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Ryde Town Councillors have agreed to award the Freedom of Ryde to local resident John Ackroyd in recognition of his remarkable lifelong contribution to engineering and invention.

Since starting as a 16-year-old apprentice at Saunders Roe in 1953, John has played a hugely important role in advancements in car manufacturing design, rocket science, marine engineering and aviation. From Ryde’s very own hovercraft to the record breaking Thrust car, John has been at the forefront of world leading innovation.

Ryde Town Council is delighted, during this National Year of Engineering, to celebrate a Ryde resident who has placed both the town and the Isle of Wight on the world stage through his endeavours. John was nominated for the honour by Councillor Michael Lilley of Ryde East ward.

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Councillor Christine Hall, who chairs the Town Council’s Honours Working Party, said:

“It has been a privilege to be part of this decision to award John with this honour, which is the highest distinction the Town Council can give to an individual. He is an inspiration, both to the people of Ryde and the Isle of Wight and to our young people.”

Arrangements for a presentation ceremony will get underway as soon as possible.

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