John’s life on the high seas!

John Porter
John Porter

A local sailor is being honoured with a prestigious award for his outstanding contribution as a volunteer with Pilkington Sailing Club, St Helens.

John Porter used to work for the glass-maker and joined the sailing club which was established as part of the firm's recreational programme for employees.

The citation for the award focuses on his role leading weekly working groups maintaining the club and its surroundings.

John says it was very much of a surprise when he was told of his nomination for the award.

At first the sailing club was based at Carr Mill Dam but then moved to its present location on Eccleston Mere which was used as an emergency water supply for the glass-making plant in St Helens.

As well as sailing himself, John frequently volunteered to man the club safety boats.

When he retired, John went on a working holiday with the National Trust and became one of their regular volunteers.

He renewed his interest in the sailing club and set up some Wednesday sailing sessions for other retired members.

On the first day there wasn't enough wind to go out so he suggested they get out a club tent that had been used at the 24 Hour Race in Southport and put away wet.

That was the first of many tasks the Wednesday crew took on as they realised how much needed to be done.

They started to carry out regular maintenance work in the mornings and sailed in the afternoons.

John encouraged his fellow sailor/volunteers to join for his National Trust working party as well and he has recruited many others who have visited Eccleston Mere.

Find out more about Pilkington Sailing Club at http://www. pilkingtonsailingclub.co.uk/