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PUBLISHED: 17:58 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:24 03 July 2010

I WRITE on behalf of all the men of A (Norfolk) Company of 1 Royal Anglian to express our deepest gratitude for the amazing day that you orchestrated for us last Sunday.

I WRITE on behalf of all the men of A (Norfolk) Company of 1 Royal Anglian to express our deepest gratitude for the amazing day that you orchestrated for us last Sunday. The exercising of the freedom of the borough was an amazing experience. The crowds were fantastic, the church service was deeply moving and the reception at the Freemason's Lodge was a very generous gesture.

After the combat and suffering of last year it meant everything to us to receive the borough's blessing and the appreciation of the good people of Great Yarmouth. We are well aware that you personally drove this event - your efforts clearly paid off. Please convey our thanks to Laura Goodman too, she evidentially put in a lot of work behind the scenes and deserves a lot of credit for enabling such a success.

We are in your debt for the generosity that you have shown. The £500 contribution from the council towards the memorial fund is fully appreciated, as were the kind donations from the Freemasons and the Lions Club.

In these busy times it is not always easy to maintain the links between the county and the regiment. However, I feel that the parade last Sunday really demonstrated the high degree of mutual pride and respect that exists between the county of Norfolk and the men of the Norfolk Company. My men and I will never forget the occasion and the hospitality that was offered and so gratefully received.

D S J BIDDICK

Major

Officer Commanding A (Norfolk) Company

NEWS that a rundown piece of land adjacent to the Vauxhall Bridge is to have a makeover is a step in the right direction but it doesn't disguise the fact that it's the rusting superstructure of the bridge which is the real eyesore.

Visitors to the town for business or pleasure will almost certainly be carrying luggage and are likely to come straight out of the station and get into a taxi, thus not even noticing the bridge area. It's us locals who regularly use the footbridge who have to witness this eyesore.

There's also the two larger plots of land either side of the footpath end from North Quay, who owns that?

Since it is highly unlikely the bridge superstructure will ever be dismantled unless it becomes dangerous, I understand there is a high spate of metal thefts in the Anglia region, so maybe we could wake up one morning and the whole eyesore has disappeared - problem solved.

RICHARD HARRISON

Euston Road

Great Yarmouth

RE your report of the £10,000 facelift for the site between Vauxhall Bridge and the railway station. James Harland, planning policy assistant, states: “The main issue is that it is a gateway entrance that is seen by everyone and gives a bad impression of Great Yarmouth when you arrive.”

Then we have Graham Plant, cabinet member for regeneration and tourism, saying: “I view this as a very positive development for this area of the town.”

Have these two people been to this area? Do they not think that the main regeneration for visitors arriving in Great Yarmouth is the disgraceful appearance of the nearby Vauxhall Bridge and the area south of it. This is the main rundown and shabby welcome awaiting visitors. How many more years has this hideous structure to remain?

I suggest Messrs Harland and Plant get their priorities right before planning, landscaping and sculptures on their proposed facelift.

MALCOLM METCALF

Magdalen Way

Gorleston

HAVING read your article “Town Gateway” (February 1) I do agree the town needs a facelift and a sculpture of some description would be nice and it might just fool the unwary tourist into thinking “what a lovely place to visit.”

But lurking ominously behind the facade the real Yarmouth comes into focus. Whilst walking over the dilapidated railway bridge just over the River Bure you can see the beautifully preserved rusty silos and corrugated buildings and just a few steps on to your left and your right two marvellous examples of prime wasteland.

Welcome to Great Yarmouth.

S J GILHAM

New Court

Fritton

WITH regard to Andrew Fakes' letter concerning the date of King John's Charter. As far as I understand it, regnal years quoted on charters began on the anniversary of the accession of the sovereign. It appears John became king on May 27, 1199 and as such his first regnal year would have been from that date to May 26, 1200. The ninth regnal year quoted on the charter would therefore have been May 27, 1207 to May 26, 1208.

Confirmation of this can be gleaned from the date on the Magna Carta which was issued “on the 15th day of June in the 17th year of Our reign:” the 17th regnal year being May 27, 1215 to May 26, 1216. I trust there is no dispute concerning the year of the Magna Carta?

LESLIE COLE

Campion Avenue

Gorleston

FOR as many years as we can remember we have been able to enjoy the view, benefit from the sea air, and buy an ice-cream from the car park at the harbour's mouth, no matter what the weather.

We lost the lovely little café years ago and now it appears we are in danger of losing yet another precious attribute of our east coast.

Before it is too late we implore the “powers that be” to follow the example of Felixstowe and include in their plans a viewing area car park where visitors and residents are able to watch the hustle and bustle of a busy port.

Well said Mrs Fowler (Mercury last week), it would be a sad loss to so many who are unable to walk and enjoy the ambience. We surely must be allowed to retain a car park where we can reflect at leisure on the lovely sea and the sky which is such an integral part of our heritage in Great Yarmouth.

DUSTY MILLER & MARGARET MILLER

Links Road

Gorleston

MAY I add my congratulations to all those involved in arranging, sponsoring and participating in the wonderful welcome led by the Mayor, extended to the Royal Anglian Regiment on Sunday, January 27.

Last week's Letters Page published praises I have heard many other people express about that magnificent day. In the last nine months I have attended numerous civic events throughout Norfolk and in neighbouring counties, all of which have been extremely well organised. With no disrespect to any other places I have visited in my current role, I can say, as a proud, life-long local resident, to quote from John Fuller's letter last Friday: “Yarmouth really does do the ceremonial better than anyone.”

A view I know those admirable young soldiers, several of whom I chatted with that day, endorsed with enthusiasm.

RICHARD CARTTISS

Chairman, Norfolk County Council

IF head of tourism Alan Carr scraps the Great Yarmouth brochure, Yarmouth will lose a lot of trade, not everybody has a computer. He might save money, but he won't save Yarmouth.

I was reading about the Venetian-style gondolas for the boating lake revamp. Why does it take the council two years over the lease and negotiations. I suppose it will take the council a decade to sort out the seafront.

It's about time Yarmouth's gateway entrance is cleaned up. It's been like that for a long time, what a bad impression.

I had a walk along the seafront to the Wellington Pier. What a mess, beach huts boarded up with rusty corrugated iron, burnt out building, no work going on the pier. This has got to be sorted out by the council and the owners before the outer harbour is finished.

Mr Albert Jones is doing a great job with Pleasure Beach. It's about time other companies took a leaf out of his book.

Mr E A EGGLETON

Ashwood Close

Caister

AN article in the Sunday Express, January 27: “Welcome to once Great Yarmouth” was an appalling travesty of the truth.

I hope reporter Nick Craven will do the honourable thing and return to do a “real” story about Yarmouth and its very positive future - not just its undoubted great past. The article was an absolute travesty of the real situation in Yarmouth - despite the quoted comments of some local fisherman.

The herring industry was enormously important to Yarmouth but by the time Britain joined the Common Market in the 70s it had effectively collapsed as herring catches plummeted. The fishing vessels found a new role instead as offshore supply ships for the new industry that replaced it (just in the nick of time!), offshore oil and gas exploration.

Yarmouth became and still is the industry's base for the southern North Sea. Local people will be horrified to see a story that denigrates the town in this way and appears to blame the EEC's fish quotas for the demise of an industry which had already gone - apart from a few inshore fishing boats.

This kind of journalism spreads misconceptions which are corrosive and undermine the image of our town. If the story had been written about Lowestoft 10 miles down the road which had a large fleet of trawlers until comparatively recently you might have been on stronger ground - their demise is most certainly strongly connected to EEC fish quotas.

That does not excuse shoddy journalism. William Hague came similarly unstuck in the run up to the 2001 General Election when he stood in the Market Place blathering on about the future of Yarmouth's fishing industry when people watching on were more concerned about the 10,000 jobs in port and offshore oil and gas. Obviously Tory Central Office still had Yarmouth down as a herring port!

Yarmouth celebrates its 800th year this year since it gained its Charter from King John and thanks to public and private investment a new outer harbour is in the process of construction which will ensure the expansion of the port and secure existing jobs. There has also been an enormous amount of Government monies to regenerate the Golden Mile and heritage areas helping revitalise tourism. We wait now to hear an announcement about the proposed large casino earmarked for the town held up last year following the wrangle over where the super-size one would be. It would be nice to see Nick Craven properly researching what is actually happening.

MICHAEL CASTLE

Town Wall Road

Great Yarmouth

NO thought whatsoever was put into the siting of the three recycling bins on the Gorleston beach area. A long, sea-facing seat was taken out to make way to house these at, I expect, enormous expense. What was wrong with putting them at the back of the first aid building, there would still be room for an ambulance when needed? They will be filled with rubbish when the other bins are full.

KATHLEEN FARMAN

El Alamein Way

Bradwell

IT was only a brief two years ago that the scaffolding was removed from our Great Yarmouth Town Hall and the public was invited to admire its impressive outlines. Sadly the scaffolding is back but the interior is still available to view, especially the beautiful Assembly Room. The Inner Wheel of Great Yarmouth will be filling it with their Valentine Fair on Wednesday, February 13 from 10am to 2pm. A lift is available.

It will be a great opportunity to meet Mayor and Mayoress Paul and Lisa Garrod, who will be opening the event. Entrance is free and charity stalls will include the RNLI and MacMillan Nurses. Inner Wheel will be hosting the event and raising money for the Alzheimer's Society. There will be plants, Easter eggs, cakes, jewellery, tombola and raffle stalls. Why not leave your shop, office or bank and join us for a ploughman's lunch? Take this golden opportunity to visit your Town Hall and at the same time support all these worthy causes. For charity events such as this hire of the Town Hall at the moment is free.

Mary Coleman

Inner Wheel of Great Yarmouth

REFERENCE the MFI letters that have appeared of late in the Mercury. My daughter and son-in-law needed to replace their 1960s kitchen. They had one of the design team from MFI go to their home and plan their new kitchen.

Having selected the style they liked, they found their budget did not allow them to purchase the complete kitchen they wanted, but they were informed this was not a problem because they could buy some of the units “now” and go back to MFI at a later date (six months in fact) to buy the rest of the units to complete their kitchen.

When they went back to MFI, the manager informed them that particular style was discontinued. I can only repeat the words from Mr Taylor's letter that the centralised order and dispatch system is woeful and constantly undermines any such commitments made from their stores.

MRS L BUNTING

email

I WAS not happy how my story was told about the closing down of Help the Aged. It was written around Market Gates shopping centre not the shop itself and the town centre manager who said Yarmouth had its fair share of charity shops, and I don't think he's been in Yarmouth for the last 30 years. Well, Yarmouth had its fair share of rundown buildings, hotels, and empty shops and houses. I would love to know how putting a shop out of business is good for Yarmouth.

JAY GONSALVES

email

I AM not a killjoy, but why do fishermen have to leave their rubbish all over the beach at Gorleston.

Walking on the beach yesterday on about a half mile stretch of beach we found three lots of old fishing line with the leads still attached. Don't they even give the poor birds a thought; if the birds get their legs and beaks entangled in that carelessly discarded line they do not stand a chance.

So come on you fishermen pretend you are at home and tidy up after yourselves.

Mrs M HARVEY

Bradwell

ON the rare occasions I visit the seafront, I couldn't believe my eyes to see on the frontage of the Britannia Pier, seats where each year masses of visitors park their bottoms to watch the world go by, are now seats of concrete. Are the powers that be endeavouring to turn people who bring income to the resort, unhappily away.

It's mainly the elderly who sit on frontage, some not so stable on their feet. But who would want to rest their weary body, on which must be the most uncomfortable, and cold on the posterior, ridiculous seating? Also the seating has been considerably reduced in number.

Maybe there's a hidden agenda here? The seats, maybe somehow, are less able to be vandalised. But still stupid.

ALAN RAE

Stephenson Close

Great Yarmouth

I FULLY agree with Rachel Moore's feelings about law and order, and that we should remove the present government incumbents at the next election, for their failure to do anything positive in the matter. But I suspect that whatever party or combination of parties is in power then, we shall just go muddling through and bumbling along as we have done for years.

The trouble is so deep seated that extremely drastic action would be required to achieve any beneficial effect.

MAURICE J WINTER

Marine Parade

Gorleston

I'VE written a book “Suez: The Hidden Truths” which details those turbulent years of the Suez Emergency of the Early 1950s when thousands of troops, many National Servicemen were posted to defend the canal zone, often facing appalling conditions.

Indeed, at that time there were many 'hot spots' of the Colonial Empire to be policed around the world - and one in particular was the gateway to the East - the Suez Canal zone of Egypt, where by 1951 Nationalism was becoming the new and rising force around the region.

To contain this threat, many raw recruits were sent both by air and sea to defend a 'strip of water' against both a hostile and barbaric foe while living under canvas in camps along the canal with heat, flies, stench, disease and devious dangerous terrorists to contend with in quite an inhospitable land.

Even though many lads died - who were only in their teens - we were inexplicably denied a medal. However, after a long campaign, this miscarriage of justice has been righted after 50 years, against overwhelming odds.

Moreover, the Suez Emergency lasted for three years and during that time the number of troops defending the region remained at around 80,000. All crammed into camps designed for just 10,000.

In addition, while many Suez veterans - now in their seventies - are delighted with the award of this belated medal, they are at the same time angry that it wasn't issued at the time, especially when the veterans look back to their comrades who lost their lives all those years ago and are buried in British Military Cemeteries in Egypt and other vets who have passed on over the years since.

JOHN HUNT,

14 Carrfield,

Bamber Bridge,

Preston PR5 8BS

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