Making Waves – behind the scenes in Greater Yarmouth

Local hotelier, Aileen and her husband have run The Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth for more than 30 years, and she has been at the helm of the popular Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival since its inception more than 15 years ago.

Together with a dedicated crew of committee members, Aileen has masterminded the popular Maritime Festival weekend since its inaugural event in the year 2000, co-ordinating stall holders, ship’s captains, caterers, street artists, exhibitors, demonstrators, exhibitors and the many volunteers who all come together to showcase the town’s fascinating maritime past and ongoing maritime industry.

Great Yarmouth is a town whose very existence has been shaped by the sea over the centuries, evolving from a sandbank to busy fishing and market town, then supplying the North Sea oil and gas industry and now heavily involved in the supply and support of the wind energy sector. Festival-goers can find out all about it with the various demonstrations and exhibitions all along South Quay, including bang up to date displays from some of the festival sponsors who are part of the town’s fascinating off-shore industry.

It’s no mean feat to organise the two day festival, which takes place on the town’s South Quay every September, but the pleasure derived from seeing the happy faces of so many festival goers and the pride in the town’s maritime heritage is just one of the many reasons that drives Aileen and her team on.