Letters November 12

Coastal defences are a necessity

I am responding to the letter from Bill Cook in last week’s Mercury headlined: “No evidence of cliff erosion here”.

I am a Norfolk man who has experience of the coastal conditions in Norfolk and have lived near the Scratby cliffs for the last 35 years. From local experience I know what destruction the north-easterly storm surges can wreak to this coastline, as history has proven on regular occasions such as in 1938 and 1953.

Also, it is worth remembering that during the winter spring tides of 1987-88, some EIGHTY NINE dune-top homes were destroyed between Winterton and Newport due to severe erosion of the sand dune banks in this location.

You will note that people who say sea defences are not necessary, and will spoil the natural look of the coastline, always live inland or away from the at-risk area – such as Mr B Cook who lives in Beach Road, Scratby, well outside SMP 3b predicted erosion zones.

It is surprising how it sharpens your mind and changes your views on the need for coastal defences when your own home is threatened by coastal erosion, and blighted in the meantime by the predicted erosion zones in SMP 3b.

Regarding the statement “No evidence of cliff erosion here”, referring to the cliffs at Scratby, this is misleading and not strictly correct.

Most Read

Prior to the introduction of SMP 3b there was erosion of the California/Scratby cliffs near Rottenstone Lane which caused the cliff face to become unstable in this location, that’s why the GYBC organised repairs and stabilisation works to the cliff face in this location and the California rock berm to be extended to protect this section of cliff.

From adjacent to the Promenade to Newport Fisherman’s Cottages the cliff face is protected by a “foredune” (a marram grass sand dune at the cliff base) this foredune suffered severe erosion losses in 2005 (up to two metres) and again in 2007 (up to four metres).

In recently years, thankfully, the beach at Scratby has been accreting but this can change suddenly over one winter’s NE spring tide due to our mobile coastline.

What I am surprised at is that there has been no reply to Mr Woods’ and Mr Cooke’s letters from Scratby Coastal Erosion Group, the official promoters of the Scratby rock berm extension.


Scratby Cliffs resident

Nature is doing the job for us

MANY thanks to Bill Cooke of Scratby for the letter last week of his views about the Scratby rock berm extension application by Great Yarmouth Borough Council costing �3.9m.

I have just been down to the beach and have seen that nature has taken over and now sand dunes along with marram grass have formed a natural defence over the north end of the rock berm at the bottom of the cliffs. I have attached a photo to show this (see above).

Isn’t nature wonderful?


Beach Drive,


I maintain it’s not safe to dabble

FURTHER to my letter of October 19, I do think that what started as a warning to people about the dangers of Halloween and other superstitious activities, is getting a little out of hand.

However, I feel I must offer some sort of defence of my remarks. I apologize to Mr Barkhuizen for not making myself clear when I said the Council of Nicaea devised the Bible. I did not mean they actually wrote the gospels but that they devised the format and shape of the book by not including any of the 30 or so gospels that they did not agree with. He has of course confirmed this when he explained that they were to deal with the Arian view of biblical events, which was and is contained in some of the gospels they suppressed.

I would thank Mr Huggins for his warning about the devil’s ploy of convincing us of his non-existence. Of course, if one was inventing such a character then this aspect of his personality would obviously be one that you would build in to protect your invention. Either way, it has certainly worked with me.

My biggest objection is to Stephen Conway’s contribution, when he accuses me of being fooled by reading The Da Vinci code. I can assure him I was reading about, discussing, and thinking about these matters long before Dan Brown wrote his book – in fact some time before Dan Brown was born. I have read the book and in my opinion it is an excellent piece of fiction based on a skeleton of myths and historical facts. Concidently this is my opinion of much of the Bible as well.

I can understand that, as a Christian, he would object to my describing burning people alive as human sacrifice. As I see it, to commit such an abdominal act you must have a very powerful reason which, I think, would be either political or an appeasement of your god. In my opinion the motive was political but I would suggest that the people who carried out this act would deny that, which would only leave the appeasement of their god. If that is not human sacrifice, I don’t know what is.

I would question his assertion that there are no viable alternatives to the Gospels in the New Testament. Apart from the probability of alternative accounts in the suppressed 30 or so gospels which have not yet been fully explored, more than half the people on this earth do not accept the Abrahamic religions and have other beliefs and faiths that are as viable as the one he accepts.

Finally, we must not lose sight of the origins of this discussion and I think it is good to repeat the warning. Do not get involved with such things as Halloween, palmistry, tarot cards devil worship, Satanism and so on, as they can be very dangerous.

If you feel you must have some spiritual aspect to your life then some organized religion is probably the safest although none of them are totally safe. This, of course, includes witchcraft or Wicca which is now an officially recognized religion.


Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

Halloween’s over – what a relief

PHEW at last, we managed to survive another Halloween unscathed (as usual).

Not so sure how the rest of the population fared but I didn’t catch anything on the news about human sacrifices or evil manifestations being called up from the pit.

So the kids dressed up, collected sweets from the neighbourhood and went home – end of story.

The really frightening thing I found this year was some people’s grasp of reality. It’s 2010 not 1510.

The Middle Ages ended a long time ago, you can no longer scare people with the threat of eternal damnation anymore.

Well Christmas isn’t too far away, and I’m sure the usual letter writers will no doubt point out that SANTA is an anagram of SATAN (you’ve been warned) and computers are the result of witchcraft.


via email

Do you want to be in directory?

WE will shortly be compiling the 5th edition of The Ageless Opportunities Directory of Social Activities in the Borough of Great Yarmouth, for those over 50 (but not exclusively). If you would like your group to be in the directory please contact me. Many of the groups that are in the directory have seen an increase in numbers – local people are keen to be more active!

If you would like to advertise your business in the directory, please also contact me at Ageless Opportunities, Great Yarmouth Community Trust, The Priory Centre, Priory Plain, Great Yarmouth NR30 1NW. Tel 01493 743000 or 07747107910; email:kate-platt@gyctrust.co.uk


Invite the county to help save jetty

WHEN Derek Leak remarked on the local significance of the jetty he might have added that with regard to Nelson this extends to Norfolk as a whole. (Letters, November 5).

Norfolk County Council describes Norfolk as “Nelson’s County” so perhaps they should be invited to contribute to the preservation of this relic.



Fond memories of outdoor pool

I WAS interested in Peggotty’s recent articles on “Danny” Daniels. I was at school with Peggotty and a very new boy when E R Daniels was a prefect. He was outstanding as an athlete then and, as a swimmer myself, I was surprised to find that he was a very good sprint swimmer as well.

He was known as a disciplinarian but was always fair and friendly.

The Floral Hall and swimming pool are but fond memories now. I always enjoyed my occasional trips to that pool because it provided hot water in the showers, unlike its neighbour, the Yarmouth pool where I spent most of my time.

It was unfortunate and, in my view, a very short-sighted decision to demolish both pools rather than to upgrade one or both. What sort of sea-side resort has no outdoor pool? It seems very odd to me, as a modern outdoor pool would provide an attraction to visitors and revenue for the council.

Swimming indoors is fine in the winter but it is no substitute for being in the open air during the summer.


Nightingale Close


Campaign can begin in earnest

THE campaign to trigger a vote on an elected mayor for Great Yarmouth has resulted in the required number of signatures being obtained.

It is hoped that a local referendum will take place in March 2011. This is a great opportunity for the 70,000 voters in the borough to decide to vote YES, as a vote for democracy, or a NO vote to retain the existing party political system. Directly elected mayors are local leaders of the council, numbering 12 across the country, including the Mayor of London. These mayors come from a wide, and cross-party background.

It is hoped that one of these elected mayors will be able to visit Great Yarmouth to support the steering group’s campaign. In the meantime, the Rural North Tenants and Residents Association will be having guest speakers from the steering group to hold an open yes/no discussion on the following dates and locations: Grove Close, Martham, November 25; St Marys Close, Hemsby, December 12; Nelson Court, Caister, January 14. All meetings will start at 10.30am in the relevant communal rooms.

In order to fully publicise the campaign, a fundraising drive is hoping to raise enough money for posters and flyers.

Please contact the treasurer, Marie Field for further information, on 01493 304676. Donations are welcome, however small and will all be publicity acknowledged. Support from local business will be particularly welcomed.

The “Yes to a Great Yarmouth elected mayor” committee is made up of a cross section/cross party membership that has one aim, to promote a yes vote for the benefit of the town.

If you would like further information, or details on how to get involved, then please call me on 01493 733578 or email peter.kirkpatrick@virgin.net.


Vice-Chair, ‘Vote YES to a Great Yarmouth elected mayor campaign’, committee.


Please join our memorial service

CAN I extend a warm invitation to all those who have been bereaved, particularly this year, to our annual memorial service on Sunday at 3pm.

It is a simple service where there is an opportunity to reflect, give thanks and light a candle in memory of your loved one.

Refreshments and someone to talk to will also be available.

As always, St. Andrew’s Church, Gorleston, is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10am-noon – an opportunity for some moments of peace and quiet in this busy world – and a cuppa available if you would like it.


St Andrew’s Church,


Give credit where credit is due

AFTER several weeks, if not months, reading negative articles about Eastport in the press, I feel inclined to write and let the readers know that Eastport have always been one of the greatest supporters of the Maritime Festival.

Without exception, ever since the festival began 11 years ago, Eastport have shown enormous support for the festival and, quite honestly, without this considerable help, cooperation, enthusiasm and willingness to be a part of the festival, we would not be able to offer the festival that we do.

The festival is run by a group of volunteers, supported by Alan Carr and the staff from GYTA as well as a group of outstanding sponsors who provide the very necessary finance.

The event relies so much on gestures of goodwill, and I am always amazed and delighted by how many good, kind and generous people and companies live and work in Great Yarmouth.

There are always going to be people who like to see the negative aspect of everything and are quick to criticise; however, I think it only fair to say that Eastport like the other maritime sponsors, supporters and committee are doing their best and should be given credit where credit is due. We all want what is best for the town and in these difficult trading times a bit more positive talk would be nice!

On behalf of my committee, we would like to say again a big thank-you to all the people who help us. We simply could not run the event without this level of support.

The maritime sponsors for 2010 included Eastport, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, EON, climate and renewables, Seajacks, Aldreds, ELM contracts, Gardline, J.H.Bunns, MDF Transport, M.S.Oakes, Petrofac, PKF, Thrigby Wildlife Gardens, Seachange Arts, Maritime Heritage East. Further assisitance was provided by Regional Scaffolding, Spandlers Haulage, Great Yarmouth Racecourse, Great Yarmouth Potteries, Malcolm and Dona Bird, Margaret Farrow, Laura Goodman, Cllr Sue Hacon and Admiral Lord Nelson, to name a few.

Dates for next year’s festival are September 10 and 11.



Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival

Shopping online is more peaceful

ONCE again I tried to shop in Yarmouth. I say tried, because I had to leave each shop because of the distorted noise blasting out.

I mentioned it to one of the assistants who was neither interested or was quite oblivious to this. I do think that with all our technology these days, someone could manage to organise a system to play some pleasant music, which would encourage us to stay in the shops – not leave with a headache!

With all the newspapers, asking us to use the local shops, have these people considered making our shopping a more pleasant experience?

Is it any wonder why so many people now shop online?


via email

A gentleman who deserves plaque

With reference to the letter regarding the Blue Plaque scheme.

I too would like to nominate Mr Arthur George James.

I first met Mr James when my two sons attended Cliff Park Junior School in the late 1960s.

Later, in 1972, I joined the school staff as a clerical assistant, working alongside Mr James. We all knew that he had suffered from dreadful torture while a prisoner in the Far East, but he very rarely talked about it.

The first time I was made aware of how much he suffered was one day while walking through the school hall, early, before any children were around. I was greeted by the sight of Mr James hanging from the parallel bars. “Just stretching out my back Mrs Clifford, don’t worry,” he said. Apparently this was a daily routine for him. When, proudly, I bought our first brand new car to school, several of the staff came out into the car park to look, including Mr James. I remember feeling very embarrassed when Mr James said: “Mrs Clifford – how could you?” It was a Japanese car.

I have many fond memories of Mr James and enjoyed working with him on a daily basis. He was a very good headmaster, and knew all the children’s names. If he saw any of them out after they had left the school, he always remembered their names and was interested in what they were doing.

He was very fair with the children and staff alike, he was a gentleman in every way.



Why be negative about harbour?

PLEASE do not be critical or think negatively of our beloved outer harbour. Every one of us who helped pay for it must realise what a blistering success it is.

Why, only last month they had a Royal Naval ship moored up, and the massive new cranes provided excellent shade while half of the “Great and the Good” of the Borough were praised by the other half for conceiving such an iconic structure that can be gazed upon in wonderment.

Future generations will thank the foresight of today’s visionaries for providing them with such a splendiferous model yacht pond and dolphinarium. Or, maybe, a salmon farm – with the sizes now achieved by genetic modification, those cranes could come in extremely useful.



TWO years ago we complained that containers would not be bring jobs like ferry services would. We were told ferries were a dead loss, containers are the way forward.

In the meantime Harwich signed up a ferry deal with Stena, and a new container service started up, the East Coast Triangle, two of the three container ships have been in the inner harbour before, so what went wrong there?

The �18m in grants was to build a harbour suitable for all ships. When the Arklow had to vacate the outer harbour we were told the harbour was not built for small ships. This week the 18000 ton Draco could not stay safely in the outer harbour, she found it safer to drop anchor in the Yarmouth Roads.

Now we are told the large container cranes are to leave because of the depressed container market. With the supposed depressed ferry market, we have to wonder why we gave IPH our �18m in grants and why did we gift them our successful inner port?

If there is such a problem with the harbour design how can the same people that brought about this disappointing result be believed when they talk of decommissioning and wind farm work. Lowestoft and Harwich are already leaps and bounds in front of us.

Today is a sad day for International Port Holdings, also for the many businesses that had hopes of increasing their business, I feel for the ratepayers of Norfolk paying for Great Yarmouth quay repairs and upkeep of Haven Bridge.


Burnt Lane


The news that GYPC/IPH is abandoning its planned operations for the container terminal comes as no surprise, and has nothing to do with the mythical collapse in world container traffic.

Add this to the denial that there ever were any firm plans for a ferry service (with the 1000 jobs promised), and the doubts about the harbour design, it is hard to see what concrete plans the present owners may now have for this development.

The promises made in 2007 to deliver the jobs have failed to come to fruition.

I predict that after the removal of the cranes, and certainly within the next 12 months, GYPC/IPH will announce the sale of the whole inner and outer port operation, to someone who may be able to put it to some use. It will be sold for probably less than half its current asset value of �76m.

Efforts to try and find out if ever such a selling-on was prohibited under the terms of the GYPA gift to GYPC/IPH have proved fruitless - it can only been assumed that no such conditions were ever applied.

Perhaps those who know the whole story will now come forward and put all us disgusting doubters firmly in our place.


Private Road

Ormesby St Margaret

EVER since the controversy surrounding the Outer Harbour caused by the cancellation of the only viable contract, I could not help thinking about the Mel Brooks film “The Producers”. For those that haven’t seen it, in a nutshell, it involves overselling the equity in a musical then putting on such a diabolical show that it closes after one night and pocketing the cash. While I’m not drawing a parallel here, I do wonder if the people of this town have given away a huge piece of their land that some third party might pick up for a song if it all goes pearshaped. Are there any safeguards built into this developement that gives us back this area should this venture go under or will Eastport be allowed to sell and move out?

Is there a block on any change of use of the land, or could we see some monstrous devlopement that gives the town nothing in years to come? As I write this letter I have just heard on the news that operations are to cease due the the economic climate, and the cranes that have given us a new skyline will not be lifting a single container (yet?), so I expect this will not be the only letter on the subject. I sincerely hope my doubts are misplaced but anything can happen here. Where was the park and ride?


via email


NOW that Eastport is to close can I suggest to CEO Eddie Freeman that he takes down the gates and fences and returns the public right of way back to everyone as there are many that used this road. I’ll leave the rest of the forthcoming arguments to and discussions to other letter writers. It’s going to make very interesting reading.


Station Road South


AFTER hearning so much in the past years of widening the Acle Straight has it now been forgotten as ther is never any mention?

Has the battle been lost in spite of the publicity and all that was said?


Admiralty Road

Great Yarmouth