23 March 2015

With nicer weather on the way, Shoreham Port are receiving many enquiries from local schools about visits to the Port. The Montessori Place in Hove started off the school trip season last week, with their visit coinciding with the arrival of tall ship, the Pelican of London.

The group from The Montessori Place travelled to the Port by train, with Southwick Station conveniently located just a two minute walk away from Nautilus House. On arrival the school were met by two members of the Port’s Engineering team, Keith Wadey and Piran Armes. Keith gave a brief introduction to the Port before the group headed over to the dry dock to meet the Captain of the Pelican of London, Paul Compton.

The children looked in awe as they took in the depth of the dry dock. Pete Friend, from The Montessori Place commented “To see this tall ship in the dry dock was a real thrill for all of us, but it was the personal touch from the Captain which perhaps made the most striking impression on the children. The way he gave up what looked like precious time in the dock to speak to them and answer questions was so lovely and the gifts he scurried off to fetch for them all was an extremely thoughtful gesture.”

The highlight of the visit was a trip to the Dive Store where Keith Wadey helped each of the children try on one of the commercial dive helmets. This was extremely popular and many were surprised by the weight of the helmets and the amount of equipment that a diver has to wear.

Keith Wadey, Assistant Port Engineer commented “It is fantastic to see the children so interested in what we do at the Port. I was so impressed when one of the children at the end of the tour asked me about decompression sickness (also known as the bends). We’re looking forward to welcoming more schools over the summer and to our boat trips in July.”

The tour concluded in the Pump House where Piran Armes explained how the pumps work and how vital they are in maintaining the structure of the Port. The group then moved onto Southwick Beach for lunch at Carats Café.

Pete Friend added “We are delighted to have made what feels like a special contact with Shoreham Port. We feel strongly that offering our children contact with reality must rest at the heart of their education and the sensorial and intellectual experience we were offered by the engineers, Keith and Piran, certainly opened a door to do just that. We are very grateful to everyone we met at the Port for their time and generosity of spirit, and would like to add a special thanks to the fantastic liaison who very helpfully organised the day for us. We’re looking forward already to a host of other visits in the future.”