THE school trip season has begun in earnest at Shoreham Port.
With warmer weather on the way, the port is already receiving a large number of enquiries from school and playgroups in the area.
First off the mark was The Montessori Place in Hove, which was lucky enough to visit while the tall ship, the Pelican of London, was in Adur Dry Dock.
Having travelled by train to Southwick, the staff and children were met at Nautilus House, the port’s headquarters, by Keith Wadey and Piran Armes from the engineering team.
Mr Wadey gave a brief introduction to the port before the taking the group over to the dry dock to meet Paul Compton, captain of the Pelican of London.
Pete Friend, one of the school’s guides, said: “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.
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 thatPeter Friend, guide, The Montessori Place
“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.”
Another highlight of the visit was a trip to the dive store, where Mr Wadey helped each of the children try on one of the commercial dive helmets. Many were surprised by the weight of the helmets and the amount of equipment a diver has to wear.
Mr Wadey said: “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 bangs.
“We are looking forward to welcoming more schools over the summer and to our boat trips in July.”
The tour concluded in the Pump House, where Mr Armes explained how the pumps work and how vital they are to maintaining the structure of the port.
Mr Friend added: “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.”