Readers’s letters, June 30 2017

Did authorities overreact here?

I wonder if there are other readers who share my sense of over reaction by the authorities from two items that appeared in the Mercury two weeks ago, June 16.

The first item was on page 2 and concerned a Stalham schoolboy who was threatened with suspension following a charity head shave after growing his hair for two years. His new look was branded “extreme” but his long hairstyle before looked more extreme than this!

The second item on page 12 concerned a drunken confused man (62) who was attempting to cut off his trouser legs on a hot day with a pair of scissors. He thought a group of children in Regent Road were laughing at him and swore at them and waved the scissors at them.

He was sentenced to 145 days in prison. Although his actions were clearly unacceptable was this substantial prison sentence the best way to deal with this matter?

In the UK we send more people to our already overcrowded and in some cases unsuitable prisons than most other European countries. I feel that in both these cases the authorities have over reacted and failed to see the bigger picture - does anyone agree? Or am I the one not seeing these situations for what they are?


Most Read


Elite examples of what NHS can do

While visiting family in Bradwell our 26 year old daughter Danielle became very ill and was admitted to A&E, followed by the EADU unit in the James Paget Hospital.

After suffering from multiple cancers in her short lifetime and then presenting with symptoms of stroke and possible meningitis the doctors and staff treated her with great care and attention. Once moved to the EADU ward Danielle’s health rapidly declined, acute respiratory failure ensued, pneumonia was diagnosed, but after aggressive intervention tragically only palliative care could be offered.

Oh my, what care both Danielle and ourselves received.

We where allowed to stay day and night by her bedside, and after almost three weeks she found her peace, and throughout it all the love, respect, care, friendship and support from all of the staff in all roles showed to us was exemplary.

They are elite examples of what the NHS can do. We have experienced many hospitals and the care they provide over the years, always good, but the James Paget has been amazing.

The Chaplains support over the nearly three weeks went above and beyond too, their faith and support every day kept us going and always will.

We would like to personally thank them all from the bottom of our hearts for making our daughter’s last journey in life and our hardest more bearable.



‘Vigilantes’ are checking speed

I wish to inform all drivers travelling through north Yarmouth, particularly along North Drive near Beaconsfield Road of the presence of North Yarmouth speedwatch control.

A friend has been caught travelling at 34mph and has now been fined. I wish to ask your readers and the authorities the following questions:

1 What are the rules and training given to these vigilantes?

2 When is the equipment calibrated?

3 Why is the calibration certificate only shown when you apply via a court appearance?

4 Why are said individuals (in the interests of safety) not out in the rain, wind, snow or late at night between 10pm and midnight?

I believe the money being paid to these people and the police has nothing to do with minor traffic offences but is a funding exercise to support our councils and services.

If any legal representative reads this I would like further information on the legality of minor speeding offences as there used to be a discretion of 10pc plus three. I have checked all the facts and any further information would not only help my friend but all drivers going about their daily business.


Shakespeare Road,

Great Yarmouth

My holiday home is now at risk

I own a chalet in Hemsby and only use it about three times a year. l do not let it out so the increase in council tax is going to be a lot more money to pay out of our pension, that’s if l keep it.

l have had it now for 29 years and we love going there but if this increase continues l will have to sell it because l am know paying £97 a month instead of £49, as well as my council tax at home at £128 a month.


Woodview Drive,


Carnival revival was a success

A fantastic community spirited day! The official re-launch of the remodelled Caister Carnival Village Experience cannot be called anything other than a great success!

After a call for help from the Village Playing Field Management Committee, locals took ownership of each part of the day. Leon Smith of The Norfolk Poultry Club spent a very busy day answering questions about his chickens and ducks, whilst the Womens Institute provided some games and refreshments.

In the refreshment marquee, they ran out of food early due to its success and had to send runners out to collect more. Mocha gave tray bakes. Others who answered the call to help were The Dragons Stage and Theatre School who organised the arena, Guineapiggles Pet Hotel with their fantastic pet show, Martham and District Dog Training Society were epic with the dog classes and demonstration. The Community Centre provided the bar and the YMCA security. The Parish Council jumped in to provide free inflatables, publicity and photography. Local businesses like the Eastern Beach Caravan Park, Sarah J’s, Mocha, Caister Vets and Co-op Funeral gave up their time to help on the day, donate, sell programmes and advertise.

The GYTBIA funding for the marquees was vital. Tesco helped with a hamper too, and all the arena performers were fantastic. Please look at Caister Parish Council Facebook page and the Carnival page for all the photos and participants, and roll on next year!


Gull was eating leftover chips

Totally agree with the sentiments expressed by Glen Johnson (June 23) concerning the state of the town centre as a result of the infestation of gulls seeking leftover food.

The centre is shabby enough without the extra decoration from gulls.

I was about to write on the same subject after seeing a gull calmly standing on a dining table outside a cafe on Regent Road eating leftover chips - I don’t imagine that the table would have been wiped over before the next customers sat down to eat.

Gulls are well known carriers of salmonella bacteria and we won’t be eating at that cafe!

I wonder if the Mercury should invite the borough council to respond. Other town centres have local laws making it an offence to feed gulls and perhaps the same should apply here - presumably environmental health will have a view of the potential impact of large numbers of gulls.

You featured a recent article where a local company was using hawks to deter birds - opportunity here too?




I want MP to have finger on pulse

We have all read or heard the various comments intimating that our MP Brandon Lewis does not spend enough time in his constituency. Prior to Brexit in Brandon’s first years as MP he came over strongly in favour of Britain staying in the EU.

After Brexit he assured the voters he was fully in favour. I don’t know how the residents of Great Yarmouth feel but I would prefer out MP to be in London with his finger on the pulse especially now that he is Minister for Immigration, a Cabinet position.

Britain’s inability to expel convicted criminals has long been an upset to those interested in what is happening around us. There are some 6,000 foreign offenders awaiting deportation, in total there are believed to be 13,000 foreign offenders

In 2015, just 44 criminals were repatriated to the EU, and just 14 of the 645 inmates are in English and Welsh jails, a ludicrous situation. It is these figures that caused Brexit to be born.

You want Brexit to supply what the majority of Brits voted for and so do I, the Immigration Secretary will have his hands full and I presume he will be an important cog in David Davis’s inner-wheel as immigration is the most important subject which comes before all else.

How on earth can Brandon be in two places at once, he is in the constituency at weekends. Instead of mouthing off on him not spending time in Yarmouth let us be thankful the person now in charge of immigration is our MP and he is doing what he promised he would, attempting to make a success of Brexit.


Burnt Lane,


Help me find my grandfather

I’m trying to find my grandad who I know still lives in Great Yarmouth. His name is John Elliott, and I know he used to work in the Pleasure Beach. He would be in his 60s or 70s now.

I have an old photograph showing him holding me when I was very young.

I have contacted multiple people in my search and someone suggested to make an appeal in the local newspaper. If anyone can help me, I can be contacted on



High Street will be pulsating

Over the years people, unlike myself, have found cause to moan that not a lot of money has been invested in Gorleston.

Now at last something is moving, in the shape of a Wetherspoon pub.

Yarmouth already has one, which I may say gives us the main reason to go up town. One here in Gorleston will really put a heart into the place to boost its dwindling appeal.

This, coupled with the promise of a cinema, will start things pulsating. Bus stops right outside.

Well done to both these investments.


Gonville Road,


Many bones were found on site

Your item (June 23) about the finding of a crypt on the Wetherspoon site in Gorleston High Street mentions also Paul Godfrey’s recollection of being shown when a pupil in 1962, a human skull from excavations then under way in Priory Street.

It is a reminder that until the mid 16th century, the Priory of the Augustine Friars, founded 300 years earlier, had occupied a large area of land in Gorleston.

The priory premises were bounded by High Street, High Road, Beccles Road, Church Road and the churchyard of St Andrew’s.

The great south-west gate stood close to the foot of Burnt Lane – the name deriving from a fire in the priory buildings which devastated the neighbourhood.

Gorleston priory was a place of burial favoured by a number of eminent persons including the Earl of Clare, three Earls of Suffolk and Alexander Fastolffe. Upon dissolution, the priory was sold in 1544, parcelled out and built upon.

In 1933, Gorleston historian H R Teasdale wondered “what had become of the illustrious dead buried with the sacred walls?” He quotes a source as saying: “the labourers are now sacrilegiously pulling up the pavement of the church, and skulls, legs, arms and other bones of the dead lie about as though it were more a bone-house or a dog kennel.”

The walls of the conventual church which is said to have stood on the line of the present Priory Street, were pulled down in 1760 when several stone coffins, elaborately decorated, were found. In 1768 another demolition to the north-west led to the finding of a skeleton complete with his cockleshell hat, the headgear of a pilgrim.

The remains of the church tower finally collapsed in 1813.

When digging the foundations of the drill hall in Priory Street began in 1902, a number of skeletons were disinterred.

All this tends to suggest that digging down anywhere on or in proximity to the former priory domain could lead to the discovery of further evidence here, until 470 years ago, of one of the larger religious houses of East Anglia, suppressed by Henry VIII.

I note the reports of the recent find, have no conjecture as to the age of the human remains discovered.


London Road South,


One God but three persons

On Gorleston seafront a while ago I spoke to two nice Jehovah’s Witness ladies. Like Muslims and Mormons they deny God is a triune Being: one God, but three persons. Yet the Bible from beginning to end teaches both God’s plurality and His oneness.

Its first verse, Genesis 1:1, says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word here for “God” is Elohim, a plural, meaning literally “Gods”. Then in Genesis 1:26 God says: “Let Us [plural] make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”; and the text goes on to say in verse 27: “So Elohim created man in His [singular] own image.” And in Genesis 3:22 He says: “Behold, the man has become like one of Us.”

In the New Testament too we read of the triune God. Jesus says: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me”

(John 15:26). And in Matthew 28:19, before returning to heaven, the risen Lord Jesus tells His eleven apostles: “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Note, “name of”, not “names of” – the eternal Yahweh Elohim is one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Albemarle Road,


1940s day did not deliver promise

Before the Mercury puts its spin on the 1940s day can I just say what a disappointment I thought it was? We were promised so much and delivered so little.

There were no programmes available so we knew what was happening (most people were unaware of the display in The Minster!) and we asked about entertainment were told “bands on now, might be something later!!”

Like other people we got dressed up and went into town with the family. Where there were the vintage cars, an abundance of stalls, dancers and other things I was led to believe were available? And nobody was able to give any information. after a boring 45 minutes we ended up down Regent Road for luncheon then went over to Gorleston for the afternoon.

We weren’t the only ones. Many people turned up and it was so embarrassing. There was an opportunity to do something spectacular, to pull in local groups and clubs and have an incredible day ... instead it was a damp squib! Come on Great Yarmouth let’s get together and do something stupendous and community based and show what a wonderful place this can be!



Caister event an Experience!

Can I offer my congratulations to Ruth Bond-Holland, president of Caister Women’s Institute, her colleagues and a dedicated band of helpers, supporters, members of Caister Parish Council, who provided the children’s play equipment and photographer, Dragon Stage and Theatre School, The Guinea Piggles small animal hotel. Martham and District Dog Training Society, representative from the Norfolk Poultry Club, all the stall holders and local businesses and exhibitors including Caister Lifeboat crew and equipment , and the many residents who attended to support the Caister Village Experience and make it such a success.

The amount of time it takes to organise an event such as this takes months of planning and support from all those involved. So, thank you, I along with many others enjoyed the afternoon and not too much pressure look forward to next year’s event.


Ward Councillor for Caister North

County Councillor for Caister Division

Surely seagulls a health hazard?

I agree wholeheartedly with the email from Glen Johnson.

I have lived in Great Yarmouth all my life – over 70 years, and I have never seen so much seagull droppings in the town and surrounding streets. It’s on cars, roads, everywhere.

I have seen the seagulls swooping on young children and taking the food out of their hands! Something must be done, especially in the Market Place area. Surely it must be a health hazard?


Arundel Road, Readers’s letters, June 23 2017

Great Yarmouth