Rent? It should be demolished
I WAS very surprised that Great Yarmouth Borough Council has decided to ask for rental offers on the former lifeguard building on the Lower Esplanade in Gorleston, more especially as that area is to be incorporated with the existing historical and conservation area.
I WAS very surprised that Great Yarmouth Borough Council has decided to ask for rental offers on the former lifeguard building on the Lower Esplanade in Gorleston, more especially as that area is to be incorporated with the existing historical and conservation area. The building in question is totally out of character with a conservation area and should be demolished, which would open up the area to views of the sea and beach.
In addition, the historic terrace of shops on the Lower Esplanade more than adequately caters for the needs of people visiting that area and any other outlet would only be a duplication of that which they already provide.
Past and present occupants of the terrace have always striven to maintain the buildings in first class condition whilst retaining their historic character. They always offer an excellent service to the public and should receive every encouragement for their efforts in helping to bring visitors to the town who are looking for an alternative to Great Yarmouth.
Furthermore I would suggest whoever is responsible for offering this obsolete building as a rental opportunity should first ascertain how much the occupants of the terrace contribute to the economy in business rates and seriously reconsider their present proposals.
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CONGRATULATIONS to our council, the workers and shop-keepers for the way Gorleston seafront looks this year - a great benchmark or template for the future. The shops look refreshed with a coat of paint, seats have replaced the ugly beach huts and there is an ambience not seen for several years.
There is little more needs adding, apart from continued care and attention, some seats for the shelters, a makeover and enlargement for the pier car park and a revamp of the nearby shelter. The Pavilion and the Ocean Rooms perhaps need a little TLC. The trampolines, etc would be better sited next to the paddling pool now there are seats for parents to watch. I think all agree that the old lifeguard hut near the bandstand is now an eyesore and surplus to requirement and I hope all plans for a two-storey restaurant and parking on the prom are now completely dead and buried.
Unlike many resorts, our High Street isn't adjacent to the seafront and there is little to tempt visitors to shop there, particularly when shopkeepers need all the help they can get. No buses to take them, no signs to attract them to drive there when wet. How about a signed, interesting walk via the riverside, which can be done if there is the will? These are some of the ideas that need investigating, together with participation and ideas from the businesses.
We are fortunate in having a good shopping centre in Gorleston which is always busy and we don't want to lose it, so now we are getting good visitor numbers at the resort, we ought be planning to help other sectors by encouraging more short-stay and longer visits and there are ways to do this.
Let's hope the weather is going to be kind to us this summer so we can all enjoy the delights of Gorleston and shops and businesses can look forward to a record year.
HOW many people read the Mercury on Friday, April 17, re parking on West Road. Norfolk County Council thinks Caister-on-Sea is a town, the schedule worded “in the town of Caister-on-Sea.” Perhaps someone on a vast salary will tell us where people visiting the doctor's, dentist, and the pharmacy will be able to park, particularly the disabled.
THE call for information about the mysterious “Auntie Marjorie” in last week's Mercury sparked interest.
Of course, we knew the answer but wanted to know if readers also recalled their membership of the Mercury Juniors Club.
Former Mercury man Tony Mallion did, and he wrote: “The club was set up by the long-serving editor Wilfred Bunting, who retired in 1974. It was run, with total an utter dedication, by Gwen Reynolds (her identity was a closely-guarded secret) who was head teacher at Wroughton School. Each week her column and the names of birthdays arrived, meticulously typed from her home in Stradbroke Road, Gorleston. It's true there was a badge and she always sent a printed card to every member on their birthday. I seem to recall - since I was a member in my childhood - that the embarrassment was the fact the cards used to arrive beyond the age when a boy would want to still be a member of the Juniors Corner! Later when I joined the Mercury and then became its chief reporter for ten years from 1974, it was my joy to get to know Gwen, a lovely lady, who continued with the task for many years after she retired. She was an active member of St Andrew's Church and a keen supporter of St Andrew's Festival to which she donated a cup, which is still awarded during the competitive festival. So her name lives on!”
Thanks Tony. The column was axed when Peter Ware took over as editor. Today, it is known as the Hollywood Birthday Club and has more than 2,000 members.
DO they perform personality transplants? If so, perhaps a few First Bus drivers should be first in the queue! My daughter travels to college every day by First Bus and is disgusted at the rudeness of some drivers.
She explained that one morning she got to the bus as it was just pulling away. Instead of stopping to let her on, the driver just stared and drove off. On another occasion she was waiting for the bus in Gorleston High Street when the driver went straight past and had the ignorance to give her a little wave as he drove by. Yes, I know that most drivers are courteous and polite and yes, we constantly read in the press that drivers are abused by some young people, but this is a minority. Perhaps if they generated a happier, positive attitude, things may be different.
IN reply to Glenda Harlow's letter, April 17 “Vets fees.” There is an RSPCA hut at the bottom of Lawn Avenue opposite the side entrance to a doctor's surgery. I'm sure they will be helpful.
I WAS a little ashamed yet proud to attend the service in St George's Park last Sunday morning that marked the repositioning of a plaque honouring the “Bravest of the Brave,” the Gurkha Soldier.
No one having served or come into contact with the Gurkhas, as I have, can forget how inspirational they can be; their cheerful disposition and smiling faces can be both reassuring… and deceptive!
Many ex service associations were absent because they had not been aware of this service, consequently there was a poor attendance. But, it was quality and not quantity that counted in the end and the ex services associations that did attend were joined by members and instructors of TS Fearless and TS Norfolk who, with many of their family members, gave the visiting army personnel a warm welcome.
But the cleanliness of St George's Park left a lot to be desired and the drinking fraternity, having drunk, left their cans inside the railings of the 1914-1918 memorial! At such a gathering I would have thought that a police presence would have been the norm?
Compounding the lack of attendance on such an important occasion for Great Yarmouth, the only “borough” representative available to greet the visiting high ranking army officers, was Cllr Paul Garrod acting in his capacity of deputy mayor.
Despite this, it was gratifying to see that Cannon Michael Woods had come out of “retirement” to officiate, as usual, in his own inimitable way.
The memorial plaque, having lain forgotten for many years behind St George's Church, has now been moved to a location befitting the affection and esteem it reflects. For over three centuries of loyal service, the name Gurkha has become synonymous with the term “Soldiers of the Queen” (King) and it is fitting that the plaque be located in the Great Yarmouth war memorial as a mark of respect and to honour those that have fallen fighting for this country over many years.
THE Easter Fair appears to grow every year and takes over the town from early Wednesday afternoon until the small hours of Monday morning when they finish packing up to go away. The whole of Kitchener Road and the top end of Northgate Street was at a standstill on Wednesday afternoon when vehicles were queuing up to take up their allotted spaces on the Fullers Hill car park.
I went to town at 3pm to purchase plants for my garden from one of the country stalls only to find that they were packing up to go home. Why is this happening? The fair used to move in on Thursday with no disruption to the Wednesday market.
What do the stallholders think of finishing early on Wednesday and missing the whole of Saturday to accommodate the fair?
I went up again on Saturday to find vehicles belonging to the fair were double parked on Whitehorse Plain and what concerned me most, on the grass outside the Fisherman's Hospital. The emergency services would find access extremely difficult if they had to attend an incident.
The east side of the Market Place was also difficult for disabled and wheelchair bound members of the public to access. It appears that health and safety issues that would normally apply are being overlooked.
I am not opposed to the fair as such, but it has grown too big and is allowed to disregard the laws that apply to the rest of us. And holding it again on the Sunday without consulting anybody is just too much.
HELL and hallelujah. I was pleased to learn from Mrs Always' letter in last week's Mercury that in the service to mark Canon Wood's departure “there were throngs of people singing their hearts out, in the splendour of St Nicholas'.” They must have been in good voice to drown the competing beat of The Terminator drawing a different crowd to the fair on Fuller's Hill car park. Most of the residents of Falcon Court, Northgate Street and Priory Plain were indoors praying for silence and the Sunday fair experiment to end.
ORGANISERS of public events are obliged by law to provide adequate toilet facilities for the public to attend.
As the nearest public toilets on the Conge were shut at 5pm none were available for those attending the Easter Fair, in particular those on the Fullers Hill car park where the most extreme rides were situated. These attracted crowds of young teenagers carrying cans of drink. Unable to find toilets they used doorways, alleyways, and any dark corner to relieve themselves, leaving the residents of nearby properties with the unpleasant task of clearing up the mess on the following morning.
This is a public health hazard that lays the organisers open to prosecution, and should be addressed before next year's fair is held.
REFERRING to Mark Moyse's letter concerning the supply of halal meat and the treatment of animals to provide this. I contacted the RSPCA about this some time ago and I also wrote to a government minister asking why this barbaric treatment was allowed to go on. Needless to say the replies were totally negative.
The method of slaughter for animals in this country is controlled by animal health regulations which are some of the best in the world and which of course we abide by. Why then, is an exception made to these regulations for a small minority of people who want something different. There must be no exception to the humane killing of animals for whatever reason.
Ormesby St Margaret
LAST week I was grateful that you broke the rules and published Bloaters' letter about the mystery Yarmouth plaque.
This week the smile is fading with the revelation I am the owner of this wretched souvenir. However, with great speed I have removed the thing from its decorative wall mount, and it is now within a floor safe at this address, and I have put a note to that effect where the plaque normally rested, advising the thieves to try elsewhere.
I must admit I am surprised there are alleged to be two of these in brass, existing in the Mayor's parlour. At one stage (in a fit of generosity) I aimed to give this one of mine “back to the town” from whom it was nicked.
Actually it is good that awareness has been stirred momentarily, and, if the thieves do not call, I am glad to have been part of that.
LAST week's story on “Eyesore Bridge”; how many times over the years have people of Great Yarmouth read about the so-called bridge getting a makeover? When I read the story I had to check it was not April 1 as it's a joke. If you use the station like a lot of people do, it is one big embarrassment to walk over each day, and think just when are they going to take this down.
Okay, I know there are people out there who will say it's part of Yarmouth's heritage, and that may be so, but at end of the day all it will get if we are lucky is a coat of paint, with the headline “Thousands of pounds spent on bridge makeover,” but it still will be one heap of rusting junk.
Forget the millions of pounds the county council spend on Yarmouth's front, that's all they ever do, and for what, about 15 weeks tourist trade? Mondey needs to be spent on taking that bridge down and erecting a nice new one, and doing something about the land each side of the bridge. All we ever hear from the county council is there will be a “feasibility study” or we will seek funding. Just do something!
A QUESTIONNAIRE being sent out to local voters on behalf of Tory hopeful Brandon Lewis talks about “�5,000,000 secured by Conservative councillors to rejuvenate hotels and guest houses.”
About �1.5m is indeed being allocated by the Labour Government for a SHARP2 project centred in the Nelson Road South and Camperdown area, including the makeover of a number of existing and redundant hotel buildings. The lion's share - �3.5m is long-awaited investment in the Southtown area of Yarmouth - badly affected in the 1953 floods and still awaiting some serious housing investment, first promised around the time of the building of the western bypass in 1985-6. There is a significant absence of guest houses there!
The residents of Southtown need an immediate reassurance that money earmarked for their properties will be spent on them and not diverted elsewhere. About time the Tories got their facts straight if they want to be taken seriously.
Southown and Cobholm
WITH reference to the article in the Mercury, March 24, “Questions over nurses' uniforms”
While I consider myself unqualified to comment, with any authority, on the arguments for or against nurses wearing their uniforms while travelling between their homes and their workplace, I do find it rather strange that no one, including the press, have noticed that doctors travel to work in their own non-uniform clothes, perform procedures, consultancy duties etc close to patients, then travel home in the same clothes.
I seem to recall that, several years ago, doctors used to don white coats at work, but that practice appears to have been dropped and the rules governing nurses dress code does not apply to other medical staff.
I FEEL compelled to put pen to paper concerning the outstanding performance of the Dusmagrik dance troupe at the Hippodrome last Saturday night. They not only abound with talent but they gave a superb, professional performance of songs from the 1950s up to the present day. The dance interpretations were unique and inspiring. Half way through the show a female performer did an awesome agility dance around a mesh like curtain suspended from the ceiling. She did not have a safety harness or a safety net but she hung on through her expertise of movement and by wrapping net around her foot and arms. A truly breathtaking performance!
At the end of the show they received a well deserved standing ovation.
It is so encouraging to see young people from the ages of six years to adulthood showing their talents and enjoying every minute of it. Well done Dusmagrik.
MRS ELIZABETH ALWAY
Could you please thank Kevin Jeckells, of the Great Yarmouth Gilbert and Sullivan Society, for suggesting, and then helping to organising a joint concert between them and Broadland Youth choir. It was an extremely enjoyable evening and good to see two very different choirs joining together. The money raised will be very helpful in allowing the youth choir to return, as invited, to the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, in July.
The Green, Stalham