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Don't kill the golden goose

PUBLISHED: 12:39 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:38 03 July 2010

IT is with some irony that I read in the Mercury (April 3) that the large Co-op department store in Market Place is likely to close its doors after some 70-odd years of trading in the town.

IT is with some irony that I read in the Mercury (April 3) that the large Co-op department store in Market Place is likely to close its doors after some 70-odd years of trading in the town. Yet in the same edition I read that the borough council are hoping to extend the residents-only parking zone to cover the entire Friars Lane to Ormond Road area. These people just don't get it, do they?

I don't know whether I am typical of many of your readers; I was born and grew up in the town though I now live outside. My home is pretty much equidistant from Norwich, Yarmouth and Lowestoft but my wife and I choose to do most of our routine shopping in Yarmouth. Why? Firstly, my parents shopped in stores such as Palmers, the Co-op, M&S, Rollings the Bakers (now Bales), Cox's the Jewellers and our vegetables were usually bought from local producers on their market stalls. I still feel a sense of loyalty to support these businesses with my custom.

Secondly, it is still possible in Yarmouth to park a car within reasonable walking distance of the main shopping area without being charged for the privilege. I pay plenty enough in road fund licence and fuel tax surcharges without having to pay a further tax every time I park my vehicle somewhere to do some shopping.

Town centre manager Jonathan Newman makes some very valid points which would seem to reinforce my view that both holidaymakers and out-of-town shoppers will go elsewhere if they are forced to drive past convenient empty parking spaces, or worse, they park in a space only to find when they return they've had a parking ticket plastered onto their windscreen.

I really can't see that if I park in an empty space on Rampart Road for an hour during the day, do my shopping and drive away I am depriving anybody of anything. But I guess it's nothing to do with that. This is about yet again fleecing motorists visiting the town centre or sea front and I wonder whether, when the last shop in the Market Place closes down, these councillors will hang their heads in shame for killing the goose that used to lay golden eggs for the town.

DENNIS J BEAN

Burgh St Peter

Beccles

HOW to shoot yourself in the foot? Well ask the borough council, because they are experts at it! As everyone knows, tourism and holidaymakers are the lifeblood to a seaside resort, so when you get the council doubling up the car park charges, surely that is not the way to encourage people to come. A day tripper is now going to pay at least £10 a day which is really extortionate.

When word gets around how expensive it is, then visitor figures are going to drop sharply. And fancy saying there will be free parking after 4pm; most people will be going home then, or have already gone.

In these days of credit crunch and recession, every penny counts, and if you can't go abroad, then very soon you won't be able to afford to come to Great Yarmouth.

G CASS

Station Road South

Belton

AS a (very) senior citizen who is mobile with the aid of a walker but cannot use public transport, I use taxis to transport me to local shops etc. I regret to say that taxi drivers are far from helpful. They seem to think we can hop in and out without help, fasten and unfasten seatbelts and get safely on to the kerb when the taxi is a foot or so away. Although they put walkers in and out of the boot, this is no more than handling younger passengers' shopping.

R L FARMER

Marine Parade

Gorleston

APRIL Fool's Day but no tricks were being played along Gorleston Sea Front and Lower Parade, a hive of activity by council workmen making the beach and the whole area ready for what we hope will be a good season. Shops and café's were being painted up by the owners, very good improvements by the council all round. I'm one of the first to criticise the borough council when things need doing and so I am congratulating them for the “make over” that is being given to the area.

KATHLEEN FORMAN

El Alamein Way

Bradwell

SOON the Outer Harbour, the most important economic development for the town in a century, will be opened. No doubt visitors will have an interest in adding this to their sight seeing itinerary. Imagine the unbound excitement as they say “Let us visit the Outer Harbour”. But wait a minute … this does not seem very glamorous. Nor does it relate to the town's maritime history or the fact that we are in Nelson's county. So, with the proximity of the Outer Harbour to the Norfolk Pillar - which is so unexciting a name that most people call it Nelson Monument or Column would it not be much better for the visitor to be able to say “Let us visit the Lord Nelson Harbour” - or something else of that ilk such as the Nelson Harbour or the Trafalgar Harbour.

MICHAEL HARVEY

Park Road

Gorleston

AS the Great Yarmouth Sunday fair is right on my doorstep I was dismayed when reading Emrys Parry's letter last week to discover that it would again be held on Sunday. We have never complained before about three days and nights of intrusive lights and unbearably loud music. We accepted it and looked forward to a peaceful Sunday and a chance to catch up on some sleep. Last year we were kept awake until 4am whilst they dismantled the rides. My husband is up for work at 6am on Monday; we are not looking forward to another full day's work on only two hours sleep. I am sure if any of the council had to endure this there would be no Sunday fair.

S FLETCHER

White Horse Terrace

Great Yarmouth

I AM dismayed to find the fair is going to be held on a Sunday again this year. A decision made by Great Yarmouth Council without any consultation with the residents of Yarmouth. Who actually benefits from the extra day? That was meant to be a one off to celebrate the charter I believe. Certainly not the people living near the fair. Another day of “thud, thud, thud!” and flashing lights in their living rooms and bedrooms. I dare say not the traders of Yarmouth, as money spent at the fair is money not spent on local amenities. In fact I fail to see who actually benefits apart from the fair folk and of course the council.

MICHAEL PYWELL

Northgate Street,

Great Yarmouth

THE photograph of the orange find on Great Yarmouth beach (Through the Porthole, April 3) brought back many memories as do all the pictures of the past that the Mercury publishes - well done. I was rather surprised on attending the view of a local auction to find hundreds of old Norfolk news services photographs of the town, a district mostly taken by Les Gould, that splendid press photographer. I trust the Mercury have copies, they are a fabulous record of the town and district.

MALCOLM FERROW

Marine Parade

Gorleston

IT is a shame that after such a lovely refurbishment and achieving Green Flag status, St George's Park appears to be left to wallow in filth. On Monday morning it was strewn with litter, particularly around the overflowing waste bins - though the majority of the litter was left Sunday afternoon. It seems even though this is the first weekend of the school holidays and the unofficial start of the tourist season for Great Yarmouth, the council refuses to spend money on cleaning the park or even emptying the bins. It is pretty obvious that if bins are not emptied that litter will accumulate. It seems a shame that after so much money has been spent and what could be a great looking park is being ruined by simply not emptying dustbins.

VICTOR LING

Former chairman

Friends of St George's Parkway

WITH reference to J Nichols letter (April 3) responding to my letter of the previous week.

Figures such as Britannia, the personification of the Latin for Britain, are added to structures to communicate their significance. Another example of this is the figure of Themis (Greek goddess of justice or law) which adorns Yarmouth's Tolhouse. This shows that the building was the town's courthouse.

The Norfolk naval pillar (commonly known as Nelson's Monument) commemorates, mainly in Greek style, the Battle of Aboukir (commonly known as the Battle of the Nile). The Nelsonian Nile Medal, on which the summit of the pillar is based, has the battle on one side and Britannia on the other. She is holding an olive branch (symbol of peace) in her right hand and a shield with a drawing of Nelson surrounded by the quote “Europe's hope and Britain's glory” under he left arm. It appears the intention was to replicate this on the pillar. For some reason, presumably cost or weight, the shield was replaced by a trident, to relate to the Greek God Poseidon, showing that Britain, having destroyed Napoleon's fleet, ruled the waves. A depiction of the pillar in the Nelson Museum shows Britannia with the shield and trident.

In recent times it has been suggested that the pillar be moved to the Market Place, Royal Naval Hospital or even Portsmouth! It appears that J Nichols has not grasped the logistics let alone the cost of moving the listed building. The sheer size of it would dwarf the Market Place. Why, if they consider the Market Place a better location, did they work on the seafront for many years?

The pillar is easily accessible with parking alongside. The reason it is only open to climb one weekend per month (April to September) is due to health and safety regulations in as much as a guide has to on hand irrespective of its location.

The view of Yarmouth and Gorleston, together with surrounding areas, from the top of the pillar is spectacular. On a clear day you can even see Norwich Cathedral. It is certainly the best position to view the Outer Harbour. The pillar has stood on its present site for 190 years (24 years longer than the column in London's Trafalgar Square) and is only slighter shorter.

Who is this 17-year-old J Nichols refers to? Certainly not me as I'm more than three times that age. My letter was prompted by visitors to the Nelson Museum not a student's letter.

May I suggest that J Nichols books a guided trip up the pillar, by telephone 850698 or visiting (26 South Quay) the Nelson Museum, which will hopefully clear up any confusion.

LESLIE COLE

Nelson Museum Custodian and Monument Guide

LAST Sunday there were a lot of people in California and yet the public toilets on California Road were closed. In the holiday season there are thousands of people up and down that road; it leads to the beach. Surely the toilet will not be closed permanently. It is one place where there must be a public toilet. There is no history of any vandalism or illegal goings off, so why was it closed?

A BOWLER

Beach Drive

Scratby

LAST weekend was lovely and we had loads of visitors and their children come and enjoy our town.

It absolutely beggar's belief that the council now wish to destroy our lovely seafront, gardens, the Marina Centre, etc so they can “redevelop” the Marina site as reported in the Mercury (April 3).

The proposed area is absolutely huge and will destroy everything we have and currently enjoy. The casino is just not a family environment at all, neither is it family entertainment. It is a mecca to greed, money and lost dreams to be indulged by the few. I am in favour of it, but not on this site.

To quote Prince Charles, if this complex is built on this site, it will be a massive “carbuncle” on the seafront.

LYN BYFORD

Exmouth Road

Great Yarmouth

YOU can smell the death of the Marina Centre, even before the first bulldozer arrives to rip it down. Cleaning and maintenance have dropped with less cleaners about. The step into the main changing room showers needs attention and has stopped their use for the past five weeks. It will hit so many people if it closes - I have MS and swimming keeps me going at 88. Also the mother and baby sessions are popular and will be missed. The plan in last week's Mercury shows the site to include the Anchor Gardens, so why not include a swimming pool with eco-friendly heating?

Mr J B WEBSTER

St George's Court

Great Yarmouth

THE chairman, officers and committee members would like to give a big vote of thanks to everyone who helped in any way to make the recently held Gorleston St Andrew's 39th Competitive Festival a success.

In particular, the committee would like to thank the sponsors, namely Great Yarmouth Borough Council Arts Fund, Seachange Arts, Gorleston Rotary Club, The Britannia Lodge of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, Bernard Thorpe and all the advertisers in the festival programme for their financial assistance. Grateful thanks are also due to Allen's Music Centre, once again, for the loan of the piano in the Chapter House for the duration of the Festival.

The committee acknowledges the forbearance of the church organisations which may have had their meetings disrupted by the festival's use of the Chapter House and thanks Eileen Wood for making the attractive flower arrangement, for which the flowers were supplied by W J White of Gorleston.

The committee would like to thank the special guests and the presenters of the various awards at the final events - the Mayor and Mayoress, Terry and Jenny Easter; Joe Mackintosh, Chief Executive of Seachange Arts; Bob Catchpole, president of the Gorleston Rotary Club, and his wife, Jenny; members of the Britannia Lodge of the Manchester Unity Independent Society of Oddfellows - Michael Howard, Noble Grand of the Lodge, and Mrs. Howard, Vera Ward, Monica Scarll, Gweneth Nicholas, and Dalmaine Dewgarde; Gwen Taylor and the finals adjudicators, Liz Childs, Gillian Thoday and Jonathan Beatty.

Thanks are also due to Rev Canon Tony Ward, president of the festival, who compered the junior concert and to Alan Jermany, the festival photographer.

The festival congratulates the many competitors and appreciates the dedication of their teachers, accompanists, parents or guardians who supported them in their endeavours.

As chairman, I would like to add my personal thanks to the members of the festival committee who have worked so hard over many months to organise the festival and ensure its success.

MARGARET JERMANY

I AM currently doing some research into local public services. I would really like to hear from people about their experiences - good, bad or ugly, attending the unemployment scheme referred to as A4e. All experiences must be genuine. Were you or have you been helped by them? What service/help did you receive or maybe your experience was different to what you hoped? You can write to me via email or the address stated, it can remain anonymous and no details will be forwarded to any third parties as this is for my own personal research. I can be reached at 39 Norwich Road, Lingwood, Norfolk NR13 4BH or email at dpp1501@aol.com

D PRICE

I AM writing to support Macmillan Cancer Support's campaign to freeze out fuel poverty for cancer patients.

Rising fuel prices have affected many of us, but for cancer patients the effects can be even more keenly felt. Spending longer periods at home during recovery is just one of the reasons cancer patients have increased energy needs. Coupled with the effects of the treatment itself, this means that cold really is colder with cancer.

In a recent Macmillan survey, two-thirds of cancer patients struggling financially said paying fuel bills is their biggest money worry. Cancer patients face higher bills at a time when their income has often decreased, but do not automatically qualify for help.

Nobody with cancer should be left in the cold this winter because they can't afford to heat their home. Macmillan is urging the Government to extend the winter fuel payment to cancer patients. This annual payment is currently paid to everyone over 60, but could bring immediate help to cancer patients struggling with additional fuel costs.

If you're struggling to cope with the financial effects of cancer, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call 0800 500 800 to find out more and get hold of a copy of Macmillan's Help with the Cost of Cancer booklet and managing fuel costs fact sheet.

HAZEL HUMPHREY

North Walsham


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