Readers’s letters, June 16 2017

Did you go to technical high school?

We are trying to contact pupils of the old technical high school who attended 1953-59.

We will be 75 in the year starting in September. We are having a re-union lunch at the Furzedown Hotel on October 13 at 1.30pm, price £22.50p.

If you are interested contact me by August 1 so that we can let the hotel know the numbers.

We had a 60th and 65th re-union and thought 75 would be the next one.

Please come and meet old friends.


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Mallard Way,

Burgh Castle

Airport tax put of us booking flights

I recently read a letter about the £10 per person ADF charged for using Norwich Airport.

We used to use Norwich Airport a lot even though tickets were priced higher than Stansted or Luton.

As the cost of getting to the other airports and parking made it still cheaper to fly from Norwich.

However we stopped when the price increased to £10 per person as it no longer worked out cheaper to fly from there.

Now we fly from Stansted and even with petrol costs and parking it works out cheaper than Norwich.

It would appear Norwich has priced itself out of the local market.

We would love to fly from Norwich but the costs and times of flights make it cheaper and more convenient to fly from elsewhere.


Burgh Road,


Will festival have security measures?

In the view of these terror attacks I was wondering what safety measures are being taking for the maritime festival?

Will there be concrete bollards along the stretch of road which is South Quay also at the entrance both ends will there be bollards there too?

How about closing the South Quay road from the fire station and the town hall. As several lorries use that road and can be diverted via the sea front you can not be to careful.



We will continue fight for change

May I thank the 15,928 residents who voted Labour in last week’s general election.

Although we were not successful at this time in returning a Great Yarmouth Labour MP,

the Labour Group Members on Great Yarmouth Borough Council will continue to fight for a fairer society, an end to austerity and cuts to our vital Public Services.


Magdalen Ward,

Leader of the Labour Group

Thank you for your voting support

I would just like to say thank you to everyone who voted for me in last week’s general election.

I am incredibly proud to have stood as Labour candidate for Great Yarmouth and to have increased our vote by 3,000.

It was a pleasure to have met so many local residents determined to support a manifesto for the many and not just the few.

I am determined to keep fighting for Great Yarmouth in my role as county councillor for Nelson and Southtown. Likewise my work with The Bread Kitchen in providing training, advice, volunteering and support for local 16-26 year olds will continue to help build lives decimated by austerity, Universal Credit, cuts and a lack of investment.

I stood because I love my town and believe that a good MP is a visible one who listens, cares, understands and actually works for their community. I want to be that caring champion and an accessible channel for change.

Once again thank you to everyone involved in our election campaign. I look forward to the next.


Harley Road,

Great Yarmouth

Street chat led to religious debate

In my letter two weeks ago I described how I recently chatted with a Jehovah’s Witness in Gorleston High Street. We also discussed the Holy Spirit, whom the Bible says is a Person, the third Member of Yahweh (Jehovah), the triune God.

But Jehovah’s Witnesses say the Holy Spirit is just God’s “active force”, like electricity. In their bible they call Him “holy spirit”.

I asked the Jehovah’s Witness how he understood Acts 13:2, in the New Testament: “The Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” And verse 4 of the same chapter: “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit…”

He replied that God uses the Holy Spirit as a “force”. When I pointed out that the text clearly says the Spirit Himself willed, spoke and sent, all qualities of personality, the young man said he had to go to a funeral, and started packing up his literature stand.

E Barkhuizen

Albemarle Road, Gorleston

Human rights are from the council

John L Cooper ought to be politely reminded that the human rights protections he and his family enjoy come mostly from the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, a wholly different and separate organization from the EU, which is based in Brussels.

As with the above error, it is always worth remembering that John doesn’t know what he is talking about. If we allow ourselves to think otherwise, we would take seriously his obviously consequence-free suggestion that stripping every law abiding British citizen of their fundamental rights and protections is a perfectly legitimate way to strip a tiny minority of our fellow citizens of their fundamental rights and protections. This has always worked out so well in many other countries, where his ideas no doubt come from and belong.

Thankfully he lives in a society where such madness is treated with kindness and openness, unlike the society he wishes to bring about.


Great Yarmouth and Vienna

Arts festival saw large crowds

Over the last eleven days the Great Yarmouth Arts Festival has a brought to the borough a carnival procession, community fair, concerts, recitals, ballet, theatre, comedy, the Big Draw, literature, Art in the Minster, Art on the Railings, several other exhibitions and the photographic trail.

53 people came from Rambouillet to participate in the festival.

For the months leading up to the festival many workshops were held to produce costumes and various objects for the carnival parade.

In spite of a much lower budget than previously - which restricted advertising - I am pleased to report that attendances for almost all events were up on previous years.

The aims of the festival are to bring the community together, to showcase the great talent we have here and to develop pride in our community.

I would like to thank the many organisations and individuals who have supported the festival financially and in kind and to thank those who attended our many functions. Next year’s arts festival will be from June 9-17.



What would party greats think of election?

So Britain has voted for punitive austerity for the many and benefits for the few?

Of course, those with obscene salaries (and untaxed earnings stashed under the floorboards) are always going to vote in their interests but one wonders how many comparatively poorer people voted for poverty? There appeared to be psych games that always favour the Tories: poor people aspiring to be rich; voting according to their aspirations rather than their actual financial reality? The irony of waking on the morning following, to discover that not only is one still poor but one has unwittingly voted oneself into greater poverty.

Juxtapositioned with those who voted Tory because they liked Theresa May’s shoes and matching handbag? Or an electorate who liked Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto and would have voted for him but for the fact he was the wrong party.

One cannot help wondering what past Tory ‘greats’: Disraeli, Churchill, Eden etc would have thought to a modern Tory Party aligned with individuals formerly associated with terror in Northern Ireland?

Whichever way the self–induced mind games work, the reality is that the only explosive growth we are likely to witness in Great Yarmouth in the next five years will be demands for cardboard and foodbanks.

Oh well, perhaps we never really wanted a third river crossing; or more likely: in five years time, poverty will have dictated that there will no longer be the need.



Labour have emerged from wasteland

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this paper, that the election result was for me personally a good outcome.

This is because Labour has now emerged from the wasteland and will at last under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership now make their real presence felt as the radical and true opposition to a party that is in total disarray.

They will now have no more dysfunctional leadership bids, the time has finally arrived to take up the challenge and coalesce as a cohesive fighting machine.

Locally Mike Smith-Clare has my commiserations because he ran a good, solid campaign and unfortunately this constituency did not buck the national trend, but he polled extremely well.

Brandon Lewis has had promotion to the Cabinet under the same role and it is to be profoundly hoped that he will continue to fight for this constituency with all its inherent plusses and minuses.

But he also needs to recognise and accept that the campaign ran by the Conservative Party was

shambolic and has placed this country on the verge of the most important Brexit discussions in

a perilous and vulnerable position.

Theresa May will know that better than anyone as she complacently and arrogantly assumed that this election was a foregone conclusion and the electorate would indeed strengthen her bargaining hand with the Brexit negotiations.

But the electorate do not like being taken for granted and made yet again to vote in an election she did not have to call and repeatedly said she wouldn’t.

This has been a divisive campaign but Jeremy Corbyn has shown his absolute skill in reaching out to the

younger demographic who had for obvious reasons, largely given up on the political scene because they

saw no relevance to their actual lives. They have been promised much and Labour must deliver when it does resume power, I say when and not if now because I sincerely feel that the tide has turned and as a result has upended the whole political scene.


Winifred Road,


Talent was on show at arts festival

Congratulations and thanks to Hugh Sturzaker and his team for a most enjoyable festival.

There was a wide variety of events and it was good to see so much talent.

I appreciate that a great amount of work was involved and felt very happy and proud that Great Yarmouth was able to host such a stimulating festival.

Shirley Francis


Party are double losers at the polls

I have to admit that I am in a total state of bemusement with the Labour voters right now.

I almost feel sorry Labour voters, watching them reap whatever solace they can out of yet another election defeat.

I cannot see the logic in celebrating a result where you still wouldn’t be able to form a coalition if you added together all the main parties (bar Conservatives) because you would not have the required 326 seats. I think Labour supporters have come away from this election double losers. Not only have they still got Theresa May as prime minister but Corbyn has now been firmly installed as opposition leader.

I think some senior Labour party figures will be wiping the sweat of their foreheads in relief that their party did not get into government, now they know they won’t have to look like complete fools as they explain why actually they cannot get any of their impossible manifesto policies to work.

Corbyn won’t acknowledge it but he has in fact inspired the Tory vote to even bigger heights and yet again failed to win government.

In all truth, he only got a handful more seats than Gordon Brown did in 2010 when he lost to David Cameron in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

This is another plain example of Labour being experts at criticising in-power governments but looking like absolute amateurs at proposing to run a government.


Isaacs Road,


Time to pull together for Brexit talks

As a follow on to my letter of May 26 concerning a safe pair of hands being needed to run with the Brexit deal, I feel the pair of hands needed to carry this through are not now strong enough to hold it alone.

With the spectre of a cry for a vote of no confidence hanging over, confidence will be needed from everyone who believes in a strong Brexit.

The punch we have built up must not be weakened by this in-fighting but must be delivered for Britain irrespective of personal views.

Give it the two years needed to bring it to fruition, see what we have got then get back to whatever in-fighting is needed.

Otherwise it is Britain’s Brexit from everything and weaker to the eyes of all who are watching.

Now it not the time to prove points. Let us pull together until we take delivery of this parcel we have ordered.


Gonville Road,


Calamities will arrive like buses

The kings of the EU must be rubbing their hands with glee after hearing the election results. What will we do now? Plead for a deal?

Mrs May who kept bleating about starting Brexit talks 11 days after the election will now find out that will happen on the eleventh minute of eleventh hour of the eleventh day - nothing, total silence.

And it looks like calamities come in threes like buses.

The first calamity was when prime minister Cameron called a referendum, there was no need.

The second calamity was when prime minister May called a snap election, there was no need.

The third calamity is still to come, this will take the form of Brexit talks, which in all probability she will try to do herself, instead of using a cross party team.

Labour has a much more able team already in places, with Keir Starmer and Barry Gardiner etc, which I am sure she will ignore.

As she has already had private conversations with various EU leaders she will know how Brexit is going to go.

To cap it all she now wants to tie the knot with Arlene Foster of the Irish DUP party. To see the two of them holding hands on the podium people will look at the TV screen and go what the?


Breydon Way,


We need this new school to be built

Parents in north Yarmouth will have received consultation papers this week concerning the future of the Alderman Swindell and North Denes Primary Schools and have until July 21 to make their views known.

It is a once in a generation opportunity to get a new “state-of-the art” primary school for our community - with over £6,000,000 to be spent on a new building on the North Denes site with its extensive playing fields in order to cater for up to 420 children aged 2 to 11 years from September 2020.

I sincerely hope that people in North Yarmouth will grasp this opportunity with both hands as for many years local people have had to settle for “second best” when it comes to many of the school buildings in the town.

With the Alderman Swindell campus becoming vacant if this gets the go-ahead - it is proposed that this be used as a complex needs special school to meet the needs of local youngsters who cannot be educated in mainstream schools.

This is a facility which Yarmouth has badly-needed for some years now with many pupils having to travel long distances to get appropriate help.

Yours sincerely


County Councillor for Yarmouth North & Central

Forest fires are spread underground

On Monday, I received a phone call from a resident who informed that two fire appliances had been called previously to a fire in Fritton woods around 13.30 on Sunday.

This was not the first time that the fire service had been called out to deal with such a fire.

On investigation it would appear that these fires are “peat” fires which spread underground. Often started by people who light a fire in the woods and believe they have put it out, when in fact under the surface the peat subsoil has heated up and is smouldering away.

This smoulder will continue to travel underground until it either runs out of energy or hits a rich oxygen source.

That rich oxygen source is the air on the surface and when it reaches that, reignites into a surface flame fire.

This can occur well away from the original site. When you light a fire in the woods you are setting into motion a ticking bomb that could go off at any time, day or night.

Unfortunately, those who set the original fire and thought that they have extinguished it, never see the outcome because it can take time for this type of underground fire to become obvious and will have inevitably left the area before any signs become evident.

One simple rule. Please do not set fires in woods.


Tribune Party

Lothingland Ward

Grandstand items are still available

In last week’s Mercury on page 27 there was an article about the Wellesley Recreation Ground featuring the 125th anniversary of the opening of the historic stand, believed to be the oldest surviving football (wooden) stand in the world still in use.

There was also a two page spread in the EDP in its nostalgic supplement “Through the decades”.

The commemorative leaflet and badge will still be available at GYTFC pre-season friendly games and also at first team home games when you will also have the opportunity to sit in this famous stand and cheer on the Bloaters.

If you have any particular memories or photos of stand and the WRC I’m sure local residents would be pleased to hear of them through the columns of the excellent weekly the Great Yarmouth Mercury.


Churchill Road,

Great Yarmouth

You put our faith in me on election day

I would like to thank everyone of the hundreds of people that turned out to vote for me for Great Yarmouth, to be your voice, and putting your faith in me.

I have enjoyed the whole campaign, I’ve met some truly inspirational people, groups and organizations that work within our town, I will continue with all my community work I do throughout the town, and I have every confidence in Great Yarmouth Green Party fielding more candidates and continuing to grow.

Big thanks to voters and a big thank you to all members and supporters through the election period and also a big thank you to my election agent Ken Peterson, and all the hard work he has been doing and indeed continues to do.


Former PPC for Great Yarmouth

Maurice was a true community hero

I was greatly saddened to hear about the passing of Maurice Johnson. Bradwell has lost a true hero of us, the local people.

For more than 50 years he has served our community. He was the longest serving parish councillor in its history.

Maurice was the inspiration, fundraiser and organiser behind Bradwell Voluntary Community Council, purchasing the former village school building for use as a community centre.

This became Bradwell’s very first and badly needed community centre, which has been used by thousands of residents.

It was the centre where Maurice and Ellen, his wife, ran for many years youth clubs and disco evenings for young people.

For a many great years Maurice served as a hard working governor of Homefield Primary School.

He still served this school for many years until just a few days ago as the Willow Avenue crossing patrol man and until a few weeks was an absolutely first class chairman of trustees for the Bradwell Mill Lane Community Centre.

The sheer excellent management and running of this centre’s working operation was down to his remarkable understanding of community needs.

To my mind he was a real community hero who would do his utmost to help anyone. I also believe he should have a plaque in the centres he served for so long and so very well.

As an old man myself I have only a limited number of friends left but one of these that I was really proud of was Maurice Johnson.

I and many other local people will miss him, he was a very rare man of the people.

BRIAN CALLAN Busseys Loke,


Thank you for support and many memories

We have many reasons not to leave Norfolk. Sadly circumstances do not now enable us to stay. Immense gratitude goes with this simple thank you to the many medical services who have provided professional help and guidance and the carers too who do a really good job.

The Mable Rose Day Centre have shown great care and compassion to us both.

Thank you to Still on the ball run by Age UK and especially Music makers who meet at Christchurch in Great Yarmouth who have given us some precious memories over many months, enjoying some truly wonderful times with a lovely group of people.

Also not forgetting the friends we have made along the way, some very special, who were always on hand when needed and Thrigby Wildlife Park, our very good neighbours and friends.

Thank you for happy times.