Letters, September 28, 2012

Clouds were an incredible sight

I JUST wanted to let you know what we saw over here at Ormesby St Michael. Me and my mum stood in a field and were watching it for ages. It was truly awesome. It was a really beautiful clear night, with three mushroom clouds, one inland (the one we were watching) and two out at sea. The cloud didn’t seem at all like a cloud that would be stormy at all. It was a hive of activity, almost constant flashes that were incredibly bright. With a couple of the flashes rising high above the cloud. When I saw that happen I wondered if they were sprites. The most strange thing though, the fact the cloud was very close, there was no sound at all, not even the faintest of rumbles. We watched this one for a long time, and could see the other two, they travelled very slowly. When I went home an hour later (Winterton-On-Sea), I headed for the beach and they were still really active there too. But the sky over the sea was the clearest I have ever seen it, so much so we could even see lights glowing from beyond the horizon, something I have never seen before. Along with a couple of incredible meteors (I’ve seen an awful lot over the years, but these were stunning), it was one hell of a first of sights night.



School friends’

reunion planned

FOLLOWING the success of last year’s reunion of Priory School, this year it will be held at Great Yarmouth Conservative Club Function room in Market Gates. Access is gained by the lift next to Wilkinsons’ Store. It will start at 11.30am on Thursday October 25, and tea and coffee is available plus light lunches. If you have any photographs or other items please bring them along.

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Where will new

residents live?

CONCERNING the proposals for Pontins - if a site is failing to find a buyer with a purpose consistent with its current planning status then surely the idea should be to reduce the asking price (Letter September 14). A similar suggestion could have been made for the sale of Hall’s commercial site on Riverside Road.

It seems that land owners with the assistance of town planners and councillors are allowing homes on sites which could provide employment.

Before long huge swathes of land dedicated to commerce, industry and recreation in the Greater Yarmouth area could be covered in housing to accommodate more people. So where will all these people work?

Building more houses in unsuitable areas in our overcrowded country is only a short term solution to growth and employment. It will make a few opportunists rich in the short term but provide no lasting growth.


Elmgrove Road,


Cheap mower is

better at the job!

AT the start of the summer season I bought an expensive mower with a ‘top of the range’ engine. I was told I would get many years of trouble-free mowing.

Early summer, my new mower together with its engine, once more in for repair, grass nearly 2ft high, thought that when it was repaired, at last I could get on with the task of cutting grass. Mid summer in exasperation of the constant breakdowns, I bought a cheap Czechoslovakian mower with an unknown engine. It has served me faithfully all summer. Starts every time, does a superb cut at a quarter of the petrol the engine and is a lot more reliable. I tried the expensive one just one more time, before the close of the season and guess what? It doesn’t work! Got to go in for yet another repair. The machine is less than six-months old. It has been in for repair four times and has broken yet again. To add insult to injury, none of the breakdowns are covered by the 10-year warranty so I have had to pay for each and every repair. The repairs have cost me more than I paid for my cheap but reliable Czechoslovakian mower.

My faithful quarter of the price cheapy machine has not let me down once and starts every time.

It is solid rugged reliability at a fraction of the cost, inferior yet vastly more reliable and vastly less expensive - a lesson learned.


Browston Corner,


History of no. 1

Sandown Road

IN reply to Theresa Whitmore’s letter in the Mercury September 21 re the house in Sandown Road.

This is 1 Sandown Road and was built in the latter part of 1890s at the same time as the adjacent Beaconsfield Recreation Ground (which opened in 1895). It was built to house the Parks Superintendant. In the 1970s it was still the home of the Parks, Gardens and Cemetery Superintendant and appears to have gone with that job for over 70 years. I have no information about the house after the 1970s.

Colin Tooke

Local historian


Excellent stay at

spotless resort

HAVING just returned from a holiday in Great Yarmouth, staying at the Marine Lodge in Euston Road which was excellent, we would like to say how beautiful and clean everywhere was.

It’s had a revamp since we last came five or six years ago so we can see what’s been done. It’s a credit to the town, the planners, workers etc. The roads and paths are wonderful and we hope to return. The seafront was spotless and all the changes are a credit to the town.




Lord-like stay at

professional JPH

I HAVE just been in to have a hip replacement and to say my treatment was brilliant is an understatement.

From the first pre-op meeting through the second and right up to the day of my admission I was treated like a lord. On the day of admission I was treated as if I was the only patient they had.

The staff in the pre-op room were totally on the ball and made everything so easy and relaxed. Needless to say the surgeon did a marvellous job.

Back on ward 6, bay 5 they really cared for me, nothing being too much trouble be it a cup of tea or a water bottle in the middle of the night.

Even the cleaning lady cheered things up with her chat, not forgetting the catering staff who provided me meals throughout my stay.

So thanks very much James Paget for a brilliant job, professionally done.


St Benets Road,


Excellent care at

great hospital

ONCE again I have recently spent a few weeks in the James Paget Hospital, and once again I can only praise them for their care and attention.

The nurses were kindness itself and always on hand when needed. The doctors too were very good, and nothing was too much trouble for any of them.

This time I was very lucky to have recovered. This is entirely due to the excellent care of the nurses and doctors at the JPH.

They were marvellous and my family and myself owe them a great deal. Sincere thanks to all.


Green Lane,


Country relay is

historic event

As a performer at the London 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony, I am a great believer in its theme of “Enlightenment.” So let’s see if I can help bring Gerry Jarvis out of the dark in reply to his letter (Mercury September 21) about runners and vans with flashing lights along the Haddiscoe Bends last Saturday evening.

I find it very sad and disappointing that after more than a quarter of a century, there are some who still have no idea about the Round Norfolk Relay, an event which takes place on an annual basis and is a 197 mile relay, run along the Norfolk border in 17 separate multi terrain stages, ranging from 5.49 miles to 20.06 miles. It starts and finishes at Kings Lynn and is the ultimate club challenge and a unique experience for all who take part in this wonderful event. The event is organised with the full cooperation of all the necessary authorities who are very supportive.

This year, 58 teams were lucky to secure a place in this race, each stage run by a different club member with ages ranging from 15 to 77 and of all abilities.

Haddiscoe Bends is part of stage 10, (Yarmouth to Bungay) the longest stage and is just over half way round the course. Your reader was lucky he did not encounter more runners, cyclists and vans with flashing lights as this is generally the point where all teams start to catch up with each other so from then onwards, it becomes very busy on the road as the race moves towards the next baton changeover point at Bungay.

For safety reasons, after dusk it is a requirement that all teams taking part have sufficient resource for each of their runners to be accompanied by a cyclist and a van with continuous warning lights. This is what your reader would have witnessed.

As part of the Olympic Legacy, I hope this event will continue for many more years to come. There are no doubt many who will question the cost of London 2012, many who perhaps have no interest in healthy living. My question in reply would be: “How much is it costing the NHS for so many to seek medication for ailments that could not otherwise be adequately resolved by a more healthy diet and a more proactive approach to exercise?”.

Perhaps it’s not therefore those taking part in the Round Norfolk Relay that should be ashamed of themselves. More information on the Round Norfolk Relay can be found at www.roundnorfolkrelay.com


Westwood Ave

Oulton Broad

No more demand

for our churches

IN answer to Elizabeth Giles’ letter about closing churches I suggest it is a question of supply and demand. As I understand it many years ago St George’s was built as an overflow church for the minster as it could not accommodate all the people who wanted to go to church. So this was a demand that generated a supply which is how any market works. Now the demand for places in church has dropped dramatically as anyone can see if you visit a few churches in the area on a Sunday morning. So the demand has diminished and the supply is no longer needed. The cost of maintaining a large complex building like a church is very high and it is clearly better to spend the available money where there is a demand. With the availability of cars and public transport I would think it is reasonable to expect those who wish to go to a regular church service to travel to a church that is still open and thus allow the available funds to be spent on that church.

While writing I would like to thank those people who have commented on Brandon Lewis’s promotion. That has helped to remind me who our MP is.


Royal Naval Hospital

Great Yarmouth

Upset after hotel

plan scrapped

WITH the news last week that the YMCA were abandoning plans for the Two Bears Hotel (Mercury September 21) I felt very sad. That grand old building was essentially let down by the planning system. Several years ago the Two Bears was a lucrative business and applied for planning permission to have a marquee in its then spacious gardens for wedding parties. A few residents in High Mill Road got unnecessarily alarmed at the prospect of noisy parties and before long the planning committee refused the permission. The hotel was then sold to a property company and the gardens were built on. The smaller hotel/pub hit hard times and closed, and for years it has laid boarded up and gradually vandalised. The YMCA decision means that the building has no obvious future other than for housing - but the costs of doing that whilst retaining the much loved frontage make it unlikely that we will see any change for a long time. It is a classic case of “unintended consequences”. As a wedding venue it would probably still have been a prosperous business.


Town Wall Road

Great Yarmouth

What is our MP

doing for town?

AT the risk of being a “wailer,” even though there is so much to wail about as our town struggles along and thousands remain jobless with 100 more last week, I feel the Brandon Lewis fan club need a reply.

It is disturbing that Mr Lewis needs to be minister to have more influence. Did he have none in the last two years? Probably, as so little has happened - half an enterprise zone and dishing out money to broadband providers who fail to provide broadband for all - another failure of privatisation! Interesting Mr Lewis is in the Communites Department which axed millions of the borough’s funding. I understood, from my experience of ministers, they sometimes find it difficult to make cases for their constituency in their departments and certainly cannot oppose the party line - no change there then.

I wonder if past MPs, including two Tories, were no use as they did not get promoted or was it that they were excellent MPs standing up to the Government and not just following the party line. My family held Antony Fell in high regard for that very reason.

Is the rail station being improved? Have we got the concessionary fares money back? Have the A47 improvements to the town been announced? The Burlingham and Runham sections would be easy. The A11 dualling has hardly started and been announced regularly. Is coastal erosion being sorted or one of the most valuable assets allowed to disappear into the sea? Are all the problems of the town being addressed or being made worse? Where is the job creation? The old life boat would make an excellent training project.

Time will tell and so will the voters on judgment day at the election.


Victoria Street,


What happened

after dog attack

RE: The story ‘Puppy attacked by loose dogs’ (Mercury, September 14). The matter is not being resolved by those involved. I have the name of the owner of these vicious dogs who attacked my Milly, which I cannot enclose due to legal reasons. I also have her mobile phone number, but it is always turned off. How on earth can I resolve this matter? I have been told by the police it is nothing to do with them as it’s only two vicious dogs attacking a small puppy, of which the two dogs were off their leads and the small puppy was on its lead. Not much to shout about really is it? Oh yes, and the police also informed me that the owner of these dogs had not caused a criminal offence. OK, but I don’t know whether I can accept that. Can someone tell me what you do if it happens to you? Well, to save you all racking your brains I can tell you. What you do is - after the attack hopefully your dog is still breathing - you pick it up covered in blood, bites, faeces etc. You get yourself a taxi to the vets to assess the damage that has been done, taking into account that you yourself could be upset (but that doesn’t matter) as all you’re thinking of is this little puppy no more than you would do a child. But obviously that’s a different case (get these laws sorted!) Getting back to the vets in question - Haven - who did a marvellous job on Milly. You have to pay a hefty bill of �618.08 plus transport, then you have a little puppy who has to have over three weeks complete rest and medication. No problem to me, but not a very good start for poor little Milly. And last of all as to the owner of these vicious dogs (you know who you are, as do others). While you may think you have got off Scot free, I will not let this matter drop. So keep laughing up your sleeve and then one day I might get a result. Ha! Ha!


Great Yarmouth

Churches are not

fit for purpose

ELIZABETH Giles asks the question “Town’s churches closing, why?” With every organisation whether commercial or religious, if it fails it shows it’s not fit for purpose.


Wherry Way,

Great Yarmouth

Great day on the

town’s market

I FELT compelled to write concerning a recent day out in Great Yarmouth with my wife and teenage children. I have a long standing affinity with traditional markets, and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent on Yarmouth market. Especially the marvellous array of food on display in the food hall. There is something about a mug of tea from a market stall!

But one of the highlights was the time spent at a women’s clothing stall R & R Fashions. The stallholders were friendly and the light hearted banter a real delight. Although I admit I haven’t exactly got my finger on the pulse of today’s fashion, my unforgiving teenage girls had no problem giving a big thumbs up to the large choice of good value clothing on offer. We were then given vouchers to buy a free cake from nearby Coplands bakery, which was a lovely touch.

It’s generally accepted that market traders are having a tough time surviving in today’s cut throat business climate, but it would be a real shame if people like this, and markets like Great Yarmouth, were allowed to die out. They are the salt of the earth.



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High standards

at art exhibition

I HEARTILY agree with Vivienne George’s praise of the recent Great Yarmouth and District Society of Artist’s Jubilee Exhibition at Yarmouth Central Library.

The society has always excelled in its paintings and this year’s exhibition was again up to its very high standards.

My particular interest is of local landscapes and there were many that I would have been proud to hang on my wall.

Congratulations to all the artists on a superb show.


Magdalen Way,


What to do in a

bus emergency?

PLEASE can anyone tell me how to contact First Bus in an emergency? Service 5 Yarmouth to Burgh Castle must be one of the worst for reliability. There seem to be two or three problems every week with buses either extremely late or being cut out completely. On Saturday September 22 I waited with others at Yarmouth for the 11.45am service 5 to Burgh Castle which eventually arrived at 12.30pm. Efforts to phone the depot to find out what was going on were in vain. As this is an hourly service with only one vehicle on the route it meant that the driver had just 10 minutes to get to Burgh Castle and back in time to do the next scheduled run at 12.45pm. Obviously impossible so passengers for the 12.45 had yet again to wait for over an hour until 13.45. With no way of contacting anyone on Saturday or Sunday, on Monday morning I tried to phone four times using the customer service number, holding on for six to eight minutes each time without success. At the fifth attempt I decided to stick it out and was eventually answered after 17.5 minutes. Then it proved to be a waste of time because I got absolutely nowhere. How can we speak to someone in authority? I just hope they use a different system when they try to run a railway.


Coronation Terrace,

Burgh Castle

Thank you after

great tournament

HAVING just completed the 67th annual bowls tournament on the seafront greens I would like to say a very big thankyou to all our very valued supporters and advertisers for their continued support.

My thanks to Hoss and his team for preparing the greens and the attendants for all their help.

Many thanks to Lesley Wright, Bookers, the Great Yarmouth market traders and everyone who gave raffle prizes, those who bought tickets plus the collection box, the chairs and signed football which helped us to raise �2450 to our two charities the cycling paramedics and Caister scouts. Thanks to Richard Church and Doug Richards for running the raffles.

Finally my thanks to all the staff at the tourist office and to Cllr Marlene Whitehead and my committee for making it once again a very successful tournament. Special thanks to Irene and Doris for the food and drinks each day.

Plus were were blessed with some lovely weather.


Tournament manager

Hope camp can

stick to roots

I READ with interest the article on the former Pontins Holiday Camp in the Yarmouth Mercury, dated Friday, September 7, 2012. In the article it states that it is being sold as a leisure complex, but if that fails, it could still be used for housing.

It was built in 1920, as a holiday camp, and called Maddersons. I worked there in the 1970s and enjoyed it. In 1973, I helped a Bluecoat run the disco in the evenings.

I hope it can be retained as a holiday and leisure complex.


St Margarets Way,


Pride for town’s

new minister

I AM pleased to see that our local Member of Parliament has already shown the nay-sayers wrong, by making sure his first ministerial visit was here in Great Yarmouth.

I am sure Mr Lewis will continue in the vein and whenever possible take the Ministry to Great Yarmouth. I hope that Mr Lewis enjoyed his trip and found it useful.

Our town and borough has a great fire service and Mr Lewis has had a long history of supporting it.

Even before he was elected he worked hard to protect the Gorleston Fire Station. Considering that I can’t think of a better man to be Fire Minister. I am sure he will be able to take what he learnt from the team in Great Yarmouth and apply it nationwide. We should be proud that at last Great Yarmouth has a representative at the centre of decisions in Westminister



Dog owners need

to clear it up!

MYSELF and my partner went for a walk at Fritton Woods on Thursday, and we were disgusted at the state of the place, to be honest its nothing but a giant toilet for dogs and a dumping ground for litter louts.

There are signs indicating to people to take their rubbish home, so why do people feel the need to be lazy and throw the rubbish on the ground, think of the wildlife that lives in the woods and what harm this could do to them, if I want to go for a walk on a landfill site I would go to Caister tip.

With regards to the dog faeces, don’t get me wrong we like dogs but I don’t expect to go for a walk in an area which is meant to be for everyone and play dodge the dog muck, again it’s just peoples’ laziness which prevents them from picking up their dog’s mess.

Families with children also go for walks in there, children can pick up diseases from dogs’ faeces and in some cases it is known to cause blindness.

Maybe these people should consider whether they are responsible dog owners, please think about your actions and make this area beautiful again and a pleasure to walk in for everyone.



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