Watch: 81-year-old writes protest song against public toilets closing down in Great Yarmouth
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
From banning the bomb and stopping war to ending world poverty, the protest song has a long and noble history of highlighting injustice and high-minded causes.
But it has never been used to shine a spotlight on a subject quite like the latest work by songwriter Tony Palmer.
The 81-year-old, from Caister, has penned a ballad critiquing Great Yarmouth Borough Council's decision to cut funding for public toilets.
The work – They're Closin' Down The Toilets (In Good Ole Yarmouth Town) – laments the move and offers several tongue-in-cheek suggestions to solving the problem.
Mr Palmer, a father-of-three and grandfather-of-ten, said: 'It is well known that town and borough councils have to make budget cuts. This has caused much frustration and debate. We thought we would add our input to that. Just give me a rhythm and I'll write the lyrics.'
Faced with budget cuts, the council last year stopped funding several public conveniences – a service not required by law. Even before the song has been released, however, there are signs that the protest campaign may be paying dividends. The widespread upset has meant that options to transfer the responsibility for some loos to parish councils and local businesses have been agreed. In Caister, where Mr Palmer lives, the council is exploring options aimed at reopening the lavatories.
Barry Coleman, the council's deputy leader, defended the policy and declined to comment on the song.
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The songwriter, who lives in Braddock Road, runs the record label Anglian Music. The song is on an album called Mud on the Rood – where it is sung by another artist on the label – Tractor Boy Ted.
Mr Palmer has been recording songs for 50 years and has a repertoire of more than 500 songs.