This month Shoreham Port bids farewell to Les Smith, who is retiring from his role as Engineering Operative (Maintenance) after a career spanning 33 years at the Port. Les joined Shoreham Port in 1985 where he began work within the Engineering team, working as part of the maintenance team, maintaining the Port’s infrastructure and joining the Port’s in-house dive team.
Les commented “I’ve always had an interest in water and a passion for diving. I have been coming down to the harbour since I was 13, so the Port has played a central role in my life even before I worked here. Diving is by far the role I have relished the most in my time at the Port and I am grateful for the opportunities I have had in my long and happy career here.”
Les has worked in many different roles during his time at the Port, including maintenance and most prominently as part of the dive team where he undertook dive operations within the harbour and supervised the rest of the team.
Tony Parker, Director of Engineering commented “Les has been a stalwart of the Engineering team here at the Port for over three decades. His knowledge and experience of our mechanical and hydraulic systems around the locks and Pumphouse is unsurpassed and has been invaluable in keeping the Port operating smoothly and efficiently. If you need a neat solution to a tricky problem, Les is your man! He is also, of course, a very keen diver and boat handler – salt water is in his blood - and whether it’s for maintenance and repair operations or during emergencies, like fishing nets tangled around a ship propeller, Les is always the first to volunteer to get in the water and sort it out. He will be greatly missed by everyone.”
Les added “I will miss the job and the team around me, the Port is a wonderful place to work and I can’t imagine not coming in every day. I have many fond memories of my time here, including big dive operations, taking out dive charter vessels and handling boats owned by the Port.”