Letters, November 8, 2013

Halloween turns me into a Grinch

Why is it the celebration of Halloween, which is over for another year thank goodness, turns me into a real Grinch? I hate this pagan festival with a vengeance.

Slowly, but surely, we in this country have made it bigger and bigger, year by year, with parties for adults as well as for children. Even TV programmes have got in on the act, with Halloween specials in Strictly Come Dancing last Saturday, which they have done for a number of years now.

Many people say there is no harm in it, but it is a pagan celebration, as well as being the major time for those involved in witchcraft and satanism. It is a celebration of things that are of the darkness and the occult and people go along with it quite merrily. I am a Christian and I feel quite convicted about this.

If there was no harm in it, why are people encouraged to dress up as ghosts, monsters, the devil, aliens, witches, etc. This is all part of halloween, of course. Tricking and treating makes me feel very uneasy, anyway. Going door to door begging for sweets and money with menaces in some cases, disturbs me, not just because they could frighten old people but it is a form of begging.

Sorry that I sound like a misery, but as a Christian, I feel this is a pagan celebration and there is more to it than meets the eye.


Most Read

Turin Way,

Hopton on Sea

No need to dump cat and kittens

I was sad to read about the cat and her kittens being dumped in Gorleston (Mercury, November 1). I hope whoever is responsible for this is pleased with themselves, there is no need for anyone to do this no matter what their circumstances. This cat and her kittens, and all other animals that are treated the same way, do not deserve it. At least they are safe now.


Great Yarmouth

Caister is a dog mess disgrace

What do we pay council tax for in Caister on Sea? Great Yarmouth seems to be on top of dog mess but we are forgotten. The park at the top of Diana Way, pavements and public footpaths are littered with dog mess.

I walk my two dogs twice a day in the area and so do many other people who just let their dogs off the lead and walk off, and while the dog does the natural thing the owner is oblivious.

Maybe a sign to keep dogs on a lead is the answer but as it happens on the footpaths I doubt it.

While I am moaning, do you ever see a police officer or PCSO? No. I go three times a week to meet my great grand-daughters from nursery and I am fed up with cars not stopping or worse, speeding up at the zebra crossing at the top of Bradock Road. Does anyone else think like me?


Prince of Wales Road,

Caister on Sea

Shine a light on our street lamps

It was interesting to read that the owners of Vauxhall House in Great Yarmouth have been served with a notice to carry out improvements. But why is the council not aware of its own responsibilities in the area?

At any one time there are, as now, at least six street lamps out of commission around the station area and the road leading to Asda. This gives a poor impression to rail travellers as well as being a safety concern for pedestrians.


NW London

I, too, had a fall on the escalator

I was interested to read the letter from Margaret Haymer and Maureen Andrews concerning their escalator fall in Tesco. The same thing happened to me in January. Unfortunately I was hurt quite badly and couldn’t walk for three weeks. At the age of 89 it affected me a great deal.

Not hearing any more, my son got in touch with the Tesco head office asking them to look into the problem, not asking for compensation, but hoping for them to check and make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else. But I have since heard from someone that the same thing happened to their family, previous to my fall, so it’s time something was done about it.

I am pleased the two ladies have recovered well.


Caister on Sea

Yet more bids for dredging

Once again in the public notices of the Mercury we have another application for a licence to extract more aggregate. This time it is from Volker Dredging Ltd, the previous one in June was from Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd. Both for a period of 15 years which is blown to blazes when you realise a duplication of coordinates by these companies – the first and last coordinate in Volker’s application are identical to area 240, the fifth and sixth one down in Hanson’s.

Are the councils as bamboozled as I am? Are these licences ever granted as there is never a statement to this fact? Why can’t we be informed of the grants made?

How can a coordinate be in area 240 with one company and area 228 with another, when you are talking figures of 39.25m tonnes?


Gonville Road,


Please send used stamps

I am appealing for used postage stamps which help me raise funds which I then donate to the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Recycling used postage stamps is such an easy way to raise money for the charity and I am always in need of all types of postage stamps, including British, Foreign and Christmas stamps.

If you are able to help I would be grateful if you could cut the stamps from their envelopes (leaving a 1cm margin around the stamp) and send them to this address: Myrna Chave, PO Box 91, Virginia Water, Surrey GU25 9AR.

If you would like to contact me my email address is stamps4gdftb@live.co.uk



Rescued from a deep unlit ditch

On the way back to our car after a pleasant evening at Yarmouth Stadium on Wednesday, October 23, my husband and I fell without warning into a deep, unlit drainage ditch.

Thanks to the prompt and unselfish assistance of a number of people, we were rescued - shocked, filthy dirty and thoroughly soaked We would like to thank, most sincerely, all those who dragged us out and helped us.

Special thanks to the man who pulled my husband out, he had fallen face down into the water and silt. Two wonderful young ladies, Karen and Melissa dragged me out, tended to us at the Stadium, got us safely home and stayed with us until we showered and regained our composure.

This was a very frightening experience and it is good to know that there are so many kind people around.



... and to quote from Harry Potter

So, Mr Hayes claims I’m mischievous for suggesting that if God really was real then surely he would help out in repairing his own home? How outrageous! Of course I don’t want him to reveal himself so he can carry out some DIY.

No, I want him to reveal himself so I can question him on why he allows the molestation of children, the murder of innocent bystanders and the death and destruction in Israel and Palestine.

I’d like to ask him where he stands on female genitalia mutilation and why he lets this happen. I want to question his views on those parents that deny medical assistance in cases of illness in children when they have chosen prayer over medicine.

I want to know how he prioritises who he helps first, I mean, look at the sportsmen and women thanking God for that winning goal or being first over the line, when we have 1.4bn people living in poverty.

Thank you for pointing out yet another pointless Bible verse, so to counter that I would like to draw your attention to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - page 334 of the hardback edition, the last paragraph, where Hermione sums it up quite well: “I mean, you could claim that anything’s real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody’s proved it doesn’t exist”. Well said young lady.



How I will vote on referendum

This week, a Conservative Bill to let Britain decide its own future in the EU is coming back to Parliament to be voted on by MPs. The “EU Referendum Bill” I will vote for this week will give the British people an in-out referendum on the EU with a legal deadline for it to happen before the end of 2017.

The problems with the EU are not going away. We must face up to them and we now have a chance to deal with them, with the support of the Great British public. That is exactly what this Bill will help us do. If it passes, it will be legally impossible for any future government to ignore it.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats oppose the Bill. They don’t want to let the British people decide their future in Europe. Those MPs who choose to scupper the Bill and block a referendum will have voters to answer to in 2015. I know my constituents would take a dim view of those who would deny them a say on such an important issue.

Britain has a historic opportunity to write an in-out referendum into law. We must seize it. It is time to let Britain decide.


Council’s own sites declining

Excellent front page news last week about council action against untidy and derelict sites about the borough. Unfortunately, this is just the sort of work that the council may be forced to cut as their funding is cut back and council services are gradually reduced to the basics. We get what we pay for.

Shame that King Street, Hemsby Camp and the Winter Gardens remain to be resolved. Shame the bus stop at the disused at the end of KIng Street has not been relocated after years with no buses! Regent Road looks like a war zone when shuttered up and would be improved by street art, like that used at St George’s.

It also a shame that the council has its own sites in decline particularly the boating lake and north prom where weeds have been left to grow all summer and the pavement is a hotch potch of repairs. The council has already starting their own annual dereliction campaign boarding up closed buildings with tatty boarding. Gorleston will no doubt soon receive tatty corrugated sheeting to hold back the sand. Why cannot the Community Payback team or a job creation project provide some murals instead? Still Gorleston did get the shelters repaired even if we lost many of the seats on the prom. Well done the council, but more to do and look at your own property.


Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

More dredging applications

Yet another application for continued offshore aggregate dredging along our coastline: Volker Dredging are applying to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to remove 22.5m tonnes from Area 228 off the Great Yarmouth coastline over the next 15 years and there have already been three applications this year to continue aggregate dredging off Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft for a further 15 years:

Forty million tonnes from areas 240, 212, 328(B&C) Marine Management Organisation (MMO) application Ref MLA/2013/00119: 22.5m tonnes from areas 401, 402, (A&B) MMO application Ref MLA/2013/00306: and 24.25m tonnes from areas 242, 328 and 361 (A&C). MMO application Ref MLA/2013/00338.

If you object to this rape of our coastal seabed natural resources which fills from the surrounding seabed and results in draw-down of our beaches accelerating coastal erosion, you can register your objection to this latest offshore dredging application by writing to:

Marine Management Organisation Licensing Team, Lancaster House, Hampshire Court, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 7YH. Quoting reference MLA/2013/00417.

The loss of sand from our beaches (which has been sucked into the sea) has already caused significant coastal erosion with Hemsby and Hopton particularly badly affected.

I have asked Brandon Lewis if a levy could be placed on offshore aggregate dredging operations to help pay for beach replenishment and coastal defences and he has said he will write to ministers on this matter; because grants which can be applied for from the Coastal Communities Fund, funded by Crown Estate`s marine activities and administered by the big Lottery Fund are mainly for encouraging the development of coastal communities and not specifically for sea defences.

But I fear it will be too little to late because as history has told us where the sea bed has been removed causing deeper near shore water erosion loss of the adjacent coastline will occur - see the loss of Hallsands village in Devon on 26 January 1917, 18 years after the start of offshore dredging which removed seabed material to extend Plymouth Dockyard.

Further information these campaigns can be found on our website www.marinet.org - Marine Aggregate Dredging.



Great Yarmouth

Thanks to those who helped me

I wish to thank the two young men and the lady who came to my assistance following a fall in Beach Road, Caister on October 3. I tripped while walking on the pavement and could not get up and they helped me to my feet and kindly took me into the Co-op Pharmacy to receive first aid.

Being shaken by the accident I did not ask their names and hope they are among your readers and will see this notice.



Chance to have your voice heard

Great Yarmouth’s Older People’s Network (the OPN) is holding its AGM on Tuesday, November 12 from 10am to noon at St George’s Theatre. If you are over 50 and/or have an interest in older people getting a fair deal, having their voice heard, knowing what’s happening locally and keen to make a difference please come along, we would love to see you there. If you would like any more information on the OPN please contact me on 07952 432685.




Information on one-time skipper

I wonder if through your letters page if we (Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust) could find any information on skipper Harry Brown, the one time skipper of the Lydia Eva YH 89, as we have been given a set dividers that we are told belonged to him and were possibly used on the Lydia Eva.


Trust Press Officer

We’ve ordered a calendar reprint!

Thanks to your reporter Liz Coates’ excellent article, which was generously reproduced in the EDP, Evening News, Mercury and Advertiser, all 100 calendars in aid of the local Stroke Association Support Group have been sold.

The Inner Wheel Club of Great Yarmouth, in our 80th anniversary year, has therefore asked for a reprint so, if anyone missed out on the first round, the calendar, printed by Blackwellprint, entitled “A Taste of East Anglia”, is still available at £5 a copy from tel: 01493 740782.

Thank you to everyone who has already purchased one. I am told they are being sent all around the world as reminders of home.



How do I dispose of chef’s knives?

I am wondering if any readers of the letters pages have experienced most ridiculous and unbelievable comments from operators on the 101 police service line, as I did when I rang early evening on October 31 requesting advice.

I explained I had an overloaded cutlery drawer in the kitchen and wanted to dispose of a second full set of eight chef’s knives, I was amazed to be informed to wrap them up in lots of newspaper and put them in my normal rubbish bin. I was so incensed I rang Wymondham police station and was put through to another operator who said they were sitting next to the person who had taken my previous call. The advice to me was reiterated.

So, if this is the case laid down by the Constabulary then we should have no consideration for the hard working people who collect our refuse - but what about the people in recycling areas. How can anyone advice to throw away these unwanted knives in a bin.

Is the next thing to be any unwanted or criminalised weapons should be thrown away in a bin or are the police operators taking on more than they are entitled to?


Kingfisher Close,


Raise awareness of dementia

I wish to alert readers to the worrying fact there are still too many people who are living with dementia but have never received a diagnosis. New figures reveal that across England, only 48pc of people living with dementia ever get a diagnosis*. This is an increase of just 2pc on last year, despite government efforts to improve this.

I ask for your help as I am supporting the Alzheimer’s Society campaign to raise awareness of this key issue. A diagnosis is just as important to people who live with dementia as the key to your car or your own front door.

It unlocks access to support, information, and sometimes treatment. With the right help it is possible to live well with dementia, and a diagnosis allows people to plan for the future.

These shocking new figures show that dementia is still yet to be given the same priority as other conditions. The Government, the NHS, local GPs, and the wider public all have a role to play in helping people to get the support they need. Help us change things for the better and sign up to stay in touch at www.alzheimers.org.uk/campaignersnetwork

Finally, I would urge any readers worried about their own memory or that of a loved one to find out more at www.alzheimers.org.uk/memoryworry but visit their GP.


Winmer Avenue

Winterton on Sea

What constitutes an emergency?

Having worked at the James Paget Hospital for a number of years as a port/supervisor I have seen many drunk people, those high on drugs and sitting in the A&E department waiting to be seen.

I have also heard a lot of people commenting they couldn’t get in at their GP surgery so they came to A&E with minor ailments, cuts and bruises etc.

Do the department doctors tell them it’s not an emeergency? Trust me, they do not.

My wife was waiting for an appointment to have ear wax suctioned out, but as time went on it soon became clear she was going deaf, and having two small children to look after and being unable to drive or ride her bike we decided to go to privately, at a cost of £350, on October 19.

But on October 16 she had virtually gone deaf and so reluctantly went to the James Paget’s A&E.

My wife and her mother arrived at 8am and an hour later saw a doctor/consultant who said they would see if they could get her ears cleared by suction that day, but only after lecturing her it was not an emergency.

But my wife was in agony that day and in my mind it constituted an emergency - and it wasn’t due to alcohol or drug-taking.

Then, once the treatment was over. my wife was given another lecture by another doctor saying it had not been an emergency. This is unbelievable. This was an emergency.


Brett Avenue,


Many questions re energy park

Great Yarmouth energy park aims to create hundreds of jobs. Sounds good, until you really analyse the implications that Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council are scheming.

Who is funding the move of these small businesses? Is it private enterprise or county council and borough council taxpayers? Bearing in mind the West Bank needs £2m plus spent on it to make it safe.

Where will these small companies, some not so small move to? Will compensation be enough to allow these companies to keep trading while their new buildings are being built?

What assurances will they be given to allay fears staff will not be laid off?

What contingency plan has the borough council made to assist those redundancy cases that this thoughtless move will produce?

Most of those buildings earmarked for replacement to form the “Energy Park” contain asbestos, will the council taxpayers pay towards the clearance as they did to other Enterprise Zone buildings?

Why are the county council and thr borough council planning to build this Energy Park? This act is complete competition with the Enterprise Zones, not the best deal for council taxpayers!

Why a new Energy Park? Beacon Park is the Energy Park but the borough council chose to allow a major supermarket development to be built there, shouldn’t the energy companies that county council and borough council want to attract be put on Beacon Park.

Or does this council have an alternative plan?

If this new “Energy Park” fails like Beacon Park, will the “Energy Park” then be traded in for housing?


Burnt Lane