Last month, John Carter was again involved in a ribbon cutting ceremony at Hovertravel, almost 54 years after he was part of the inaugural Hovertravel flight from Ryde to Stokes Bay, Gosport.
On 4th August 1965, newly employed John was part of the beach crew at Hovertravel’s Stokes Bay operation. His task for the ceremony was to hold one end of a ribbon as the first Hovertravel flight from the Isle of Wight landed to officially open the service. That flight included some high-profile guests including Lord Louis Mountbatten and was welcomed ashore by the mayors of both Gosport and Portsmouth.
Re-enacting the ribbon cutting John took centre stage this time, cutting the ribbon in front of all the guests of an Airbus private hovercraft charter in aid of the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association. John, now a design engineer in the space and aviation departments of Airbus, expressed his joy at being at both events: “I took the job at Hovertravel for the summer before going on to start my career at the MOD and it was very exciting for a young boy just out of school to be part of this new and unusual hovercraft service. Now with over five decades of working in the aviation sector I am thrilled to be part of another fun day on the hovercraft, especially as today’s trip is raising money for such a worthy cause.”
Seventy-four Airbus staff and families enjoyed a fun-filled two hours with the hovercraft, including demonstrations of the craft’s unique manoeuvrability at sea and show-and-tell session with the pilot, raising over £1500 for the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association.