Readers’s letters, December 1 2017

Poppy collection appeal thanks

The Royal British Legion would like to thank all shops and businesses that had a poppy box this year and all the collectors who helped, especially the ex-service veterans and Gorleston Army Cadet Force for their street collections on Armistice Day, where they raised £812.

The total for this poppy appeal is £37,009.24.


Great Yarmouth Poppy Appeal organiser

Pleasure boats must stop for traffic

Great news about the third river crossing. Amidst the right and proper euphoria, it should be remembered that bridges that provide crossings also have to be raised.

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Each time I have been caught in serious traffic congestion or a vicious gridlock, the cause of the problem has always been the raising of the bridges. We already have to let pleasure craft through.

There must be some archaic law which still gives river traffic right of way over road users. It is about time that serious efforts were made to have such a law repealed in recognition of the fact that today just about all our goods, services and citizens travel by road. Until then and apart from emergencies, pleasure craft should be made to park up until our own need for the bridge crossings is just about through for the day.



Youngsters shone on their stage

The Dusmagrik Youth Theatre Company’s production of Annie last week was wonderful.

It was great to see so many young people speaking, acting and singing with such confidence and to see some of the more senior actors whom we can remember on stage when they were half their present height; and don’t anyone say that boys can’t sing.

Everyone on stage may have been amateurs but there was nothing amateurish about this superb performance; and doesn’t a live orchestra make a difference!

Many thanks not only to the performers but to choreographers, producers, trainers et al and to all of the small army of family members without whose help as voluntary transport officers these performances would not be possible.

Thank you for a wonderful evening.


Lowestoft Road,


Will pub’s owner get in the festive mood?

It is great to see all the preparations underway for Christmas - the lights, the grotto, the ice rink, the sleigh tour and so on. The owner, (whoever that might be), of the now listed Iron Duke pub might now see fit to put up a festive light or two around that particular building.

And of course all of us must remember to stock up with advent calendars. Yes, they will soon run out as their days are numbered.


Collingwood Road,

Great Yarmouth

Our town needs a relief road system

Great news that the third bridge will go ahead, But we need a new relief road to help. Many years ago I said to my dad the Acle New Road will be dualled.

He replied not in your time son, I was 16. Now 61 he was right. I have spoken to local councillors, do not dual the Acle Straight, build a new road from the new bridge to meet the A47 near Cantley.

This road should be a two lane road either leaving Yarmouth or entering Yarmouth and the Acle Straight would be opposite.

The Green and the PC bunch should be happy as no newts, frogs or butterflies need to be displaced.

Otherwise the heavy traffic on the new bridge will just bottle up with no where to go. Both the New Road and the Straight could be turned into two ways in emergencies and when road works take place. The cost would be part Yarmouth and County who are in charge of roads. Also larger firms may help with costs.


University Crescent,

Great Yarmouth

You must know the origins of Christmas

Christmas is less than a month away. But why do so many churchgoers celebrate this festival steeped in paganism? Perhaps a local “vicar”, “reverend” or “priest” could tell us?

The first Christians never celebrated it – it’s not even mentioned in the Bible. And Jesus, the Lord God come in flesh, was born in September or October. We do not know His exact birth date.

Yet many churchgoers will soon set up a Christmas tree in their home again, clueless about the dark origin of this ancient symbol of evil. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Holy Bible, Isaiah 5:20).


Albemarle Road


Thank you for appeal support

We have had another record year of fundraising at the Caister-on-Sea Royal British Legion. We raised £10,300 – which was £200 more than last year’s record. I would like to thank the collectors for all their support, without them we would not have raised this much. I’d also like to thank Tesco and Lidl for letting us fundraise in their stores.

I am finishing in my role as honorary organiser for the Poppy Appeal in Caister which I have run since 2001 when my wife died. I have been involved with the British Legion for 50 years but I am 87 now and the job takes a lot of going and would be better suited to someone younger. You don’t have to be a member of the RBL to organise it and you can be from any walk of life.

If you are able to help then give me a call on 01493 858148. Thank you.


Poppy Appeal organiser

Challenge all the Ukip defectors

I have to thank P Long for his clarification in the Mercury to his letter of the week before. My response to his original letter was in fact due to the stigma I still feel from my own personal circumstances and 55 years ago I spent several years on benefits, until I was able to leave school and earn my own money.

My last letter was planned to write about the seven Ukip councillors who have defected to the Conservatives. Though I do not think it would be wise to try and get them to stand down, they won’t and so nobody will be able to challenge them at this time for their seats.

For this reason, without the mandate of those who voted them in as Ukip I think that they should not be allowed to vote and certainly not be allowed any form of expenses.

To me holding onto their seats as another party is fraudulent and should be challengeable by law that allows the electorate to be able to get them to stand down.


Nelson Road Central,

Great Yarmouth

Our bridge is more important to town

As an answer to last week’s letter from Anthony Morgan who seems more in our progress than of his own town’s concerning bridges. Lowestoft is having a bridge completed two years before ours.

Apparently he is having second thoughts about this or is his mood being fuelled by the funding of only £70m but us receiving £98, filling him with contempt with our peninsular business being more important as an outlet from a cul-de-sac being more essential than one that eases nothing other then pedestrianisation.


Gonville Road,


Will crossing dream turn sour for port?

I and many around the port believe in the two years it will take to build the river crossing will once again wake up to the fact that promises of a golden future will be a far cry to what is reality.

What the new crossing could do in the longer term is kill the industrial marine life as we know it today.

In 2006 1st East Waterfront Regenerating Company the brain child of NCC and GYBC decided that most quays north of the new crossing would be redundant as far as shipping and port activity is concerned.

If you read documents on the subject, from the GYPA, Area Action Plan 2007 and 2010, industrial riverside land is to be turned over to waterside flats up market housing and restaurants. Land south of the new crossing was earmarked for shipping and port activities.

The 1st East and GYBC Area action plan effectively cut the river half with the result that most existing business north would be displaced.

Therefore I am pleased to hear that the planning for the new bridge is that marine traffic will take precedence. This suggests that the Area Action Plan is outdated and the port and councils hopefully recognises that vessels and business are going to need space north of the crossing.

Good news indeed if this is the case, however, there is a proposed average of 15 bridge lifts a day in the planning. This is surely going to add to the traffic congestion both sides of the river upon lifting? The third river crossing funding bid was based on traffic from a container port/ferry in the outer harbour as its justification, a dream that never materialised. The volume of traffic will be nowhere near this with renewables and oil and gas industries.

The main problem for traffic at Gapton Hall is north to south flow – not to and from Great Yarmouth. Bridge lifts will add to this problem both sides of the river. Is the £98m for this crossing plus further multi million contributions from Norfolk County Council value for money for the borough’s ratepayers? I think not when the town and its services and amenities are declining year on year.

The money could be far better directed. One last point in letters last week a question was asked about Bollard Quay being re-used.

The quay is unusable as in need of piling, as the quays west and east and north of Gas House are where the new bridge is to be and existing quays need strengthening are we to believe part of the £98m grant will be used to repair Bollard Quay which we are led to believe, is owned by the port.


Burnt Lane,


School campaign still continues

On behalf of the Save Swindell campaign team I would like to take the opportunity to thank everybody for their support and interest in our campaign. The ring of unity raised a good level of interest and reached out to Norwich and surrounding areas. We have many people getting in touch offering support from the community, other schools and parents from schools facing closure/mergers. We will be holding more fundraising activities in the near future as unfortunately justice does not come cheap. Please join our campaign on Facebook - Save Alderman Swindell.

Once again many thanks your support is much appreciated.


Campaign Team

Alderman Swindell