BRIDLINGTON Harbour Commissioners have named a new chief executive as a successor to former harbour master Chris Wright, who retired earlier this year.
The commissioners, who have overseen work in and around the port’s harbour and business community for nearly 200 years, have appointed Margaret Hyland to the new role.
Margaret will work closely with the 10-strong commissioners’ board on matters relating to income, expenditure and future development of the harbour and its area.
Margaret began working part time at the harbour almost 25 years ago after being made redundant from an administrative role with a building firm.
“That was back in 1988 and what was intended to be a job for a fortnight has turned into a life-long career,” said Margaret, who will also continue in her role as collector of dues, a position that dates back to an 1837 Act of Parliament.
“As chief executive and collector of dues, I have a very varied list of responsibilities, including overseeing all financial matters.”
These include landing dues, leases and the harbour car park, the harbour estate which comprises of Crane Wharf, 13 shops and public toilets, the former Harbour Master’s offices, the south pier and all its facilities and the Lawrence complex, which incorporates a hotel, chandlery, restaurant and café.
“We try to help every individual and every company connected to the harbour, from the bait man and those who service the working boats, to the marine engineers, the shackles and pot suppliers and the larger landing companies,” continued Margaret, who is originally from the West Riding, but came to Bridlington due to her love of harness racing which she shared with the then chairman of the Commissioners, Barry Gray, who was also involved in the sport.
“It is an extremely broad job description and even though things are not as formal here as they were 25 years ago, our activities are still to a large extent based on the Harbour Commissioners’ history and traditions, something that is very important to everyone working in and around the harbour.”
Bridlington Harbour is home to almost 100 mostly small businesses providing employment to almost 400 people and “playing an essential and integral role in the resort’s economy”.
“If we ever lost just one part of that picture, it would destroy an important element of the local economy,” added Margaret, who lives in Kilham.
Her role will see Margaret managing a team of 14 and a turnover of around £700,000 a year.