Letters, September 14, 2012

Worry about the ex Pontin’s site

I WAS very concerned to read that the chairman of the borough’s development control committee, Mr Mick Castle, seems to be intimating if a buyer is not found for the former Pontins site in Hemsby, who is willing to maintain it in the leisure/tourism industry, then it will prove it is not viable as a leisure/tourism site. It may just be my misunderstanding of his words but I bet site owners Northern Trust will be very happy to read this.

It might also be “good news for the borough” but not for Hemsby residents who already find our infrastructure stretched and also having to wade through sewage after heavy rainfall. We not need any further load on roads, doctors surgery or drains, to name a few.

I also look forward to “a strong marketing campaign” which at the moment seems to be one fairly small, inconspicuous sign erected in the trees within the site.

One point I must make is that in all articles about Pontins, it always contains some sort of reference to the decline of bookings as the reason for closure. It never makes reference to the state of the site and some of the accommodation.

Some of it was disgusting. But don’t take my word for it read the reviews still online but be quick as they are disappearing. I worked there seasonally for nearly seven years until it closed, and witnessed the decline in standards and conditions.

There was a core of visitors who would always return.

Most Read

Finally, it should be carefully considered that if this site is allowed to be changed from leisure/tourism to any other designation then this would set a very dangerous precedent for all such sites in the future, wherever they are, and provide a very worried outlook for a number of small businesses that rely on visitors for their trade.



My ancestor built Gablehurst

I, TOO, believe that the house in Long Lane, Bradwell, to which Heather Mackinlay referred is Gablehurst. I apologise for this letter being a week late.

I cycled passed it regularly going from home in Bradwell to my grandparents’ houses in Gorleston during the 1950s. Gablehurst was built by my great grandfather, William Ballard Cockrill, in about 1915.

After the first world war brought an end to his hotel business at The Gables Hotel on Marine Parade Gorleston he built Gablehurst and farmed there. Unfortunately his wife, Caroline, suffered failing health during 1915 and died that December. He never lived there again.


Lowestoft Road,


Welcome home...to Gorleston? No

I NEVER cease to be amazed at the arrogance of our council. It seems to know no abounds.

We are all so proud of Jessica-Jane Applegate at winning a Gold medal at the Paralympics and it is only right that she should be honoured with a civic reception at the Town Hall.

But I had steam coming out of my ears at what I read next in the Mercury. The Parade! Where is it going to be? In Gorleston where she is from?

No. In Belton where most of her family live and where her aunt has a pub where they cheered her on and raised money for her swimming expenses? No.

It’s going to be in Yarmouth of course, where else? After all it is the centre of the universe as far as our council is concerned.

St Peters Road is one of the places the parade will be going and I mean no disrespect at this but I would be very surprised if many of the residents of that road had ever heard of Jessica-Jane Applegate.

Our council seems to lack any sense of empathy when the subject happens to involve anywhere other than Yarmouth itself.

Cannot they see how hurtful and insulting they are being.


Victoria Road


Yarmouth needs a full-time MP

I WAS very interested to read that our local MP Brandon Lewis has been appointed, as part the recent reshuffle, to the position of junior minister for communities and local government.

It seems worrying to me that at a time when Great Yarmouth needs all the attention and commitment it can get from it’s MP that it would seem like it will now be a part-time role for him. Whereas he could only formally offer 45 minutes of his time for his recent “bus-stop” surgeries will this now be whittled down to 30 minutes? 10?

I would also like to know if he was granted this post as a result of an outstanding contribution to the local community and it’s governance or rather his friendship with a cabinet member,


Claydon Grove,


Did you dance to The Who?

I AM carrying out research into 1960’s music history in the UK and am trying to find out more information about a dance competition that was held at the Britannia Pier on 8 Aug 1965 during a concert given there by The Who.

The Who actually presented the prize to the winning dance pair. I would love to hear from anyone who was at the concert, was a dancer, or anyone knows any details. Please email me at signedbythebeatles@hotmail.com



Memories of the Co-op welcomed

THE year 2013 will mark the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Great Yarmouth Co-operative Society which today forms part of the East of England Co-operative Society.

Local members are looking to celebrate this milestone with a series of events and activities next year.

As part of this project we are currently looking to collect information and memories relating to the local Society, and to record any interesting Co-op artefacts.

We will be holding an informal history event at the Co-op Food Store, Magdalen Way, Gorleston between 10am and 3pm on Friday, September 21.

If you have any Co-op memories you would like to share, have any interesting Co-op artefacts or would like to participate with this project in any way please come along.

If you require any further information or are unable to attend this event but would like to register your interest please contact me on 01493 669190.



MP rewarded for toeing party line

I SEE our MP Brandon Lewis, has been rewarded for following the party line and supporting the granny tax, pasty taxes, tax cuts for the rich, costly special elections for expensive police commissioners, NHS reform, private education and private medicine.

I wonder how many of the questions in the Commons raised the profile of our town. Very few seem to be about the town from my review of his questions. How much did it all cost and for what value?

Perhaps now Mr Lewis has got his career underway, presumably with a pay rise, he might do something for the unemployed whose careers are on hold? All we seem to have so far is half an enterprise zone - not much of an achievement in over two years!

Reading the Mercury from the recession of the 1920s and 1930s, there were all sorts of projects to get people back to work. New roads and sewers for the Barrack estate, extension of South Denes Road, seawall works, River Bure bank works, Gorleston yacht pond and paddling pool, the boating lake, Waterways, Middelton Road advance works and a new Haven Bridge.

Surely, it is better to employ and train people, who can then pay taxes rather than depend on benefits? Huge amounts of talent is being wasted.

We need to invest rather in people rather than trapping people on benefits. There are loads of capital projects that were left undone by the previous council.

Mr Lewis could start with his beloved railway station. The whole town needs greening up with a planting programme, litter bin planting programme, the boating lake needs a revamp, new illuminations, King Street needs restoring to splendour. The Acle New Road pinch points and Burlingham section need sorting.

There is no shortage of improvements to do. What is needed is an MP as a leader of vision and action. We need answers, not questions in Parliament.

The question should have been “How, and when, can Government funding packages be brought together, in partnership with others, to improve Greater Yarmouth? How, and when, will the private sector, resolve the problems of Greater Yarmouth? (joke!)

What impact will government cuts, including those from the communities department, have on Greater Yarmouth? Why are the meals of MPs subsidised and could Greater Yarmouth receive the �5.5m which could be saved?


Victoria Street,

Caister on Sea

5,000 sign up to fight loo closing

I WAS pleased to see the Mercury took an active role in the local community by printing the story on the large campaign that has mounted over the last few weeks against cutting full-time toilet attendants.

This is the second news item on the matter in recent weeks and I find it absolutely shocking that not one single Labour or Conservative Councillor is willing to comment on it or make their opinions known.

It is very disappointing that elected officials, particularly Conservative county councillor Tom Garrod and the six Labour borough councillors in the immediate area of where these cuts are taking place, cannot be bothered to let their feelings known.

Is a 5,000 signatures petition not enough? Is uncertainty over normal peoples’ jobs not a paramount issue? UKIP county Councillor Rex Parkinson-Hare and I will continue to support the campaign to keep the full-time attendants but still urge Labour and Conservative councillors to give us their support.

The Conservative and Labour leaders have my contact details so please do contact me to show your support for important front line services and peoples’ jobs.


UKIP Great Yarmouth

Tour rounded off summer of sport

SUNDAY’S leg of the Tour of Britain was a fantastic way for Norfolk to round off an incredible summer of sport and I am grateful to the many thousands who lined the streets and help cement Norfolk’s reputation as a county which loves first-class sport.

An event such as this always comes at a cost to host authorities, but the enthusiasm showed by Norfolk residents for the Tour over a number of years leads me to believe this is an investment well worth making if possible, given the very positive impact on the Norfolk economy which is somewhere in the region of �3 million.

I’d like to thank people for their feedback on the organisation of the event, whether it be by written, email or on Twitter, which was attended by 25,000 or so people for free at the Royal Norfolk Showground alone and seen by 175,000 in Norfolk and Suffolk.

I know some people have complained about the time it took to leave the Showground after the race. I am sorry there were delays and we will need now to sit down and reflect on what happened - and bear any learning in mind.

In essence, this was a superb event for our county, blessed with amazing weather and crowds who made a positive impact on race winner Luke Rowe who rightly described them as “incredible.” Starting with the Jubilee, followed by the Olympic and Paralympic Torch relays and crowned by the Tour of Britain, Norfolk has enjoyed an incredible few months which will live long in the memories of thousands of people for all the right reasons.


County Cabinet member for cultural services, communications and customer service

Angry over story of cat attacked

I WAS very saddened and angry to read about the cruel attack on the young black cat in last week’s Mercury. What a mindless attack this was by someone or some people who can be nothing but yobs.

I was glad to read her ordeal, I hope those responsible are found – the cat needed treatment and so so they, if they think it’s okay to do things like this.


Great Yarmouth

MP’s loyalty has been rewarded

I READ with interest the news that Brandon Lewis is now a secretary for Minister Eric Pickles. Brandon Lewis often made attacks during the run up to the General Election for Tony Wright never rebelling against the Labour Government. Well after researching theyworkforyou.com, Brandon has done exactly the same and his loyalty has been rewarded with a promotion.

At what cost is this for Great Yarmouth? Mr Lewis voted in Parliament to close our Coastguard, he denied our say on the EU despite campaign pledges to the contrary and after making loud noises about the state of our train station still nothing has been done.

I hope Brandon remembers that those that elected him can just as easily kick him out.


Burgh Road,


Out There superb

MY wife and I visited Great Yarmouth on Saturday and saw some of the Out There 2012 Festival and had a great time. Congratulations to the town on hosting a fine show. Looking around at all the smiling faces, we were not alone in enjoying the occasion.




Coastal erosion studied for years

IT appears I was wasting my time 32 or more years ago studying our coastal erosion, your writer on Facebook knows what it is all about, no facts or information I note.

I was studying our coastal erosion as I have said over 32 years ago, before the outer harbour was built, I do not know why I did this, to me it was interesting, I have no particular hobby, I cannot abide by any sports, films or soaps.

I noted over a long time that water was seeping down the cliff faces, then it stopped and dried out until the water returned. I was convinced these wet and dry spells made the cliff, and land beyond unstable, then the actions of the sea cause the cliffs to collapse.

I then turned my attention to the sea, I was convinced if the sea could be held back somehow, to take out the force of the tides, this would help.

I then made a drawing of bollards, or groynes – call them what you like – to be positioned in the sea at least 300 yards from the low water mark, facing north, north east, between each block, enough room for any fishing boat or lifeboat to reach the open sea, yes the sea could come through, but without force, bringing with it sand to recuperate the beach. After this was done, trees and shrubs to be planted to tale up water from the cliffs and land. This whole process could be done in stages, providing groynes were used to block off the stage already completed, no need then for sandbags to stop the sea coming in.

First problem, how to control the forces causing the trouble in the first place.

As for Hopton, could it be the cause of dredging for aggregates from the seabed, the sea will take sand to fill in the hole, the beach being the highest point could be the first to go.

I wrote letters at the time to many people I thought might be concerned, none were, I never even had any replies. I said then what could happen if nothing was done, now it has for all to see. What happens in another 30 years if nothing is done. Most of Norfolk could be under the sea.

I think my downfall is I am uneducated, no long job titles, in fact no letters after my name, I am a true Norfolker, surprise surprise, letters after my name OAP.

The days of mend and make do are gone.



Caister on Sea

Help me trace dad’s relatives

CAN any reader help me trace relatives of my dad who was born in Great Yarmouth in 1911 in either Row 8 or 136. His name was John Berry and he had two stepsisters, Ivy and Lillian Myhill. His mother’s name was Emily Symonds and his dad was also John Berry.

It would also be nice to find someone with information about St Peter’s School around 1915-16, for my work on my family’s history. I can be emailed on djme1500@aol.com



Our churches are closing

DO the public know we are losing the churches in Great Yarmouth.

In the last few months I’ve seen St John’s, St James’ and St Luke’s - all closed and they were self-supporting.

We can all go to the Minster church of St Nicholas. Wake up readers if you care, before it is too late.


Wherry Way,

Great Yarmouth

Art exhibition well worth visit

I HAD to write in to recommend that it is so worthwhile to visit Great Yarmouth library.

All this week the Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artists, are exhibiting their artists’ work. Such an array of subjects and artistry materials, pastels, watercolours, oils are just a few of them.

Most of these artists work so diligently at their craft, often unheard of, except to those who love the arts.

I will not go through all the artists, picking out the odd one or two, I do have a few favourites of my own, but for anyone wishing to view, they can vote for their choice.

Which is a lovely idea, because it involves the public...and it’s all free.

So please go along and look, any young artists and new talent would be welcomed...



Unwanted cats cause concern

THIS letter is regarding all the unwanted cats and kittens in the Yarmouth area. So many in fact, all the animal rescue centres are full.

It might sound nice if you have a female cat to let it have one litter of kittens but for every kitten born, four cats are put to sleep. Those cats were kittens once.

The kittens that’s don’t get sold often end up on the streets, so please, get your cat spayed or neutered - it’s just as important to get the males done as well. Well done Gorleston, Bradwell and Belton - those areas are not as bad as Yarmouth.

Help is at hand for those on benefits, get in touch with Cats Proptection on 10502 079101.


Feral officer

Editor’s Note: See this week’s Find Me a Home on Page 20, with many cats and dogs in rescue centres looking for new families.