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Special distinction awarded to tourism stalwart & Great Yarmouth's twin town

Aileen Mobbs Honorary Freedom of the Borough has been granted to local tourism stalwart Aileen Mobbs and Great Yarmouth’s twin town of Rambouillet, France.

In a formal ceremony at the Minster, led by the Mayor Cllr Michael Jeal, Mrs Mobbs and the Mayor of Rambouillet, Marc Robert, were presented with a scroll to confirm the mark of special distinction.

Mrs Mobbs is just the second woman to ever receive this honour, the first being former Mayor and long-serving councilor Cora Batley in 1997.

The privilege is given to those who the Council feel has provided the borough with invaluable services over many years. The first ever record of Freedom of the Borough dates to 1312 when it was granted to John Fraunceys of Caister. Since then, it has been bestowed to those such as the East Anglian Regiment in 1963, HMS Yarmouth, Great Yarmouth & Gorleston Lifeboat and Caister Lifeboat in 1984 as well as Admiral Lord Nelson back in 1800.

Aileen Mobbs first became a member of the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority soon after she moved to Great Yarmouth in 1987 and is now an Honorary Director of the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area. Together with the late Ernie Childs, Mrs Mobbs was also responsible for forming the Maritime Festival in 1999, for which she was the chairman for 19 years.

Rambouillet became Great Yarmouth’s “twin” town in 1956, which makes it the second longest twinning link in the country. The aim of this was to enable the children and people of the towns to get to know and understand one another more in-depth. In the 63 years that the towns have been connected, the residents of the two areas have learnt about one another’s language, cultural, touristic, economic and social concepts.

Great Yarmouth’s Mayor, Councillor Michael Jeal, said: “Historically, Freemen of the Borough enjoyed a privileged position within their community and were the only ones able to vote in Parliamentary elections and were exempt from tolls.

“Nowadays, conferring honorary freedom is one of the few ways the local authority can honour those who have contributed in a big way to their community and life in the borough. Both Aileen Mobbs and Rambouillet are worthy recipients, due to their significant and long-term commitment to the Borough.”

Mayor of Rambouillet, Marc Robert