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It's nice to be appreciated

PUBLISHED: 15:54 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 July 2010

I WOULD like to thank those who I have received phone calls, letters and emails from who have sympathised with my unfair treatment whilst taking photographs in Belton.

I WOULD like to thank those who I have received phone calls, letters and emails from who have sympathised with my unfair treatment whilst taking photographs in Belton. Also those who I have spoken to in person, inviting me back to the village to photograph the subjects there. I am very grateful for all the support. It seems I was unfortunate to meet with this accuser. The correspondence I received has really boosted my confidence in photographing village life. My results are published on my website http://www.freewebs.com/benacre. Thank you very much to the residents of Belton and the surrounding area. It is nice to be appreciated.

COLIN JACOBS

Field View Drive

Lowestoft

ON behalf of the members of the Public and Commercial Services Union in the local “tax office” at Havenbridge House I would like to give our thanks to the local MP, borough council, sister unions of the newly reformed Great Yarmouth and district trades unions council, local businesses and of course the townsfolk as a whole of the overwhelming support they have show in our campaign to keep the local office open and 139 jobs in our town.

Nobody we spoke with could believe the reasoning behind the HM Revenue and Customs proposal to close down a local service and deprive our town of much needed employment. The public consultation has now ceased and we can but wait to see if the voice of reason will be heard and listened to in Whitehall.

We understand if people still wish to comment it is not too late, as they can contact Tony Wright MP who will be lobbying on the office and town's behalf until the decision is finally made some time, we understand, in the autumn.

COLIN FOX

Austin Road

Great Yarmouth

I WRITE in relation to the so-called travellers who have decided to settle on North Drive car park this past weekend. They arrived Saturday evening and as of Monday morning, are still there! They should have been moved on before they have a chance to even park up.

There will, no doubt, be a clean up operation by the council when they do finally leave (at the taxpayer's expense, naturally). Their vehicles are not taxed, but the police won't do a damn thing because if they impound the vehicle, the persons are forced to stay here as they have no means of pulling a trailer.

They bring nothing to our town except the rubbish they leave behind. Do the police do nothing nowadays? They don't do call-outs to noise reports, sort out intruders who settle in the town or even want to know most of the time. I even passed North Drive car park Sunday afternoon and two police officers were happily chatting to the owner of one caravan - not moving them on, more like befriending them? Next, should we give them a house and a new car?

JAK MILLER

Great Yarmouth

WE read with great joy in The Mercury earlier this year, how at long last the council were getting rid of car trailers and breakdown trucks from residential streets. We are very lucky in Exmouth Road because we still have our big red one, usually loaded with a crashed car, parked outside our windows, blocking out the daylight. We are also lucky, as our street is used for storing customer cars awaiting repair, we only have six this week, so we can just about park our own cars. When are they going to give us our nice residential road back, or have they forgotten about us?

Name and Address withheld

RE: “Mum plans centre for tumbling tots” (Mercury, August 8).

I had very much the same thoughts on the provisions of under 5's activities in the area, although I didn't have the financial history and backing that Lindsey Layfield has, and my ideas were on a much smaller scale!

I took over running Bradwell Tots mother and toddler group at Easter 2007; I had been going with my three children for nine years previous to that. The parents liked some of my art and craft ideas but were reluctant to get paints, playdough and glue out at home due to either the cost of buying the items, they didn't have the time, or were worried about ruining the furniture. I decided I would start up a new group - Pre-School Picassos Under 5's Art and Messy Play Group. I would offer three different art and craft activities each week along with sand or water play and playdough, modelling clay or another “gooey” activity.

After months of preparation I advertised four sessions in June and July to see whether there would be any interest. To my surprise it became popular very quickly, with 14 children the first week. The most we had was 24 and it was great fun.

We are starting again in September and as far as I am aware we are the only regular group set up specifically for art and messy play for the under 5's in the area.

VENETIA SPINK

Group Leader

Bradwell Tots and Pre-School Picassos

I FEEL our long awaited outer harbour is going to turn out to be nothing more than an attempt at coastal reclamation. With the north and south piers of the construction now in place acting as two large groynes our shifting sands will now start the reclamation. In so doing, I fear our original harbour will become defunct.

J DYE

Gunville Road

Gorleston

REGARDING the report in the Mercury, August 8, headed “Dismay as pet left to fend for itself.” My wife and I reported the dog being abandoned at 9pm the previous Monday. It wasn't until the following day at noon when the environmental ranger came. However, I want to question again who is responsible for the safety of this if it happens again?

Foirst I was given a number from the police to call the rangers. When I got through they said it was not their job, go back to the police, which I did. Then I called the RSPCA who didn't want to know. Why cannot someone be more pro-active about this?

The funny side to this is no-one who came for the dog had the right equipment. The police officer got bitten, the ranger had some net as if he was going fishing. No idea at all. Thank goodness it was not a wet and snowy night as the dog would have frozen to death.

Yes, the dog was scared; it was dangerous because of all the problems the poor thing was going through. It was stressed out.

If the dog had got out and bitten a member of the public I suppose it would have been treated as a danger and been put down - just because we don't have a proper system for dealing with things like this in Great Yarmouth.

No-one wanted to know, apart from the public who love animals. It was a complete shambles. So what number are we to call if such a thing was to happen again?

M HOLDER,

George Street

Great Yarmouth

BARBARA Daniels' letter in the Mercury, August 8, gives the impression - perhaps unintentionally - that Mr Haydock and Mr Dyson were American. No so, Mr Haydock was a Geordie and Mr Dyson was a pur East Anglian. I also notice on page 32 of the same issue, From our Files, that 15 years ago all sorts of promises were made about “the early dualling of the Acle Straight”.

Miss R L FARMER

Marine Parade

Gorleston

THE Mercury report about the threat to Waveney Forest/ Fritton Woods (August 1) and the Secret Army, brought memories flooding back about my father Reg Botwright who was a hairdresser in Theatre Plain. He was in this Secret Army under the command of Bill Ward, Unit 202. There were certainly underground bunkers which were lived in every weekend, my father being the cook.

He also told me about the raft and how terrified he was at the time as he couldn't swim! But it was St Olaves bridge not Haddiscoe where the shoe box bomb was put. I feel it is such a great pity these brave men were not recognised after the war as they were very brave. Perhaps it's not too late. My friend 85 years old just got her Land Army medal last week!

MARJORY WILSON

Mill Road

Frettenham

THE beautiful, tranquil Waveney Forest is an area of land in Fritton that many people get enjoyment out of visiting and have done so for over 50 years. People visit for many different reasons and it has become a part of their lives and certainly is part of the landscape of St Olaves and Fritton.

It is the habitat for an abundance of rarely-seen birds and butterflies and other wildlife and in just five minutes of standing quietly within the forest, we experienced the sights and sounds of siskin, woodpecker, tree creepers, goldcrests, tawny owl, willow and coal tits, peacock, gatekeeper, meadow brown and fritillary butterflies. Oh what a haven of wonderful wildlife, what an education!

The remains of the world war two structures underground in the woods are awesomely breathtaking - we can almost feel the battle experience undertaken by the many brave men who protected this stretch of once heathland. The Waveney Forest should remain a shrine to those who fought to keep their "island" of Fritton and St Olaves out of the hands of the German Army - do not render their fight worthless.

Surely, this needs to be a protected, historical/archaeological site of interest just for the above reason alone?

It is absolutely shocking, especially in today's climate, to think anyone would consider the destruction of a forest to make way for an aggregate pit. To date we have over 6000 signatures of people who do not consider this at all. The number is growing daily. As we understand it, there are another 102 sites that have been allocated for consideration, all of which are open-ground sites, and we do not agree with the reasoning behind the inclusion of a beautiful forest when you have all these other options. Why would it even be on the NCC list?

Yes, we all know pine trees are croppable, but once the crop has been gathered, replant and allow our children and our children's children to grow up together with the newly replanted trees, giving them the wonderful memories that we all have. Please don't kill the Waveney Forest, as you would be killing much wildlife and many people's lives along with it. This forest breathes - keep it alive for all to experience.

JOHN AND JAN BURTON

WE had an excellent collection of letters on the religious theme last week and I was very interested in David Sims' comments about instant healing. Having practised martial arts for many years when I was younger, I am aware of the amazing power the mind can have on the body. I also realise that despite the tremendous advances we have made in the study of disease of the human body and the brain, we are still only at the beginning of our understanding in these fields. I did hear about a study that was done into the power of prayer where they took two groups of sick people. One group was prayed for every day for, I think, three months and the other group ignored. The result was that the group that was ignored did better. I think this was done to prove the power of prayer, but I am sure the people carrying out the trial missed the point. I am of the opinion that if you personally believe strongly enough that a prayer, either by yourself or others, is doing you some good, the brain is such a powerful organ that it will indeed have some effect on your body and its problems with no intervention from any third party

I do have to disagree with David about evolution not being able to produce complicated organisms. The process has been going on over billions of years and more and more studies into the process are indicating how this happens. It does not happen by chance, as David would find out if he studied the evidence a little deeper. This is, of course, something that is too complex to go into in a letter. I am amazed at the way the universe works, how the earth works and the complex nature of life and I am sure that there is some force behind it which nobody understands, but I am also sure that there is no mysterious being watching us and punishing us or rewarding us for our actions or listening to anyone's prayers. I am of the opinion that this whole idea is just something set up many years ago by religious or political leaders to gain and retain power over their followers.

DEREK BROWN

Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

I HAVE been reading with real interest the ongoing discussions in the Mercury concerning religion and faith and at last I am able to thank God, the loving God in whom I believe for the eminently sensible and enlightening contribution from Richard Knowles!

Religion and faith are such totally different concepts; it is little wonder that the issues become clouded and confused.

I am not usually given to quote the bible, but in the new English version, Hebrews 11 posses the question “And what is Faith? Faith gives substance to our hopes and makes us certain of realities we do not see.”

Having faith is indeed what is important, it does involve the use or misuse of the God given gift of free will - we use it to exact evil at our peril. There is a colloquial expression “Jesus wept and well he might” and I reiterate it with great respect, for I am certain he weeps daily at the atrocities perpetrated in the name of religion and which He does not instigate.

I too do not present to be religious. My own faith is a very simple one based on a relationship between me and my Maker to whom I talk as friend to friend daily seeking advice, asking for quiet opportunities of witness and service and placing in His hands the needs of our troubled world.

When things for so many seem endlessly hard, I am reminded that with God there is no time as such - does not the hymn say “A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an evening gone” - and therefore I am comforted by the worlds of Mother Julian “All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.” Perhaps if we were all able to make that extra effort of getting on with trying to put into practice our Lord's commandments of love and respect for Him and our neighbours then Mother Julian's prediction might come true sooner than we think - who knows?

DUSTY MILLER

Linus Road

Gorleston

IN his Mercury letter two weeks ago Mr Knight said Jesus “was a man, and never claimed to be God”. Then last week we had a Cof E vicar, Richard Knowles, supporting Mr Knight's Jehovah's Witness view: “Thank God for Phillip Knight... who... gets down to the true reason for adopting Jesus Christ as the reason for being.”

But if Jesus is not God, how can He be “the reason for being”? In fact, Jesus did claim to be God (John 8:58; 10:30; 14:9). Plus He accepted worship (Matthew 8:2; John 9:38); and after His bodily resurrection, Thomas called Him “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

Also Mr Knowles said: “Having a 'faith' is what's important because the faith of all the mainstream religions... preach love at their heart.” Really? So it doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you have a “faith” and “preach love”?

Let's stop being rudderless ships drifting without map or compass in a starless night, and get back to the Bible: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

ELDO BARKHUIZEN

Albemarle Road

Gorleston

THE God/no God debate taking place in the Mercury has provoked the expected responses from both sides. However, to the “no God” side I say forget it! You are up against blind faith and you won't change anything. This is the strength of faith that in times past had women burned alive as witches and that still today has children beaten almost to death to drive out the “evil spirits” believed to be “possessing” them.

This is the blind faith that has loving parents allowing their own child to die for the want of a simple blood transfusion, based on their churches interpretation of a few lines of scripture and believing that this is their God testing their faith. You won't dent such faith by a few letters to a newspaper.

But perhaps in turning our backs on the Christian church's practical teaching as well as the supernatural side we may have thrown a very small but significant baby out with the bathwater. I am old enough to remember being taught “religious instruction” at school; the simple lessons from the Bible of forgiving one another, about charitable giving without wanting something in return and of the random acts of kindness toward strangers.

These concepts now seem so alien in modern society. If you don't believe it walk around the streets of Yarmouth on any Saturday and just listen to the way people talk to each other now.

I, probably like a number of your correspondents, have seen just too much unfairness and undeserved pain in my life to believe in the almighty loving god of Christianity, but I do not think our lives have been made any happier or more fulfilled by the parallel rejection of the behavioural code which came as part of the God package.

DENNIS J BEAN

Burgh St Peter

Beccles

Editor's Note: Thanks for this interesting debate over the last few weeks, but we must bring it to an end.

RE: Camera loss. While I have every sympathy in the camera loss suffered by the Barnes family in last week's Mercury. It highlights the reason to transfer your photos to your computer after each event, and onto a disc as a backup, and to not leave several important photo events on the memory card for six months or more. Accidental loss can happen by deleting memory card, card failure or putting a camera down on holiday and forgetting it. Maybe a lesson learnt not to have so much on the memory card for so long … just in case something happens. You can always replace the camera, not the photos. To whoever, please at least return the memory card.

M WEBBER

Gorleston

THE new Ferris Wheel has really given Great Yarmouth a new landmark, it can clearly be seen from the Acle Straight, along with Nelson's Monument and the gasworks! It looks absolutely superb at night with all its sparkling lights and really sets the seafront off!

It would be nice for the council to give Albert Jones permission to start building the Edge so it coincides with the opening of the Outer Harbour, thereby getting all the building work finished at once.

Attention could then be given to our beloved Marina Centre and to refurbish the exterior to give it the “Wow” factor. After all the council gave themselves planning permission and speedily changed Futters old building into a shiny liquorice allsort on The Conge, so if they really put their thinking caps on, got a move on, they could turn the Marina Centre into a “shimmering jewel” showpiece on the sands, right in the middle of the Golden Mile.

LYN BYFORD

Exmouth Road

Great Yarmouth

WHY are local venues turning their backs on the thousands of people who make the annual pilgrimage to Great Yarmouth for the East Anglian Festival, three days of racing and greyhound semi and final nights, from September 13 to 20?

I have made this week a regular holiday for over 20 years, but there are no evening shows anymore. The Britannia Pier has for the last few years nothing to give the many people who are in town; Peter Jay's circus ends for the season on September 7. The Marina offers us nothing. So all the many people looking for entertainment have nothing.

Whatever has happened to people realising many people need things to do after racing.

All we are left with is to be grateful for the pub on the Prom which gives us somewhere to exchange dog and horse talk.

There is a big market of people coming into town so come on Yarmouth, wake up and grab hold of the opportunity to make a few quid and give us hordes some entertainment during the biggest racing festival of the season at Yarmouth.

MARTIN BROOKES

Boxgrove Priory

Bedford


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