2018 is the National Year of Engineering, so what better time to recognise the achievements of a true Isle of Wight innovator?
Especially one, who among many other pioneering projects, designed and built Thrust 2 (in a shed in Fishbourne) which broke the land speed record.
There’s been great support for this idea over on Facebook,
both on the IW Heritage group page
and the News OnTheWight page.
Over 200+ Likes and 40+ Comments on them already.
Freedom of Ryde for ‘Ackers’
At next week’s Ryde Town Council meeting, Cllr Michael Lilley will set out to seek support to establish an Honours Working Party, which during their first meeting would consider awarding the Freedom of Ryde to Ryde inventor and innovator, John Ackroyd, for his outstanding contribution to engineering and innovation.
He’ll need to get at least a two-thirds majority for the motion to pass, but with John having made such a massive contribution to the world of innovation and being such an inspiration to so many, that shouldn’t be hard to achieve.
A true Hidden Hero
If you’d been following Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes, you’ll have read about John Ackroyd, or ‘Ackers’ as his friends and colleagues know him.
He’s the embodiment of Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes and his remarkable achievements are staggering and world-beating. It’s hard to cover the range of projects that John has been instrumental in, but they include (more detail here):
- Built the first production electric city car in the 1970s
- He designed and built Thrust 2 in a shed in Fisbourne, which broke the land-speed record
- Worked on the two record-beating high altitude balloons, both the highest and fastest
Ryde’s greatest living engineer and designer
Cllr Lilley explains the reason for his motion,
“John Ackroyd lives in my Ryde East Ward which to me is a great honour. He is a wonderful man and what he has achieved over his lifetime is inspirational and he deserves recognition in Ryde and the Isle of Wight. He deserves his place on the Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes Website and major exhibition.
“2018 is the National year of engineering, and John is Ryde’s greatest living engineer and designer and I believe deserves the Freedom of the Town, which I have nominated him for.
“He designed in the late 60s and early 70s the first production electric city cars which was truly forward thinking as by 2025, the electric car will be the main form of transport and it started in Ryde with John and all the other innovative local engineers.
“We need to inspire our future Island inventors and innovators and John’s story provides that innovation and celebrate the Island’s engineering heritage.”
Ryde residents agree
Cllr Lilley says that local residents have lobbied him about awarding John with the Freedom of Ryde and he’s determined to fight for it.
The motion will be considered at the Ryde Town Council meeting on Monday 5th February. If you feel strongly about this and are able to attend, why not pop along to the meeting at Garfield Road Methodist Church, Garfield Road, Ryde from 7pm.
Update: 31 Jan 2018 12:54 Added pointer to the large Facebook support for this.
5 Feb – Updated the number of Facebook Likes and comments
Image: © David Busfield