Letters, September 5, 2014

Beware of the political vacuum

I read with sadness and concern the article regarding rifts in the local branch of the Conservative party. Whilst being a relative newcomer to the area and therefore not familiar with the personalities concerned, I’ve witnessed similar discord elsewhere which, if it had not been jumped on quickly, could have taken years to repair as the vacuum left can quickly be filled by political rivals.

Age and experience go well together so long as the person concerned continues to show energy and progression. Bringing forward new blood is also important so long as unity is maintained.

Banging the drum and shouting out the policies that Conservative voters want to hear must now be the most urgent task in order to null and invalidate the need for some to vote UKIP and the shouting and concern must carry all the way to 10 and 11 Downing Street.

I was brought up and had the honour to represent a ward within Winston Churchill’s former constituency so I’ve witnessed the disappointment but inevitable “swings and roundabouts” of local politics and the subsequent problems that occur if you take your eye off the ball when dealing with in-house matters.

Finally Mercury readers may be interested to know that as a research history lecturer I discovered some years ago that many local Conservatives in Churchill’s Woodford constituency, before WW2, were extremely concerned about their MP’s age and his incessant anti-appeasement speeches - so much so they lobbied Conservative Central Office asking for his removal and even had a “stalking horse” ready to stand in his place.

At the eleventh hour the “stalking horse” withdrew, the majority of local members rallied around Winston and the threat died away. The date? April 1939.

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Mercury brings order to my life

Certainly not on a par with “Policeman found safe under blanket”, but particularly apt, I think, as your newspaper helps me bring some sort of order to my life with its various rules and advice.So in last Friday’s paper I am told the following;

1) If I want to go out in the evening I should get in contact with the local Round Table and they will set me up with a free night out with the lads (p51).

2) I can go to the Vauxhall Holiday Park’s Elvis Festival so long as I don’t dress in a jumpsuit like the great man himself or try to impersonate him in any way (Guide p7).

3) I can continue to bank with Barclays so long as I understand that replacing two outlets with one is going to make “everyday banking simpler, quicker and better” (p5).

Everything is so much clearer now.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Clarification of school reunion

Just to clarify our recent letter regarding a school reunion. The years noted are 1966 – started at Great Yarmouth High School and cover those who left in 1971 after O Levels and those who left in 1973 after A Levels but also those who joined us from the boys Grammar school and the Convent in 1971.

If anyone else in the years above/below remembers us and wants to attend that is fine but primarily it is intended for those three classes of 1966–1973.

Did you/your children or anyone you know attend Yarmouth High School (Gorleston Grammar as it became) from 1966-1973? If so, are you interested in attending a reunion in 2015 to mark the start of the “60s” for all of us. We have thought about a Saturday afternoon meet, perhaps sometime in May 2015. If you are interested in attending or know someone who is, please contact class66to73@hotmail.com.





Music final was community event

The weekend of August 23/24 seemed full of wonderful community events in the town, not least of which was the Gorleston Makes Music final staged on the Rotary Bandstand.

The weather was ideal and several hundred people made it a picnic Sunday, sitting around the bandstand while they listened to five fabulous performances competing for great prizes. This was a true community event.

Gorleston Rotary Club organised and managed it; local businesses funded it; other local organisations supported it in kind; and the people who sat around the bandstand subscribed nearly £300 via a bucket collection.

Gorleston Rotary Club would like to say how much that support was appreciated. Vauxhall Holiday Park, Hydramec Offshore Ltd, 3sun Group Ltd, and JayJay’s Beach Café provided finance for prizes and other expenses.

TMS Media Ltd provided marketing design and printing; East Norfolk Sixth Form College provided auditioning facilities; and the Pavilion Theatre provided us with cover against the risk of inclement weather. Without all this support this event could not have happened.

The beneficiaries are the musical groups whose talent was judged and appreciated, and the local people who had a great afternoon’s entertainment in the sunshine.

But the big beneficiary is Gorleston whose reputation as a leisure resort has been enhanced. Many thanks to everyone involved.



Quay owners can’t resurface

I am sure most people, especially those who also suffer mobility difficulties, will sympathise with Mr Sayer and his wife regarding access to the Maritime Festival.

In comparison with many other towns, Great Yarmouth has a very good record of providing access for the disabled but we must accept the Festival takes place on South Quay, a busy marine industrial area not normally open to everybody. This is made available through the good offices of the port authorities for two weekend days each year and it is a huge attraction for the town thatis widely appreciated.

Bearing this in mind it must be obvious the quay owners cannot be expected to re-surface it just for this one event.

I do understand his concerns but to refrain from utilising the cobbled area next year as he suggests will only deprive the organisers of much needed space and deprive a great many visitors of some enjoyable attractions.

I am sure the festival organisers will extend the same warm welcome to Mr and Mrs Sayer as they do to all the public and I hope they will enjoy all the attractions.


Seafield Close,

Great Yarmouth

I have petition against seagulls

Here in Scarborough we are all fed up with the seagull invasion! Please could people support my Government e-petition regarding seagulls and the nuisance and health issues they are causing nationwide. log on to http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/68442 and sign up or google “Government e-petitions”. I need 100,000 signatories before May 2015 then Parliament will have to debate it.




Perhaps new brooms needed

I read with interest of the deselection and proposed retirements of a few of the “old guard” serving on Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Given that in the past 15 years successive councils have allowed the ugly uneconomical windfarm to be sighted off our coast, destroyed Great Yarmouth’s historic jetty, given away both the municipal offices and the harbour’s mouth, and put parking charges up to such a point that it deters visitors from coming here, then perhaps a few new brooms are what’s needed!



Marina not on site of Marina

As a regular reader and local resident I would just like to clarify a point in the recent Peggotty memory page regarding the old swimming pool, which I remember well.

However, it was not demolished to make way for the present Marina Leisure Centre as suggested, as the leisure centre now stands on the site of the old Marina, which was a large open air entertainment venue.

I am sure many of the older generation will remember with affection Neville Bishop and his Wolves who were a regular feature there for many years.

The site of the old swimming pool is in fact the row of shops which is adjacent to the leisure centre.


St Peter’s Plain,

Great Yarmouth

Thanks for help to get work

I wish to thank SEETEC Lowestoft for helping the unemployed find work or work experience through placements. They have a dedicated team with immense talent and understanding of what it takes to get a job.

They are very firm but very fair in the way they treat their clients, they are doing a great job which gets little thanks, but I want to thank them for their efforts to help me find work.



Boy racers are not welcome

I felt I had to put pen to paper in response to the article on Albert Jones and the boy racers.

I have been a resident of south Yarmouth for more than 20 years and have seen the problems with the boy racers increase gradually. Since this has been taking place even a quiet evening walk on a summer’s evening is out of the question. The litter that is left overnight, especially in the summer, is getting worse.

Residents in the area have seen house prices fall and there is an end to quiet summer evenings in the garden. The drivers seem to the oblivious of anything other than themselves resulting in a danger to themselves and everyone else.

I have personally witnessed intimidating behaviour in St Nicholas car park while walking my dog. I have been encircled by their cars at speed with music blaring and grins on their faces.

I realise these people do this as a hobby and to socialise but they need to do it in a non-built up area, and definitely not in a seaside resort where they are having a very negative effect on business.

Like Albert Jones, I too was mortified to read that a child was almost knocked down. This must not be allowed to happen.

The authorities need to step up control and vigilance on this event and work with all concerned to come to an arrangement that will keep all happy - ideally a new venue that is away from built up areas and business. These boy racers are not welcome on Great Yarmouth’s seafront.

Do we have to have a fatality before a solution is found. I sincerely hope not.


Address withheld

Care for my wife was superb

When you or someone close to you has an accident or illness that needs spontaneous action, it is a joy to know that we live in the catchment area of the James Paget Hospital. Why?

I have never experienced any failure in my years in being in their care. A recent incident was a prime example of efficiency: my wife Christine had a severe fall landing on her head.

From dialling 999 to the ambulance arriving took four minutes and the professional way they dealt with Christine’s injuries was superb, we cannot thank them enough for the way they cared for us.

So readers of GYM, no more moaning about the service we get


Burnt Lane,


Seagull moans are so petty

How petty to see seagulls so prominently quoted in societies’ list of problems!


Falcon Court,

Great Yarmouth

Wonderful care in the Paget

I have just spent four days as a patient on ward 7 in the James Paget Hospital and would like to say how wonderful the staff, including doctors, anaesthetists, cleaners etc was exceptional as was the care, cleanliness and kindness.

Special thanks to staff nurse Julie and Anna, two very dedicated nurses, for their treatment and care


Windsor Avenue,

Great Yarmouth

God bless staff at James Paget

Over the years I have been prolific with my letters to the Mercury showing concern on many subjects.

Now I feel, after spending nearly a month in hospital on wards 5 and 1, I should write a few lines about those who showed concern for me. A wonderful body of nurses without whose special care and attention I am sure I would not be here to talk about it.

God bless all the doctors and nurses at the James Paget Hospital.


Gonville Road,


When will street light get fixed?

In a nutshell, a street light to the rear of where I live has been out of order for over a year and I keep getting excuses from GYB Services. An email to Trevor Wainwright was marginally worse than useless as his office put the email through to Michael Stephenson at GYB Services who I have been contacting on a semi regular basis.



Harbour Road protest running

Great Yarmouth Harbour Road Campaign. Following Cllr Castle’s letter in the Mercury a couple of weeks ago, rather than throwing in the towel as he seemed to suggest, this initiated more response and support for the reopening of the road.

Subsequently we are now in the process of arranging an initial meeting for those who feel they have information or ideas to contribute – if that’s you, please contact us again with brief details (see below) and we will then arrange a venue and time very soon. The campaign is making cracking progress, with almost 70 supporters so far, before we’ve even really started to raise a wider awareness! Thank you to all those who have registered support - more always welcome!

Watch this space; if you haven’t added your name to the list yet and wish to do so please use the phone number or email address: greatyarmouthharbour@hotmail.com or 01493 202 201 (please leave a message)


Banks need to have customers

Lloyds Bank have done it and now Barclays are following suit. What have they done? Closed at Hall Quay and moved/moving into town.

Barclays have also decided to close their branch at Trafalgar Road so it now means that to visit the ban their customers have to drive into town, pay and park.

It’s wonderful for these banks to boast about having the latest technology but this isn’t going to help their customers who just want to pay in or undertake a quick transaction.

Instead of just parking outside the bank, popping in and out and away, they now have the inconvenience of trying to park and walk to the branch.

Do those who make these wonderful decisions consider their customers and their needs rather than the profit they can provide for the shareholders. Without customers they wouldn’t have any profits or need banks!

Finally, I did note that Barclays Bank at Trafalgar Road has just been repainted only to be closed down very shortly. That is a few pounds off the bottom line.

What has happened to real customer service.



Only UKIP listens to parishioners

In answer to the reply to my letter from Miss Tooke, she should get her information right and not listen to malicious gossip and rumours that are printed in the newspapers and the media.

She was interested to find out how I, as a women could support a political party which slams women in the workplace etc. This statement is not true.

I support UKIP because it’s the only party that will give us our country back, unlike the other main parties UKIP does not have a whip, we can say and vote with our conscience and not be told like the other three main parties what they can say and not say and how they will vote either in the Houses of Parliament or at local level such as county councils.

I have seen this myself at County Hall where the Conservatives just vote en bloc no matter what the subject they are voting on.

The elected UKIP councillors listen to what the parishioners want and attend parish meetings. If you were to look up on the website you will see who attended the parish meetings, very rarely do you see Labour or Conservatives at these, so how can they know what is going on within their parishes.

The only time there is a connection with the three main parties and the parishioners is when an election is about to take place, I think this tells you all you need to know.

As for UKIP being in the dark ages, they are a forward-looking party with fresh ideas and the only party that will deliver what the majority of the people of this country wants, and that is to be set free from the undemocratic European Union.



This town is dying on its feet

No wonder this town is stuck back in time if it is run by pensioners. Do they not know you have to move with the times and not fall by the wayside.

Just what have they done in the last ten years, apart from doing up the seafront. This would not have been done if they had not had to spend the EU money fast.

Councillors say the outer harbour is going to create over a 1,000 jobs. Where? Not to mention the things that they have given away.

There are many empty shops around the town and more to come; while the market is a third the size of what it was ten years ago.

I think councillors should all be made to leave local government at the ago of 50.

This town is dying on it feet and no-one seems to do anything about it. In the next five years will it be like other seaside town that have gone forever?



Red Star reunion being planned

As it is now 40 years since the creation of AFC Red Star we have finally decided to have a reunion of our great Borough league club between the years of 1974-1987. Over 75 players graced the green and black stripes and I have contacted quite a few already.

Obviously there are many I haven’t, so if you players who appeared, please let them know. This is a partners do if you wish to bring them, that’s up to you.

The venue is the Gallon Pot, Great Yarmouth from 7am onwards on Friday, October 3. If you have any photos from those times please bring them along. Call me on 01493 858686. The Star Still Shines.


Palgrave Road,

Great Yarmouth

Grandad worked in barrel factory

Further to the article by Mr J Howes in the Mercury dated August 22, it was nice to see a mention of the old barrel factory in Great Yarmouth.

My grandfather was the manager there and my father William (Bill) Morrison spent a lot of his working life there as a cooper. I can vouch for the hard work.

In later life he travelled to Ireland and the Shetland Isles to work when the fishing industry declined here. He passed away in 2004 aged 94 so like Mr. Howes the hard work didn’t seem to harm him