Letters, September 4 2015

Keep Pontins as a holiday site

I read with interest the article about Pontins holiday camp. I agree with George Jermany, borough councillor for Hemsby, who states the land should be returned to holiday use.

They should never have let it get run down and neglected in the first place. Over the years, the camp has catered for Elvis and Rockabilly Conventions and other music.

The main part of the camp was built in 1920 and the chalets added in the early 1970s before Pontins opened for their first season in 1971.

It was only recently that Newport Road was flooded due to the drains not be able to cope. I feel the application by Northern Trust to develop the site should be turned down. The land should be retained for the holiday trade for what it was intended.


St Margaret’s Way,

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Never treated as number at JPH

I have been both an inpatient and outpatient at the James Paget Hospital and can honestly say that I have always been treated as a person and not as a number.

Every single member of staff is really dedicated to what they do and treat us as they would like to be treated.

Also the food is really very good and if you don’t like something you can always talk to staff and have something else. However, for the amount of the food that has to be used the catering staff do a fantastic job.


Beach Road,


Cats do what comes naturally

Belatedly replying to R Thurlow’s letter in the Mercury, July 17. Yes, everyone reaches the opinion he doesn’t like cats, but doesn’t he realise a cat is only doing what comes natural when it uses a garden as a toilet. What is it supposed to do? How is an animal to know where it can and can’t defacate.

Also, not so many people as he thinks dislike cats. Most of us do own cats and not just because we can put them out at night either.

Personally, my own cats stay in at night and use a litter box.

R Thurlow should live and let live and not blame animals for what they do naturally, I might add if he goes on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland it is absolutely covered with human faeces. Disgusting. What does he think about that!


Burgh Castle

Kiss of life for the old Co-op

Thanks to all concerned for giving the Co-operative House the kiss of life thereby dispelling possible demolition.


Falcon Court

Great Yarmouth

Council has no loyalty to family

Re the article “Card stall many angry over rival”. I was incensed to read of the council’s treatment of a family who have operated a small card shop in the Market Place for 30 years. Does not any council members have any business sense at all?

The Wright family struggles to make a living there day in and day out selling cards for 50p each. You need to sell an awful lot to scratch a living! Yet the market bosses and council see fit to let another operator in just a few feet from this shop.

Clearly the council has no loyalty to its regular Market Place customers and not an atom of business sense, something which has been obvious to me since coming to live in Great Yarmouth.

Will they be adding another watch repair shop, when the operator scratches a living charging £3 for a new watch bettery?

Yes, several chip stalls might survive with hundreds or thousands of tourists eating chips on their way through town and dropping their rubbish as they go, but there are not countless thousands buying a card or a watch battery each and every day.

The Wrights are good people who have served Great Yarmouth Council well for 30 years through thick and thin and deserve better than this despicable treatment. It is for me a further illustration of the total lack of business acumen displayed by our “council servants”.

If both card shops strive for business they will only halve the business and both will leave leaving councillors with egg of their faces and two more empty units!


Albert Gate Road,

Great Yarmouth

Fast-tracked after diagnosis

After reading about delays to some patients that have been diagnosed with a cancer both at JPH and N&N, I would like to come to their defence, especially the JPH. Four months ago, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and from that time I was fast tracked through all departments, from my initial appointment with Zack at the JPH.

I cannot fault or complain about any of the team, the Sandra Chapman team, the Macmillan nurses and everyone else involved. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude.



Staff seem to ignore alarms

Seeing the comments about the hospital I thought I would put my view forward. My wife has recently spent several weeks in ward 6 and I have visited her every day. She said the food was very good.

I noted that someone complained they did not get any vegetables. This was of course because they did not ask for any. There are places on the menu that every patient gets to tick for the vegetables you want.

The care my wife received was excellent, however there is one criticism I would make and that is regarding the patient alarms. Every patient has one and when pressed it starts an alarm that is difficult to ignore.

The staff though seem to be able to ignore it quite well and it seemed to me the alarm was going for about 50pc of the time I was visiting. On one occasion I know it was due to a fault but still meant it went for 15 or 20 minutes before any member of staff bothered to investigate.

I note despite the decision not to publish letters about religion that Mr Barkhuizen still managed to sneak in. However since he had nothing to say worthy of any comment I suppose it does not matter.


Royal Naval Hospital,

Great Yarmouth

Magdalen Arms plan wonderful

I think the new plans for the old Magdalen Arms pub in Gorleston is wonderful. How lovely to know the beautiful Dutch architecture which is so unusual, different, a stunning building will be refurbished to its former glory without “changing the outlook”.

It is well positioned, but rows and rows of yet more terraced houses would have lowered the area and closed in the space. This was the best plan by far, and car parking spaces is always a bonus.

I wish the new vets all the luck in the world when it’s up and running. Well done!



Dad was the first landlord at pub

I would like to say how pleased I am that the Magdalen Arms is not going to be altered structurally and remain as it is.

My memories of the Magdalen Arms go back to October 1954 when my mother and father, sister and myself moved into the premises with the builders still working inside and outside to complete it.

It was not going to be called The Magdalen Arms initially. It was originally to be called The Queen’s Head due to the recent Coronation, but because of its location on the Magdalen Estate it was agreed to call it The Magdalen Arms.

The opening was on November 5 1954 and was attended by councillors and the mayor along with Lacons officials. The doors were opened at 10.30am and all members of the public had their first pint free!

Along with my parents was one full-time barman Mr Reginald Potter and two part-time barmen John and Jack. This is at a time when prefabs were opposite and it was in a highly populated area.

I remember as a lad on a Sunday, being in the bar and waiting for the pips to come on the radio to open at noon. I then unbolted the door, went through the gents toilets to the lounge foyer and took the bolt off to allow people to come in, then turned to go back to the bar and found it impossible to get through the crowd of people. I had to go outside to enter through the back of the house, of course beer was just a shilling (5p) a pint and a bottle of Guinness was one shilling and fourpence halfpenny and a shot was two shillings.

I do remember my father being very proud of the fact the public house in its first financial year turned over £37.000 and they also won the Mercury Cup for darts when the finals were held at The Floral Hall, now the The Ocean Room.

The public house was designed by Lacons architect Mr Ecclestone who was also mayor at one time. So you can see why I appreciate it remains as it is.


Magdalen Way,


Recycle workers following rules

Regarding a letter in Friday’s Mercury about the recycling centre: was the person who emailed last week about having to pay to leave a shed for real? What do they think the workers do with the money put it in their pockets and spend it down the pub?

And what about their attitude? Would they like to be treated with disrespect?

The workers at the recycling centre are governed by the rules. If people have a gripe about the charges they need to complain to the council not take it out on the workers



Family member given respect

I would like to say, before I go on, I am the first to complain if something is not right! However on this occasion I would like to say how kind, considerate and professional the staff in ward 16 of JPH and the staff at the Herbert Matthers block Northgate Hospital were.

We just lost our dad and husband to cancer and over the past five weeks he was a patient at both the above and during his stay until the end he was treated with the courtesy and dignity he deserved thanks to all the hard-working staff. Nothing was too much trouble from keeping some of his yoghurts in their own fridge because he liked them cold, to making all the family drinks at any time of the day or night and even allowing visitors in the early hours of the morning to 11pm.

I know not everybody has a good experience with the NHS especially with all the cut backs but credit where credit is due.

A big thank you to you all on behalf of our husband. Dad, grandad, who you made feel special in his last few weeks.



Let’s have vets surgery in north

Another vets surgery for Gorleston? What about Caister?

There are a lot of animal owners in Caister, Hemsby and Ormesby who find it very difficult and expensive to get to a vet as many of us are senior citizens and do not all have cars.

There are now three vets surgeries almost within walking distance of each other. Why, when the rest of us are so poorly served?



Selling medal is an affront

On reading the article about Fred Sadd, who is my first cousin, in last week’s Mercury, I was amazed and disgusted to read that his George Medal was being put up for sale by a private collector.

A few years ago, as reported in the Mercury at that time, his son Brian, had no children to pass it on to and presented it to the fire brigade for safe-keeping.

Selling this brave man’s medal is an affront to his memory and I need to know why.


St Peter’s Plain,

Great Yarmouth

Lobbying for end to rates on loos

The closure of public toilets is more than an inconvenience, it can be debilitating to those with an inflammatory bowel disease. Knowing a loo is open, nearby gives peace of mind.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council in closing toilets and threatening the closure of others in response to budget cuts has ignored the needs of residents and visitors.

Great Yarmouth and District TUC believes the Government has failed to address the issue of the fact public toilets are liable for business rates. A barrier to keeping toilets open is business rates. An estimated £25,000 is spent on our local public loos in rates.

We have contacted our MP and hope he will lobby for the ending of this “tax” on toilets and help save our loos. On the wider issue we hope the borough council reverses the decision to close loos.



Great Yarmouth and District TUC

Phallic symbols are everywhere

I have become quite disturbed by the Lynn Grove Academy logo story; I see phallic symbols everywhere. There’s a milk bottle on my kitchen table and, spare my blushes, two tomatoes! Then there’s a cucumber (quite a big one, ooer) in the fridge and I can’t help sniggering every time I look at the fruit bowl - will have to cover up those bananas and plums – tee hee!

Was that story really worthy of a front page spread?



We need third river crossing

The extra holiday traffic experienced in July and August has shown up all too clearly the absolute need for the proposed third river crossing bridge from the Harfrey’s link road into the South Denes area.

We routinely have bumper to bumper queues on both the western bypass and Southtown Road approaches to Yarmouth.

My county councillor colleague Colleen Walker is to be congratulated for getting this issue to the fore at County level with calls to the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to lend their weight in securing the £5m needed to progress detailed design work to get the scheme to a “shovel ready” state.

The fact is the new bridge isn’t just needed to improve the road infrastructure to the port - in fact its primary role is to relieve the already existing heavy traffic congestion on the routes into town from Gorleston and Bradwell. The roundabout improvement schemes promised by David Cameron before the General Election (and now put back by up to five years) will not be sufficient to relieve the town’s traffic congestion because those schemes will not actually reduce the number of vehicles using the western by-pass.

The ability to enter Yarmouth from Gorleston via the new bridge will significantly reduce traffic at the Harfrey’s and Gapton roundabouts making journey times shorter and helping public transport.

Councillors, the public and businesses in Great Yarmouth need to be resolute and totally united in backing the dualling of the Acle Straight and progressing the third river crossing so we don’t get left behind in terms of the road infrastructure that we need.


County Councillor

Yarmouth North and Central

Our thanks for your support

I am writing on behalf of the members and volunteers of the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Memory clubs (previously the Methodist Memory club) to thank all the people of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and surrounding areas for their amazing support over the last few weeks.

As the Methodist Memory club was full to overflowing with members a meeting of members and volunteers was held and the decision was made to try to open another club somewhere in the northern parishes. A suitable venue was found at the Scratby Village Hall and fundraising began.

We started with a tombola stall in Great Yarmouth Barclays bank, for which we thank both the staff and customers; then we held a jumble sale with cakes and tombola at the Methodist club and again we thank all those who supported us on the day. We were also lucky to be given donations from Ormesby and Filby bowls clubs and finally we held a bottle tombola at Scratby fete last Saturday.

In total we have raised over £1,300 which, together with a grant of £1,000, will enable us to run the new club for SIX months starting on Monday, September 21 and we all sincerely thank every person who has helped us to achieve this wonderful amount.

The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Memory clubs are volunteer led weekly members club for those who have mild to moderate dementia and/or suffer from social isolation.

If you would like to know more about either club, refer yourself or someone you know to the clubs or are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact either Sandra on 01493 452438; email sandraedmonds893@gmail.com or Ann on 01493 656464, email AandD79@aol.com


Colomb Road,


Are McDonalds coming here?

Today I have heard a rumour that McDonalds is attempting to open a restaurant in Hopton. I wonder if any of your correspondents or readers are able to shed light on this matter.

Apparently the council are not forthcoming with any information and anybody who does know anything is playing their cards close to their chest. Obviously from a resident’s viewpoint a McDonalds, possibly a 24-hour drive through restaurant, would be a very serious matter causing disruption, noise and vast amounts of litter.

I stress this is only a rumour but in my experience there is no smoke without a burnt burger.


Lowestoft Road,

Hopton on Sea

Parking charges hitting visitors

Wake up Yarmouth Borough Council. I recently visited the city of Rochester on Medway in Kent which is a busy thriving place which has the same number of, although I suspect more, visitors than Yarmouth. And it has all sorts of attractions throughout the year including the famous Dickens Week Festival.

The point of this email is the ridiculously high car park charges our council, Great Yarmouth Borough that is, has levied on the natives and visitors to this once thriving town - sadly no longer the case. In Rochester there is a car park not more than 200 yards from the centre that charges £1.40 for up to four hours; that’s right you can park in a properly marked out car park that is tarmac surfaced - no potholes or other hazards - for four hours for the princely sum of £1.40.

So Yarmouth, stop wasting money on non entities and consider our visitors without whom this town would die quicker than it already is doing.



Bring Continent to the seafront

Great Yarmouth really has got to re-invent itself and not just rely on daytrippers and holidaymakers returning for another visit. There is simply not enough for people to see and do,

Where are all the cafes and bars along the seafront, with their tables and chairs on the pavements? Nowhere. The whole seafront is one long amusement arcade!

I would merrily spend a whole afternoon drinking non-alcoholic drinks or alcoholic drinks and people-watch in sunshine and rain but there is nowhere to sit except on the beach. And there are no licensed bars nearby.

Are we being treated as children? If you go abroad on holiday you can eat and drink just yards from the beach. In seaside resorts in the UK, it’s generally a trek to leave the beach and try and find somewhere for a lunch – and a lunch which isn’t burgers, chips and beans.

My friend and I couldn’t find anywhere selling decent salads or “light food” for lunch, unless we left the beach area and sat inside a restaurant. Even the cafes served fast-food only.

Yarmouth needs to look at who it is trying to attract. We won’t be back; for the same money we spent in a week staying in the resort we could have flown to Spain and enjoyed food which isn’t what appears to be Yarmouth’s staple diet.



Late husband had good care

Through your paper may I send a big grateful thank you to the James Paget Hospital for the wonderful attention and kindness to my late husband John Moore. Sincere thanks to all the doctors, nurses, tea ladies and staff who were all so helpful.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the names of the lady and gentleman of the ambulance team who first attended; they both did such a first class job far beyond their normal duties.

Thank you all but special thanks to everyone on ward 17 for all their kindness and dedication to John

Mrs G R MOORE and Family

Address withheld