'A legacy of quality and service' as prominent hotelier dies

Rodney Scott at The Pier Hotel, Gorleston.Photo: Andy DarnellCopy: Stephen PullingerFor: EDPArchant

Rodney Scott at the Pier Hotel in Gorleston in 2009. - Credit: Archant © 2009

Prominent Great Yarmouth businessman and hotelier Rodney Scott has died aged 81, his family has announced.

Co-owner with his son Ian of the Pier Hotel, Gorleston, and the Prom Hotel, Great Yarmouth, Mr Scott spent more than 60 years in the hospitality industry.

He believed success came through constant investment and improvement, his Midas touch transforming a string of venues and making him one of the best-known names in the trade.

He died on Monday, March 28, having been active well into his later years.

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston hotelier Rodney Scott who has died

Rodney Scott who has died aged 81 was a towering force in the Great Yarmouth hospitality industry. His hard work and dedicated activity over 60 years has left a deep impression on the town bringing forward a raft of improvements. - Credit: supplied by family

Mr Scott arrived in Great Yarmouth from Nottingham in 1947 with his sister Jean and their parents, Ray and Nettie Scott, who bought a guest house in Wellesley Road.

Five years later they purchased the Kimberley Hotel on Marine Parade, now part of the Carlton Hotel.

Rodney Scott with Danny Boyle at the Pier Hotel in Gorleston

Rodney Scott enjoys a chat with film maker Danny Boyle who used the Pier Hotel as one of the main locations for his film Yesterday. - Credit: supplied by family

It was a real family business and as a boy he waited on tables and worked in the kitchen.

Most Read

His parents went on to buy the Cliff Hotel, Gorleston, where Mr Scott honed his skills and realised that this was the life for him.

When the Cliff closed for the winter, from the age of 17 he would head to London to work in bars and restaurants and on his days off would visit hotels like the Park Lane and the Dorchester, studying the décor, the lighting, the signage and even the way the staff were dressed.

He soaked up everything through work and observation.

Mr Scott went on to purchase the Cliff Hotel and redevelop the Old Rectory Hotel at Caister, renaming it the Castle.

Rodney Scott with Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis who shot the film Yesterday at The Pier Hotel

Rodney Scott with his daughter Margaret Goss and son Ian Scott and movie makers Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis who famously shot key scenes for their Beatles' inspired film Yesterday at the Pier Hotel. - Credit: supplied by family

The official opening was carried out by actress Diana Dors.

He sold the Castle to invest in upgrading the Cliff and subsequently went on to buy and refurbish the Talbot pub in Yarmouth, the Short Blue pub, Gorleston, the Crown Hotel, Lowestoft, and the Star Hotel, Yarmouth.

After selling these he went on to redevelop the Tower complex on Great Yarmouth’s Marine Parade before he and Ian bought and redeveloped the Pier Hotel and on the Golden Mile the Prom Hotel, an amalgamation of four adjoining hotels.

The operation of the two hotels today is very much a family business, with daughter Margaret Goss managing the Pier and her twin sister Moira Scott-Peek and brother Andrew Scott based at the Prom.

Mr Scott is survived by Janet, his wife of nearly 60 years.

Ian Scott said: “Dad’s focus was always on investing to make things better and improve the service.

He is going to be greatly missed by our customers and guests, many of whom have asked about him during his recent spell of illness.

"He has left a legacy of quality and service in an industry which is the lifeblood of Great Yarmouth.”

Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones described him as "a true gent."

"He has been a great ambassador for the town and family businesses.

"My father thought very highly of him and vice-versa.

"It is a massive loss for the town. He has done so much work over the years, much of it unrecognised.

"He had an aura about him and was always well turned out."

David Marsh, president of Visit Great Yarmouth, said he was one of the town's most respected businessmen.

"What he was very renowned for was his presence and his fantastic customer service," he said.

"He was a man very much respected, of great stature, who has left a great legacy."

Terry Wing, vice chair of Gorleston Theatre Company hailed his support over 30 years.

She said he had helped quietly behind the scenes as a sponsor, attending shows and doing the honours handing out floral tributes and making speeches when the curtain came down.

"He was a big supporter and he was our honorary president," she said. "He was just a lovely caring man, and a quiet man."

A founder member of Copperfield Lodge in Gorleston, Mr Scott was a prominent mason and had recently been appointed Past Senior Grand Warden.

He was a lifelong supporter of Norwich City Football Club and during the summer played competitive lawn bowls for the Gorleston Cliffs club.