Feature, Freight News, Sea

Portsmouth city honours its bright spark

[ September 23, 2021   //   ]

Ship namings are ten a penny but it’s not every day a port is asked to christen its infrastructure.  Portsmouth though was recently charged with the task of coming up with a ceremonial name for its recently extended berth and opted to honour engineer, mathematician, physicist, suffragette and inventor Hertha Ayrton, who was born in the city. She was also elected the first female member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and became the first woman to win the Hughes Medal from the Royal Society, in 1906 for her research on the motion of ripples in sand and water and her work on the electric arc.

The naming was carried out by Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor at a ceremony on Sunday 26 September and the berth was also be blessed by the Dean of Portsmouth Cathedral.

Completion of the Ayrton Berth means the port can now manage larger ships, or multiple smaller ships at the same time.

As the port is owned by the city, fittingly it called on the residents to submit their suggestions for famous engineers and seafarers who would link this feat of engineering to Portsmouth’s past as a proud seafaring city.

Janet Martin was one of those who suggested Hertha Ayrton, and following a prize draw, received a luxury Fortnum & Mason hamper courtesy of cruise line Noble Caledonia whose vessel, Island Sky was alongside the berth for the ceremony.