Letters, October 2, 2015

Apologies for the late arrivals ...

The rail re-franchising process is underway with train operators’ attention diverted from running trains to spending millions on bidding to make more profits on imaginary new train operations.

National Express is bidding having had its last contract not renewed. Abellio, who was supposed to make things better is bidding again, and First who run our buses and own rail record is not perfect. If British Rail had all the money now spent on private companies, services would be brilliant.

The new franchise highlights all the failures of the system: delays, unreliability, old rolling stock, mismanagement in times of disruption, stations needing upgrades and value for money. In spite of all the ministerial contacts, about Norwich in 90, two trains a day are specified - In BR days we had the East Anglian doing the London service in 90 once a day.

New trains were being proposed but now refurbished ones are suddenly acceptable now the General Election has passed. Why are train toilets still emptying on to the tracks in 2015?

It will be interesting to see how all the disruption while track upgrading work is going on. The Dft say it is up to train companies to manage so more trips around the villages on buses! Surely services via Cambridge could be offered (except profit comes first not passengers). It is good to see Norwich-Cambridge service extended to Stansted but nothing on a new service from Yarmouth to Lowestoft and East Suffolk line. There is nothing on extending branch line services to Cambridge or Peterborough..

The Norwich-Liverpool service is still at risk of being lost and no thought of serving Yarmouth or Lowestoft as in BR days. I wonder if the plans to re-signal the branch lines will pause.

Most Read

More promises and disruption and more profits to the privateers. Jeremy Corbyn may be right.


Victoria Street,


Red7 represents people and lives

I cannot agree about the comments recently made regarding the Maritime Festival, Red7 is a sign of modern times, testament to the modern face of Great Yarmouth and as I understand victim of the current state of the industry. People should face the scale of these important issues full on, she was hard to ignore, certainly more relevant than the striking but “fake” tall ship moored nearby.

Red7 represented people, lives, families, and their hard times. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the ever professional Dusmagrik on-stage with their slick performance, delicious lemonade, nature in our own North Sea, and the weather!


Pavilion Road,


Lovely set up for the food festival

We have lived in Great Yarmouth now for just over the year, and always go into the town centre. Today, September 25, as always we went especially to the market as it was the Food Festival to have a look around and we noticed how much lovelier the market stallholders had set up in the square instead of their usual places all over the car park.

Mr and Mrs A WILKIN

Grenville Place,

Great Yarmouth

Parking charge puts off visitors

Isn’t it a wonderful idea that has been put forward by our new “town centre experts” to reduce the parking fees. I wonder how much thought it took them to come up with that idea? I could have told them that for nothing as I am sure most people who shop in Great Yarmouth could have.

Another thing that has deterred people in my opinion is that those who choose to go to Yarmouth no longer find their good shops there, instead all they find are banks.

Going back to the parking charges; my wife and I prefer to shop in Lowestoft. There are several reasons for this. We have been to Lowestoft at many different times of the day and it has never been any problem to enter or leave the town, not the same getting in or out of Yarmouth at times.

In Lowestoft, I can park all day from 8am to 6pm for just £2.50p and from 6pm to 8am (should I want to) it is free. Just about all the shops that are normally included in anyone’s shopping trip are all there in the town centre and not 50pc in the centre and 50pc on the outskirts (Gapton) as in Yarmouth.

I am lucky in that we have a car, but it is still a pain to get in and out of the Gapton site.

What I would have suggested to Yarmouth council is that instead of wasting our money in employing so called “experts”, why don’t you simply ask the man in the street, who I don’t doubt would have suggested many good ideas to get the town centre back to how it used to be. Am I wrong?



Pontin’s had a reason to leave

I write regarding the redevelopment of the old Pontin’s site at Hemsby. I am sure Pontin’s would not have given up with holiday camp had it remained viable.

The drainage for the site proved adequate when several hundred people used the facilities. The authorities must think the land drainage also adequate, otherwise, why approve planning for new housing in Newport Road, regardless of recent flooding in of the area and previous flooding to the site of the new properties, on a yearly basis.

The suggestion the Pontin’s site be kept for leisure and holiday accommodation is ridiculous. The existing accommodation is never full to capacity even during a “good” summer.

Hemsby was not always a resort. It was sustained by fishing and agriculture and linked occupations. People started to come here for cheap holidays before the advent of foreign holidays. Land was cheap and planning almost unheard of, hence the mix of accommodation existing today and the bandit, bingo and tat shops that are Hemsby front today. All need updating.

Time to move on Hemsby. People need homes, decent affordable homes for long-term rental. Hemsby needs a centre, there is no quaint village pond nor yet an attractive village green but here is an opportunity to create a centre with some character, housing with attractive open spaces, a meeting place for all to enjoy, a swimming pool for residents as well as visitors, and perhaps even a vet’s practice.

Look to the future, create something to be proud of. Come on Hemsby, now’s your chance, don’t waste it or throw away a great opportunity.



Does Crem need a new mower?

Is Gorleston crematorium going to be turned into farmland because the condition of the grass looks like a ploughed field. This is the worst I have seen it in 10 years.

Isn’t it about time the boys at the Crem were given a new mower? If not I’ll be planting potatoes in front of my father’s grave, I’m sure he’d see the funny side of it. Shame on you council.

Name and Address withheld

Food award is well deserved

I would like to congratulate the Cliff Hotel for winning the Eastern Daily Press Best Pub award, which is well deserved, as the hotel is well managed, the staff are always polite and very helpful.

The owners have invested money into the local economy to ensure they are the premier hotel in the area, and have always been open to participate in special events I have organised over the last few years, with the last three being, Fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day on September 3, Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth on March 9, and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons, when they lit an amazing gas fired Beacon on their wonderful terrace overlooking the beach and sea in Gorleston, so have proved that they are a venue that not only involves and embraces the local community, but are prepared to support national and international events that mark special occasions too.

Well done Cliff Hotel.



We want to keep our identity

In response to Dennis Goodley, the manager at Acle Bowls Club, I would like to expand on my comment that his club is “full up”. I did not intend to suggest that Acle would not assist our bowlers at Great Yarmouth to continue playing. They are a much larger club than ours with, I believe 545 members, so we doubted all our bowlers could be accommodated.

His suggestion we could use the vacant Saturday evening slot, as a whole club, is an interesting one, but whereas that would be possible for some of our male members, it would not be suitable for our ladies.

As I have stated before, many of them do not drive, and those that do, no longer travel in the evenings in the dark, especially down the Acle Straight!

I must repeat we want to continue to play together competitively as Great Yarmouth Indoor Bowls Club, not lose our identity and our friendships by being split up amongst other clubs.



Great Yarmouth Indoor Bowls Club

Lucky to have such a library

Over the past few months Great Yarmouth Library has suffered so much adverse criticism as a result of the condition of its surroundings. I would like to invite your readers to our art exhibition next week so they can see for themselves what a friendly environment it really is.

When the library was built in the 1960s the borough council had the foresight to incorporate purpose-built galleries and there has been art exhibitions there ever since.

Great Yarmouth is one of the few places in Norfolk that have their own affordable space for artists to hire and this is something we should be proud of.

From Saturday, October 3, these galleries will be hosting the 88th Annual Exhibition of the Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists where 60 original works of art will be on show. This society has held its annual exhibition at the library since it was built and their aim has always been to bring good quality art to the people of Great Yarmouth. There will be artists present throughout the week and you will be assured of a friendly welcome.

These are excellent galleries but unless they receive support from the public this will be a valuable facility which could be lost.

So, if you can, please come along and support us. The exhibition is from October 3 to 10 and opens daily from 10am to 4pm except Sundays.

Yarmouth is still great but we just need to shout about it!



Experiment on a quieter day

No doubt the idea of free daytime parking in Yarmouth town centre will sound appealing to many - but if it is being introduced to bring more shoppers into town why do it on busy Saturdays when the car parks are already full?

Surely an experiment like this would best be done on a quiet shopping day when free parking might be seen as a draw.

It goes without saying that parking spaces - currently paid and permitting shoppers to come and go throughout the day will be filled by town centre workers parking there all day. How is that going to help footfall? It strikes me as muddled thinking from our borough council.

The overnight free parking of course makes a lot of sense. The £1 overnight charge introduced back in the Spring discouraged people coming into town in the evening and penalised people living in town centre homes without the benefit of off-street parking.

No-one will cry any tears over the removal of those charges.


County Councillor,

Yarmouth North and Central

Town centre must be backed

I was very pleased to read on the Mercury website that the council had once again refused the Pasta foods development.

It is about time the council looked at supporting the town centre, there is no need to build more and more retail units, let alone another hotel outside the town.

If developers are looking at doing something with the area look at affordable housing to bring people to the town rather than keeping people away. What we need is a diversity of retailers in the town to compliment the range we have now.

The town centre has a very small catchment area as it is and the more out of town sites there are only reduces the footfall of people visiting town and this is of no use to town centre retailers or the holiday trade.

Towns such as Scarborough and Ludlow have resisted out of town retail development for many years.

It’s about time the council stood their ground, may this new attitude from the powers that be continue well done to the council.


Cobholm Miniatures

Broad Row,

Great Yarmouth

Similarities with Edna Fletcher

Regarding the article in last week’s Mercury about the life and achievement of Edna Fletcher it suddenly reminded me of the similarities in our lives. We both attended the High School for Girls at the outbreak of the war, worked at the hospital at the same time, I, as a volunteer for 20 years.

We both have had hip replace-ments, are connected through family relationships, and are both nonagenarians!

My one and only medal of repute is the Imperial Service Medal presented when I retired at 60 for working for the GPO in Great Yarmouth for 42 years.

May we both enjoy the years ahead.



Bill to curb union powers wrong

I totally agree with what Kevin Reynolds, Unite the Union, said in last week’s Mercury regarding the new government bill that proposes to curb the power of unions to strike etc.

And it is totally unfair and not needed because strikes now are very rare indeed and are always the last resort.

And like Mr Reynolds said, shame on our MP Brandon Lewis voting in favour of it because he is speaking for himself only and is just doing what the government expects of him.

But come 2020 the people of Yarmouth can do a similar thing and ensure we have a new MP.


Leman Road,


Grandfather was a master baker

It is with great interest I read articles from your readers about the bakeries in the past in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston. I was amazed at the number of such establishments in the town.

My grandfather, George Wilson, was a master baker and master confectioner moving to Great Yarmouth, age 30, in 1912 and was involved in the bakery business in Yarmouth or Gorleston for 20 years until 1933. He lived initially at 7 Albany Road in Great Yarmouth with his wife, son and daughter. Latterly he lived at 103 Wolseley Road. I was wondering if any of your readers have any recollections or knowledge about George as to whether he had his own bakery or was he employed at any of the larger bakeries. I can be contacted by email at pfwilson@tiscali.co.uk



Editor’s Note: The Mercury would also appreciate any memories.

Players want to stay together

In reply to Dennis Goodley’s letter offering to accommodate Great Yarmouth Indoor Bowls Club members into spaces available at Acle.

Although appreciated this is not a viable or acceptable proposition for the majority of our members.

We have been together for 25 years and wish to remain so.

As you know, we have our own identity, our own internal leagues, county leagues and we play in national games, competing all over Norfolk and beyond, and even in the all-England championships.

Dennis hopes that we will “continue to support bowls in some format”.

What does that mean?

How? By filling gaps in his club? He wishes “Good luck in your fight. If you fail all will be welcome” (at Acle).

As director of development for bowls for the English Indoor Bowls Association, if not just for our past history, we should be able to expect his help and support to stay alive, to save our bowls club, not to wait until we are “swept away” by the borough council.

I am surprised at the reaction to the possible demise of Great Y armouth Indoor Bowls Club and hope that this does not reflect the feelings of our many friends and rivals at Acle, who’s support we will welcome.


Great Yarmouth Indoor Bowls Club

Korean fall will be remembered

I am acting on behalf of the authorities at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Busan South Korea, where over 800 British Servicemen are buried. The authorities there wish to obtain photographs of those servicemen interred there, and, also of those who died but have no known grave.

The photographs will be placed in their records, and will also be displayed on the walls of the Cemetery Hall of Remembrance, for all time. The following names are just a few of the young men from the East Anglia area who gave their lives in Korea.

Fus John Dockerill, Pte Francis.W.Holder, Capt John L Lane, Pte George H Overy, Fus John M Snare, Capt David L Astley-Cooper, Fus Lionel W Goodwin, Tpr Donald R Veasey, Sig Warren Smith , Fus Alan S Mills, Pte Maurice A Bell, Fus Derek T Mack, Pte Herbert W Graveling, Pte Noel A Haynes, Sgt Sydneyy B Streather.

Any family who lost a loved one in the Korean War 1950-53, and wish to take part can send the photograph to me at 116 Fields Farm Road, Hyde SK143NP Cheshire. Call 0161 368 5622, mobile 07467037742, email bhough116@gmail.com