Letters, May 15 2015

Pathway Cafe involves many

Thank you for publishing the article regarding our work at the Minster Mission. The Pathway Café is an important part in the outreach work of Great Yarmouth Minster.

The Parish believes that as Christians we are called to look to the needs of the poor which is why we continue to provide the hot meals to up to 80 people per session. The Pathway Café is totally dependent on grant and voluntary funding. Given more funding it would be wonderful if we could extend the provision to more than our regular Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes.

I would however like to take this opportunity to correct the impression that might be given in your article that Brian Thorne was solely responsible for setting up the Pathway Café. He had an important part in the work and plays a continuing part in the ongoing work.

However it is essential to recognise the hard work of my former colleague the Rev James Stewart, the parish churchwarden Mr Graham Aldred and the local tradespeople in converting of the premises and the donations that enabled us to get our project running. Without their hard work and generosity we would not be open today. I would also like to express my thanks to all the volunteers who continue to assist in the Pathway Café every week.

If any of your readers would like to support our work I would ask that donations made payable to The PCC of Great Yarmouth should be sent to the Parish Administrator at the Great Yarmouth Parish Office, The Rectory, Town Wall Road, Great Yarmouth NR30 1DJ. Offers of help or food can also be made by telephoning the parish office on 01 493 858410 on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays between 10am and noon.


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Voice concerns at our meeting

With reference to Letters, Mercury, May 8 where Chris Wright referred to Caister Parish Council as a “high spending parish council”. I would like through the pages of the Mercury to invite Mr Wright to a parish council meeting where he can voice his concerns in person to the council. I would however point out that Mr Wright is perfectly correct when he states that “party politics do not play a part in parish councils”.


Vice chairman

Caister Parish Council

Could Port sell land to hotel?

The Mercury (May 8) announced the Pier Hotel has purchased a large plot of land on the South Pier in Gorleston next to its current premises. This is excellent news for Gorleston and the borough as the area would seem to be used for “upmarket” art and crafts events as well as extending the outside seating area for the hotel.

The Scott family should be applauded for astuteness in taking the plot on for the benefit of the community. It is refreshing Mr Scott has already engaged a local business to make the space a success... and as he is aiming for top end business rather than the Pound shops and general lower end predominant in the borough.

I have no doubt if everyone is joined up this will become another feather in the cap in Gorleston’s bid to be the new Southwold!

However, there is a problem with who can sell this land to Mr Scott. It would appear it was sold by Great Yarmouth Port Company (GYPC) but it was the Great Yarmouth Port Authority (GYPA) who owned it.

The GYPA is the legal custodian of the Port. GYPC is the preferred management company at this point. The Authority is in place for the benefit of stakeholders and borough residents as a Trust Port, and all profit must be re-invested in the port’s infrastructure for the benefit of the community.

The company is a tangled thread of various business identities that lead to an American investment bank (Global Infrastructure Partnerhips) and any profit goes to their shareholders and not to the borough. Basically the Port of Great Yarmouth has become a trust fund or equity fund.

The detail of the 1986 Outer Harbour Act as clarified to us by the Westminster Library Records Office, the 2005 Harbour Revision Order that gave Government permission to build the Outer Harbour does not include the river port being included in the deal. That also includes the South Pier land that Mr Scott has acquired.

It would be nice if there was a proper response to this letter by any of the main public bodies named ie GYPA, borough and county councils to the Mercury. Surely it is in their interests to publically prove after all these years I am wrong and therefore make me go away?


Burnt Lane,


One-way idea for the Acle Straight

Glad to hear the intention to make the A47 around North Burlingham into a dual carriageway with a safe junction at both ends. The Acle Straight should be made one way from Great Yarmouth. Incoming traffic would use the A164 passing through Filby and approaching Great Yarmouth from Caister. The A164 from the roundabout with the A47 would become one way through Filby toward the roundabout at North Caister. This would reduce traffic through Filby and improve traffic flow down the A47 alleviating traffic hold ups especially in the summer. The only costs would be highway regulations, entrance work at each end of the Acle Straight and alterations with the junction off the road leading to towards Halvergate off the A47. This would save construction costs of a new road. The Scientific Status of the area would be unchanged. This I feel is the only positive way forward.



Staff’s gruelling 12-hour shifts

Stephen Hayes’ letter, Mercury May 1, certainly touched a nerve with me and so strong are my feelings I had to write in total support of A&E at the James Paget Hospital.

I have worked in an A&E department myself and those rare moments of “downtime” where nurses are able to chat and joke with each other are essential and enable staff to continue to arrive for the 12-hour plus gruelling shifts where they face whatever comes through the door without judgement, with a smile and absolute professionalism. My mother-in-law was recently admitted to A&E - the care, compassion, skills and understanding were second to none.

Of course, I cannot comment on Mr Hayes’ personal experience but find it impossible to see how staff supporting each other, sharing a joke or simply standing still for a moment had any impact on his care. Life and death is an A&E reality and so too is a chat and a hug between colleagues.


Pavilion Road,


A wonderful VE day celebration

As a Stokesby resident of 46 years, I have never before experienced such a wonderful, moving and well-organised event on the scale of the village’s VE day celebration on Friday.

Malcolm Lake, “The Bruno Peek of Stokesby”, who initiated and organised the event involving large numbers of participants in two locations in just four weeks, is to be heartily thanked and congratulated.

Hundreds of people aged from six to 94 joined the village in celebrating the end of the Second World War in Europe in an event that really put Stokesby and its beacon on the national map. It made me proud to be a Stokesby resident. Well done Malcolm, and all those who helped him to make this event such a memorable occasion.



Even rain did not dampen spirits

What a wonderful evening there was at Stokesby on Friday to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VE Day.

It started with a superb singalong from the Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company, followed by the parade through the village with all the youth organisations supporting the British Legion veterans and the lighting of the beacon. Just the right note of solemnity was added to the celebrations before going back to the Hall for an ample supper (roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with apple pie and custard to follow!) And then there was music.

I felt honoured to be present. Thank you to all those who helped, you did such a great job that even the rain could not dampen our spirits.



Health needs being run down

Every week we read in the letters page, from people who owe so much for the quality of treatment received by them at the James Paget Hospital, either during their projected stay or the misfortune of needing accident and emergency. And quite right, that’s what we expect.

However, there is another side to our local health service, as I am able to comment on.

Being diabetic, I have need for podiatory treatment on a regular basis, whereas this used to be on a 10-week period, from May 4 this has now gone to 13 weeks and no sign of any appointment despite offering to take any cancellation at any time.

On February 24, I was pleased to accept the removal of a cataract, however once discharged, I experienced a problem with my eye. My GP wrote to the eye clinic on April 15 and I have just had a letter confirming my appointment to be June 5, six weeks for re-examination. What a disgrace.

Suffering from back pain from injury some years ago I phoned physio direct to be told I had a two-week wait for a telephone call from a physio, for discussion on the telephone. This has now occurred, followed by a letter stating it might be 12 weeks before a physical examination.

What is going on? Why are our basic needs being run down? I cannot be the only patient in this situation! After paying into the system for 45 years it seems that does not matter.

Perhaps Mr Brandon Lewis MP would like to explain to us all why we are all being let down.

Name and Address withheld

School is our extended family

My daughter, along with the rest of year six, is sitting SATs exams this week. And they have received a letter from their head, Mr Ryan Freeman and other members of staff of Homefield C of E Primary School.

The letter said to my daughter: “I want to let you all know how incredibly proud we are of you, and the progress that you have made during your time at Homefield and that during this tricky time we will be thinking of you.

“In the coming days you will sit your tests and at the end of it all you will be given a level. However, this level does not define who you are or how far you have come.

“The level you will be given will not identify the children amongst you who are great artists or amazing singers. They will not show us who is good with their hands or a keen sportsman. Likewise, the levels will not take into account those of you who are kind, caring individuals who got the extra mile to accommodate others.

“Your level will tell you something, but not everything!”

The letter continues: “We just want you to try your best, have a go and be … you! That special, unique character that we are all so fond of. Good luck next week.”

Homefield isn’t just a school to us parents. It’s our extended family. I have two children there and one to start in September and I couldn’t think of a better place to send them.



Thanks for my resounding win

Through the columns of your newspaper, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who supported me, voted for me on May 7 and helped me to such a resounding victory once again in West Flegg. I would also like to thank the Town Hall officers who ran the election so efficiently and especially those who manned a polling station all Thursday, joined the count all Thursday night and again on Friday – a monumental task, well done!

As always, I am willing to listen to everyone in my ward and help in any way I can to put the views and comments of all ward members to the appropriate people. A hung borough council is not easy to work with but I will endeavour to make every effort to promote the good of all the villages in the West Flegg ward and the borough as a whole. Thank you once again for your support.


West Flegg Ward

I feed stray cat on garage roof

To the gentleman who wrote in last week saying he had taken in a stray ginger tom cat, I wish there were more people like you around the Beccles Road, Bradwell area. There seems to be an epidemic of stray cats.

I don’t know where they are all coming from but they all seem to head for my garden. I have six cats of my own and various stray cats that come to be fed each day.

About a year ago I had two black cats turn up together. One lived in my garage and one lives on the garage roof. It got so cold for them my husband made them a kennel in which we put a warm fleece and straw. One unfortunately developed a tumour on her mouth and was in such discomfort we had to have her put to sleep.

The one of the garage roof doesn’t want to come to be fed so I have to climb a ladder four times a day to feed her.

I’m sure my neighbours must think I am bonkers, standing on top of a ladder waving my arms to keep the seagulls off her food.

Apart from the cats I have a visit from a fox most nights and the other day I had a small deer headbutting my lounge window. I have seen the ginger tom run across my garden. Hope he is soon claimed.


Beccles Road,


Join me for my 80th birthday

On Friday, May 22 at 7pm, the Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston is very kindly hosting a free open evening to celebrate the occasion of my 80th birthday and 30 years of Dusmagrik Young people’s Theatre Company.

May I extend a warm welcome to all my friends, old and new, to past members and loyal supporters of Dusmagrik, to join me in a nostalgic evening of chat and entertainment with various members of our large “theatrical family” – singers, bring your music! I will look forward to the pleasure of your company and sharing a memorable time with you all.


Co-founder Dusmagrik

Half-done bridge a wrong signal

A half-finished project sends out the wrong signals. Visitors arriving at the railway station and seeing the half completed Vauxhall Bridge will get the impression that nobody cares but it is clear from the article in last week’s Yarmouth Mercury that there are dedicated individuals who have worked very hard collecting money to have this project completed. They deserve our thanks and support.

What has been achieved is impressive but why the delay in having the second span restored? Great Yarmouth’s heritage trail is rightly promoted and draws welcome visitors to the town. This bridge, completely restored with signage and maps would be the ideal starting point for those wishing to explore the rich history of the town.



Bless ‘em all, what a party!

Oh, what a lovely party! Despite the rain, the Victory in Europe Day Celebration at Stokesby on Friday evening was fantastic. First we were entertained by a touching concert by Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company followed by a parade made up of too many to list here. There was the lighting of the VE beacon, then a delicious home-cooked dinner followed by entertainment and a rousing sing-song. I brought a Second World War veteran friend from Gorleston, Mr Neville Howell, and he had a wonderful time, including several dances with Mel “Victory” Ward who had dressed the part perfectly.

Our thanks to everyone who put this together for our benefit, Bless ‘Em All!



Sadness to wake to find Tory rule

I felt a great sadness when dawn broke on Friday morning and Great Yarmouth woke up to Conservative rule. Yet all the hard work and connecting with people while gaining their trust is something that will remain because when someone has experienced the real sad issues of life that is where the genuine understanding is felt.

Great Yarmouth needs people who they can believe in and I think they have found it in Lara Norris. She is like a glowing red light of hope in a murky blue sea. Keep up the good fight Lara.



Compassion and care at hospital

Having been taken to hospital by ambulance and having to stay for three weeks, starting at A&E, moving on to ADD, then to ward 15, my treatment and care could not be complained about. I would like thank the doctors, nursing staff and ward helpers for their help and compassion which enabled my recovery and discharge.

Thank you to you all and God bless you.


Haylett Close,

Caister on Sea

Campaign fought on local priorities

After a long, hard-fought General Election campaign I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voters in the Great Yarmouth constituency, who put their trust in me to represent the area in Parliament for another five years.

I fought a campaign that focused on our local priorities, rather than making cheap political points.

Over 19,000 local residents backed me to continue being a strong voice for our area, making sure we get the best deal from central government and our local councils. They want to see the plan I set out implemented. We need to encourage continued investment in our local infrastructure, to improve our road network and other facilities. We need to provide new apprenticeships and other training opportunities for our young people, so they have the best chance of succeeding in the job market.

We need more new homes, which are affordable for those starting out on the housing ladder. We need to challenge the local council to think again on excessive car parking charges and the closure of vital public toilets. We need to make sure we use the resources available to bring an end to neighbourhood neglect.

They are important priorities, which I will pursue relentlessly as Member of Parliament.

It’s a great privilege to represent Great Yarmouth. I never take the electorate for granted. That is why, whatever your political convictions I am always willing to listen your viewpoint, to undertake casework on your behalf and to represent you and fight for us all in Great Yarmouth in Parliament.


Great Yarmouth constituency

Amazed Winter Gardens closed

I have just returned from a month’s stay in the Philippines mainly to visit my wife’s mum. I am now deciding where we will go in England for our summer holiday.

I have visited Great Yarmouth many times since my first visit in 1974 when I was 11. Upon my last visit the Winter Gardens was closed down yet there were photos of it on the tourism website. I was very disappointed as it provided entertainment where you could buy food, listen to music and go in the amusement arcade.

I am still amazed the building has still not been repaired. I vowed back in 2007 that I would not holiday in Great Yarmouth until this iconic building was repaired. The lights along the seafront are a pathetic replacement too. I wonder how many people feel the same. I live 200 miles away in Swindon.



Entry tollgates and pay to park

Now that the PM problem is sorted, let’s sort out our own PM problem – parking meters; the situation now being a varying toll charge dependent on circumstances.

Why not put a tollgate at each entry to the town, where you can pay a peppercorn fee? Parking as we do now means some paying a King’s ransom with others, within a few feet, paying nothing at all. If we must charge visitors to the town let’s make it minimal ie 10p and no change given. The traffic hold up would be no more than it is now.


Gonville Road,


Wartime spirit was in evidence

We would like to say a big thank you to the organisers of the VE Day 70 year celebrations which took place in Stokesby last Friday evening.

It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves and getting into the wartime spirit. The children from Dusmagrik put on an excellent performance and sang beautifully and the village hall was packed to the rafters.

After a torchlight procession of the groups taking part which included the Royal British Legion, the Red Cross, and many more groups and volunteers we then enjoyed singing wartime songs, flag waving, speeches and the lighting of the beacon on the village green. It was a fabulous tribute to those who served Great Britain in the Second World War.


West Road.

Caister on Sea

Reunion plan for high school pupils

Did you join Great Yarmouth High School in September 1951 and leave in July 1956 or July 1958? If so, please come to a reunion in Gorleston on Saturday, July 4. For more details, please contact me by letter at 22 Wren Drive, Bradwell NR31 8JW or call 01493 664499.

AILEEN STONE (nee Barker)

Well done Lara on your campaign

May I through your letters page congratulate Lara Norris for the excellent campaign, she as our Labour candidate waged in Great Yarmouth. Although this did not translate into sufficient votes to achieve her election, this cannot take away from the professional and well-directed strategy she and her team engaged in.

There were not many days I did not receive pertinent and well thought-out literature from her. So she has no need to feel demoralised from that point of view. The result took the whole country by surprise but that is politics, an unknowable beast at the best of times.

There will no doubt be soul-searching at a national level for the foreseeable and only time will tell if they can re-engage with the electorate and produce a coherent and valid way forward.

The Conservative juggernaut is on a roll and hopefully David Cameron is sincere in his words of “one nation” mantra. I have serious doubts when Iain Duncan-Smith has been retained as Secretary for Works and Pensions and could this mean more draconian measures, when he oversees the £12bn of welfare cuts. David Cameron bangs on about “working people who do the right thing” but what about the physical and mentally disabled in our community who are unable to work? In a civilised country their needs should be paramount and not be subjected to even harsher strictures.

I am also concerned that Copperfield House (aka The Job Centre) does not live up to its Dickensian connotations.


Winifred Road,


Village festival a massive success

We would like to thank everyone who took part in this year’s Martham Scarecrow Festival; those of you who made scarecrows and yarn bombing, held garden /garage sales, had craft or charity stalls, provided refreshments.

We would like to thank St Mary’s Church for holding their art exhibition, Methodist Church for holding their flower festival, village hall for holding a table top sale and Cornerstone Baptist Church for opening up and providing refreshments. A big thank you goes to all the local businesses who sponsored winners this year and also to those who gave raffle prizes and took in entry forms.

A massive thank you goes to everyone who came to the village over the two days, it was lovely to see so many happy faces bringing the village to life. With support from everyone we have raised £1,550.!

Winners of prizes are: Best Scarecrow, 154 Marlborough Green Crescent. Runner Up, 8b Grove Close. Highly Commended, Ealing House. Best Yarn Bombing, 33 Black Street. Visitors Favourite Scarecrow, 26 Marlborough Green Crescent. Visitors Favourite Yarn Bombing, 33 Black Street. Scarecrow / Yarn Bombing Lucky Entry, 16 Oak Tree Close. Treasure Hunt, Kevin Chaney. Children’s Letter Hunt, Callum Barringer. Again, many thanks for your support



Thank you for sharing evening

As organiser of the Stokesby VE Day celebrations I would like to thank all the troops, groups and bands for making the night so superb.

For all the volunteers who gave so much I will never be able to repay you for making this night the one of the best night in Stokesby’s history. We would like to wish Mr Thompson, our borough councillor for 40 years many years of retirement.

To all distinguished guests thank you for sharing your evening with us.



Well done to army of volunteers

I would like to thank the army of volunteers who made Stokesby’s VE Day celebration such an amazing success. This historic occasion was the biggest ever to be organised in Stokesby, with participation from organisations as far afield as North Walsham.

For a small village to put on such a large and complex event was an inspiration! Its initiator and creator Malcolm Lake, who organised it in just four weeks with military precision, is to be heartily congratulated.

But it wouldn’t have been possible without his hard core of loyal helpers from the village who rallied to do anything from putting up bunting and marquees and marshalling traffic to the catering team who missed the entire proceedings because they were cooking the roast beef and Yorkshire pud dinner and clearing up afterwards.

So, to all the unsung heroes and everyone who turned out on a damp and dark night to join the nation in celebrating VE Day in Stokesby – the village where it all happens – a big thank you!


The Green,


Thanks for votes and support

I would like to thank all those people who helped supported and voted for me at the local borough election.Also a big thank you to all the staff who worked at the polling station on Mill Lane, Bradwell and everybody involved at the count


Bradwell North

Process went on many months

May I take this opportunity to thank all the residents of Caister North who voted in last Thursday’s elections and in particular those who voted for me representing the local Conservative Party.

It was a very long day for everyone involved, the polling station staff, the tellers, candidates from participating parties and many residents who patiently and with good humour stood in queues at various busy times throughout the day.

Personally, the decision to stand was not taken lightly. The whole process from the selection stage, interviews and the lead up to May 7 has been many months in the making. In all my working life this is the longest selection process I have ever been involved in. I would also like to thank the Conservative team of volunteers who worked behind the scenes on behalf of every candidate, and family and friends for support and encouragement. I look forward to representing the residents of Caister North and until my official council contact details are confirmed I can be contacted on 01493 300352.


Caister North Ward

Transported back to the wartime

Congratulations to the organisers and those who took part and worked hard to make the Stokesby VE day celebration such a successful event.

Standing in what was the old school hall decorated with Union Flags and home-made bunting, watching and listening to the children of the Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre, dressed in costume of the time and seeing “members” of the Home Guard enjoying the wartime songs, one blink and you were transported back 70 years! The rain tried to put a damper on the evening but in good old Brit style the parade went on. We weren’t expecting a two-course meal but it was delicious and to finish the evening there was more wartime entertainment from Paul Young. Well done Malcolm Lake for being Master of Ceremonies and well done all for a great evening!

Mr and Mrs CATER



Aim is to serve ward and borough

A big thank you to all those in Bradwell South and Hopton who voted for me in last week’s local elections. Whether you voted Conservative or not my aim is to serve the ward and borough the best way I can so residents are proud of the area they live in. If I can help or you have any issues please do not hesitate to get in contact.