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Success story in TV spotlight

PUBLISHED: 17:22 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:44 03 July 2010

READY FOR ACTION: Presenter/producer David Whiteleytalks through the shoot with sound recordist Mark Killingback

READY FOR ACTION: Presenter/producer David Whiteleytalks through the shoot with sound recordist Mark Killingback

Miles Jermy

FROM humble beginnings it has grown to become the world's largest seabed survey company.

Now the extraordinary success of Great Yarmouth based Gardline Group is set to be heralded on screen.

FROM humble beginnings it has grown to become the world's largest seabed survey company.

Now the extraordinary success of Great Yarmouth based Gardline Group is set to be heralded on screen.

A film crew went behind the scenes

at Gardline for a forthcoming edition of

the BBC TV programme Inside

Out.

Founded by George Darling nearly

40 years ago to support the North Sea

oil and gas industry, Gardline has

grown into a range of businesses

employing more than 800 people

worldwide, with a turnover of

£100m.

Presenter David Whiteley witnessed the construction of the latest vessels at Richard's dry dock on Southtown Road

and spent two days testing equipment onboard the Sea Explorer.

“The feature on Gardline came about

after talking to a friend of mine, John

Long, who'd just taken on a job as a

trainee superintendent, a kind of caretaker of ships,” said David.

“He told me about this fantastic company that was based in Yarmouth. The thing that really fascinated me was that it was started by one man, with just one ship, back in

1969.

“It was amazing to see the way in

which they map the seabed, by

sending soundwaves down, which

then bounce up to giant tentacles,

filled with wires and computers. This

then makes an ultra sound image of the seabed.”

Self-made businessman Mr Darling remained actively involved in the

company until his death aged 77 in

2006.

David, who also produces the series,

spoke to several people involved with

the company, including Mr Darling's

son and Gardline chairman Gregory Darling and managing director Mervyn Wooltorton.

“I didn't know anything about the company until I met those involved. It's incredible to think that all this goes on

in Yarmouth without many people knowing about it,” he added.

The feature, which was filmed over several days in January, will be broadcast next month.

Managing director Mervyn Wooltorton said: “The programme provided Gardline with an opportunity to

showcase the range of services available to the market from its Yarmouth headquarters, where the company has been based for nearly 40 years.

“It has also given a wonderful representation and well deserved recognition of the life's achievements of

the company's founder George

Darling.”

Inside Out, BBC1, Friday, April 11 at 7.30pm.

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