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Harbour silence is deafening

PUBLISHED: 16:01 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:32 03 July 2010

I SOMETIMES wonder when reading letters published in this paper concerning the new outer harbour whether writers know the dangers of casualisation which seems to be accepted as norm by all port users but not one port employer has shown any concern for the 16 sacked dockers.

I SOMETIMES wonder when reading letters published in this paper concerning the new outer harbour whether writers know the dangers of casualisation which seems to be accepted as norm by all port users but not one port employer has shown any concern for the 16 sacked dockers. Their silence is deafening.

JH Bunn have a wonderful panoramic view from their offices of the new outer harbour and were former employers of dock labour and know all the dockers by name so they should comment. They were one of three firms who were trading under the Great Yarmouth Stevedores.

Great Yarmouth Warehouse, although the late Ken Martin would certainly have commented.

Great Yarmouth Port Authority, the third member of Great Yarmouth Stevedores. No tugboat, no heavy lift crane and no idea how to run a commercial port. On the port authority board sit three borough councillors and one an ex-corporate director of the borough council.

Great Yarmouth Port Users and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, no comment so far.

I would like to hear from EastPort why four of the dockers could not be trained to work on the massive cranes that decorate the new outer harbour.

Finally, I would like to thank MP Tony Wright for the trouble he took in mentioning the predicament of the Yarmouth dockers in Prime Minister's question time.

FRANK DREW

Former borough councillor, former Port Authority board member and registered dockworker

Cobholm

HOW I agree with Fiona Ward in last week's Mercury regarding Yarmouth Way. This road is dangerous as she says. Only last Thursday I was crossing there with my nine year old son and a driver decided to turn left into Yarmouth Way from King Street and just missed my son and myself. When I pointed out there are signs saying no left turn, all I got was a load of abuse and a fist raised at me. I can remember a couple of years back when a young mum was crossing with her two young children when a car came round the corner illegally and she actually managed to kick the car. The driver stopped and she punched him in the mouth for endangering her children. When I said that I would stand as a witness for her the driver drove off. The signs are very visible so there is no excuse.

Also there are CCTV cameras outside St George's Theatre, so why are these drivers not being picked up on camera and stopped further down the road? Is it because these cameras are not working? Has it got to come to the death of a child or some other unfortunate person before the powers that be do something about it.

JOHN DONOVAN

Clarendon Close,

Great Yarmouth

IN reply to the article on swine flu (Mercury, July 17). Us parents would not need to take our children out of schools if we had been told about the confirmed cases and reassured these cases had been isolated. What made me more angry was that when I rang Oriel High School they denied having any cases of swine flu. This is unacceptable. In my opinion, the letter they sent out was far too late. I am disgusted that my child who is going on to college next year will be penalised for her attendance due to Oriel's incompetence.

M BEASON

Winifred Road,

Cobholm

HAVING just moved to the lovely area of Norfolk and of course Yarmouth, I am very upset with the rubbish in the streets ie paper, cartons, bottles, lots of rubbish of all kinds - close to my home, and a feet or two from a bus stop. A manhole cover had toilet paper hanging out of it having overflowed. The smell was so bad.

I phoned Yarmouth council to find out when they cleaned the roads around this area but was told the man who dealt with it was not in the office and would call me back. That was two weeks ago and never a call.

I have never seen a dustcart, roadsweeper or anything that would clean the street. Is there such a thing? Yes, in town, where you have the tourists, but not in our part of the borough. As someone of 73 I find it very dangerous to walk down the street, having to look out all the time for rubbish.

K BROWN

Gorleston

THE British School I feel sure became The Daniel Tomkins School. After a year or two at the old St George's School, which later became the hospital, I went to The Daniel Tomkins School before going on to the old Nelson School in St Peter's Road. This all happened during the 1920s. I have not met anyone who has heard of The Daniel Tomkins School.

J HOWES,

Sheldonian Court

Gorleston

ALTHOUGH I can't offer any more than Peggotty about the British School my father, born in 1888, told me he attended the school when he lived in Southtown Road (long walk). I don't know if he spent all his schooling there but he left school in 1902 when his father, the Broadland artist C H Harrison died. I have no idea either when it ceased to become a school but my Kelly's directory for 1959 lists S A Crane and Sons taxi service on the site bit I always remember it was a garage until it was demolished and housing now occupies the site.

P HARRISON

Euston Road

Great Yarmouth

I WORK for “Include” in Great Yarmouth as part of CfBT Education Trust, a charitable E2E provider for 16-19 year olds who are N.E.E.T. (Not in education. employment or training.)

We have recently been allocated an allotment on the Fremantle Road site but as this is a new venture we are in desperate need of gardening tools and implements and would like to appeal to your readers for any support they might be able to offer. We run a lunch club every Monday where the young people prepare, cook and serve a two course meal for £2.50 per head at St James' Health and Resource Centre on Queen's Road. We are hoping that once the allotment is established we would be able to grow our own potatoes and vegetables for this project.

We would be able to collect any unwanted or used items that may otherwise remain hidden in the back of the shed. If you can help please call me on 01493 335790, Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm. Many thanks in anticipation.

SUE HACK

Project Worker

CHURCH Road in Gorleston is kept very well but for two years I have had concerns over the blind spot there. I am concerned with the crossing as you cannot see traffic coming from Middleton Road because of a shrubs and a tree on the roundabout. They are nice, but in the wrong spot.

P EVANS

Westbrook Avenue

Gorleston

AGE Concern Great Yarmouth recently undertook a charity collection at Yarmouth Racecourse and among the coins collected was an undated 20p. The National Mint was offering £50 for these coins if you registered with them.

We checked on ebay and found that the story of anybody recently getting £7,000 for such a coin was a fantasy. The coins were selling for an average of £150. In fact the current bids are averaging £75.

We were lucky in that we were offered £250 by a private buyer, which we accepted. Like all charities we are suffering from the financial pressures of the recession and we were extremely pleased for this piece of good fortune. We are sorry to disillusion Kevin Grundy on his find. It might be advisable for him to keep hold of the coin and sell at a more profitable time.

LYDIA MIDDLETON

RE soft approach to slowing boy racers. I am in agreement with what Michael Jeal writes, what a farce. Does anybody think for a moment that any “racer” will stop and read this notice? Of course not, in total there are 59 words on the notice! What would actually happen if every racer did stop to read the notice?

Regarding the cost? How much was spent on designing the wording and logo for the sign? How much did the sign(s) cost to produce? How much did it cost for people to erect the sign? Surely this would have paid for a police presence in this area?

What we need is enforcement, not a soft approach. The laws exist, use them.

M E HOOD

Claydon Grove

Gorleston

I WOULD like to apologise to those loyal people who turned up to the Gorleston Bandstand on Sunday to watch the band NJP Trio perform. Due to administrative miss communication, unfortunately there was a problem with the electric box.

As an attempt to make amends for those who came especially. It has been organised for NJP Trio to perform this Sunday, August 2 at noon, followed by the band Skiffle IT at 2pm. I hope you are able to make it to the Bandstand this Sunday to enjoy the two very good bands we have organised for you.

DONNA BIDWELL

Tourism Events Manager

I WATCHED on television last week the debate with the Norwich North by-election candidates and was interested to see that within minutes, conversation turned to the outer harbour and the poor road infrastructure within Norfolk, with particular reference to the Acle Straight.

It was clear that even in Norwich they were bemoaning the lack of infrastructure between themselves and Great Yarmouth and that this of great significance to the wealth of the region.

In 1997 I can remember supporting Labour over promises by our current Labour MP to do something about the dualling of the Acle Straight, something which 12 years later very little seems to have been done about.

I was shocked when I read Labour have now downgraded the importance of dualling this stretch of road. Broadland MP Keith Simpson and our Conservative council have been championing the building of a dual carriageway, as well as our Conservative MEPs, securing money for the future of this road so perhaps my support for Labour all those years ago was misplaced after all.

MRS TOVELL

Belton

WE were moved and saddened to read in last week's Mercury the letter from Miriam Kikis regarding her former home in Famagusta. Having been born and raised in Great Yarmouth, we would like to say that the Cypriot community brought a great deal to this area both socially and in business. Both our hearts go out to them and we wish that one day their dream will come true.

CHARLES & PAT MARSDEN,

Keyes Avenue

Great Yarmouth

MAY I refer to Miriam Kiki's letter in your newspaper last week. My interest in Cyprus was as a soldier stationed in Famagusta during 1956-59 in the Intelligence Corps. During those years we were on active service fighting EOKA in a bloody terrorist campaign. However, when the town was not out of bounds, we were allowed to mix freely with the Greek and Turkish peoples, whom we found were extremely friendly and hospitable.

The island remained under British rule until 1959, when it gained its independence. Sadly, since that date its peoples have suffered greatly, but none the more so than the Greeks, who were robbed of their homes by the Turks in and after 1974.

Bearing in mind that, for the last thousand years, the island of Cyprus has been invaded by numerous other foreign armies and dominated under their rule, it is unlikely that the wrongs committed in 1974 cannot be put right, until Turkey becomes a member of the European Union. Then questions will be asked and answers demanded.

It is my hope that I am given the opportunity, during my lifetime, of seeing Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, emerge once more from the sea and bring a tranquility to a beautiful island.

CHARLES STENNER

Hall Quay

Great Yarmouth

I WOULD like to congratulate the young players in Filby who performed in A Walk in the Park last weekend. I have seen a few of their productions over the last three years or so and enjoyed each one but felt they excelled themselves this year. The percussion was very enjoyable and entirely “in tune” with the production. As one of our party said, the production was very atmospheric. It's a pity there weren't a few more people there to enjoy it on Saturday afternoon. Congratulations to all involved.

SUE CHURCH

Cucumber Lane

Brundall

ON Saturday, September 12 at noon until 4pm there is a Garden Party at Lothingland School to celebrate its 50th anniversary and sadly its closure due to Suffolk education reorganization. The chairman of the governors, Susan Whitthames, has written to the Mercury's sister papers the EDP and Lowestoft Journal regarding this and as I, and many other ex-pupils live in the Bradwell, Belton, Burgh Castle, Browston and Fritton areas, I thought I would let them know via the Mercury. Mrs Witthames has said there will be music and light refreshments and we are welcome to bring our own picnics to enjoy in the pleasant rural grounds. It is hoped ex-pupils, staff and governors will come to chat, reminisce and enjoy displays of memorabilia. Richard Wood of Archant is appealing for any old photos of the school and he can be contacted on richard.wood@archant.co.uk

JEAN SAMUELS

(nee Brooks)

I DON'T go out much due to the credit crunch but last Friday I ventured out to the Green Gate Inn in Caister for the advertised Ska and Two Tone night and what a night it was. From 8pm until 1am the place was a mass of people dancing and stomping to some fantastic ska records played by the DJ. Original Yarmouth skinheads turned up and showed everyone how to enjoy and dance to ska music. What a night. Well done Green Gate, when is the next ska night?

KEVIN LAMB

Prince of Wales Road

Caister

IN these times of recession there is much talk about the need to save public money. The Conservatives have indicated there would be a need for budget cuts in all areas and has been ridiculed by Labour. I'm not sure such drastic cuts would be necessary if we were to employ the right people and systems in national and local government to ensure that money was not squandered.

Great Yarmouth is a case in point. The borough council and Greater Yarmouth Tourism Authority was awarded £16.3m for regeneration three years ago on the ludicrous basis that if it did not spend the money within a few months, access to that funding would be lost.

So here is how the public money was spent. According to figures released at the time approximately £900,000 was spent on three giant Orwellian TV screens. I noticed they have barely been used. There were around 36 lighting canons to light the beach with custom built columns to house them. Each canon cost around £6000 (not including the column) and they were removed recently having been used for one season. When asked why they were removed a council representative informed me it was because the bulbs explode after three years. I would be surprised if a business was allowed to market exploding bulbs and I find it incredible they feel they can insult the public's intelligence. The council promised us bigger and better illuminations and millions was spent on the columns on Marine Parade. Unfortunately nobody checked that the columns would support the weight of lighting strings and consequently we now have no lights! The former Maritime Museum was indeed regenerated at a cost of £800,000 but unfortunately it was regenerated into plush offices to re-house civil servants from the Town Hall.

Enormous amounts were spent resurfacing Marine Parade but due to a lack of oversight the road fell apart within a year. But at least the council has a cunning idea when it comes to funding road works - double the cost of car parking and quadruple the cost of residents permits.

If we could just stop local authorities haemorrhaging our money then we might not be in this financial quagmire and we wouldn't have to withstand cuts in important public services.

Name and Address withheld

HAVING just returned from a performance of Cinderella & Rockafella performed by the children of Homefield School, I can only say a huge thank you to the head and staff for their dedication for the children's fantastic show. Simon Cowell beware, Britain has got talent but this school in Bradwell has the 100pc X Factor.

PAM SWINDLEHURST

St Johns Avenue

Gorleston

REGARDING York Road Drill Hall, has the council ever considered investing the money they intend to spend on a conversion to a youth centre on a plan to encourage young people to participate in sports activities, in what is already a suitable venue.

All I ever hear when I turn on the news is the fact that we have a childhood obesity problem, and speaking as a person in their late twenties who has been using the facility for five-a-side football for almost 10 years, surely an affordable sports venue is what young people in the area need.

Is it not worth considering also that there are several empty buildings Yarmouth, which with a little money and vision could be turned into a youth centre. If it isn't broke don't fix it springs to mind.

CHRIS BLAKE

Tan Lane

Caister

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