Where is the crossing?

WHERE is the crossing? This was is the question my 12-year-old son asked me this week when he collided with a car when he was trying to cross Burgh Road after school.

WHERE is the crossing? This was is the question my 12-year-old son asked me this week when he collided with a car when he was trying to cross Burgh Road after school. There was the usual traffic chaos on Burgh Road at school finishing time and I watched my son trying to cross. He was looking both ways waiting for a gap in the traffic and this went on for several minutes. When he did decide to cross he misjudged the car that was passing and stepped out too early and collided with the car. On this occasion fortunately his injuries were only slight. However, it was only too apparent by myself, the driver of the car and the other parents witnessing the incident that it could have been very much worse. There was a sense of shock felt by us all at the sound of a screech of brakes and the sight of a child in such danger! There is no need to place our children in danger when the obvious solution to reduce the risks of negotiating traffic is to provide a safe place to cross. There are several hundred children attending the two Wroughton Schools that use Burgh Road so I repeat my son's question: “Where is the Crossing?”


Shearwater Drive


REGARDING the works required for South Quay: the timing of October must be a nightmare come true for traders and businesses on top of Christmas, as the public with any sense will stay away. And further congestion will infuriate many who suffer enough already during the year. Councillor John Holmes was reported saying that the expected outer harbour traffic increase could be substantial and the geography of Yarmouth tells you whatever you do will be disruptive. So there you have it; a future of increased traffic congestion to look forward to, which could be substantially bad for local people and businesses, similar to what Lowestoft is experiencing now. My view is that Great Yarmouth cannot cope with forced increased traffic congestion. The place is not big enough and if an expected 100 trucks a day, 500 a week, does not slow things down dramatically in a few years time, I do not know what will. The impact on the Gorleston bypass and the Acle Straight could be substantial

Have the planners got it right? Well I hope they are not the same as those involved with the Gapton roundabout.

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DON'T blame the easy targets, from last week's letters by Rachael Hardie. I go through the cemeteries every day and see dogs fouling and people speeding through on their bikes. Both are not allowed. But who cares, is the attitude from these ignorant people who cause so much mayhem, and who knocked over an elderly lady last week. I helped her on her way, the bike did not stop. So much damage has been caused to the cemetery in previous weeks. Rachael Hardie goes on to say people blame drinkers and homeless people for the damage. She said there should be more accommodation for them. At no time has the blame been written about these people, but to put her straight I telephoned three different ads in the Mercury's sister paper the Advertiser last week and was offered three rooms, even though I told them I was on benefit. I know some of the so-called drinkers or homeless and if I caused a nuisance to people around me and didn't care, I too would be homeless from my room, but I choose not to. I also pay my top-up instead of drinking it. People who do then that's their choice and they will suffer for it.


North Denes Road

Great Yarmouth

ON Sunday evening, June 15, I was out late walking my dog, it was quite dark as there was no moon. I was walking along Breydon Road, Cobholm, when suddenly about a dozen teenagers came into view. All along the street they were breaking street lamps. They were literally shaking the posts until the bulbs went pop. I stood there petrified, as being 69 years old I was frightened they might attack me, but because it got quite dark they could not see me. I got home as quick as I could. My wife asked me what was wrong as I could not speak at first, when I did I told her what happened. I phoned the police number at Wymondham and waited several minutes without getting an answer. I then got a message saying this line is busy try again later, after which I dialled 999 and duly reported the incident. I don't know if anything was done about it. The next day, I reported it to street lighting maintenance, but the lights have still not been repaired, I am going to report again this week and see what happens. On the Tuesday, while we were out shopping, we decided to call at the police station to ask if anything had been done about my call. We were told at the desk that 999 calls were put through emergency channels. I was told that somebody would come and see me at my home, and talk to me about it. I am still waiting. What do we pay council tax for?

Name and address withheld

THANKS to Christina Staff of Rushden (Mercury, June 27) for commenting on my letter regarding Yarmouth Isle of Wight.

I did know that the occasion was the “Old Gaffers” Festival. That was the very reason I was there. By the way, for those not in the know, gaffers in this context are gaff rigged sailing vessels. As a regular visitor to Yarmouth and also to Great Yarmouth, when did you last experience the Yarmouth IOW atmosphere here? We do have our Maritime Festival but that is confined to the South Quay area. The purpose of my letter was to indicate the sort of thing Great Yarmouth could achieve with the right will, direction and support. Finally, the only comparison made between the two harbours was with regard to the access situation, and we too should be getting a ferry service. I did not, and could not, comment on the use of our harbour, as it is not yet complete. When it is, I do hope that you'll continue to visit - if you can get here through the traffic!


Forties Close

Caister on Sea

WAKE up Hopton, you are about to lose your pre-school and possibly more. I am stunned to hear that 20 or more families are soon to have the dilemma of transporting their young ones to another village for their early years education. This will also make six qualified employees (some working on minimum wage) jobless. This could also lead to Hopton Primary having less influence on the early education of future incoming reception classes. When we moved to Hopton nearly 20 years ago, quality local education had a significant effect on the price we were willing to pay for our property and no doubt this still applies. In this period of rising fuel costs it's sad to think how many extra car journeys this with generate, the village roads are busy enough already. I only hope that consultation has taken place with all affected parties before a final decision is made. This does not just affect parents with young families; it will affect the whole Hopton community.


Anglian Way

Hopton on Sea

HAVING just read the Peggotty piece on the visitors from outer space (Mercury, June 27) I feel I may be able to throw some light on and offer an alternate theory on the “mystery.” Back in the 1970s it used to be possible to walk along the cliff path from Gorleston to Hopton/Corton as I did many times and passed the site at Hopton as mentioned in the article. To my knowledge and that of many locals, I understood this to be an ex MoD radar base back in the days of the Cold War, complete with underground bunkers and passages long since abandoned. Can I suggest that what the gentleman actually saw from a distance was a MoD worker or maintenance man, in overalls and goggles and not a little green man from a far off galaxy? Anyone familiar with this stretch of coastline will be familiar with lights in the skies and offshore lights so would not be too surprised by this type of visual occurrence. If indeed it was a being from another planet I may well be visited by men in black to erase my memory of past events such as this. Keep watching the skies!



I AM trying to trace any friends or relatives of an old school friend of mine, Barbara Marta Rauer, who was tragically killed in a car accident in Great Yarmouth in the mid 1960's. I believe she lived in Trafalgar Road West, Gorleston, with her maternal grandmother, possibly with the surname of Bradnum. I last saw Barbara when she came to visit me, aged about 14, and then we lost touch. For all these years I have felt that I needed to fill in the gaps between our last meeting and her death. Can anyone help? Please contact me on 01663 734595 or at wfigiel@aol.com.


I AM writing concerning your article on the party at the Never Turn Back, Caister. I attended the so-called rave party on three different occasions over Saturday and Sunday, with both my teenage children. We did not see any of the events that the parish councillor reported. Probably half the population born the 1960s were conceived in the back seats of cars. Remember the 1960s?

I joined my kids and their friends to watch the sunrise in the early hours of the Sunday morning, and I did not see any knickers lying around on the beach. I am 50 and my family and I had a great time. There was no trouble, just youngsters having a good time dancing. I had a bit of a jig, does that make me an “infested raver”, who attends orgies in the small coastal towns? I don't think so.

As for the bonfire there; I have lived in Coastguard Road for five years, overlooking the area of beach referred to and the bonfire has been there for years and lit on many occasions by other residents including parish councillors. They are just youngsters, the same as the kids in the 1960s who had rock 'n' roll. Remember your youth and give them a break.


Coastguard Road


I WAS pleased to see that Oriel High School was shown positively in last week's Mercury, explaining their success and ambitions. The previous week, the article of the closure threat implied negativity. Oriel works hard to remove the negative stigma that can surround it. I don't think the local paper should add to this. I entirely agree with the letter Naomi Palmer wrote last week, and I too feel that the local newspaper should support the local schools. The exam results have always been generally low for the school, but these are not an accurate way of judging success. They have been steadily rising, showing the great improvement at the school. But, the low results could reflect a large number of students with learning disabilities. Every student is able to achieve their goals, and the school makes sure that every student is cared for. Success can be shown in many other ways apart from exam results. Having left in May 2007, I know how positive the school truly is. If the student has a good mind to achieve, then there is nothing to stop them. I was able to be successful at the school, and found that there was excellent support from teachers and a fantastic community atmosphere. The school improved tremendously while I was there, and has improved again since I left. I see no reason why they should not be able to improve further in the future.


Butt Lane

Burgh Castle

Editor's Note: We do support local schools Mr Pickering. Our regular readers will be aware there is a weekly KidzBiz page, showing all the good work done in schools, and last week we reported on Edwards Worlledge's Ofsted report. And, echoing other contributors' letters, we too look forward to reporting Oriel's latest Ofsted.

THIS week is the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service designed to care for us from the cradle to the grave in exchange for a contribution from our wages and from our employer.

But that's not the case any more. When we become too old for the National Health Service we are committed to private care homes where we spend our life savings on exorbitant fees keeping the proprietors in luxury.

That is unless you have no savings having lived on the state all your life, or squandered your earnings. Then Social Services will pay for you and you will get the same care as those who pay privately. So much for care from the cradle to the grave!

Name and address withheld

I WENT into Great Yarmouth on Friday, and being disabled I try to park as near as I can to where I am going. As we needed Boots, and Nationwide the nearest parking is behind Palmers. They have a few spaces for the disabled to park and I could see a space, but the car in front of me pulled into it, the lady got out and went to the ticket machine, got her ticket, put it in the car and walked off.

By then I had parked in an ordinary space and put my Blue Badge in the front so it can easily be seen. As we were getting out of our car two very young ladies popped into a sports car parked in the disabled area, without badge, and drove off. When we came back to our car we noticed several other cars had to park in normal size parking with their Blue Badge on the dash. Can anyone tell me and others if the yellow marked areas are for the disabled or not.


West Road


AS a great-granddad, a granddad and a father I feel strongly about all this talk of abortions, sex education and free contraceptives for eleven year olds. I cannot help thinking how things were half a century ago. I am not advocating that the bad old, back street abortionists should come back; abortions in many cases are the wisest course of action. What I find difficult to understand is all this drive by government social services to spend time and money and issuing contraceptives to children as young as 11.

Fifty years ago kids were not taught sex at school, sex was taboo, and one grew up doing kids things. By the time we were aged 16/17 we were all great lovers, but only in our minds. Because of this when we eventually got married, and a lot were married by 20, both partners were virgins. Virgins in minds and bodies. In the four years at Alderman Leach Secondary School, there was not one abortion. And only one girl was made pregnant. There was no sex education. It seems obvious to a lot of parents that without all this sex education there were fewer pregnancies and fewer abortions. Your headline is “Abortions stay above 500”, is not this figure a straight trade-off for cramming sex education to kiddies as young as eight? Surely the old way was better.

What also happens now is some children get pregnant on purpose, because they know social services will find accommodation for the young mother, and everything handed to them, on the backs of the taxpayer. Fifty years ago you had to live with the shame of an illegitimate birth with your parents. Let's have less sex education and more common decent morals, and let kids think, play and act like kids, not treat them as adults.


Burnt Lane


CAN I thank Mr Bean for his veiled thanks to me and the Labour government for the many regeneration projects we have seen in Great Yarmouth over the last 11 years. He is of course correct when he says it is 'our own money' - it does come from the taxes we pay. This undoubtedly is more welcome than the 18 years of Conservative government that invested very little - if any - of 'our own money' in Great Yarmouth. Mr Bean appears to prefer a Conservative government that doesn't spend 'our own money' in our own area. If the Tory policy is vote Conservative and see reduced spending and investment in Great Yarmouth, I will be more than happy to put my government's record of investment up against any Tory government. The improvements in Great Yarmouth over the last 11 years are not in spite of a Labour government but because of one and with a business community that is prepared to work in partnership.


SO the Thatcher devotees are still trying to rewrite history. Almost every day you hear on the media about global problems but we are expected to pretend that they are not the cause of the present difficulties. They were only hard decisions in the 1980's for those who suffered as a consequence. The Tory government was only doing what it got elected for - to look after the interests of the big financiers who bankroll their party. Inflation in the 20s per cent and three million unemployed caused misery. The North Sea revenue was used to pay much of the unemployment benefit so the Health Service was underfunded and we saw school buildings in disrepair. Finally we had privatisation with share prices set low so that those who could afford to get involved could make an instant profit as soon as the shares were on the market at the real valuation. Even Harold McMillan called it “selling the family silver”. That was not bribing with our own money: that was lining the pockets of the money men with the value of our national assets. The Tories only want tax cuts and profits for the boys. Now it appears that six of David Cameron's senior people have insisted on keeping their shares in companies trading in Zimbabwe. So much for Cameron's leadership and authority.


Lilac Close


I REFER to Laura Bagshaw's article in last weeks Mercury. I must disagree with Councillor John Holmes when he says that “particular” road is not fit for purpose. The “whole” road system out of Great Yarmouth including roundabouts is not “fit for purpose.” Incidentally I don't think there is a great rush to mend the road for the outer harbour traffic.



I WRITE with regard to the drug and alcohol abuse programmes run by the Probation Service and used by magistrates courts in sentencing. Obviously it is a cheaper option than a custodial sentence, but in the case of alcohol it is clearly a complete waste of the money of we taxpayers. My considered opinion is that an alcoholic needs a good woman, good food and a regular, preferably physical job. So how on earth do the courts justify effectively denying someone the right to work because they have to attend counselling in Norwich three times a week. It is half-witted; and remember who is paying for the paperwork, personnel and travel warrants. An alcoholic attempting to reduce consumption does not need the company of users of needles and crack heads.

It is a weaning process because you cannot just dry without medical help. I know; tried to dry twice but I'm still an alcoholic.

Magistrates are far from helping reformation, they are a hindrance.


Belle Aire


I WOULD like to give praise to all the young people who over the last two Sundays have entertained us with some fantastic athletic abilities. Our grandsons belong to the Great Yarmouth Athletics Club, and we support them whenever we can. Last weekend saw the under 11s and the under 13s perform and this weekend the club hosted a leg of the Anglian League. The dedication of these young folk and their trainers put into their sport was demonstrated by two first class events. In today's society, young people hit the news when they cause trouble; these youngsters are too busy training to do that and we feel they should be praised. Well done to all the clubs who took part in these two events, and the coaches who train them and teach them to be good sports, win or lose. You all are example to us all.


St Mary's Road, Hemsby

WHILE most attention is, rightly, focused on the latest Post Offices to be closed as part of the Government's cutbacks, a further threat is just a few weeks away. Later this summer, the Government is set to finally make a decision on whether the updated version of the popular Post Office Card Account is to remain within the Post Office or transferred to another organisation. The Post Office Card Account offers low cost, hassle-free banking to almost five million people. The card allows easy access to their pensions or benefits at their local post office. It doesn't have an overdraft and won't allow people to get into debt. Every time someone uses the card at their local post office, the sub-postmaster receives a small payment from the Government. This is worth up to 12 per cent of some sub-postmasters' pay. It is the reason why some branches can still survive. The National Federation of Sub-Postmasters and the House of Commons Business and Enterprise Committee both want to see the Post Office run the Post Office Card Account. It is vital to the remaining post offices in this area that the Government agrees.


Great Yarmouth

MR Spencer, in last week's Viewpoint, implies you find Jesus only if you 'come to church'. But is he right?

In a previous letter, I said the Baptist structure and practices clash with the pattern for God's church set out in the New Testament. This is true also of the Church of England, Newfrontiers (King's Centre), Salvation Army, Roman Catholic Church etc.

Here's how God's church works: see 1 Corinthians 12:28; 14:26-38; 16:19; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Timothy 2:5. Do these texts mirror what goes on each Sunday in the 'church' near you? And if not, why waste your time going there? The Lord Jesus Himself fails to show up, so why should you (Matthew 18:20; Revelation 1:13, 20; 2:1)? Most people let others do their thinking for them. Dangerous! Jesus warns about 'blind leaders of the blind' and says 'both will fall into a ditch' (Matthew 15:14). Instead, Mercury readers who want to know Jesus (the only way to heaven: John 14:6; 17:3) must (1) ignore the self-styled religious experts, with their pompous titles, (2) talk to Jesus, and (3) study the Bible for themselves (Matthew 7:7-8). Why drink mud when you can have the crystal-clear water of life straight from the source: Jesus Himself (Isaiah 55:1-13; Revelation 22:1, 17)? Jesus says, 'Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden' (Matthew 11:28). He doesn't say come to a man-made religious outfit - which often cares more about making money than about you.


Albemarle Road