HRH The Countess of Wessex was at the Port of Blyth recently as she was given a tour around the Blyth Tall Ship project as part of her visit to the North East.
The facility – which is hosted by the Port – teaches apprentices and young people vital woodwork and shipbuilding skills, helping to fill a skills gap in the region and generate opportunities for young people.
The Countess, who was accompanied by the Duchess of Northumberland, officially named the project’s tall ship Williams II after the merchant captain William Smith who is credited with discovering the Antarctic Landmass in 1819. Smith was born in Blyth while the original Williams ship, an A1 First Class vessel, was also built in the town.
The royal party enjoyed performances from a children’s choir and male voice choir who sang songs about William Smith and his famous discovery, and was shown around the latest development phase of the Blyth Education and Community Hub, which is due to open later this year.
Port of Blyth Chief Executive Martin Lawlor said: “We were delighted to welcome the Countess to the Port of Blyth to see the important work being done by the Blyth Tall Ship project and to view the exciting new developments at BEACH 2”.
As part of the presentations, the Port were delighted to receive beautiful print of the Williams II at sea from Clive Gray, Chief Executive of the Blyth Tall Ship in recognition of its on going support for the facility.