Readers Letters April 14, 2017

Praise for NHS and the Paget

After all the negative reporting concerning the NHS I would like to mention my experience of the JPH. My wife woke me with severe chest pains at 4am recently and I immediately phoned 999. Within 10 minutes a paramedic was at my wife’s bedside administrating professional help and he decided after a few moments an ambulance was needed.

It duly arrived in less than 15 minutes and my wife was treated with the utmost care and attention.

On arrival at the JPH she was treated very professionally by all staff, nurses and doctors and not forgetting the tea lady, who gave us both a very nice cuppa. I have nothing but praise for the NHS. I am sure they have their problems but I can only speak from my experience.


East Anglian Way,


Most Read

Subsiding the middle class?

I have just returned from Wymondham, where I was able to park for an hour free of charge! So, it appears that the Great Yarmouth parking charges are subsidising the middle classes of Norfolk.



Brexit party line extolled

I read Brandon Lewis’s column with great interest (April 7) and as usual the customary party line was extolled in glorious terms. Yes, Article 50 has been triggered and now the negotiations can commence, although not until the exit deal has been progressed and agreed on.

At a very early stage of proceedings it is to be hoped that our EU Nationals and British Nationals can finally be reassured as to their status, as the flip flopping on this issue has been profoundly disturbing and alienating for people from the EU who have come to this country to work and pay their taxes. It is also a very worrying time for the British people who have made their lives abroad. Conciliatory noises have been made but no real and proactive announcements as to their fate.

I also note his bullish tone that to take back our laws and ‘bring an end to the European Court of Justice interfering’ is an exciting time for the Government. I would doubt the poor beleaguered Civil Service would agree because the amount of work and the minutiae to go through must be mind boggling and onerous. I should imagine overtime in vast quantities will be the order of the day. I suggest in this exercise that the ‘devil will be in the detail’ and that there must be intense scrutiny that liberal laws relating to workers rights et al are not mendaciously interfered with and subsequently watered down or obliterated altogether.

I would have appreciated a measure of humility in his comments and it would have been conciliatory if he had alluded to the benefits and good the EU has afforded this country over the years in relation to the environment and many other areas. This to my mind is churlish and gets up my Remainer’s nose even further.

Theresa May is adopting a less strident one and so must her Ministers,and this almost avaricious grasping for the best deal is tasteless and personally I feel over optimistic. Of course our negotiators must do their best for the country and it is accepted that there will be numerous fallings in and fallings out but a touch less arrogance would not go amiss.

His comments about Scotland were straight out of the party instruction manual as how to deal with those pesky Scottish Nationalists. The Prime Minister may indeed be right that now is not the time for another Independence Referendum and has to be said there may be a lack of appetite for it in Scotland. But I do sympathise that a clear majority did vote for Remain and this has been shrugged off as a minor irritation by a Government who is gung ho and intractable in the face of any legitimate opposition, inopportune or not.


Winifred Road,


Not what the Bible tells us

In his Viewpoint article last week Edward Hart wrote: “God doesn’t answer my prayers because I’m more holy or more persistent than you.”

This is not what the Bible says. For example: “God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him” (John 9:31). So to have prayers answered, the Christian must do God’s will – found in the Bible only. Many churchgoers, who claim to be Christians, do not live holy lives. They disobey God and do not have access to Him. He does not even hear their prayers, let alone answer them.

Also only holy Christians persistent in prayer receive answers from their heavenly Father: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). The Greek from which this text is translated has the meaning “Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking” – the holy Christian must not give up until her Father has answered her.

And Jesus, the Lord God, says: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14).


Albemarle Road,


Sorry to see Keegan leave

As a member of Gorleston football club over the past 35 years, I was very sorry to hear that Keegan Middleton has left.

Keegan has been a loyal member of the playing staff for about the past seven years, progressing from the youth team, reserves to the first team. He is one of the most talented players to represent the Greens during the Emerald Park years.

His ability to find a colleague with pinpoint accuracy is quite remarkable, together with the success of his “trademark” free kicks from up to 30 yards of the opponents’ goal and penalty kicks when asked to take them, make him a rare talent indeed.

His lack of strength and lightweight build as a drawback to his effectiveness in the team, but I consider that 183 first team appearances and 44 goals from someone who is a provider rather than a striker is sufficient proof that he is quite capable of holding his own in all respects at Eastern Counties League level.

I think that Keegan should have usually been selected in the starting XI and like any other player in the team substituted if necessary. I look forward to the day when he may return to our club and re-establish himself as a favourite with the loyal Greens supporters.


Avenue Road,


Editor’s Note: We are re-printing this letter from last week as the headline was missed off and it ran into the bottom of the previous letter.

Sister in law died in bombing

Your supplement Front Line Town about the Second World War in recent editions brought back terrible memories for me. The photograph on page 2 (April 7) showed the house on Albany Road where my family were living before the bomb completely destroyed it on May 30, 1942.

When the first siren went that night my parents and brother started going to Vauxhall Railway station to pick up my sister who was returning on leave from her work in an ammunition factory as it was my Dad’s birthday.

No sooner had they left, the ‘crash’ signal went so they returned and took refuge in an Anderson shelter in the garden. My father made me shelter under the bed in an outhouse down the garden about 10m from the main house.

They had left my sister in law, Peggy Hammond, who was only 22 and seven months pregnant, in the house taking cover under a Morrison shelter in the lounge – this was considered to be the safest place.

Unfortunately the house and Morrison shelter took a direct hit and Peggy died.

When we came out we had no house or possessions, only the clothes we were wearing, but were looked after by neighbours.

Just as a neighbour was taking me away from the scene a plane returned with machine guns firing at us so my neighbour laid on top of me in the gutter until they had gone.

I was an 18 year old girl at the time.

I have many stories on the war I could tell.

The house was rebuilt after the war and then my parents suffered again when it was flooded in 1953.



Happy days at the Coliseum

With age there comes an urge to reminisce, as I did reading Peggotty in last week’s Great Yarmouth Mercury.

My memory sped back some 85 years to a time when we had a tuppenny rush on a Saturday at our local Coliseum Cinema where we watched cowboy films. Among those starring were Buck Jones, Hopalong Cassidy, Tom Mix (who mostly mounted his horse from the rear), Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, who would burst into song on various occasions.

The comedy stars of the day were Buster Keaton, Stan Lauren and Oliver Hardy, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.

For our tuppence we got two films as well as a serial with Larry Buster Crabb as Flash Gordon - where we had to hold our breath until the following week to see if they were killed or not. These were the main draw for the attendance.

There was no smoking at these children’s matinees, but the lingering odour of cigarettes used to be quelled by Mr Attree with his hand-pumped air freshener and who gave you a tissue if you were under its spray.

Oh happy days, complete satisfaction!


Gonville Road,


A close shave from bombing

I read with interest the Front Line Town map showing where the bombs fell during the Second World War.

I remember one night in particular. I lived at 1 Colomb Road in Gorleston. The alarm siren blared out and my mother told me to run up the back garden path and get into the Anderson shelter at the top end of the garden. Like most other houses we also had a Morrison shelter in our front room.

I don’t remember hearing the explosion of a bomb which demolished the house at 11 Colomb Road.

The following morning my grandfather went to the remains of this house where two women had lived to see if they had escaped.

All he found in the back garden was a slipper with a foot still in it.

After the war ended the Mercury published a map showing where the bombs fell. The bomb which demolished number 11 was the first of a stick of three bombs. The second and third bombs fell in or near Priory Street.

I mentally drew a line between these three explosions and found that the line passed right over the top of our back garden.

If the bomb had been released one or two seconds later then I wouldn’t be writing this letter.

I am now 79 years old, 80 next month, and have been living on “borrowed time” for well over 70 years.

“C’est la vie” as the French put it.


Church Road,


Joy of Norfolk in April time

Having just spendt four nights in the James Paget Hospital as an 80-year-old for a full check up I was very impressed indeed by the various forms of attention and care around the clock by a wide range of busy staff.

Has it developed to the high demands of the local population since the 1890s when its namesake Sir James Paget was amusingly mentioned at the Opera Comique in April 1881? The show Patience by William Gilbert mentions among other famous people ‘coolness of Paget about to trepan.’

Some locals are singing that still in a concert at Gorleston in July.

My experience has brought personally into focus the fine work of our National Health Service from which so many benefit. Thank you so much.

On another note it was so good to walk up Jasmine Gardens in Bradwell as usual to the Mill Lane recreation ground where a few people are seen daily walking dogs, talking, and children using the skateboard facility.

What a pleasant surprise last weekend to see the field covered with people, cars, colourful players’ shirts and tents for an end of season football tournament.

One hundred years ago a writer when abroad jotted down his thoughts: “Oh to be in England now that April’s there.”

Perhaps many people in their own countries like me think “Norfolk!”


Mill Lane,


Lady brought joy to many

I was saddened to read in your paper of the death of Stephanie Rouse, a lady who brought joy to the lives of many.

I was fortunate enough to work with her for some years at the Sixth Form College in Gorleston and I am sure that I speak for many former colleagues when I say she was a delight to work with and enlightened the lives of many people in no small measure. A sad loss.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Waiting lists will increase

The government would have us believe its overhaul of the NHS is intended to produce greater efficiency and better care. In order to achieve this highly desirable end it will jettison waiting times, clamp down on surgery of “limited clinical value” and do away with some surgery altogether.

The result, of course, is that waiting lists will increase as patients wait longer, possibly in great pain. People needing hip replacements will be among those waiting longer. This happened to my mother before waiting targets were introduced and I witnessed the agony she was in for a year before having a replacement.

How will this improve care?

There is already a recruitment crisis in the NHS with a shortage of nurses and doctors. Record numbers of GP surgeries have closed in the last year, yet the government has proposed a charge of £1,000 to be levied on each immigrant worker, including those coming to work in the NHS. How are hospitals to afford this from their already overstretched budgets?

While staff from the EU are more reluctant to come to the UK to work in these uncertain post Brexit times, our hospitals and care homes would grind to a halt without them.

We also face the prospect of further hospital bed closures in coming years, in addition to those which have already taken place. There are regularly major alerts by hospitals which can not cope with ever increasing numbers of patients, and the leader of the BMA has stated that the NHS is at breaking point.

Two thirds of NHS trusts and foundation trusts were in default last year.

Despite all of this the NHS staff do a wonderful job. However the future looks bleak unless the service is adequately funded. I, for one, am tired of cuts being called “efficiencies”.

The NHS is safe in Tory hands? I don’t think so!


Hawthorn Crescent,


Fond memories of hospitals

How pleased I was to see the picture of Gorleston Hospital. I was nursing at Great Yarmouth Hospital for general nursing and Gorleston Hospital for medical nursing.

I loved being sent to Gorleston. It was small and everyone was so friendly, including Matron Appleby in her grey uniform.

Is there anyone local besides me (now) who remembers these wonderful days in 1956 to 1968?


nee Curtis