Letters, November 4, 2016

Roller rink asset must be saved

The knowledge that roller skaters may lose another public facility for fun and above all the serious and dedicated coaching given to aspiring youngsters both saddens and distresses me. My hope was that I might leave an inspiration legacy for the young skaters of the future and was delighted to read of the successes achieved at Retroskate.

The directors Philip and Gaynor Read, the little boy - now a man - I trained to gold medal standard, a winner of national titles and the junior international representative of GB Glenn with his wife Donna have diligently worked together to turn the centre into a centre of excellence.

I commend them for it and respect and admire them for inviting other local clubs to share their excellent facility.

Are their seven years of effort to be wasted?

Roller skating is as much an entertainment for all to enjoy as it is an art sport. It needs an arena where spectators may view or appreciate the skills, and a cafe to relax and socialise with friends.

This Retroskate has. Serious skaters can showcase their skills to an audience helping them to overcome stage fright when it comes to competition. Retroskate has this advantage too. It is a great training ground with dedicated people in charge.

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Now, as explained in the Mercury two weeks ago expansion is envisaged taking in more activities.

The old white elephant Marina could become a hive of sporting excellence in exactly the right location in the middle of Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile.

Reflecting I remember a previous director of entertainment John Kinnersley wanting to turn the very old Marina Centre into a roller rink. It did not happen. Strange that the new Marina now houses roller skating.

Skating continued indoors and outdoors at the Winter Gardens. There was also the time I needed the outdoor rink enlarged and reshaped to conform to international measurements so that Yarmouth could host a world championship. It was turned down.

A new terrazzo tile surface was laid on the outdoor rink instead. That has now gone but a piece of the old tile adorns my mantlepiece.

Now someone wants to rain on a very successful parade. I am devastated that when in safe hands anyone should wish to close it down leaving the public without the easy access to entertainment and the cream of Britain’s artistic roller skating talent pushed out to train in much less suitable locations. Local past championshiop winners visit Retro regularly giving a helping hand when asked. I love it and visit whenever possible and take great joy in admiring the young teachers and their talented students.

I ask the council please do not let it be lost. It has the best chance ever of taking Yarmouth’s name all over the world again.

I am also writing to the council because my interest in roller skating will never die. My late partner Frank Martin and I brought modern roller skating to East Anglia in 1948, the history is at the Time and Tide Museum.


Former national coach and triple gold medallist,


Cyclists need to be more VIP aware

One of the greatest hazards and possible danger to blind and visually impaired people are bicycles!

I don’t know if bicycles have bells on the handlebars nowadays but when I’m waiting to cross a road I never hear their tinkle as a bike approaches.

Very often I am about to cross with my guide dog and then, I almost collide with a bike! If the worst was to happen it would be my guide dog that gets hit first!

If you are riding a bike it means that you can see! You have eyesight whereas many of us don’t. We cannot see you.

If you see a person waiting to cross at the kerb, while you are approaching on your bike, and they either have a guide dog or a long cane; it means they cannot see you approach.

If you have a bell, please ring it to give us some warning not to move. If you don’t have a bell could you please just call out bike coming!

It doesn’t take much thought really and it could even save you and the visually impaired person, and even their guide dog from terrible injury. Please just think when out on your bikes.


Co-founder and original chairman of Great Yarmouth VIP User Group

Not my view - but he is free to speak

When are we going to see a letter, or probably more, condemning your correspondent Mr Barkhuizen – it’s usually attracted some by now, generally those who don’t agree with freedom of speech.

That is what we British should be proud of. In many countries around the world if anyone has a religious or political view people are not allowed to expand on it in public. Here, as long as it does not incite political or religious hatred it is part of what you could call “our religion”.

I do not agree with Mr Barkhuizen’s religious views – far too strict for me, but as a practising Christian I do regard him being free to express his opinions.

I suspect Mr Barkhuizen avidly scans the Letters pages after he has sent his in, to see what response he has provoked from those who think he should be silenced.



No more please - I’ve had enough!

Why does the Mercury continue to print the letters from Mr E Barkhuizen. I’m sure I speak for the vast majority of Mercury readers when I say we are heartily sick of his letters.

Yes, Mr Barkhuizen, we are all well aware of your attitude to anyone who disagrees with you. There is more than enough religious intolerance in the world today without you adding to it.

Also I’m sure more space would be available to letters that have more relevance to local matters than Mr Barkuizen’s views. So Mrs Editor, enough is enough, can we please have a break from it.



Snail saga typical of the EU

Another interesting article in last week’s Mercury; once again the EU’s petty rules and regulations prohibit us from filling in the dykes on this dangerous road.

Apparently the snails have four years to settle into their new home, if not happy they can summon the removal van and return them to the Acle Straight.

Let’s Brexit now and say goodbye to the ludicrous dictates from the failing EU.



Staffies can make lovely pets

With reference to Chris Rose’s letter, October 28, regarding how dangerous Staffordshire Bull Terriers are. Well, yes they are, but only in the hands of the wrong people - the sort of people that use them as weapons, not as pets.

Any dog can be considered “dangerous”, but some more than others. A Staffie is not on the list of banned and dangerous dogs in the UK.

The top ten are: American Pit-Bull Terrier, Rottweiller, German Shepherd, Cane Corso, Chow Chow, Dobermann, Bull Mastiff, Wolf Dog, Neapolitan Mastiff, American Bull-Dog.

There are a few others, but the top four, which are banned in the UK are Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, a Brazillian type mastiff, and the Japanese Fighting Dog, or the Toso, which is used for dog-fighting. The Staffie does not make the list.

I don’t know if Mr Rose has had a bad experience with one, but the Staffie if it is socialised with other animals and children, from an early age makes a good dog.

Perhaps it would be a good idea for new owners of Staffie puppies to be vetted to make sure they are going to excellent homes, not to people who do not care.


Turin Way,


Thanks to driver who came to aid

On Tuesday evening at 10pm approximately my husband was coming home from Great Yarmouth to Caister on his scooter and was involved in a terrible accident.

Although not a witness to the accident, a driver stopped, called, and waited for the emergency services to arrive. My husband Paul never got to ask his name or to say thank you so hopefully he will read that Paul is very grateful.



Kindness is key to a good dog

I’m afraid I totally disagree with the letter from Chris Rose. The Staffie in general is a fabulous breed, in fact at one time they were know as the “Nanny dog.”

It’s over 180 years since the dog was bred for fighting. Yes, they are a muscular dog, but every dog has the ability to lock its jaws if need be. All animals when treated with kindness will respond with the same and likewise if treated badly will retaliate.

Any animal when angry has the capacity to kill and this does include humans.

Staffies are a very loving and loyal dog, their affection for the human far outweighs the humans affection for them, especially when people insist they are a “killing machine” and a “bastard breed.”

The majority of these dogs bring great pleasure into the lives of their owners, it is tragic that only a very small minority cause these fatal occurrences.

However, no one should leave young defenceless children alone with any dog, this is asking for trouble.



Doing all we can over Caister pong

May I please through the pages of the Great Yarmouth Mercury explain to your readers the responsibilities of the borough council/parish council regarding the recent flood of complaints regarding the obnoxious smells suffered by the good residents of Caister.

The full responsibility of investigating such problems lies solely with the borough council and in particular the environmental department and the borough services.

Caister Parish Council has a duty towards its parishioners to listen and record such complaints and pass them onto the borough council, then check from time to time that action is being taken and encouraging the recipients of the complaints to keep in touch with the complainants and inform them of the results of their enquiries.

The problem with the smells experienced by residents is that it is very difficult to trace the source of the smell.

It might be the water treatment plant, or the waste treatment unit, the sewerage system of the village (especially after a long hot spell of weather) or even something as basic as farmers muck-spreading the fields, the latter example being recognised as one of the delights of living in the countryside.

During a spate of complaints over the years the borough council asked the parish council to try and establish the time and the date of each individual complaints in order to try and locate any problem at the waste centre and/or the water treatment plant and that request was passed to each of the complainants.

How the various agencies then establish the source of the problem is completely beyond the remit of the parish council and as a council we can only try and help with the information as requested by the borough.

Every complaint received by the parish council in regard to these obnoxious smells is forwarded to the borough council by letter or email to the designated department as requested.



Caister Parish Council

Migrants claim less and pay more

Before the referendum, the government was asked by the European Commission to provide examples of communities under pressure from migration, with an eye to curbing freedom of movement. “There was no hard evidence” his top aide recently admitted.

EU migrants claim less and pay more in tax than their UK equivalents. They contribute to the growing economy. In Great Yarmouth this remains true. It is also true that when the EU suggested that the government invest in areas, like Yarmouth, to help with the issues arising from migration (which Germany and others do) it refused. Basically: It is not the migrants fault, it is not the fault of the EU, it is the government’s fault.

Why then did Brandon Lewis MP vote against a bill guaranteeing the rights of EU migrants, who have done nothing illegal and overwhelmingly contribute to our economy? And why is this government pursuing a “Hard Brexit” when it is now obvious will make Great Yarmouth even poorer?


Great Yarmouth and Vienna

Give me a net, I will move snails

Oh dear, it must be another wind up. certainly not an April Fool.

Snails before a life, or maybe two - how can a few snails hold up the dualling of the Acle Straight? I just cannot believe it.

Surely all it takes is a net and a bucket to move them? A child could do it.

I do not think Brandon Lewis is doing enough to make this dualling happen for Great Yarmouth.