Letters, May 6 2016

Choir and club reunion planned

I’m trying to arrange a reunion of former choir and youth club members at St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston, and also those who came on youth club holidays to the Lake District and North Wales during the 1960s.

We also spent happy Sunday evenings at the vicarage with the Rev John Bourne and his wife Mabs, who would be delighted if the reunion goes ahead.

I can be contacted by email at kath.walton1@btinternet.com

KATH WALTON, nee Philpott


Patched paths are a mess

Most Read

I have come to the conclusion that in this borough to get things done depends on the size of the houses and the street you live on. I’m referring to the new pavement surface being relaid on Caister Road, Yarmouth.

Maybe I’m missing something here but who decides which pavements get relaid and which ones don’t, as far as I’m concerned it is obviously Mr Magoo!

Why dig up a perfectly good footpath and relay with a new one. It just seems like they are carrying on from Lawn Avenue again, a foot path hardly ever walked on but just driven over by cars to get into their houses.

I reported our footpaths to our local councillor three years ago. West Road, which is used all day long by mostly elderly people, is a disgrace, patched with liquid tar poured.

We don’t live in big houses just small bungalows and we live in Caister so we feel left out. Come on county council, look a little further afield when you need to get rid of money. Our’s need doing because they are bad.

If we are lucky enough to get new pavements laid they could throw in one or two speed bumps at the same time because it seems our road has now become a race track for the people who have moved into the two estates at either end of the road.

It’s 30mph for a reason not for people to drive as fast as they like to get to their quiet little cul de sac. Respect the people on the roads you use, to get to yours.


West Road,


Repair or risk losing structure

Writing in response to the letter from J F Lambert regarding the refurbishment of the Winter Gardens on our seafront. Although I agree with him fully that something must be done to ensure the structure survives, I fear the suggestion to create a Forest Adventure theme seems most unlikely.

As far as I am aware very little has been done to by way of repair since the building has been closed to the public. I suppose in hindsight, previous tenants should have been made far more responsible for its upkeep (water under the bridge). I assumed repair work might be carried out as a matter of urgency after an appraisal of its condition was carried out in or around 2011. I am aware some urgent work was recommended at that time including repairs to the lattice trusses, considered the most vulnerable if left unrepaired.

The only practical solution may be to carry out major repairs to the structure immediately or risk losing it completely, the process of fabric decay is ongoing and will accelerates as time passes. The appraisal in 2011 suggested that repairs should be undertaken within two-to-five years in order to secure its future. Previous suggestions to flat pack it may not be necessary if something is not done shortly, it may need a good gust of wind.

Let’s not waste any more time talking about what needs to be done to this wonderful structure. We must do all what we can to ensure this building which has stood for a hundred or more years remains to be enjoyed by us all.

We have lost enough of what was great about Yarmouth.



New open court is much needed

Judges are all powerful, and rightly unaccountable to government for their decisions and conduct in court; though if found to have abused these powers they should be answerable to Parliament.

At the UK Civil Court and ECHR, judges will reject the writs of litigants with no legal representation; some will be citing acts of malpractice by politicians, public officials and legal professionals working in the courts, media and public services.

A new type of court is needed, a world first, the British Court of Rights and Public Justice, under the democratic umbrella of Parliament, exclusively for self-litigants, open to the public, media and television.

Victims of an offence or rights violation, often the same thing, would make their initial case to a panel of JPs, presiding as adjudicators and lay magistrates.

Depending on type of offence and evidence, the case would remain within the BCRPJ for arbitration or trial by jury, or passed into the criminal or civil justice systems - for trial by judges!

It’s time for our politicians to act - but would the unaccountable, all powerful EU judiciary allow it?


Great Yarmouth

No, to a leap into the unknown

I voted for us to go into the Common Market all those years ago, my first time at being old enough to vote, and I believe we should stay in the European Union.

Not, as some might say for idealistic reasons, but for the fact we would be leaping into the unknown and Britain is only a small country. Yes, we may be a world leader in lots of things and have a strong economy, but just look at an atlas and see how if we vote to leave we will be alone – literally an island in the sea, and easy prey from the north, south, east and west.

We have a bad deal from the EU, yes. We need stronger leaders to make that point but we cannot make that point if we are not in the club. Better to be a committee member with a vote than an outsider wanting to use the facilities.

My employers deal daily with countries within Europe and I don’t feel our business would be affected if we came out but, and it’s a big but, those European businesses might not want to do business with us: those strange, independent Brits who think they still rule the world and want everyone to jump when they say so.

It will be interesting to see how the vote goes; a small majority either way will not bring this matter to a conclusion.

Name and Address withheld


Young are fine ambassadors

My wife and I attended St George’s Theatre on Sunday afternoon to see and listen to the Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company. The concert was a fundraising event for the theatre company who will be taking part in a weekend of music in Great Yarmouth’s twin town of Rambouillet later this year.

What fine ambassadors for the town these young people will be, singing songs with a maritime theme, some even about Great Yarmouth itself. We hear so much bad press about young people these days it was a pleasure to see and hear these young people enjoying their singing, promoting our town and proving once again how much talent we have on our doorstep.


Royal Naval Hospital,

Great Yarmouth

Stop racing in your vehicles!

I have spent years of complaining about the appalling driving standards that approach quite frankly the idiotic. Groups of people race each other through the villages at high speed and anybody who gets in their way is in for a torrent of abuse.

Gardens walls are knocked down, and horse riders, cyclists and of course holidaymakers are of course all fair game. Motorists park on the pavement on double yellow lines and on both sides at times and very rarely seem to get prosecuted.

The carnage amongst the wildlife is truly terrible. I was one of the toad watchers, I said was, as they have nearly all been run over crossing the road to breed.

When I was moved to Burgh Castle by the council 10 years ago I found it had changed a lot and not for the better. The roads are a pothole nightmare and I was warned by friends to be on my guard when cycling at night otherwise I would be trimmed out and left injured at the side of the road.

It proved to be nearly true for I have been knocked off my bike and ended up on the bonnet of a car and also been hit by another car on the leg. The motorist shrugged his shoulders and drove off. Instead of letting this slide and some unpleasant accident happening when everyone says we will learn by our mistakes, it is about time these arrogant drivers who think they can do as they wish were caught and hammered in the court.


Butt Lane, Burgh Castle

Insurance man swam to Scroby

I read your article about Daniel Liffen swimming to Scroby many years ago. My parents’ insurance man was Mr Joyce from Caster. He swam to Scroby regularly in the 1950s and 1960s,



Ask the young before EU vote

Shirley Crosbie’s letter in praise of Gove, raised a point that all grandparents should consider. It is unlikely that whichever decision we make on June 23 will have much impact on my generation - whichever way it goes. I have a preference of course, but it’s more emotional than rational - there’s so very little real information coming from either side. So my decision is this.

It will have an enormous impact on my grandchildren, so I will look at what the UK will look like for them in (say) 10 years time. I will not trust the biased views of the politicians because they have personal agendas they are pursuing. I have spoken to some of my grandchildren and listened to their wishes and aspirations.

I will now make sure that I listen carefully to all of them and make my final decision based on what they want for their futures and vote accordingly.



Seeking former schoolpal Ann

While working as human resources director at Potters Resort in Hopton, I had information passed to me that an Ann Martin had called in to see me. However, no contact details were left.

Two days after this I was struck down with illness and spent five months in hospital. When I got better I came back to Yarmouth and now want to find Ann Martin, who I went to Greenacre School with in 1952.

My message to her is: you looked for me and now I’m looking for you. I can be contacted on 07850 101643.


Wherry Way,

Great Yarmouth

Bloaters back in the premier

I would like to say how pleased I am to see that Yarmouth Town FC are back where they belong in the premier division of the Thurlow Nunn League.

Though I have lived in Bury St Edmunds for nearly 40 years, I still look for the Bloaters results. I did play for them from 1956 to 1962 as goalkeeper and have some wonderful memories of those far off days. Good luck to the club for next season, another promotion and they will be able to join Bury Town in the Ryman League.

If anybody remembers me I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by email at brian@wadsworth.me.uk



New free school is needed boost

It will very soon be crunch time on plans for land still vacant or undeveloped on Pasteur Road in Great Yarmouth.

It is really important that borough councillors on the planning committee take a strategic view, because once land usage is finalised there in Southtown it will focus developers’ attention firmly on the key Riverside, North Quay and Conge where 1,000 new homes are envisaged in the local plan.

All too often the planning committee, under its Conservative chairman, has been “reactionary” - for example turning down housing developments at the derelict Hemsby Pontins site for no good reason and perpetuating the sad sight of a crumbling eyesore that will never attract new investment for tourism.

The opening of a new Trafalgar College free school on the empty Perenco site in Southtown is a much needed boost to secondary school places for the town - and it became absolutely essential once council bosses prevented the land swap required to expand the existing Great Yarmouth High School from 900 to 1,500 places.

Until land is cleared in the Conge and North Quay area there is a pressing current need for sites on Pasteur Road for developments that can’t easily be accommodated in the existing Town Centre and Market Place. I have no doubt that Pasta Foods will ultimately be successful on appeal and Government Inspectors will overturn earlier planning refusals. There is room also for a brand new hotel on this A12 approach to town in the same way that the new Premier Inn now graces the A47 entrance.

The completion of Pasteur Road will enhance rather than damage the appeal of Yarmouth for retail and hospitality - now 30 years on from the opening up of this part of town with the construction of the western bypass - and will attract new investment into our traditional town centre area and bring forward the development of the Riverside, North Quay and The Conge areas. A “can do” approach is absolutely essential and Tory MP Brandon Lewis will need to be reminded of his pledge to get government brownfield fund cash made available to help “pump prime” those new developments.

Without that, developers will always prefer to build on greenfield sites on Beacon Park and Bradwell given the extra costs of building on riverside sites and contaminated land.


County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central

Thanks for help after fall in town

We would like to say a big thank you to all the people who offered help when Derrick had a fall outside Market Gates in Regent Road on Wednesday, April 27, especially the lovely lady and two kind gentlemen who called the paramedics and waited with us until they arrived. You have restored our faith in human nature.


Great Yarmouth

UK in voluntary liquidation?

Let’s look at our future: should we come out of the EU? They have invested £540bn in us over the last decade, equivalent to £148m every day. However, all the Exits can see is the £350m a week we have to pay.

The EU is our biggest trading partner. If we pulled out, leaving the harmony we have with them, would all the 27 units ignore us? Who would take our wares? Or could even afford them?

Do you not think we are getting a bargain at the moment? Where would the money for us to invest in any other market come from? Would this move be a case of voluntary liquidation?


Gonville Road,


Andrew was on track with date

In follow up to the recent archive picture article (April 29), Andrew Fakes wonders whether the date attributed to the photograph showing the interior of South Town Station, is correctly shown as having been 1967. I think it probably is correct.

As Andrew says, the station did not close until 1970. However, soon after the end of the 1966 summer season which saw the last of the Saturday through trains between Liverpool Street, London and Yarmouth South Town, the coastline was reduced to single track.

All the stations, Lowestoft North to South Town inclusive became unstaffed halts. At the latter, one platform, No 4, accessed by the dwindling number of passengers including me, via the yard on the north side of the premises, remained in use for the diesel train shuttle service until that too was withdrawn on May 2 1970.

During the period 1967-70, the main station building was used, presumably on lease, by the Santa Fe (UK) Ltd oil and gas exploration company who erected metal sheeting to separate the old concourse from the platform still in public use. According to a photograph I have seen, Santa Fe was in occupation in April 1975.

My feeling, though, is that I saw the picture in the late 1960s.

The station was demolished during the late autumn of 1977. This was an ignominious end to what the railway historian, R S Joby described as “Yarmouth’s most commodious station”. Indeed, the eminent architectural historian, Sir Nicklaus Pevsner, never easily placed, commended it as “essentially Georgian”.

Your photograph is testimony to the skill of the bricklayers who, in the 1850s, constructed the building in gault brick – “Suffolk Whites”. I cannot be sure, but I suspect the architect was the classically-trained Santon Wood of Ipswich.

There are just a couple of clues to the station’s former existence.

The Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society, a few years ago, placed one of their admirable commemorative blue plaques on the surgery directly north of the site. A more tangible reminder will be found at the National Railway Museum, York, which has one of the wrought iron benches with fish moulded into both ends, made for the station and which for many years stood where the men are in the photograph.

Prior to the demolition in 1977, ownership of the station had passed to the borough council. By then, the question had arisen as to the future of the station clock which had been removed by the time of the 1975 photograph.

This handsome timepiece with gold, Roman numerals on a black background, was in the pediment overlooking the forecourt and Southtown Road. It was the best public clock in Yarmouth, always far more reliable than that on the Town Hall has ever been.

The council duly minuted that a builder had offered to place it in one of his developments but if I remember correctly, that request was declined. Instead, it was stated the clock would go into store until a new suitable location could be found for it.

For over a century, countless people must have glanced up at it.

South Town Station clock was long part of the local scene so, where is now? What became of it?


London Road South,


Happy memory of rollerskating

I have just been reading your piece about the Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth and thought you might be interested in hearing about my vague connection with it.

I took up my first teaching post in January 1962 at Great Yarmouth Grammar School, later to become Yarmouth High School.

Wednesday afternoons were designated as “sports sfternoon” and I was lucky enough to be paired with the older pupils. During the summer months we would go sailing, initially at Burgh Castle then Filby Broad, but throughout the winter months I would take the group to the Winter Gardens for an afternoon of roller skating.

The floor was not absolutely level but this just made the skating more exciting.

Health and safety would have had a field day as we played a rough version of roller hockey without helmets, knee pads or any other forms of protection.

One of my other favourite memories of the area around the Winter Gardens was the outside skating rink and the great skating show Skaterskades.

It is a great shame the building has fallen out of use but understand that cash is in short supply and there are other more deserving causes.


Caister on Sea

Birthday party a stunning night

As part of the Queen’s Birthday Party Celebrations in Stokesby, I would like to thank all the people that run the social club in Stokesby. Without their help all the events in Stokesby would not happen.

It was a stunning evening with the lighting of the beacon going off perfectly and it was nice to see the next beacon in the chain at Acle Bridge blazing away.

Hayley Moss, the Norfolk soprano, was amazing and with her appearing on Wednesday on TV with Bradley Walsh at the London Palladium her career is just about to take off.

The band Barley Mow led the barn dance in fine style with a special thank you to caller for his ability to lead the dances.

It will be a night that won’t be forgotten. The Queen’s Birthday celebrations were certainly done in style.



I recall beach to beach bus route

On Saturday, April 30, I was fortunate enough to ride on an old AEC Swift Great Yarmouth Transport Bus No 85 in the presence of my good friend and renowned traveller Mr Malcolm Metcalf and friends. This splendid old vehicle conveyed everyone in good spirit along Great Yarmouth seafront after Malcolm’s superb fundraising efforts travelling by bus around England using just his bus pass.

It brought back fond memories to me of the former old No 9 route running from Yarmouth Pleasure Beach to Gorleston Beach in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a great shame this once popular route could not be brought back into use especially in the summer months, bringing in day trippers, holidaymakers and indeed locals who would not have to worry about parking fees and traffic snarl ups on Yarmouth’s congested roads.

One for a bus operator to consider maybe!


Elm Avenue,


Where have all the buses gone?

On Saturday, April 30, I had a morning out in Norwich with my sister and niece. I caught the X1 leaving Norwich on time and arrived in Yarmouth at 13.30. Brilliant.

I then waited from 13.30 until 15.00 for a number 7 bus to Belton! The electronic info screen showed 13.50, where was the bus? The next number 7 should have been 14.20. This also failed to arrive.

A very helpful X1 driver, who was on his lunch break, phoned the office and eventually at 15.00 a double-decker arrived. This driver refused all fares as a goodwill gesture. If there had been congestion anywhere how come loads of number 8s, X1s and 1s got through?

My sister with her Down’s Syndrome daughter was waiting for a number 5; the info board showed this was due at 13.45, she gave up at 14.10 and got a taxi!

Loads of holidaymakers from the Wild Duck in Belton were waiting too, also loudly complaining and cheering when we finally got a bus. It seems to be the number 7 bus that is always cancelled. Why?

A very cold, fed up and unhappy resident.



Chance to get country back

During the Second World War, hundreds and thousands of our young men and women gave their lives for Freedom that we might have a better tomorrow. Great Britain was a wonderful country before Europe.

We are being given a chance to get our country back. The Conservatives are no longer capable of governing Great Britain for the benefit of its people. The injustices they have done to our own people leaves one speechless.

Those Conservatives who have decided to support Leave are some of the most respected politicians in Britain.

Sir Winston Church gave a speech on Europe that said it all:

“United States of Europe.

“We [Britain] are bound to further every honest and practical step which the nations of Europe may make to reduce the barriers which divide them and to nourish their common interests and their common welfare.

“We rejoice at every diminution of the internal tariffs and the martial armaments of Europe. We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer more contended Europe commonality.

“But we have our own dream and our own task.

“We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.

“And should Eurpean statemens address us in the words which were used of old: ‘Wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host?’ we should reply, with the Shunammite woman: ‘I dwell among mine own people’.”

Name and Address withheld