Readers’ letters, August 4 2017

Disability can be a hidden one

Since a shocking diagnosis in 2008 I am on strong medications to keep me alive and due to a combination of these medications I have high and low moods which dips into depression out of the blue, this is one disability which cannot be seen.

I’ve also been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy which is permanent nerve damage and effects my walking and carrying.

The only time you see me getting out of the car in a disabled bay is when I’m rested enough to be able to leave the house and carrying out any chores, mainly food shopping and when my mood is not low enough to make me stay at home.

So there may be times when you see me limping out of my car and maybe other times when I’m strong enough both physically and mentally to step out of my car looking very well. But the sight of me does not explain the sensations of continuous pain I carry and the feelings in my head like I’ve been turned inside out and drowning.

Enough about me dear reader, let’s talk about Mr Cooper.

One of Mr Cooper’s original points was that all these people seem to have shiny expensive new cars and this is because of the mobility scheme dear sir.

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If you have high rate mobility issues then you can transfer some of your money into the car scheme. This means that every three years you can have a brand-new car and this comes with free insurance and free tax. We even get help with repairs like tyres.

Some people with mobility issues would want these great features to give them peace of mind and more chances to get out of the house and be able to do activities that they may not do if they were driving an old broken down car, always worried about the rising bill of repairs of being scared of breaking down by the side of the road.

It’s not easy getting a blue badge especially now that Pip has replaced Dla which is a disgusting move by the government to increase the goalposts of accessing money to help with your disabilities.

To talk about the way the government has implemented Pip and is victimising the disabled in trying to raise cash for some of its crazier schemes is a whole new letter.

I just want to say not all disabilities are visible and many can be fluctuating and if I can speak about myself the only time you see me out of my house is one well enough to do so I have inner strength to push through my depression into force myself out the front door for food shopping.

Mainly by the time I return home I’m exhausted and sometimes feel what is the point of living, but this part of disabilities is what you never see as is done behind closed doors in private and alone.

Even I used to look at people getting out of their fancy cars and tried to play the game of “diagnosing” their condition as they seem to look healthy and move normally. That was before the deterioration of my mental and physical self and I now look at these very same people and offer help when I’m clearheaded enough.

It does feel like only the disabled help disabled these days but sometimes it does feel like we have to stick together and keep our heads raised high.

And I have this section of text from the mobility scheme website: “The car must be used by, or for the benefit of, the disabled person. This does not mean that the disabled person needs to be in the car for every journey. In practice, this means that other named drivers in the same household can use the car for shopping, visiting family and other routine activities, so long as the disabled customer will benefit.”

So maybe this is what can confuse people, including me, in the past?

Name and Address withheld

Amazing story of car handover

I was most impressed to read the story in the Great Yarmouth Mercury regarding a new home for the little adapted 2002 Nissan Micra which started as a scrap car collected by Mr Leon Docwra.

His idea to put the little car back into use on our roads to a suitable and deserving person was in my opinion nothing short of amazing. In these modern times of many people only thinking of greed and making money for themselves it’s lovely to see this man thinking of others less fortunate and above all getting other local business people to get on board and help.

Well done to all concerned and well done Great Yarmouth. I hope the little car enjoys its new venture in Plymouth and goes on to serve its new owner for a few more years to come.



Gulls in town are more aggressive

The Norwich Evening News had a two-part article on seagulls causing a nuisance in Norwich.

Being a resident of Great Yarmouth I have noticed that the gulls in the Market Place have become more aggressive over recent months. This problem, therefore, affects us as well as Norwich. Surely a solution can be found.



Vibrant centre of music and fun

Gorleston was definitely the only place to be last weekend, as it was temporarily transformed into a vibrant centre of music, fun and community at the Clifftop Festival.

It was fantastic, and actually quite moving to see people of all ages enjoying themselves catching up with friends old and new. There was a lovely friendly atmosphere throughout the weekend, and quite literally something for everyone.

Those involved must be warmly congratulated for the immense amount of work involved. The weekend closed with the now traditional firework display, people lining the length of the clifftop to watch.

For such an event to be staged on such a grand scale by a small town was nothing short of phenomenal. I was incredibly proud to be there, and Gorleston needs to be proud of what it achieved!


Christopher Close,


Promote what we have to offer

I visited the newly opened Nelson and Norfolk exhibition at the Castle Museum, Norwich on Saturday, July 29. A member of the Nelson Society was also in the queue. We had to wait for a wedding party to go in first and commented on the wonderful photo opportunity with the panoramic view from the battlements.

Visitors to the exhibition (I spent two hours there) will come from all over the country and further afield, which could include a visit to Great Yarmouth and its Nelson Museum, Norfolk Pillar, the plaque marking the Jetty destroyed but not by a storm, and the blue plaque on the Pier Hotel in Gorleston.

Admiral Horatio Nelson landed at Gorleston following his victory at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. I spoke to a family, including a wheelchair user, who wanted to visit the Nelson Monument, and told them there was a regular bus service from Market Gates, dropping you off just a short walk away. This should be advertised, as many visitors don’t see it.

JULIE GRINT Springfield,


A man who knew how to teach

It was with sadness that I read that Mr Basil Littleproud has died. I attended the Hospital School from 1955 to 60. He was the boys science teacher as well as being deputy head.

A short man with hair on his shoulders, he was a friend, but a disciplinarian. You knew where the line was drawn. He knew how to teach by making his lessons interesting, and was also ahead of his time by teaching human reproduction when it was a taboo subject.

I thank him for the help and guidance he gave me both at school and later when I left and still felt I could go back and talk.

Sir, the world was a better place for you being in it.

May I also say how proud I am to have gone to the Hospital School. It was very much looked down upon, but with Mr Balfour taking over as head and the support from some very good teachers it gave me a first class start.



Blooming good luck to library

I would like to wish good luck to the Gardening Club at Great Yarmouth Library, whose garden is about to be judged in the Anglia In Bloom competition. The volunteers work hard and do a fantastic job. Here’s hoping they go one better than last year’s silver.



Perfume better than body odour

After reading a letter is last week’s Mercury regarding “Perfume stink on bus”, I felt I had to make a comment.

Recently I travelled on an X11 from Norwich to Gorleston, completely full bus downstairs and upstairs, and I would have been very grateful for a perfumed smell.

A passenger behind me stunk of body odour which to say was unpleasant is an under statement. I realise that when we travel on public transport we sometimes have to accept that not all smells are to our liking. We have a good public transport service of which we have the choice to use or not.



A cracking paper with local news

I thought I would write and say what a cracking edition last week’s paper was. It was bursting with interesting and local news on every page and this is to be welcomed because lately it has felt rather thin in content.

There were some really great items including the very good news about Harbour Radio and this tied in so well with Chloe Dudley’s inspiring column about volunteering there and how she felt so welcomed. This was a brave and encouraging piece about how anxiety can affect young people, so thanks to this writer who rightly extols the many benefits of ‘getting yourself out there’ and reaping the rewards.

It was also great to see again the lovely picture of Valerie Howkins and her unique charity museum and it to be hoped it can continue in some form. I would also mention the superb photos of the Civic Service held in St Mary’s Catholic Church where I would reiterate the comments of Mike Spragg, it was indeed a wonderful and special Civic Service, which I am positive with holidaymakers present they too would have enjoyed and relished the pageantry and solemnity of this event.

So it is praise all round and keep up the good work with plenty of coverage of all that is happening within the borough, although I appreciate it is now the ‘silly season’ where there maybe a deficit of news as everyone enjoys hopefully a warm and relaxing August.

Amongst all this affirmation I would flag up the lack of reviews recently of home grown talent in the area. I always so enjoyed the often very positive input of Caroline Buddery, Tony Mallion and Margaret Willis. Being a member of a local choir, it is always the icing on the cake to read an affirmative appraisal of the event or if not, constructive and positive feedback is always to be welcomed.

I would conclude with the inspiring idea of Julie Staff to illuminate the biggest tree in St George’s Park and this is a good metaphor for the Great Yarmouth Mercury, it should also illuminate great stories concerning the young and old in our community and this edition did exactly that with obviously a letter from your regular correspondent John Cooper to bring us all down to earth ... with a bump!


Winifred Road,


Editor’s note: Thanks Judith. Nice to receive a plaudit instead of a complaint! We are part of the community and aim to reflect the news and views here.

Gulls killing our garden birds

We are affronted by the suggestion we have to move if we don’t like gulls.

We have lived in our chalet bungalow for 59 years and think we have a right to see out our days here.

We never had any problems with gulls until about five years ago. They clog dance and scream on our flat roof from 3am nightly.

Also nobody mentions the fact they kill garden birds. We always had at least three blackbirds nesting and sparrows and blue its. I personally saw one sweep down and take two fledgling blackbirds, one after the other. I couldn’t do anything only shout.

Now our garden has been barren for at least two years, not even a starling.

This can’t go on, each pair of gulls have three young every year, then they go on to have three, and they live 25 years. That’s a lot of gulls.


Address withheld

Where’s courtesy on our buses?

Sitting outside the Troll Cart in the afternoon on August 1, on two occasions I watched as people less then a few yards from the bus were ignored by the drivers who closed the doors and drove off.

The first I saw was two elderly men, who were less than 10ft from the bus and tried to get on. The driver shut the doors and looked the other way as he drove off.

The second occasion was when we saw a teenager trying to get the driver to stop the bus. He did push the button to open the door from the outside but the driver closed it and drove off. When we spoke to the young man he told me he had put his backpack on the bus which contained his laptop and wallet.

He got asked by someone who wanted to know where to get a bus and in the few seconds it took him to explain, the driver had closed the door and had driven off, which is why this poor lad was so desperate to get back on. All he could do was wait for the bus to return and hope his possessions were still there.

He waited anxiously for 15 minutes for the bus to come back as it was a short route to the Barracks. Luckily his possessions were still there, but the driver would not allow him to travel on the bus as he had earlier pushed the emergency door open button. To him it was an emergency as he could have lost a lot of things!

Shame on these two drivers and First bus; making two elderly gentlemen wait and putting this teenager through hell to see if his possessions had been stolen or left.

I can remember a time when drivers were kind and polite and would have waited, but I guess this is the way of the world now.