

I rang the Town Hall and a man said he would come and see it for himself the following Tuesday. On that day, we were woken early with once again the cutting of grass. Then followed a man with the blower – what a waste of time: grass blown everywhere into gutters, on paths and in drains. Surely a vacuum cleaner type machine would do the job better so it can be taken away? What a waste of time and money.


Westerley Way,


Seafront traffic tailbacks - again

I feel I must complain about the lack of police or council action about cars that park on Marine Parade every day on the pavement. I can just see the holidaymakers copying this action for free parking and pedestrians dodging around the cars.

This bank holiday brought again the tail back of traffic from the south to St Peters Road at going home time as the traffic lights at Britannia Pier allow about five cars through when foot people press the button and get near immediate access to cross the road. Cars have had to put up with this stupid delay since the front was re-designed a few years ago. Surely a delay can be built into the light to stop the long delays to traffic at rush hour?