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Eyesore needs to be removed

PUBLISHED: 16:11 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:44 03 July 2010

FOR years I have been sent update letters from Great Yarmouth Tourism proudly telling me how much money they have spent on Yarmouth seafront.

You see, I'm a business owner on Gorleston beach and wondering if in the next letter I receive from them they will mention the council's contribution of two plastic picnic benches to our lovely unspoilt Edwardian Gorleston beach.

FOR years I have been sent update letters from Great Yarmouth Tourism proudly telling me how much money they have spent on Yarmouth seafront.

You see, I'm a business owner on Gorleston beach and wondering if in the next letter I receive from them they will mention the council's contribution of two plastic picnic benches to our lovely unspoilt Edwardian Gorleston beach. I doubt it, probably too much of an embarrassment.

We all know the council has lost our money in the fall of the Icelandic bank and need revenue quickly but surely putting the old lifeguard building up for tender with A3 usage is really going a bit too far.

What we have here is a building in need of demolition, not conversion to another food and ice cream outlet. It's a complete eyesore and blocks the beautiful seaviews, almost as much as the tatty old urinal they call a shelter next to it.

There are two large cafes and takeaways, two good ice cream parlours just 25 yards away. Why would we possible need any more, unless it's just to create more rubbish for the road sweepers to pick up?

How much revenue will it generate anyway? Not as much as it will cost to maintain the areas around it! Incidentally, those areas are designated access and parking for ambulances, paramedics, fire engines and coastguards.

Five years ago we were told this building was in need of underpinning due to shallow foundations, which is why a new lifeguard station was put on the beach. Isn't the truth of it that giving the go ahead just lays the foundations for a string of outlets along our precious Edwardian beach front? On Friday the British Heritage Society will be rubber stamping the go ahead to include these areas as a conservation area; will this building be removed then? Let's hope so.

British Heritage are not really into conserving square brick eyesores are they!

PS The reason I am writing this is that I have been ringing the council for two weeks and no-one has returned any of my 19 phone calls. I just thought somebody might read this letter and get back to me.

STEVE LAWRENCE

Maggie's Café

Lower Marine Parade

Gorleston

BEFORE I start this letter I want to say I am not a cyclist hater as I have cycled backwards and forwards to work in Great Yarmouth for over 35 years - before the advent of many of the cycle paths available today.

I never felt the need to ride on the pavement even when travelling over Haven Bridge to go along South Quay or in order to miss out red traffic lights, correctly assuming that the pavement was for pedestrians.

However, since I have had to give up driving for medical reasons and am walking more, I feel less safe than I did on my bike; cyclists shoot past me or look daggers at me if I get in their way. In many cases the road is empty of cars so they cannot use the safety aspect as an excuse.

I say nothing about small children riding on the pavement; being a grandparent myself I feel that is the safest place for them, providing they are taught to give consideration to pedestrians, but the number of adults on the pavement who should know better is becoming almost like a disease.

To add to this problem we now have electric wheelchairs to contend with, some of which seem to go along at a good speed and expect everyone to get out of their way. Am I the only person who feels this way? Surely a lot of elderly people must feel very unsafe when walking on the pavement these days?

Mrs G BARTRAM,

University Crescent,

Gorleston

ONCE more I have had reason to complain about the issue of late/cancelled trains from Great Yarmouth to Norwich.

Today (Monday, April 20) the 5:55am was delayed until 6:25am, during which time numerous announcements from the guard on the delay, was caused by signal failure, but could not offer an expected time to depart.

At some time after 6.30am the announcement was such that departure was likely to be after 7am and “they were currently looking to resource a bus.” I work in London and was holding a business meeting at 9.30am so I took a taxi to Norwich Station (£40) and gave a young girl going back to college a lift.

The point I make is that none of that expense will not refunded. In the past I have even taken two Chinese visitors to Norwich to allow them to get a connecting train to Heathrow. Other people needing to get to work don't even have the choice that I do, and will have to put up with the level of service and lack of available facilities when this happens. What of the poor travellers stuck at the rural stations on the way?

I find it regretful not making goodwill payments and astonishing that the organisation doesn't have robust contingency plans.

STEVE TAYLOR

Wells HSSE

London

PARKING (again). The figures we have been given are incomplete and cannot be compared.

We have the ticket sales for 2006/7 at 1,022 (£25,550) and for 2008/9 at 2,043 (£51,075). What happened to 2007/8? Is it a co-incidence that the figures for the first year are exactly half those for the second year?

Again the shortfall figures are incomplete, 2007/8 is £26,944 and for 2008/9 at (circa) £50,000.What happened in 2006/7?

We need a full set of figures ie ticket sales, fines income, collection costs, administration, maintenance etc. The amount to run this scheme according to Mr Tim Howard is £150,000 per annum. Can we have a profit and loss account in yearly form?

Mr Plant (see my letter last week) now wants to put up the cost of a permit from £25 to £60. Mr Castle states that we should “increase prices yearly as the people expect it.” No, Mr Castle, they do not, and the reason permit numbers have gone up is because people have to have them, not as they would like them.

If the members who are promoting these ideas really want to see Great Yarmouth become a ghost town, carry on, they will succeed.

M HOOD

Claydon Grove

Gorleston on Sea

I LIVE in London with my partner, originally from Norfolk. Following the arrival of our first child, Harrison on April 7 we have been staying with my partner's parents in Ingham.

On a recent trip to Wroxham on April 14 we lost our camera which had on it all of Harrison's pictures from the hospital, going home, meeting grandparents, uncles, aunts etc. Would you please publish this request to your readers that if they found a RICOH digital camera in Wroxham around April 14 could they please contact me.

We are not too worried about recovering the camera we just want the memory card with our sons pictures on it. Our address is: 66A Bexley High Street, Bexley, Kent DA5 1AH, telephone 01322525536 or 07746676909.

DOMINIC LEWIS

“SPIRIT of Easter” letter from Barry Coleman (Mercury April 17). In my opinion, the lack of interest in religion is the result of increased awareness, and what epitomises the current state of the country can be laid at the door of recklessness, greed and the corrupt element it produces. Localised opinion is valued, but with the possibility of unitarian rule in the near future, a more globalised view needs to be adopted. It is also prudent to remember that the Audit Commission did not give our town a complete clean bill of health. Who is responsible for that?

JAMES LINDSAY

Trinity Avenue

Great Yarmouth

I WAS astounded to read the news in the Mercury with the headline, “Judge jails drugs factory 'gardener'.”

Here we have an illegal immigrant who is starting two and a half years in one of our prisons at great cost to who? Yes, that's right us, the great British taxpayer! It really eases my mind to know that our hard earned tax contribution is put to fair use by the powers that be. I understand he has committed a crime in this country and has to serve his punishment but I find it very unfair that this happens at a cost to the British workforce.

Name and Address withheld

WHY are we saying there is a problem? (Butchers concerns over halal supplies, Mercury, April 17)

I have seen the way the animals are killed in the way halal meat demands, just slit their throats and let them bleed to death! So why does everyone else in the UK eat meat that is humanely killed? We should not let animals suffer just so they can be labelled a certain product. Their life is short enough as it is so a bit of human kindness when it comes to being slaughtered.

MARK MOYSE

Harbord Crescent

Great Yarmouth

HAVING taken part in a phone in discussion on Radio Norfolk this Sunday, I feel I must further voice my concern over the proposed withdrawal of NHS funding for hospital chaplains.

I am diametrically opposed to such a move having been associated with the chaplaincy at the JPH for more than 20 years as a volunteer and can speak from experience of the priceless comfort and security received by so many patients of all creeds and none.

I am reminded of a sentence in “The Welcome Visitor” by John Humphrys - “Love is the most powerful drug for someone facing the final challenge,” and for many lying in a hospital had the sudden realisation of one's vulnerability and mortality has to be faced. It is the chaplains and their helpers who can bring the necessary peace and tranquillity needed to face such a challenge.

It would be tragic through lack of funding, to close such a valuable ministry, care comes in many forms and the human touch can never be underestimated - meanwhile volunteers are still needed - how about you readers? Why not come and show you care.

DUSTY MILLER

Links Road

Gorleston

WHY should people living in the area of the fair be expected to put up with intolerable noise levels for an extra day? The new houses on Fullers Hill had very noisy attractions a few yards from their front doors. Residents of Falcon Court, Northgate Street, Priory Plain, etc, all suffered disquiet of the extra day. This experiment of a Sunday fair must be stopped.

MIKE TAYLOR

St George's Road

Great Yarmouth

MAY I say that those who did not attend the Farewell Celebration of the Rev Canon Michael Woods missed a truly wonderful, spiritual celebration. Not only was it great to thank Michael for all his devotion and hard work to St Nicholas' Church but also to experience the fabulous throngs of people, singing their hearts out, in the splendour of St Nicholas.

This must have been how it was after it was built in the 11th century and up to the second world war, when the masses went to Church and enjoyed the spirituality of the Church.

On a typical Sunday at St Nicholas' the congregation is lucky to reach 30 and polls predict that congregation will be greatly diminished by 2050. I would urge the masses to experience the slow, careful, meditative atmosphere of St Nicholas', and allow yourself to do nothing but connect with a tranquillity all of its own, which is a great luxury in life nowadays - have an “awareness meditation.”

Enjoy St Nicholas' while it lasts!

ELIZABETH ALWAY (Mrs)

via email

MULLING over the recent correspondence re Nelson and his monument, something clicked: The Battle of the Nile, 210 years ago, Horatio Nelson did something rather extraordinary.

I don't suppose for one minute it was responsible for his victory, but just possibly may have helped. It's quite likely that Nelson as a child in Norfolk developed the idea used to good effect in the Bay of Akoubir. Marine gunnery is what I'm referring to. Apparently Nelson encouraged his gunners to depress their guns to such an extent that when fired, the cannonballs skipped across the sea as did Nelson's stones hurled low over his local duck pond many years before. The sea would need to be fairly flat, I suppose.

One hundred and forty-five years later, a very clever British scientist remembered reading about Nelson and his experiment at the Nile delta and tried something similar. He set up a long tank of water and fired golf balls along it. His name was Barnes-Wallis, the man responsible for the “bouncing bomb” and the dambuster raids on Germany in the second world war.

Yes, Nelson played a part in the 1939-45 conflict.

Barnes-Wallis also designed the Wellington bomber which I had the good fortune to fly in whilst serving in the RAF. A lovely old aircraft, geodetically constructed with twin Bristol Hercules sleeve-valve radial engines, quiet and smooth as silk.

Now for more pressing matters, Mr Coles says I haven't grasped the logistics of moving the listed building. I can assure him I have no intention of doing so. It sounds most uncomfortable.

As to the cost, over the years my various wives have moaned about the price of this and the cost of that and we can't afford this, yet oddly a new hat or dress is required or a fancy hair-do, the money miraculously appears. Very strange. Perhaps we should introduce a tax on these things to pay for the sort of stuff us men know are important. After the column is moved and paid for, any money left over could perhaps put a spire back on St Nicholas' Church. That would please me greatly.

As regards the pillar being easily accessible at the moment with parking no problem, the truth is that hardly anybody ventures that far.

Mr Cole wonders about the identity of the student who initiated this correspondence. His name is Joshua (not Ernest). He attends the East Norfolk Sixth Form College, and he chose the name Ernest because one of his favourite authors is Oscar Wilde.

JOHN NICHOLS

Emmanuel Avenue

Gorleston

Editor's note: We're re-printing this letter as it was littered with spelling errors last week. We apologise to Mr Nicholls.

SAINSBURY'S Great Yarmouth is searching for customers who can share their memories of the store as part of the company's 140th birthday celebrations.

The store hopes to find customers who can reminisce about the days before the introduction of self-scan checkouts, Organic food and chip and pin with a view to inviting them to join the forthcoming 140th birthday celebrations planned in store.

“We're looking for customers and colleagues who have interesting and quirky memories of the store, for example; it would be great to find someone who remembers when the store opened or who has been shopping with us for a particularly long time. Better still, if anyone has any Sainsbury's memorabilia which they'd be happy to share with us, we'd love to see anything that's available.

Anyone with memories or stories to tell about Sainsbury's should contact Judy Nichols at the store on 01493 330313.

MARK COLLINS,

Store manager,

Sainsbury's Yarmouth

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