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Letter

PUBLISHED: 13:43 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 July 2010

FOR over 20 years I have been promoting in letter to papers and radio, the obvious (to me) “coming together” of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Originally my idea was met with scorn; I had intimidating letters and even a few dodgy phone calls - mainly from Lowestoft people who didn't like the idea.

FOR over 20 years I have been promoting in letter to papers and radio, the obvious (to me) “coming together” of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Originally my idea was met with scorn; I had intimidating letters and even a few dodgy phone calls - mainly from Lowestoft people who didn't like the idea.

Gradually this “joined up” idea has gathered support and now it is only some politicians (who fear losing power) and town council organisations plus some old-fashioned locals, who talk it down and dismiss what is such an obviously no-brainer “plus” to the problems of the two towns (which are identical!) and their potential to move forward into their rightful position as the leading coastal and tourism region of East Anglia and the country and to free the old school ties to Norwich and Ipswich.

Imagine a new name, not Yartoft, but something new - marketable, fresh, more powerful just as Torbay and Costa del Sol have become recognised as holiday destinations, not just various towns strung together. Imagine one town guide with twice the budget, one town publicity department with twice the budget, better salaries, a dynamic leadership.

Imagine a coastal monorail joining together the two resorts, moving thousands of holidaymakers to the attractions of both towns, what a ride - what a potential!

We already share many things and it works fantastically well, we as a company already think of Lowestoft and the southern area as one of our best catchment areas for business and advertise equally in all these areas. How much better to have one newspaper bringing it all together (bet you don't print this bit!)

Come on, share the air show, come up with a really good name for the area (which incidentally would contain by far the most holiday beds in the country) and forget the old-fashioned outdated rivalry between the resorts that goes back to the old fishing fleet days and make things official with a new unitary area.

Last Sunday I flew back at night from Paris to Norwich airport and could see so clearly how close together we were. We will miss an opportunity of a lifetime if this is not carried forward and our new joint resort misses out on being Britain's largest and greatest seaside destination to both live in and holiday in.

PETER JAY

Hippodrome Circus,

ZEN The Empire Nightclub,

The Residence Private Members Club,

The Windmill Adventure Golf

SO the borough council is to spend £10,000 on a facelift near the eyesore called Vauxhall Bridge; the Broads Authority is to spend millions on flood defence work along the river Bure to protect drainage mills, wildlife and lizards; and the people of Scratby will see their homes disappear into the sea. It's reassuring to know the relevant authorities are spending taxpayers' money wisely, won't be long now before we welcome our summer visitors to Great Yarmouth Island.

DICK CLAXTON

New Road

Fritton

I WAS pleased to read recently of the plans to redevelop the North Drive boating lake which has been sadly neglected over the past few years. This and the adjacent Waterways were laid out in the 1920s and were once very popular attractions for both holidaymakers and locals alike.

Because so many of the original features have disappeared I am compiling a pictorial history of these two leisure facilities, to show the changes that have occurred over the years, and wonder if any of your readers might have photographs that they would be willing to share with me. I am particularly in need of pictures showing the illuminated cartoon characters and nursery rhyme figures that were once in abundance at the Waterways.

If you are able to help, please ring me on 01493 850202.

TERRY ASHBOURNE

Great Yarmouth

MY husband was cycling home from Great Yarmouth to Bradwell on Wednesday February 13 when at approx 12.30 he suffered a nasty accident in the fog at the junction of Market Road and Cley Road. He received a severe blow to his head on falling from his bike and his bike was severely damaged. He struggled to walk home, half carrying his bike and with blood running down his head and face.

When I arrived home later that afternoon, he was badly shaken and clearly suffering from shock, not to mention the physical injuries he had incurred. On questioning him I was shocked to hear that several people had passed him and although they must have seen what his situation was, not one person stopped to offer assistance or even just ask if he was all right.

I suppose this sums up the attitude of people these days and goes to show what an uncaring and selfish society we now live in. I just hope some of those people who passed him will read this and feel a bit uncomfortable that they never bothered to help.

I just hope that if they ever find themselves in a similar situation to my husband that they are more fortunate and somebody will stop and offer some help.

Name and address withheld

THANK you for bringing to our attention the plight of the teenaged, pregnant mother, who has been let down by the benefit system. I am sure there are many pensioners in Great Yarmouth who will sympathise with what she has had to endure.

With impoverished parents unable to help and her partner stuck in his small, rent paid flat, he must be heartbroken that he cannot take her in. It is lucky for us that she came to Yarmouth, and is able to expose these dreadful failings. My advice to her is to keep having children, and the kind-hearted borough council will have to accommodate her, and maybe her partner will be able to join her, that is if it does not affect his benefit payments.

JOHN TRUELOVE

Edinburgh Avenue

Gorleston

IT beggars belief, why is Miss Farrant having yet another child when she is bleating about not being able to support one. My husband and I are pensioners and still work to manage on a state pension which we have paid in for working since leaving school at 15 years old.

Name and address withheld

FROM the very interesting open days and subjects offered to anyone at the Time and Tide Museum, the subject of sea shanties was enjoyed. For the next Maritime Festival shouldn't there by a local group, as the songs often mentioned Great Yarmouth? Many sailors couldn't sing well, but learned. It made their work easier and they were more likely to be signed on. Perhaps the Time and Tide Shantiers could be formed to preserve the tradition, instead of paying outsiders to come in.

ROY WALDING

Mill Lane

Bradwell

THIS week the new Palace Casino opens in Great Yarmouth. Last week 28-year-old Graham Calvert commenced proceedings to sue bookmaker William Hill for allowing him to lose £2m on bets that went against him. It's not just money he's lost; he's also now without his career, his business, and his family life. He is just one of the 284,000 people in the UK who are recognised as “problem gamblers”.

Yarmouth is currently being blessed with some wonderful regeneration, and it's so encouraging to see the new outer harbour becoming a reality. But do we really need any more casinos? They have a proven track record of bringing de-generation, and behind the glossy, glitzy glamour lies a whole pile of problems and sadness that will not be a blessing to Yarmouth. I believe the Bible is spot-on in saying that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6.10).

We have enough social problems as it is in our borough. Please let's draw a line here and now and say a huge “no” to any further casinos. Surely we can find better ways of attracting people to Yarmouth than this?

REV TONY WARD

St Andrew's Vicarage

Duke Road

Gorleston

I LIVE in Hemsby and walk the beach to Scratby most days. Over the last three years I have been taking a great interest in the erosion there. I agree with Mr Hogg that two more north surges will take the rest of the dunes. So when I read the government is prepared to let Scratby go, I was incensed this should be allowed to happen.

I got my Mercury last week and turned straight to the letters page and could only find one letter from the people of Scratby.

Now if your lead article the week before was about litter or dog mess, then the letters page would have been full. What is wrong with you people if you can't be angry or upset over people of the Promenade losing their homes. Remember them when they are gone; you are next, because if it carries on losing five metres everywhere, when there is a tidal surge you will not be safe for long.

J WATSON

Hemsby

I NOTICED a while back an article about planning permission being asked for the area of Williamson's Lookout, just off the High Road in Gorleston. You also stated that the lookout was left in the last will and testament of the late owner of Koolunga House to the Great Yarmouth Borough to be used by the people to enjoy the view.

I've notice that building work is being carried out and it seems to be taking up more land.

Who, unelected or elected, had the power to renege on a deceased person's will to give land for development, which had been left for the people of this town, and visitors too?

If asked: “Do you think it's okay for someone to ignore a piece of heritage left in someone's will over a 100 years ago for the pleasure of the people of this town so that somebody can make a financial gain?” I reckon, near to 100pc would be against it.

I would have liked to have sent this letter to the people concerned but did not think I would get a reply. I hope your readers can see the implications of this eg 1. Is it worth us making a will? 2. Can we trust local government to honour anything we leave to them? 3. Who, after 100 years of a will being honoured has the right to interfere with it?

JOHN DOTT

Addison Road

Gorleston

THE Town Hall Assembly Room proved to be a wonderful setting for our recent Valentine Fair. We would recommend it to other charity fundraisers. The ladies of the Inner Wheel of Great Yarmouth would like to thank the Town Hall staff, especially porters Charlie and Jo, for all their help with the preparations and clearing up afterwards. Shifting all those tables was no mean feat. A good crowd enjoyed the beautiful Victorian surroundings for their coffees and lunches and then tried their luck at various fundraising stalls. They must have read about it in the Mercury! The Alzheimer's Society has benefitted to the tune of over £1,300. Local Inner Wheel president Margaret Mortimer and her committee are very grateful to all who helped and for the support of the public who enabled us to raise such a magnificent sum.

MARY COLEMAN,

Club Correspondent

MAY I correct the impression given in the article about the King John silver penny that Malcolm Ferrow has rediscovered that the coin is dated 1209. The short cross pennies and other English coins from that period were not dated although some are datable. Dates appearing on coins crept in gradually during the Tudor period well over 300 years later. From the illustration it would appear to be a Class 5b (using Dr L A Lawrence's standard classification) which suggests it was minted around the middle of King John's reign, struck in London by the moneyer identified as Willelm L.

Today, when things are so standardised, it may be of interest that there were at that time no less than 16 mints in operation, including ones in Norwich, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, each indicating on the coin the mint and moneyer who had made each coin: a bit different from now and much more interesting albeit more complex.

LES COCKRILL

Lowestoft Road,

Gorleston

MRS Cecelia Ebbage's letter in last week's Mercury in praise of Peggotty's article on Captain Manby might make one wonder why he did not receive the recognition that was his due. The answer seems to be that he had a high-ranking naval officer for a brother, who was never forgiven by the Prince Regent (King George IV) for his refusal to give evidence at the delicate investigation brought “against” Princess Caroline.

Miss R FARMER

Lowestoft Road

Gorleston

THE consultation period on Great Yarmouth's Sustainable Community Strategy closes at the end of this month, at a time when recent comments from the Archbishop of Canterbury have led to a call for this country's Christian approach to lawmaking to be reinforced.

This combination left me wondering what a Christian Sustainable Community Strategy might look like and I came up with these thoughts:

1 Jesus said that the most important commandment was to love God. Christians believe that God created this world and that He sustains it for our benefit. The bible also teaches that if we neglect God, then natural calamities will increasingly occur. And so a Christian Sustainable Community Strategy would undoubtedly put God at the centre, although the present draft for this borough ignores Him!

2 Jesus said that the second most important commandment was to love our neighbour. This concept of community, of mutual local support, is mentioned in the present draft, although sadly it is only the last goal to be mentioned. Christians will believe that putting community first in our working together, above money and politics, will lead to a different approach which will ultimately be more successful in securing a positive future.

3 Whilst humanity is seen by Christians as the pinnacle of God's creation, the natural world is also seen as good and human beings are appointed as stewards to care for it for both present and future generations. It is thus pleasing to see a focus upon environmental care in the current local document.

4 Finally, Jesus explained that we cannot serve both God and Mammon, which can be translated money! Whereas the present draft document focuses firstly on a prosperous and dynamic economy, a Christian Sustainable Community Strategy would see this at the end, a product of godly living, of concern for our neighbour and of care for the environment, rather than the economy being the driving force.

The worshipping community at Park Baptist Church have set their priorities as worship, being a supportive community and serving others, and we rejoice at God's blessing upon us as we grow. How we wish that more might share in the joys that this pattern brings!

But this pattern suggests a significant reversal of the presently listed order of things for this borough. I hope others will add their comments to the consultation exercise and that we might then move forward as a borough in the strength which God provides.

DERRICK HILL

Pastor

Park Baptist Church

I AM not surprised at Great Yarmouth Borough Council's (GYBC) decision to withdraw their promised funding for the feasibility study to extending the California rock berm to Newport and allow Scratby coastal residents properties to be sacrificed to the sea.

I believe the support and offer was a red-herring and sweetener to get approval from local groups and the public to implement the Anglian Coastal Authorities Group Sub-Cell 3b Kelling to Lowestoft Ness Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), because GYBC are proposing to adopt this plan as their second generation Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2).

GYBC Council members have stated at public meetings they were fully aware Scratby (unit 3b14in this SMP) is an area with a policy of “No Active Intervention” in this SMP, but they would fund this study with the required £60,000 sum anyway, ask Defra to make the necessary changes to the SMP to enable this project to be carried out and hope to recover their initial sum from Defra if and when the scheme was approved.

GYBC were also aware Defra would not make any policy changes for any unit area during its consultation period despite many requests to do so and consequently now see its policies as cast in stone - plus they (Defra) can not change the policy for one “No Active Intervention” unit (area) because this would be setting a precedent.

GYBC have also stated they would relay to Defra they will only accept this SMP subject to the inclusion of their required amendments; one of which was to allow this rock berm to be extended and another was for residents who lost their properties due erosion in areas where sea defences were not erected or maintained due to the policies in this SMP, to be compensated.

This SMP and the above amendments were due to be discussed at a meeting in the town hall on Wednesday this week.

The important question to have asked GYBC at this meeting is if Defra will not entertain the request for their required policy changes to this SMP will they implement it as it stands without their required changes? I hope GYBC can stand their ground, but with the government threat to withhold funding it will be very difficult if not impossible.

When this SMP was circulated for public consultation during 2005 and 2006 there were more than 2,400 responses and only 10 of these responses found this SMP acceptable.

Local public meetings were also held during 2005 and more recently during 2007 on the implications of this SMP, the overwhelming opinion at these meetings was severe opposition to this SMP.

But the local public are still being forced to accept this unpopular SMP (which should be called Shoreline Abandonment Plan) because it has a policy of “No Active Intervention” (do nothing) for more than 50pc of its unit areas.

The government (Defra) is also forcing the responsible authorities to accept this SMP by withholding sea defence funds to authorities who will not accept it; this amounts to blackmail to sacrifice most of Norfolk's coastline to the sea over the next 100 years and much sooner for some locations.

MIKE KING

California Avenue

Scratby

WHEN is something going to be done about the ever-increasing number of quad bikes/off road motor bikes continually ridden up and down Great Yarmouth beach and the piece of wasteland at the end of the Pleasure Beach?

Some weekday afternoons will find some down there but the weekend is completely ruined by the ever growing numbers roaring up and down. It's getting so you are afraid to let your dog off the lead, these bikes are driven at ridiculous speeds along the seashore and through the dunes. You or your animals would stand no chance against these vehicles that suddenly appear over the dunes and god forbid a child was in their path.

I know of several people who have reported this matter to the police and what's been done… nothing. Is it going to take an accident to warrant any action?

A GUYTON

Micawber Avenue

Great Yarmouth

HAVE you ever dreamed of leaving your life behind, of moving out of town and starting again with a more easy going job in some idyllic part of the countryside or on the coast? Are you about to renovate or restore a run down property into your dream home?

More and more people are opting to relocate, work from home and/or run their own business. Many simply want a healthier lifestyle in a quiet corner of the UK where property prices are often cheaper.

It's not always easy, but programmes like Channel Five's series Build A New Life have shown that if you really want to make it work, you can change your life completely and start again.

If you have recently begun your life change or are getting ready to take the plunge the producers of Build a New Life would like to hear from readers. They are looking for people not just planning to exchange cramped city flats for idyllic country cottages but who want to create their own homes to their own designs by renovating or modernising buildings such as ruined barns or disused water towers. You could also be adjusting to a new life in a new environment, perhaps starting a new job or setting up your own business.

If you do make it onto the show, you'll be guided every step of the way and provided with seasoned advice and vital moral support as you work towards achieving your new lifestyle.

If you would be interested in appearing, please contact the producers on 0871 210 8871 or email build@shinelimited.com

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