Letters, November 25, 2011

We were ignored

by candidates

I REFER to Colin Aldred’s comments in last week’s Mercury. dated 18 November. As a resident of Hopton, I went to vote in the recent council elections. In the weeks preceding the voting date, my husband and I were never spoken to or visited by any of the candidates; in fact we nearly forgot to vote!

On polling day, a Conservative and a UKIP representative stood outside the village hall and greeted everyone, ie my husband and I being the only people there. After voting, I spoke to both representatives, mentioning the fact I felt the candidates had not made enough effort to talk to people in the village.

Neither of them appeared to be willing or even interested to talk to me, the UKIP representative never spoke at all.

I would have been more than happy to discuss ideas and suggestions with any party member, so I can make an informed decision.


Most Read

Station Road


Thank goodness

stupid plan gone

HOW pleased I am that the plan for car parking on Gorleston lower prom has been dropped. If this had gone ahead more of the prom would have been lost at a later date; would it have been coach parking next Mr Reynolds? I think this episode should be a warning to the residents of Gorleston at the next election, vote for candidates who live in Gorleston and care about our amenities. The residents owe Dennis Durrant much gratitude for his tireless endeavour in getting this stupid plan stopped. Well done Dennis.


East Anglian Way


I felt in safe and

caring hands

HAVING just been in the James Paget Hospital I find it very difficult to understand there are adverse reports about the treatment and care received, particularly referring to the older patients. I am 87 and my feelings were that everyone from the consultants down to the auxiliary staff had one aim and that was to ensure the patients were in safe caring hands. I was treated with the utmost respect and although they were extremely busy I always felt there was someone on hand if assistance was needed. The catering service was very good and the ward kept spotlessly clean and tidy.

Come on you knockers, look at the circumstances with an unbiased view, maybe a little support from the cost-cutting government would not go amiss. The James Paget can be very proud of it’s achievements, I have been in their care on several occasions and cannot fault the service in anyway.


St Hughes Green


Fascination of

‘ole’ dialect

REMINISCING about old Gorleston last week brought to mind the lovely Yaaarmath dialect of the characters we encounted during our childhood perambulings.

There was a certain fascination for playing on the quay. When we got too close to the river’s edge, I recall the boatmen saying: “Git yew agorn else yar be afallin in an then yar’l be aforit because yar’l be a drownin, an if yar a lucky, yar’l be a cumin up covered in thar mud an then yar’l be aforrit agin when yar git horme bor, then yar’l be agitten a soalin and quoit roite an all!”

Then there were those wonderful characters who had all the time in the world for us children, hard working family men whose industry had aged them well beyond their years. Perhaps taking a short break from the back-breaking slog, to speak to us: “Are yer alroit bor?’ ‘Wut yer binna doin since Oi las sinn yar? Yar binna keepin alroit? Yar binna skool?’ Whart yar binna learnin?”

Such characters were juxtapositioned by those who used to shout at us: “Whart yer be a-durn? Whoi dorn’t yar sling yar hook?” Pulling faces at them…from a safe distance always guaranteed the response: “Yew come har agin and yer’l be a smoilin on thar other soide Oh thar kisser!”

Education is a wonderful commodity but it has diluted those wonderful ‘ole’ dialects, but modern linguists remind us that “thar ole Yaarmuth dialect [an thar woidar Nuffulk and Narridge doilect frum which it is deroived] is abewt as valid as any ‘O em”.

As a Gorlestonian and from a family of Gorlestonians and Bloaters, I believe our collective dialects are as good as, and can compete with the best! Shame it is not taught as an equally valid genre.


Beccles Road


Welcome car

park homes plan

IN March this year, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet agreed to establish the Norfolk Development Company (NDC). The purpose of the NDC is to promote economic development on behalf of the local authorities of Norfolk, with an initial focus on physical regeneration and development.

The Beach Coach Station car park on Nelson Road North was identified as an appropriate site for intervention and the Area Board agreed to commission the NDC to examine the feasibility of developing the site. The feasibility study suggests the proposal is viable, in that revenues exceed costs.

In summary, the development will deliver 19 housing units and help build confidence in the housing market in Great Yarmouth and could also stimulate neighbouring development on the Northgate hospital site and, the remainder of the Beach Coach site.

As the county councillor for the area, I am keen to see this attract more young professional people to the area to gain employment in our growing renewable energy sector.

The opportunities for Yarmouth from the offshore wind developments are indeed significant. Securing Enterprise Zone status puts Eastport on the map and will help deliver the kind of investment we hope the Memorandum of Understanding with East Anglia Offshore Wind will bring for example.

This is great news for the town.


Conservative county councillor

Yarmouth North and Central

Prom parking

result ‘sensible’

IT was good to see a sensible decision being made on the Gorleston promenade parking proposal. Much credit to Dennis Durrant and all people who always knew how stupid this proposal was. Guess also we have to give credit to the councillors too for eventually coming to their senses. Just a point about Cllr Charles Reynolds’ disappointment with the cars busy with holiday custom that had to turn away from the existing car park area as there was no room. No doubt those same tears were flowing as he watched the cars turning away from the unmaintained and ultimately given-away pier car park.



Canada minstrel:

help required

WE, here at British Home Children in Canada, are researching those who came here. One of these was William Joseph Carter who was known as Canada’s Wandering Minstrel. William Joseph was sent to Canada as a Dr Barnardo child. In 1881 he is showing as an inmate at Great Yarmouth workhouse. Living there also is an Emily Eliza Carter, his mother, and his sister Eliza Susan Carter. Emily appears to have been a single mother, daughter of James Carter and Emily Eliza Brewer. There is a death registration for a 29 year old Eliza Carter in 1882. In 1891 William is living in a boy’s home.

We would be pleased to hear from anyone who may know anything about William Joseph.




Debacle of the

Paget report

IT seems to me no-one connected with the James Paget report has come out of this debacle well-apart from John Hemming who honourably “fell on his sword” and resigned. In particular:

Brandon Lewis, MP for Yarmouth, who seems to have made a media dog’s dinner of the report; Theresa Coffey MP for Suffolk Coastal, who apparently had never visited the Paget, but also seems to have overly indulged the media on this matter; Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, who at least had the common sense to address the issues raised “in camera”, but may have lost constituency support given the performances of his two supposed “party comrades”; The majority of dedicated Paget staff, who probably work very hard and must now be feeling somewhat demoralised; The residents of Yarmouth and Waveney who have to use the hospital and are now confused because their experiences do not coincide with the assertions of the report.

It is my experience that no large organisation is ever perfect, change is always happening, but it takes time to implement. However, this apparent massive political interference in everyday operational health matters seems, directionally, a very worrying development. I wish Mr Franzen and the rest of his board well, but in my assessment their jobs now carry an exceptionally high reputational risk for a very limited reward.


Broad View Road

Oulton Broad

Yes, where are

cycling laws?

AT last someone else has noticed the large number of cyclists using paths instead of roads. Every time I am out shopping I am confronted by bikes, the riders are presuming the pedestrian will step out of their way. It’s a national problem as recently my sister in law, who lives near Peterborough, refused to move, causing the cyclist to stop. She told him to ride on the road and his answer was “If I do that I could get killed”. What indeed happened to the cycling laws? What are parents teaching children?


Keyes Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

We should have

choice at death

AS a reader of the Great Yarmouth Mercury I believe the law should change to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults the choice of an assisted death if their suffering has become unbearable.

I feel very strongly about this because (and readers can write their own personal reason for supporting assisted dying here). Eighty per cent of the public agree this choice should be available. We must unite to make the choice of assisted dying a reality for dying adults.


St George’s Road

Great Yarmouth

Splendid classic

OVER the years I have seen many productions of A Christmas Carol. Last Friday at Gorleston Pavilion the Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company gave me the finest production I’ve ever seen of this Charles Dickens classic. Congratulations to the entire company. Jonathan Rust as Ebenezer Scrooge gave a superlative performance. The live band directed by John Stephens were excellent. Well done Mary Carter the director. I eagerly look forward to Dusmagriks next production.


Magdalen Way,


Blame herring

girls for smell!

ROGER Hayes wondered about the wooden slatted seats in some of the Corporation (Blue) buses in his letter, Happy Memories of Gorleston, in last week’s Mercury. I was once told they were purpose built for ferrying the hundreds of herring gutting girls to and from the fish wharf. At the end of the shift the bus could be hosed out in a bid to get rid of the reek of fish, cushioned seats wouldn’t of course be practical. In the summer months these buses would be put into service at busy times. I can’t remember the yellow windows in them though. Well, it was a long time ago.


Lilac Close


No sense to

councils merger

I BELIEVE it is being proposed to merge the council officers as a cost-cutting exercise. Can Steve Ames and Trevor Wainwright, the group leaders of the two main political parties, explain what either of these councils have in common with Great Yarmouth? Breckland is at least 50 miles away and South Holland double that. Surely Great Yarmouth will miss out if it has a chief executive based 100 miles away? Surely we as council tax payers will pay through the nose every time the South Holland grandee journeys to the coast. I have heard of some ridiculous suggestions but nothing as mad as this. Even an elected mayor is not as mad as this because at least some local autonomy would be maintained.


Clarendon Drive,


Only losers in

Paget episode

ON Sunday, November 13, a Remembrance Day Service was held at Blundeston Church. During the service one prayer included “courage and wisdom for rulers”. A packed congregation listened to an excellent sermon which dealt with persecution and trashing of others either by the media or by individuals. This is a topical subject for local residents considering the recent debacle regarding the resignation of the Chairman of the James Paget University Hospital.

Do the people involved not know that it is never ethical to act on anonymous letters? Shame on those involved. A previous letter in the Mercury of November 11 stated: “something fishy about the JPH saga.”

There are only losers in this dreadful episode. A general lack of trust now exists.


Links Road


Seafront play

is an eyesore

IN many ways, Mr Dizzle has a point; our town is falling behind the times in many ways. Our seaside, with its Victorian heritage is slowly moving into the 21st Century (see the facelift the Cliff Hotel has had and also the interior of the Pier Hotel), yet this progression seems to be wanted to halt at every turn by what I can only describe as the voice of the Mercury, Mr D Durrant et al.

The pier parking is a farce. But look at it this way. If the pier is unsuitable for parking and the cost was to be in its hundreds and thousands to restore, then would this be classed as a good move from our council that we got rid of it when they did? What would we have said if the council said, no it’s not going to be included in the sale and we will increase rates for local people to pay for it?

The proposed parking near the yacht pond albeit controversial was not such a ludicrous suggestion. If the parking had been properly divided from the walking area by bollards etc then this would be as safe, if not safer, than the parking that is already in place. If this has been a suggestion from the businesses that operate along the seafront then I would presume they had been willing to contribute towards the running costs?

I agree outdoor showers would be a good idea and also the statement on the fun ground. I have used the beach for the past 35 years and this park seems to have grown a few square meters every year. It’s an eyesore and unwelcome. For people like Mr Durrant or Mr Cooper not to have a comment on a 30ft blue inflatable slide or a Benidorm-style rodeo bull, I can only presume they think it’s in-keeping with everything we have to offer?

European holiday destinations have for years had family friendly, free children areas which require very little maintenance. I would move the kiddies pirate ship down from the cliffs, you would find it would be used far more than it is now.

I don’t expect there will be many positives to Mr Dizzle’s letter, but give him his dues, he has stood up and been counted, and he gave me something to think about.

Name and Address withheld

We need to see

ancient timbers

LIZ Coates’s article in last week’s Mercury, on the “progress” of the councillors’ plans to destroy the Jetty made interesting reading. It appears that once again, the advice of the professional officers of the council is being over-ridden heavily blinkered elected councillors. Why should I be surprised?

Of course we elect the members to be wise enough to take the strategic view and run the council for us with the comfort they have experts in a variety of fields able to advise and recommend options. When, however, when it comes to a matter of heritage, history and the highlighting of sites, which are part of the town’s rich historical past, I would submit the professional officers have more detailed knowledge than the elected councillors, who occasionally have other fish to fry.

I commented in a previous letter to the Mercury that I was concerned the council may have an ulterior motive in clearing the site entirely of the 1960’s structure, which is apparently what they intend to do, overriding the advice of their own conservation officer, who has the alternative and more imaginative plan of marking the Jetty’s alignment in a minor way more permanently, using timbers from the 1960’s Jetty (and earlier if they find them in demolition) on the beach itself.

Those of us who wished to save the Jetty met the brick wall of Health and Safety where the council having neglected its own structure, caused then a so-called hazard which had existed for a number of years until the excuse was needed to take action. Councillors refuse to see any other solution, preferring to destroy rather than to use its funds to carry out minimum repairs to obviate any hazard and mark this significant site.

Surely there is now an opportunity to mark the historical Jetty alignment and carry out an archaeological excavation, in the same way as one is being been carried out currently on the site of the planned hospice in Gorleston by a professional archaeology team where significant Bronze Age finds have been unearthed, and fund the obtaining of more core samples by the county archaeologist who has already extensively and successfully drilled parts of the town to obtain new information on the Jetty’s historical past.

Such a programme, using low tide availabilities at the jetty end may well locate earlier parts of the original structure, built in 1560, and its successors. However I would not be at all surprised that the council, having given itself permission to destroy the 1960’s structure, might find a method of demolition that lets them avoid the need for an extensive archaeological excavation.

Councillors are elected by the electorate to be custodians of the town in the widest possible sense. The public will consider issues relating to the town at the ballot box and those individual councillors who take decisions must stand the test of time remembering that if they fail in the need to protect the heritage of the town the pen will be mightier than the sword.


Local historian

Heated, but no

blood shed

THERE was no blood shed at the public meeting on Monday, although at times it was pretty heated. I must say the four council representatives were pretty cool under the pressure.

The discussion was to be about the pier and parking, but it soon became clear the topic would be the harbour, the Pier, and EastPort, which was soon apparent by questions thrown at them by Mr Durrant and Mr Cooper, and I may add by me. Before I say anything else I would like to apologise for any rudeness on my part, especially to Cllr Graham Plant.

It’s funny how after a meeting you come up with things you should have said, and in my case I felt we should have pressed the council more in asking what sort of rapport they have with EastPort. If it is good, I would like to have asked Cllr Ames why the council did not think of asking EastPort if they could re-lay the pier, not only for parking, but for people to walk on it, or in my case ride on it without being shaken to pieces.

It seems the council has the money to lay out parking on the promenade, so the logical thing is why not use it for the pier. It doesn’t have to be paid parking as they are concerned for the businesses in the area, and it would counteract any idea of the parking area by the shops being paved.

Cllr Ames was, I thought, very relaxed during the entire meeting and Mr Richard Packham spoke very eloquently, answering most questions thrown at him. I did not agree that EastPort has brought prosperity, or have any thought about the area and its residents and its visitors, otherwise the pier would have been opened and repaved ages ago.

It was when Cllr Ames read out a letter from EastPort about the pier and the owners of the Pier Hotel that I understood why he was so calm. He could have read it out earlier and nipped the meeting on the bud, but he and the others councillors knew it would not be just about the pier so he gave the forum for certain people to have their say, which I am sure will be ongoing. The meeting showed us one big thing, that we, the people of Gorleston, and if need be other areas, can if they stand together, obtain the answers they need, and the action they want.


Yallop Avenue


Council contrived

to scupper meet

THE public meeting was a very good result all round. But the council contrived to scupper it by ending with “the Port Company is in negotiations with the Pier Hotel for the Scott family to resurface the Pier car park in exchange for a 10 year lease at a peppercorn rent”.

So why allow the pier surface to crumble for over two years? Why did the port company turn down the Scott family’s offer in 2009 when it would have been cheaper for them to surface? We await Mr Packham’s response to why leases not belonging to the port company were used to get a mortgage.

What came over very clearly was the allegiance the three councillors had towards the new port company, each ignoring that jobs have not been created and not likely to be in the near future. Mr Packham did try to address the floor in a manner that implied the residents were people and needed to be listened to, but the three councillors talked down to the floor knowing full well Cllr Ames would read a statement about the car park, EastPort and the Pier Hotel to end the meeting.

We must hope that more meetings will materialise.


Burnt Lane


Finally, someone

with good sense

I ATTENDED the meeting on Monday at Gorleston Pavilion to discuss parking and related problems. With the recent success of the proposed parking on Gorleston prom being withdrawn, I was pleased to hear EastPort is in negotiations with Mr Scott of the Pub on the Pier, about resurfacing the pier, for future parking. Hallelujah!! Finally someone with some good sense has stepped in.

I’m sure the parking fee will be reasonable, if people wish to use it. The money the council would have spent on parking on the prom, could and should be contributing towards the cost of reasurfacing the pier. The people don’t want Gorleston spoilt, but Gorleston often gets overlooked: the bigger picture is the whole area, not just Yarmouth.

A question I raised was: Who is responsible for the road round Yarmouth harbour. We were informed it’s Custom and Excise which owns the land, so who is responsible for maintaining the road? It was also suggested about making the area in front of the shops pedestrian-only, with a few disabled car parking places, which could be a more agreeable plan. We will see what happens, if Mr Scott decides to go ahead with his plans to resurface the pier.



Hope councillors

learn from event

I ATTENDED the meeting about Gorleston Pier and left with mixed emotions. I was delighted the Mercury editor chaired the meeting well and gave everyone a say; and that so many attended when apathy is quite common.

Delighted at the outcome and that most issues seem to be clarified. Delighted the port authorities recognise the pleasure the pier brings. And also delight the Pier Hotel has seen a solution. But I felt despair the meeting and protests were necessary. Why had the councillors not clarified issues earlier and come up with the solution of re-opening the pier car park, instead of seeking to take over part of the prom? And despair also that Cllr Ames thinks we all should be positive about the town when so many issues are not addressed and fiasco like this occurred.

I hope councillors will learn from the event and show the brilliance that emerged more often. The idea that the prom area could be considered for pedestrianisation (apart from some disabled spaces) with continental style cafes is a brilliant although controversial idea to explore. No doubt there will be the doubters!

It is brilliant that the Pier Hotel is willing to seek to re-open the pier car park.

Hopefully, the brilliance will continue and the Winter Gardens can be restored; the jetty needs more than a plaque or two.; Caister Beach Road car park could be looked at too where we have the farce of charges, even on September 31 and little use! And it’s all very well building on the Beach Coach Station car park but where will the users go as more cars on the seafront will just make the front a car park?


Victoria Street


Not all support

the ‘anti’ view

I WOULD like to thank the members on the stage on Monday for their time and efforts into putting the commercial side of the Outer Harbour project across to the people of Gorleston. It is a pity a senior member of EastPort was not present, and it is also a pity those on the platform were not afforded the courtesy of being permitted to speak without constant and ill-mannered interruptions.

I would like to assure them that not all members of the Gorleston community support the “anti” view. Like it or not, we have a new outer harbour, and nothing is going to change that. It can only be for the long-term benefit of the Great Yarmouth, and Gorleston, community.

Maybe some of the ways it has been introduced have not been too transparent. The Outer Harbour is not perfect, and mistakes have been made. There is however scope for improvement and development as the fiscal situation improves, and the requirements of the 21st century become apparent. This could be in the form of extending Eastport further north, and the provision of a yachting marina for leisure traffic, adjacent to the Pleasure Beach. The possibilities are endless.

The biggest problem is infrastructure. Felixstowe could not function without the Dockspur roundabout and associated access to the port. Similarly Eastport cannot achieve its full potential, until the A47 is dualled from Acle, the bridge across Breydon is upgraded, a river crossing provided at Gas Works Quay, and dual carriageway continued, perhaps in the form of an overpass or elevated carriageway, all the way to the outer harbour.

This may seem far-fetched at the moment, but it is called progress! I cannot see Eastport becoming even moderately profitable until 2025, or reaching full potential until maybe 2050, but it will happen, and with it restore prosperity both to Great Yarmouth and Gorleston. Let us all reach out and welcome the future.


Buxton Avenue


Shame as vandals

make a mess

I VISITED Burgh Castle on Monday and was utterly dismayed at the vandalism to the gates and surrounding area. Some ignorant mindless morons had thrown dozens and dozens of eggs at the gates making a terrible mess to the gates and pathways, the smell was sickening. The boxes and cartons were also scattered all around. I do wonder why the eggs were left where these ignorant morons could get their hands on them.

Name and address withheld

Well done to the

Dusmagrik cast

YOUNG people often get a lot of negative press. However, I was at the evening show of Christmas Carols at the Gorleston Pavilion on Saturday by Dusmagrik. The young people involved gave a stellar performance and, although everyone was magnificent, the young man who played Scrooge was outstanding in every way. Well done Dusmagrik and well done to all the young people involved.



Great Yarmouth

has lots to offer

IT was good to read in the Mercury last week that our comparatively new MP Brandon Lewis impartially supports any way of securing business. Also for matters on the residential and environmental fronts, information from the Department for Communities at SW1 5DU is available to anyone who may care to find out something. An increase in reasonable questions, dealt with by the Town Hall staff, without fear or favour, gives them more job satisfaction. The public are really increasingly interested in our town. Annual visitors too can see that, compared with other bigger resorts in the north and south, Great Yarmouth has as good, or better, to offer them.


Mill Lane


Remember the

good things done

I CURRENTLY work at the JPUH and being a volunteer I often get told how the patients have been very happy with staff and amenities.

As many people state, there are not enough nurses to be able to help feed the patients so maybe all those moaning could volunteer for up to one hour per day to help with the feeding etc, then you can see for yourselves how hard the staff work, tirelessly helping with very little pay and not enough recognition. Not just for paid staff but volunteers too who do it mostly to give something back or do something worthwhile.

I would also like to state I am flabbergasted John Hemming felt pushed to resign. I have had the pleasure of John’s company many a time; he is a kind man whose door was always open. I feel many people seem to forget all the good things John and Wendy Slaney have done.

Name and address withheld

Cycling is not

safe for the young

MY child does have legs, thank you, Mr Huggins (Letters, November 18). Yes, he would very much like to use them and cycle to school daily as so would I like to get on my bike too (with his younger sister on the back) and cycle with him, but as a working parent time does not give us this option. Also we have to cross the busy A12 to get to the school and the provision for cyclists on the roads in this area are a lot to be desired - perhaps this should be brought to the attention of Norfolk County Council!

Whilst on the subject of Coast Road, speaking on behalf of a lot of parents, we are fed up with the speed of vehicles along this road and the mounting of the footpath by some inconsiderate selfish drivers who will not give way.

Name and Address withheld