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PUBLISHED: 19:14 20 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:57 16 September 2010

WELL done to Mike King for his letter last week in the Mercury about the deposit of organic (bio-degradable) garden waste and setting out the true condition of Scratby cliffs between California and Hemsby.

WELL done to Mike King for his letter last week in the Mercury about the deposit of organic (bio-degradable) garden waste and setting out the true condition of Scratby cliffs between California and Hemsby.

Everything he says, my wife and I agree with. We have lived on Scratby cliffs for the past few years, having moved up from Kessingland, one of the beaches that is still expanding and not eroding.

Most of Scratby's residents, including ourselves, are fed up with the contradictory information given out by local groups and government agencies about coastal erosion in our area. It's all so confusing. There has been no erosion on our part of the cliffs between the rock berm defences at California and Hemsby in recent years.

On Sunday 15th August 2010, at high tide (4m) there was a strong north easterly wind but still plenty of beach between the cliffs and high water.

The current Kelling to Lowestoft Ness Shoreline Management Plan (SPM 3b) for Scratby is correct. There is no evidence that the rock berm needs to be extended to Newport or Hemsby. The costs of this extension could be used in other coastal areas where the need is greatest.

There has been a lot of publicity about this by the Scratby Coastal Erosion Group and it only causes residents to panic for no reason and to reduce house values. The whole issue now seems to become very complicated for us residents to decide what to do for the future.

ROY and SUE WOODS

Beach Drive,

Scratby

REGARDING the Norfolk Fire Authority safety plan consultation, I attended the recent consultation at Great Yarmouth Library concerning changes to the fire service coverage in Norfolk.

In response to the question: “Is there a greater risk of death with the proposed changes in the Great Yarmouth and Northern Parishes area”, the answer from the fire brigade representative was, yes.

While the individual concerned went to great lengths to explain that the risk of death was lower in Norfolk as a whole, he had to concede that it would be higher in Great Yarmouth. It would be helpful if all wards were shown on a map with a simple indicator of risk of death under the proposed changes.

The three indicators could be: increase; the same; decrease - colour coded for ease of reference.

This would enlighten the electorate, and perhaps persuade the fire authority to revisit it's plans so that no ward has a higher than before risk of death as a result of the new plan.

LEE SUTTON

Willow Way

Martham

IN response to C Balls' letter expressing disgust at dogs mess on a playing field.

I would suggest that dogs should not be taken to playing fields to defecate and urinate, anyway.

It is not possible to clean these deposits up completely, urine certainly cannot be gathered up in a plastic bag.

People play games and tumble about on playing fields - that's what they are for. They are not public conveniences for animals.

People using these recreational spaces should not be exposed to the thoughtlessness of irresponsible dog owners, whether they attempt to clean up the mess or don't bother anyway.

JOHN W SALTER

Fletcher Way

Acle

ARE you a good listener? Great Yarmouth Samaritans are anxious to increase their number of listening volunteers.

Although founded by the Reverend Chad Varah in 1953, the Samaritan Organisation is non-religious and non-political.

Many people believe that Samaritans are only there for those feeling suicidal, but this is a misconception. Samaritans are also there to provide emotional support for anyone who is distressed or despairing, for whatever reason.

Some people may feel that they do not have the perceived qualities to become a Samaritan listener, but full training is given in the skills required - many of which can be used in everyday living and in the workplace.

If you would like to know more and are interested in becoming a Samaritan volunteer, why not come along to an informal information evening to be held at our Centre, 62 North Quay, Great Yarmouth, on Wednesday, August 25, at 7pm.

YARMOUTH SAMARITANS

I WAS saddened to read letters from readers expressing disatisfaction with the RSPCA in dealing with reports of animal neglect.

I was volunteer manageress at the RSPCA charity shop on Caister Road for many years where all calls were initially taken.

In those years I always tried to be as helpful as possible to all callers who were reporting animal cruelty and neglect, while also running the shop, and giving out relevant information to aid their enquiries.

Unfortunately, a few months ago I was told my services were no longer required, after more than eight years.

I hope the people who wrote the letters and others met with a negative attitude will not be put off reporting incidents.

S HEWITT

email

I CAN understand Mr Palmer's frustration with the parking on grass verges in Bradwell. However, he is bashing his head against a brick wall trying to get through to that lot at the town hall.

Around five or six years ago, we had new pavements and grass verges in the Gloucester Avenue, Kent Avenue and Connaught Avenue area in Gorleston. We then got a lot of two wheels on grass verges, probably more from contractors than local residents.

My first contact was to John Hemsworth at environmental health who was very helpful and who is missed since he retired.

He printed off enough letters for me to distribute to every house. This resulted in a marked improvement in resident parking.

I then contacted several councillors and the only one that showed any interest was Patricia Page. One other councillor suggested that they would talk to the police; we never see the police anyway so I don't see how that would work.

Around six months ago, I contacted environmental health and spoke to a person who appeared to have not cared less, and, after several more calls, I was promised it would be looked into and that plans were afoot to rectify this problem - and I should hear from them.

Nothing! I called highways - not interested. They said they have a budget for repairs so they might as well use it. When I said I had never seen any repairs he said these were usually carried out in places like Norwich and the seafront in Yarmouth and that we in the sticks had no chance. I suggested several solutions that might help to stop the parking but these were all rejected.

Parking half on the verge does not help the traffic flow at all. It needs to be stopped and I would think that if the great minds we elected put their heads together they should be able to come up with a solution - or we can elect someone else who can.

While I am on the subject, I would asked the residents in Gloucester Avenue, Kent Avenue and Connaught Avenue to think before they park on the verges and to stop contractors from doing it. If I see a contractor parked, I call his company and that usually works.

As a final point, it is not the sitting on the verge that causes the damage, it is the driving on and off.

H G PERRY

Gorleston

IN noting the cries from local and central governments of late, particularly regarding their spending cuts, is it not about time that some of the penal institutions tried paying their own way?

Taking prisons and detention centres as examples, there are many offenders who could help reduce the operating costs of their living quarters.

Among those in custody or even on probation there are many with skills and trades that could be used in a worthwhile way while in-house, so to speak.

Allowing offenders to work out their duration by performing tasks would enhance their lives, help improve their skills, and boost morale into the bargain.

There may be some outcry from unions and civil liberty campaigners, but isn't it about time offenders literally help pave the way to improve their lot and provide a means of re-establishing themselves back into the community? This approach could also be addressed in schools and colleges.

Even as recently as the 1960s, parent teacher associations used to second the help of parents' skills to provide that extra help in school; for example in installing playground furniture and sports facilities, while crafts by pupils contributed to school decor and extra classroom features without needing government funds.

Society can play a major part in not only policing itself but using its in-house abilities for the benefit of everyone.

Come on Great Britain, there is no real need for us to be at war with our own debts - I'm sure that Winston Churchill could have rallied the necessary enthusiasm.

COLIN BRADISH

Princes Road

Great Yarmouth

SOME good news on the Great Yarmouth pubs front - there are new people this month in the Suspension Bridge, Hotshotz, Cropper's Bar and the old Mitre - now Grazies Speakeasy - and there are rumours that the Barking Smack might reopen.

Nevertheless, a lot of pubs still seem to be suffering and the unseasonal wet and windy August isn't helping their chances. There are still a lot of empty pubs. How many will soon be calling last orders?

There were about 50 to 60 pubs and clubs in the town areas of Yarmouth, from the Harbour's Mouth to the Harbour and Southtown and Cobholm at the time of the 2005 general election. About a half have now gone, with a greatly accelerated rate since the 2007 smoking ban. This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, but remember the following:

Admiral Seymour, now housing.

Iron Duke, long-term boarded up.

Lord Roberts, to be developed for housing.

Mitre, turned to Lily's Wine Bar, closed again. New lease of life, August 2010, Grazies Speakeasy.

Two-Necked Swan, part-converted into restaurant.

Haven Bridge (Jack's Bar), long-term closed.

Suffolk Tavern (Croppers Bar), long-term closed. New lease of life, August 2010.

St Cloud Labour Club, to be developed into apartments.

The Alexandra.

Two Bears, long-term closed.

Zen Night Club, long-term closed.

The Marine, long-term closed.

Barking Smack, long-term boarded-up.

Duke's Head, long-term closed.

Anson Arms, being converted to alternative uses.

The Talbot, now part of Brett's Housing scheme.

Garibaldi Night Club, now block of flats/houses.

Rok Bar (The Gunner), long-term boarded-up.

White Lion, King Street.

Blackfriars Tavern.

Prince Consort, Nelson Road Central.

Elephant & Castle, being converted as private dwelling.

The Ship, now being converted to a health facility.

The Rising Flame, demolished and site now housing.

Rasputins, hasn't reopened since fire.

Hotshotz bar, Northgate street, closed in Spring. New lease of life, August 2010.

The Crystal Inn, Northgate, closed last Saturday.

Why Not (formerly Sinatra's), closed 2010.

Burton Arms, soon to close due to retirement.

MICK CASTLE

Town Wall Road

Great Yarmouth

l WHAT DO READERS THINK? Why do you think these pubs have closed, and many more before them? Is it down to the smoking ban, a healthier lifestyle, drinking at home, or is there less money around? Write to Letters at the Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA or email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk

THERE were two motorcyclists recently racing each other on Great Yarmouth seafront, driving like idiots, weaving in and out of the traffic, revving up and generally being reckless.

It was one of these who, whilst weaving in and out of other vehicles, misjudged a car and hit it. I saw the whole thing, as it was outside my window.

I did call the police but could see that the rider wasn't badly hurt. I saw him again the following day on crutches, so he won't be troubling us for a few weeks!

The individuals on that bike managed to close off the road for some two hours, and involved all three emergency services. Their stupidity and selfishness caused that accident, nothing else.

S MCBAIN

South Beach Parade

Great Yarmouth

FIRSTLY let us offer our warm congratulations to Cora Batley after having been honoured recently at a ceremony to have a room at “Peggotty Road Community Centre” named after her.

After her hard work and decades of public service, in particular to the south end of town where the centre is located, it is rightly deserved. If we had only known about this event before reading about it in the Mercury last week, we would have loved to have attended to offer the lady herself our warmest congratulations.

Now let me take you back to May 2008, we attended a ceremony to re-name this very same building the “Susan Robinson Community Centre” in recognition for our late mum's years of hard work in helping to get this project off the ground and the subsequent volunteer running of the place.

Just like Cora, Susan Robinson was one of the original founders of the place and campaigned tirelessly to get the community of the Barrack Estate a safe place for the children to play.

Once the funding had been achieved, our mum took on the responsibility of the day-to-day running of the place.

She arranged new events such as youth clubs, bingo, children's discos, gatherings for the elderly, fetes and so on. It breathed fresh air into this community and was fully embraced. Mum gave up the volunteer running of the place after several years but right up until her death in 2007 she played an active roll in the centre as it had been such a passion of hers.

As you can imagine, we were thrilled when we were told of the plans to re-name the centre after Mum's passing. Together with our elderly grandmother, family, friends and other dignitaries of the time we attended the re-naming event and donated to the centre a framed photograph of Mum which now hangs proudly inside the building. Sadly, in the two years that have passed since that occasion, not once have we ever heard the community centre referred to as The Susan Robinson Community Centre but only as Peggotty Road Community Centre. I believe a lot of the residents of the Barracks are unaware of the correct name of the centre. So I throw open to the chairman and committee of the centre a question of “why”?

It would be so nice to hear people say they had attended an event in the Cora Batley Room at the Susan Robinson Community Centre and see their names working together again as they did for many years.

I just hope for Cora it's not such an empty gesture as we feel it was for our Mum.

KERRY ROBINSON PAYNE and WILLIAM ROBINSON

I HAVE had so much response to my letter which you printed regarding my UFO sightings, and I would like to thank those who have written to me or taken such a great interest in the subject.

I can't help thinking that a whole lot of people have witnessed these unusual phenomena and have not come forward for fear of being ridiculed.

I feel pretty certain someone in one of our ministries does follow reports but is unable to put two and two together. I also think we do have certain laws against aircraft flying too low, and the one I saw recently must have almost just scaled the towers on St Nicholas' Church, for it was skimming the roof tops where I stood in Northgate Street. I cannot think our ministries would allow such experiments, least of all in a built-up area such as ours.

I had sightings some 20 odd years ago, when my husband Bryan was alive. One September evening, walking the dog down the lane in Hemsby, we watched as about eight lights darted around the moon, disappearing suddenly. Again, travelling down the A11 one evening, this long cigar shape crossed in front of us from one side of the road to the other, with what looked like windows along the side of it.

It was very low in the sky, just above the bushes each side of the road. It had no wings, there was no airfield nearby, and no plane crash reported.

The gentleman in the flat above me recently took a photo of one passing above us, but by the time he grabbed his camera it was too far away to get a good picture, and he only mentioned it after reading my letter in the Mercury.

The question remains, how do we find out what is going on? If they are beings who have come to see us, are they the same as us and mixing with us already, or are they so different that they could not live on our planet. If they have viewed some of the ravages of our existence from above, would they want to join us anyway?

MRS HELEN E LANGSTONE

Rampart Road

Great Yarmouth

CAN anybody explain to me why a house-building company is putting notices on cars that park on their new site next to the James Paget Hospital saying they are illegally parked.

This road is an adopted road by the council and therefore anyone can park there. I have spoken to various people, policemen included, and even a councillor and all are saying if the road has not got a parking permit scheme then you are able to park there.

I have now received a third notice on my car, but they only appear on a few cars. Cars parked further along the road have no notices, why? Surely if you cannot park on that road all should get notices.

I live on Cliff Park Estate and cars are always parking outside when visiting hours are on. You can expect that, but my house was built before the hospital, unlike the people who bought houses on this new housing site. If you buy a house near a school or hospital you can expect people to park there.

The signs that the building company have put up on this road surely are illegal? Perhaps the company and readers would like to comment on this.

ROBERT GREEN

Cliff Park Estate

Gorleston

I WAS pleased to see Mr B M Balls' letter in today's issue (August 13), about donkey rides in Gorleston as he corrects mine in one respect.

I should have said, as he did, that the donkeys gave rides along the lower promenade.

MISS R L FARMER

Marine Parade

Gorleston

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