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Nip violence in the bud

PUBLISHED: 17:18 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 July 2010

HAVING read the article “Alcohol fuelled trouble for police on streets” (Mercury, May 9) I feel strongly about what I feel is a situation that needs nipping in the bud.

HAVING read the article “Alcohol fuelled trouble for police on streets” (Mercury, May 9) I feel strongly about what I feel is a situation that needs nipping in the bud.

On Saturday, May 3, four 30-40 year old football fans from Hull stopped off in Great Yarmouth on their way to Ipswich for a football match the following day and booked into our guest house. We are an AA rated guest house who only allow decent people to book in.

Having given them a lift to the Britannia Pier area in the early evening (when they were in high spirits - not fuelled by alcohol), in my opinion they were good company, and myself and my wife would have gone out for a drink with them if we had the time. However, we and some of our other guests were distressed to see the state of them at breakfast the next morning. One had a nasty black eye, another could hardly sit down as he had been beaten and kicked about the ribs. The worst case (the smallest of them) had been to hospital as he had been held down on the floor by a “doorman” standing on his ear whilst another kicked him in the face. Yet again, I feel somebody has to be seriously injured, possibly blinded, before something is done - another example of how we have to wait till this happens before the proverbial hit's the fan.

They had been asked to leave the Pier Tavern as one of them was dancing “provocatively” - whatever that means! I have only one side of the story but, as I said, they were not young thugs. The manager of the Pier Tavern, who I complained to, apologised if they were caught up in an incident they were not involved in.

This last Saturday, a couple who were staying with us told us they were shocked at what appeared to be another heavy-handed dealing of a situation outside the Mission nightclub.

As one of the many people in this town who are totally reliant on tourism for my income, yes, I want to feel safe at night but also believe in a sense of fair play which I don't feel some of the over-zealous doormen in Great Yarmouth contribute to.

The summer season is almost upon us and I would hate to see visiting families with children taking a stroll along Marine Parade in the evening to witness what appears to be happening all too regularly.

Are not the “doormen” responsible for ejecting people from their place of employment and isn't what happens on the public highway the responsibility of our police force (who incidentally told me they were not aware of any incidences on Bank Holiday Saturday night - when your article clearly shows a very different picture).

I hope this is not a situation where the police are disguising certain crime figures or are allowing vigilante doormen to control Great Yarmouth on a Saturday night.

For the future regeneration of Great Yarmouth I hope, as I said before, this situation can be nipped in the bud.

MJ KENMORE

All Seasons Guest House

Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

GUIDE dogs for independence! I felt physically sick when my husband read the headlines in last week's Mercury re blind woman told to leave car boot sale at Stalham Football Club because her guide dog was not allowed.

I think the organiser should have been sent off with a red card! He should engage his brain before opening his mouth when dealing with the general public. He should have been aware of the laws governing assistance dogs in this country.

As stated, these dogs go to the toilet on command and guide dogs are very highly trained to deal with everyday situations including crowds. I am also blind with a guide dog and I can trust her to keep me safe far better than any sighted person!

KAY KENNARD

and guide dog KIM

Hopton-on-sea

RE: Woman with guide dog asked to leave car boot sale (Mercury, May 9). With regards to your story about Jayne Stone being asked to leave the car boot site at Stalham football ground because she had her guild dog with here her is appalling. The event organiser should be named and prosecuted, especially as their comments in your story suggested they are unsympathetic to a blind person's needs to be allowed independence and dignity.

DENNIS FREEMAN

Denmark Road

Norfolk

IN reference to St George's Park play area and last week's letter, “Nothing more than a façade” I would like to add that as far as I, my wife and my three small children are concerned, it is fast becoming a virtual no go area. We are extremely saddened to say this as the play area itself is easily the best in the borough.

The problem, which became apparent on our first visit, is there are groups of teenagers and many unsupervised children who display nothing but feral behaviour towards others. Clearly they see the park and its play area as some kind of social hub, an area where they can congregate and misbehave freely.

Each time we have been to the play area, either my wife or I have had to intervene to prevent bullying or some kind of despicable behaviour from one or several children/teenagers.

Talking to other parents we have heard similar reports regarding fighting and poor behaviour from unsupervised youths. Virtually all the teenagers I have personally witnessed, monopolise the equipment, shout and swear, drop litter, smoke and show a total lack of respect to the smaller children and parents.

Only two weeks ago my wife took our three small girls to play in the park but spent the first 10 minutes removing broken glass and all manner of rubbish from the floor. As far as I am aware there is CCTV adjacent to the play area, so why on earth has this kind of behaviour not been dealt with?

I would like to pose a few questions:

Why is there not a regular police presence in the park? The police have already been called to deal with one or two incidents and therefore must know that the park is fast becoming a problem. In my opinion, sooner rather than later, someone is going to get seriously hurt, especially as parents are constantly being forced into conflicts with undesirables just to protect their child's right to play in a family friendly environment.

Why isn't the park able to be locked after a certain time in the evening? Decent fencing and gates could easily have been erected.

After dark the park only serves those who would use it as a short cut or those who walk dogs. If the park was closed after 9pm, it is hardly a detour to walk around the perimeter and nearby there are two large green areas appropriate for dog walkers.

Another point of interest is that during school hours my wife and I have seen numerous groups of school age children in the play area, clearly enjoying the freedom that being a truant allows; why are they not being approached and challenged by the authorities?

If the council were trying to create an area representative of the town, then clearly they have succeeded!

Mr L DELAY

Great Yarmouth

HAS Great Yarmouth won the lottery? I have never seen so many roadwork repairs in all the years I have lived here. Mind you, it is the summer season, and down the sea front you can hardly get near the Pleasure Beach. It is crazy down there.

Now I see the Town Hall is getting a facelift. St George's Park revamp cost over £2m we are told. Perhaps they should employ a park warden. The new play area is getting wrecked already.

It is a meeting place for the teenagers who like the seat on the swings and just wreck all the rides. I took my grandchildren there about 5pm the other day, and they couldn't even get on anywhere.

Mrs T WHITMORE

Cobbs Place

Great Yarmouth

I WRITE in reply to your reader regarding St George's Park. Indeed it all looks very nice, but was such a complete overhaul really necessary? Surely the money would have been better spent in just giving the park a general maintenance and employing some kind of supervision?

At the moment, with no deterrent to these ongoing problems, you will still get the bikes whizzing round, the football games and the unleashed dogs. No matter how many notices are displayed prohibiting these activities and also the trauma experienced by your reader and his family, these will only continue.

This lovely park that should be a peaceful oasis to be enjoyed by the general public is, as your reader said, and I quote, “nothing more than a façade.”

GLORIA WEBB

Camden Place

Great Yarmouth

IT was a pleasant day to visit St George's Park with my two young children and what happens; a mother comes up to me and wants me to take my three-year-old out of the swing, just because her child wants to go on instead. My daughter had only just got on to the swing so I politely said they all have to learn to wait their turn.

With that she hurled very loud verbal abuse at me and threatened to hit me! It's bad enough in the park walking with my children and having to pass people swearing and drinking alcohol. Now you run the risk of having someone attack you in the children's play area. So nothing has changed, what a waste of money spent, it might look more pleasant but it's the same old park, with the same problems.

The money should have gone on building more family homes so people can let their children play where they know it is safe.

Name and address withheld

FURTHER to Mrs J Rose's letter in the Mercury (May 2) re garage too risky for road, I would like to respond with several points.

Firstly I have lived locally all my life and have known nothing but the garage on the corner. As stated in the letter, planning permission was applied for to carry out MoTs, however anyone locally who knows the garage would realise at present there is no room for a MoT bay as the garage stands at the moment. Before the extension started there was a showroom in its place.

Secondly, I assume Mrs Rose sometimes leaves Common Road via Waters Lane; this in itself is a hazard having to pull halfway across the road, then continuing along Waters Lane towards the crossroads. The visibility is a lot worse to your left towards The Street (which then joins with Ormesby Road) with the hedge and wall blocking the view of the road.

I am astounded the minority are complaining! The garage will look a lot better after the work has been completed and will continue to serve the community as it has done for years with reasonable rates and a friendly service.

JO TURNER

Barleycroft

Hemsby

OVER 17 months ago we were told a new doctors surgery would be built next to Cobholm and Lichfield Heath Resource Centre.

We were shown full colour plans of the new building and told it would be finished by March 2008. Still, not a brick has been laid. Who are the 'people' in charge? Why are they paid to do nothing? A better solution would be to refurbish and upgrade Greyfriars Clinic (left empty at least 18 months) at half the cost.

ROBERT A ALLEY

Townshend Close

Great Yarmouth

FOR one reason and another, I have only recently become a regular user of the Marina in general and the swimming pool in particular. In doing so I have been made aware of the general debate and concern about its continual survival and this truly troubles me.

It seems that the various issues can be summarised as follows:

1) Either demolish a perfectly viable building with unique facilities or develop the waste land towards the harbour mouth.

2) Either continue to support a valuable local amenity or become involved in the running of a casino as a commercial venture.

3) Either use public funds, ie my council tax, or allow private capital to invest in future developments.

To me the conclusion seems obvious, but perhaps I am being naïve.

R W BRACEY

Eastern Avenue

Caister

I HAVE been reading the article in the Mercury about the cat who had her kittens in a coal burner (May 2). It brings back a memory of one of my cats years ago. She was expecting kittens and she wanted to have them in a drawer in my son's bedroom, so we kept it shut and made her a lovely bed in a box but she was not having any of that. I went into the bathroom and heard the mew of kittens. I could not make it out, but my husband found a broken board in the cupboard. She had got in between the two floors and had her kittens. We opened the drawer we had prepared and when she came out and saw it she brought the kittens up and laid them in it. Talk about being canny.

MRS V E ELLINGFORD

Briar Avenue

Bradwell

I WAS intrigued by the article in the Mercury about Mr Harman's family tree, as my own tree has been my hobby for several years. Although mine is probably not quite so comprehensive as his, I can trace mine further back - to 1307, in fact. I am related to the Le Neve family and on the tree there are some quite well known figures. One is Oliver Le Neve, who fought a duel on Cawston Heath with Sir Henry Hobart, resulting in Sir Henry's death, and another branch relates to Airey Neave, the MP who was murdered by the IRA when he was blown up in the precinct of the House of Commons.

My tree is not as long as Mr. Harman's simply because I wrote it out by hand some years ago. It is over a metre in length and contains around 400 names. There are of course some quite intriguing stories attached to some of the members of the tree that I have discovered and I have found it a very absorbing hobby.

PATRICIA MUNDAY

Caister-on-Sea

WONDERFUL weather, and what should have been a lovely, enjoyable afternoon on Gorleston beach was spoiled when I saw the state of the yacht pond. No pump to keep the water moving - therefore stagnant, filthy water full of debris. Children paddling with large rubber tyres. What happened to the sign saying no bathing?

Of course the children should have been in the paddling pool, but that was empty of water - just lads skateboarding

The summer season has only just started. What an impression visitors get when taking their kiddies to the bouncy castle or on to the beach. The area was supposed to be enhanced with the opening of the new bandstand, but it appears to be one step forward and two backwards.

Forward, you Gorleston Councillors and let's see this area clean and inviting once more.

EDNA FLETCHER

Lowestoft Road

Gorleston

AFTER visiting Caister for many years finally I live here. I stay on Elm Beach Caravan Park which is always well maintained and clean. Step onto the dunes and beach and it all changes. The dunes are full of dog dirt, broken glass, plastic bottles etc.

It is in a bad, bad state, which is not helped by the lack of bins for litter and dog muck. Also there are no signs to warn people to stop their poor behaviour.

Another summer season is upon us with hundreds of children playing on the dunes and beach. Somebody must do something to eradicate the awful practice. Come on Caister, sort it out.

BOBBY LEACH

Elm Beach Caravan Park

Caister-on-Sea

IN reference to the Through the Porthole feature by Peggotty and the Great Yarmouth earthquake of 1931 (Mercury, May 9)

My late mother told me that in 1931 she and my father, Mr and Mrs H R Traynier, and my sister were living with an uncle of my father's at 201 Stafford Road, Southtown, where I was born in 1933.

One morning at breakfast, Uncle Jack told my parents he had felt earthquake tremors during the night. Neither of my parents believed his story until the news broke in town there had actually been tremors recorded all along the east coast, and Uncle Jack was absolutely correct with his news.

They felt so awful in dismissing his news, putting it down to an old man's imagination, much to their regret. I was told the story many times over the years by my parents, and how indignant his uncle was at not being believed.

VERA TRAYNIER

North Drive,

Great Yarmouth

ROYAL approval please. However, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne arrived on June 9, is it just possible the long promised plaque at South Town Station site could be finished and also, in a few minutes, unveiled by her?

On October 21, 1930 HRH the then Duke of Windsor, having arrived on the Royal Train, opened the new Haven Bridge. Where would Great Yarmouth have been without the railways for holidaymakers, or residents the trams?

ROY WALDING

Mill Lane

Bradwell

IT seems that most letters to the editor are full of criticism and abuse, I would like in a simple way to redress the balance.

On Friday, May 9, my wife and I had to go to King's Lynn to take part in a meeting in the town and so we decided to take advantage of the offer of free travel with our new bus pass on the Excel XI Coach which runs between Peterborough and Lowestoft. We used the 14.07 coach from Yarmouth and we duly were met with a smile and an enquiry as to where we wanted to go from the driver and we settled down to 2¼ hours of pleasure.

When we returned we caught the 21.43 coach from King's Lynn and again were greeted with a smile and thanks. So many young people use that service in the evening and most smiled happily. At the Norwich bus station we were nearly full and as we circled the station to leave a young woman came running full pelt into the station. The driver, I am sure would have been within his rights to have driven straight out but he called out “Can't stop here, I'll go round again.” And so that young driver drove right round the large bus station and stopped at the appropriate place and took her on board. That young driver deserves praise! He went out of his way to help a young woman in distress and he is an example of the youth today. Young man, we applaud you! You helped to make a lovely pleasant trip for my wife and I a very memorable time.

Thank you XL coaches for an excellent service, long may you continue.

PAT and GLORIA PAGE

Jellicoe Road

Great Yarmouth

ONCE again the sun shines and out come, yes, the dreaded barbecues. I live in a village, the houses have small gardens and without fail every weekend while the weather is nice, to the left and right of my garden, the neighbours light the barbecue. Goodness knows what they use, but the smell and the smoke is awful, meaning I have to close my doors and windows.

These people have no thought for anyone but themselves and their own fun. I love to sit in my garden during the afternoon and evenings but I'm stopped from doing so by these thoughtless people.

Name and Address withheld

AN email frenzy has started with Edward Francis and Karen (then Patterson) asking all those who left Lynn Grove High in the year of May 1988 to come to a fab reunion at the Albion Pub in Lowestoft Road on May 31, 7.30pm. Darren Price will be playing those corny 80s tracks so leave your BMW and Rolex at home bring your dancing shoes and photos new and old. The evening is a once in a life time chance to recapture old friendships and make contact with people who you have regretted all these years not making more of an effort to stay in touch with! Please email the address with your contact details and confirmation you will be joining the fun!

lynngrovehigh1988@hotmail.co.uk

ZOE KERSWILL

I AM seeking information on my great grandfather, George Norton, crew member of the drifter Darcey Cooper in the 1930s in Great Yarmouth. We have a photograph of the crew receiving medals after the Dunkirk evacuation. I moved to New Zealand in 1970 with my parents and family history is hard to come by, so any information would be greatly appreciated. I can be contacted on gumboots4@hotmail.com.

CLAIRE MUIR

Southland, New Zealand


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