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Don't ruin Drill Hall

PUBLISHED: 17:45 23 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:29 03 July 2010

I WAS saddened to read of the possible change of use of the Great Yarmouth Drill Hall.

Unfortunately I do not know much about the clubs that currently use the wonderful facility.

I WAS saddened to read of the possible change of use of the Great Yarmouth Drill Hall.

Unfortunately I do not know much about the clubs that currently use the wonderful facility. My experience goes back to my first years in teaching at Styles Secondary. The children walked to the building and enjoyed lessons in gymnastics, dance, basketball and netball. During the late 1960s I participated in the superb Physical Culture Club activities. Why would any council seek to withdraw a sporting facility? The benefits of good physical education are immense and we should be grateful to those folk that willingly give of their time to organise the training sessions and events. The council and general public should encourage the young and not so young to participate in good, well organised sporting activities that provide fun, social interaction and a helping hand in improving physical fitness. Do we have any other buildings that could be used for assisting young people with CV writing? May I please say thank you to those special people that unselfishly give of their free time to enthuse others to enjoy Physical Education and ask council members to reflect a little, during the consultation period, to consider what we could be losing.

DAWN ROPER

Email

I AM a T'ai Chi Instructor and I am writing about the proposed changes to the York Road Drill Hall, in Great Yarmouth.

I have been running T'ai Chi classes at York Road since 1992. We were initially in the upstairs room, then moved to the large hall around 2000.

The classes have always been very successful, well attended usually around 18 participants per lesson and generally we run 46 weeks of the year.

The proposed changes that have been talked about would destroy an important long standing group and completely ruin what has to be a unique hall. People can come and attend group activities without belonging to expensive clubs. A fantastic range of groups use the hall from T'ai Chi to badminton to basketball.

I understand completely the need to offer places and activities to the young. As a mother myself I know too well the lack of facilities for young people these days.

Yet to completely change such a fantastic space which can be used by all age groups seems short sighted. The hall and its space will be used by future generations and by an increasingly ageing population.

CAROL WRIGLEY

Email

IN its move not to consult user groups at York Road Drill Hall over a possible transformation to a non-sporting youth centre I fail to understand the arguments coming from Norfolk County Council.

Mrs McPhail states that “at this stage there is nothing to consult on”, yet we learn that the bidding process began in 2008. Meetings with young people have taken place, plans drawn up and architects consulted. Following this a formal expression of interest has been submitted. This has obviously taken considerable time, effort and possibly money.

Had we not stumbled upon these plans I wonder at what stage it was considered appropriate to consult the 300 or so current users! I gather this, at last, is going to take place in August, just shortly before a completed bid must be submitted in September and at a time when many people are away on holiday.

Surely we, as users, deserve a little more respect and consideration than this. And what sort of example does this set to our younger generation- that they can just take what they want regardless of the wishes of others?

The building may need work and run at a loss but I wonder what would have happened to it had local sporting groups not been using it for so long. Perhaps someone from the council could answer this.

ANITA LOFTIN

Bradwell

As an avid watcher of the comings and goings of shipping in the Great Yarmouth river we do not need to have Shipping Movements published for us in the Great Yarmouth Mercury to know how few ships are using our Inner Harbour.

Ship movements in and out of Kings Lynn, Lowestoft, and Harwich all are up 20pc on six months ago, yet our once thriving harbour is at an all time low, back to the days between the demise of the herring fishing and the start of the offshore oil industry.

For “Doubting Thomas's”, please look on 1st East's web site under Ice House Quay, you will see the plan is for bars and high class flats to be built on the quays. Is it not time for our council and 1st East to come clean on just how much of our once fine river is to be reduced as an industry, and admit that from Gas House Quay to Breydon water is to be turned into a housing estate, and the same will apply to the Great Yarmouth side of the river. Will this change from industry to residential create work for the unemployed?

I have read somewhere that just the container terminals on the north wall only of our new port have a capacity of 500,000 TEU per annum. (TEU stands for Twenty foot Equivalent Unit container loads) which, by simple arithmetic, equals potentially 1400 container loads a day through Gorleston. None of these trucks will go south down the A12 they will all head for decent roads whether destined for North South or West, by heading up the A47 to get on one.

Gapton roundabout, bad now! But will be hell when these 1400 vehicles are leaving and entering the new outer harbour daily.

I really do think now is the time for answers to questions that at present are being ignored.

Why sack workers when the harbour was supposed to increase employment?

Why allow the river to silt up?

How is a toll bridge going to reduce traffic, and will the borough gain the money from the toll?

Where will lorries be stacked in times of port closure?

Why wasn't the public told until this year that we would lose the circular harbour road route permanently, it was implied that closure was temporary just for building?

I have searched the Great Yarmouth Mercury but can find no reference of planning being granted for two large container cranes.

With ref to road closure it was published in May 07 saying closure notice was in place and would be implemented within a few weeks to enable construction. However construction is, in their terms complete, and they already claim that the 1st commercial vessel off loaded its aggregate cargo some weeks ago (I note, used only for outer harbour construction).

John L Cooper

Burnt Lane

Gorleston

It is fortunate for Lowestoft that Regeneration Company 1st East and Waveney District Council's plans, to "redevelop" the port with housing, were stymied by an astute Associated British Ports (ABP).

As a result, Lowestoft port, infrastructure and local employment are thriving.

Lowestoft is well placed to capitalise even further on the burgeoning Offshore Wind Energy industry.

Sadly, the same cannot be said about Gt.Yarmouth.

As a result of 1st East & Great Yarmouth Borough Council's apparent "gifting" the river port, new outer harbour, land and infrastructure to a foreign owned private investment company to operate inappropriate container traffic and in so doing neglecting long established port users, we now appear to have a sterile, deserted port.

Last week there were two vessels in port, the emptiest I've known it in over 40 years, yet Ipswich, Kings Lynn (and possibly Lowestoft) are benefiting from Yarmouth's deserters. Even Harwich is touting their services, especially wind related work, with some success.

The Times on-line (13/7/09) states that wind turbines are to quadruple by 2020, under Labour's Renewable Energy Strategy, with more than 4000 additional onshore turbines and another 3000 turbines offshore, pledging to invest £120m in offshore wind projects and £60m in marine technology.

This coincides with Britain's only wind turbine manufacturer Vestas closing imminently with the loss of over 600 jobs.

Thus, unless some entrepreneur acts promptly then all UK wind generators will be imported.

Yet Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Norwich are rich in the skills and facilities, honed for the offshore industry, needed to design and build these monsters, install them and service them subsequently, providing much extra badly needed employment - but nothing from 1st East on this subject.

Roger Poll

Lowestoft

IN answer to Pauline Lynch, Bradwell, regarding the Childish Row letter in last week's Mercury, July 17.

The free car park over looking the sea on Gorleston Cliffs is wonderful!

I have many retired friends in the Gorleston, Bradwell and Belton areas who use it nearly every week, it's great for them but, and it's a big but, I have many retired friends living in Caister and the surrounding area who also would love to do the same, park without paying.

One 80-year-old lady from north Caister who needs to use her car, likes taking her two dogs once a week for a walk around the dune area near the sea of Beach Road in Caister but unfortunately she has to pay for the luxury of parking near the sea.

Caister people are not Martians. They come from the borough of Great Yarmouth and pay the same council tax as Gorleston and Bradwell residents do.

There are two advantages to having a free car park in the centre of Caister village. Firstly, it would relieve the parking problems near the small terraced homes in Beach Road and surrounding areas. Secondly, it would also benefit the small businesses, especially in recession time, such as the post office, lifeboat gift shop, fish and chip shops, butchers and public houses. All these people I am sure would benefit immensely as these businesses are only a stone's throw away from the car park.

The residents of Caister are not being childish, they are just asking for respect and consideration the same as the Gorleston and Bradwell people receive from Yarmouth Borough Council.

Does anyone else think Caister residents are being childish?

I certainly don't.

MARIE FIELD

Borough Councillor

Caister South Ward

Why are people still having to pay a car parking charge on the Beach Road car park at Caister whilst the Gorleston Cliff one remains free? I have asked councillors but I cannot get an answer. The Gorleston car park is well cared for but the Caister one is very neglected. As we all pay the same rates why are we treated so differently? I'm sure there must be a reason. Can someone enlighten me?

JIM WOODCOCK

Caister-on-Sea

AFTER a recent one week break in Norfolk with my wife and two young children I had to write to let people know of one of the nicest examples of what people can be like.

After a morning swimming at the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth my wife, two children and I spent a few minutes in the Silver Slipper arcade on the other side of the road. While there I managed to forget to pick up a rucksack containing nothing more than a few spare nappies, some snacks for the children but also my wife's brand new mobile phone.

A few hours later I received a call from one of the staff at the Silver Slipper to say they had found my bag and would be keeping it safe until I returned the next day.

It almost seems a shame to write a letter like this but honesty of this nature is so rare it now becomes something to celebrate. Another reason why Norfolk makes sense as a holiday destination.

ANDREW DOWNES

Northants

I work in a supermarket on the corner of Yarmouth Way, and day after day as I look out of the doors I see cars taking a right turn onto Yarmouth Way when there is no right turn allowed there.

There have been two occasions where I have almost been hit by cars turning right. They seem to be unaware of the signage for this corner, or maybe they think if they are quick enough no-one will notice their illegal manoeuvre I have on a couple of occasions mentioned this to police as they pass but as yet nothing has been done about it.

This is a dangerous corner as it is with cars coming from the traffic lights a top speeds - one day there will be another accident on this corner as there was 18 months ago where someone nearly lost their life.

FIONA WARD

Via email

ON July 20, 1974 it was the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. One more year gone by and no solution to the Cyprus problem.

No return for the Cypriots to their houses. The desire to return to the house where I was born is still burning and becoming stronger as the years go by. I left as a young girl and now am a grandmother, and still waiting to go back to Famagusta. I often dream I am back in Famagusta with our neighbours, playing with my cat and walking through the orange groves, their aroma filling the atmosphere. Then I wake up and remember what happened in 1974.

But the nightmare continues for the 200,000 Cypriots who still dream of returning to their houses, and for a fair and peaceful solution for both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

MIRIAM KIKIS

North Quay,

Great Yarmouth

Under the heading Viewpoint in the Yarmouth Mercury Betty Trinder seemed to be making the point that poor people seem more readily to turn to God.

It is true that Jesus said at Luke 18:24 “How difficult a thing it will be for those having money to make their way into the kingdom of God.”

Sadly both rich and poor in the western world are so influenced by a materialistic way of life that a relationship with God seems to be totally irrelevant to most people. The churches too seem to concentrate more on raising money than helping people to get their priorities right from a scriptural point of view as stated by Jesus at Mathew 6:33 “Keep on then seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness and all these other things will be added to you. So never be anxious about the next day.”

Unfortunately even the clergy don't seem to understand what God's kingdom is and what it will accomplish.

I advise them to turn to Daniel 2:44 and find out.

PHILIP KNIGHT

Wherry Way

Great Yarmouth

WE are very sorry to read that Malcolm Wild is giving up writing his Country Corner in the Mercury. Being country music fans Malcolm's piece in the Mercury is always very informative, and one of the first things we read. I know over the last few years Malcolm hasn't always enjoyed the best of health, but I'm sure we will see him at a festival or club again soon, thanks Malcolm for your Country Corner in the Mercury over the last 10 years. Keep it Country.

Keith, Phyliss, Ted Kerrison

Hastings Way

Sutton

HOW much longer have we to put up with bad manners, dirty buses and buses that are not mobility friendly. I visited Lowestoft recently and went to the bus station for the return bus back to Yarmouth, the driver waited until the last possible moment to allow the passengers to board. The bus was the type with two steps and a bar down the centre of the doorway. Some passengers and myself had difficulty boarding. Surely this type is not suitable for buggies or people with mobility problems.

Also, can anybody tell me what happens to the buses when they turn the corner of Beatty Road? Is the Bermuda Triangle on Jellicoe Road? Five buses turn the corner and one comes back full. In the holiday season it's nigh on impossible to get the bus. If you have an appointment you have to leave home two hours beforehand.

Would it not make sense to have a bus that terminates at the Racecourse back to the Barrack Estate rather than the number 4? This would make it easier for people in the Newtown area.

If we complain to the driver we are told “You travel free”, which is rubbish. Our generation paid taxes and national insurance contributions!

Sylvia Beaney

Sturdee Avenue

Great Yarmouth

TO me Norfolk County Council's fire and protection panel's decision to switch off the flood sirens on July 31 is almost callous and could ultimately mean it might be responsible for loss of life.

To make 'cost' one of the reasons is absurd and perhaps we could have a break-down of the suggested hundreds of pounds; it is purely an excuse.

As far as 'panic' that is another excuse; in this day all we have is noise the whole time.

It is unfair to rely on the police making telephone warnings. With the higher tides today, flooding happens immediately. It is imperative to get this warning to older people who can be ready for evacuation and to ensure their pets' safety.

We should write to Barbara Follett, the minister for the East of England urging her assistance.

Why is it that Norfolk County Council's panel is so adamant in its attitude?

CECILIA EBBAGE

Lovewell Road

Gorleston

I would like to make it clear regarding a news item in last weeks Mercury on page 22, regarding the Decoy Tavern, Beccles Road, Fritton. This statement is incorrect.

The pub has not been forced to sell its private garden to raise money.

In actual fact after 21 years of living here and using this garden, the brewery is the one that forcing the selling of this land, much to my disappointment, as I stand to lose two thirds of this garden of which I am totally against.

This is just another example of the brewery not really caring about the state that our local pubs are in nowadays.

Mrs M Smith

We visited Filby last Sunday, mainly to attend the unveiling and dedication of the Far East Prisoners of War Memorial situated in one of their magnificent flower beds. This was a wonderful occasion made very special by the people of Filby.

Many other visitors were also in the village enjoying the Open Gardens weekend. We were overwhelmed by the friendliness of the villagers everywhere and so enjoyed the tea, coffee and home cooking we were able to purchase in the pavilion.

We later attended the service in the church where we were also able to browse around an excellent exhibition of wedding photographs and old wedding dresses, veils etc. It was so interesting to speak to the local people about their stories.

Filby is a wonderful village to visit to view the magnificent floral displays which are not achieved without much hard work and planning over many months. Filby should be justifiably proud of all that it achieves each year and we just wanted to say how much we, and we are sure many other people, appreciate all their efforts.

Beryl and Robin Canwell

Norwich

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