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Brother’s tribute to beach death man

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 October 2011

Tributes have been paid to Aidan Ellis Hannah, 64 of Gorleston, who died in the sea at Gorleston beach on Sunday, October 2. He is pictured at his brother Richard's wedding in 2007.

Tributes have been paid to Aidan Ellis Hannah, 64 of Gorleston, who died in the sea at Gorleston beach on Sunday, October 2. He is pictured at his brother Richard's wedding in 2007.

Archant

TRIBUTES have been paid to a talented artist who died in the sea at a Norfolk beach on the hottest October weekend on record.

Aidan Ellis Hannah, 64 of Gorleston, was spotted floating in the sea off the busy Gorleston beach on Sunday, October 2.

Off-duty paramedics fought to resuscitate Mr Hannah and the land and air ambulance, coastguard and police attended but he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 5pm.

Mr Hannah’s younger brother Richard, 59 of Gorleston, had been walking his dog when he saw the commotion at the beach.

Not realising that his brother was at the centre of the incident, he returned home.

Police knocked on his door shortly after 7pm to tell him the bad news, and he says he is now beginning to come to terms with his loss.

“He will be missed a lot,” said Richard. “I think Gorleston will be a less interesting place without him.

“He was a professional artist and got his diploma of art in Glasgow before we moved down here.

“He was an eccentric man and liked to do things his way and he was one of a kind.

“He didn’t like to follow norms and he was never boring.”

Aidan Hannah, who was known to his friends as Ellis, was a respected artist and worked for TV and theatre companies across the country.

After graduating from art college he worked for the Scottish BBC and then BBC London, designing sets for dramas.

He designed sets for stage productions across the country including theatres in Norwich and Ipswich, and his work can be seen around Gorleston and Great Yarmouth.

James Paget University Hospital and Great Yarmouth seafront are home to some of his murals, and he also did advertising work for multi-national companies including Volvo.

“He was his work and art was his life,” said Richard. “We were close as brothers and he was always there when I needed him.”

An inquest into Mr Hannah’s death has been opened and adjourned, with the cause of death not yet known.

Mr Hannah’s brother said he was not sure why he was at the beach and that he was not a regular swimmer.

“He was getting healthy and I suppose he thought he would go for a swim,” said Richard. “I don’t know what happened yet.”

Mr Hannah, who had lived in Gorleston for 20 years, did not have any children.

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