IT HAS been the international gateway into the UK for millions of holidaymakers.
And now officials at Portsmouth International Port are asking for just a fraction of those tourists to come forward and share their memories of the site to mark its 40th anniversary.
The 40th anniversary of Portsmouth International Ferry Port is a key landmarkCouncillor Donna Jones, Portsmouth City Council leader
To celebrate the ruby occasion, staff are encouraging past passengers to send in photographs, home movies and other memories of the site during its early days.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, is delighted by the milestone and urged others to join the celebrations.
Speaking of the port’s importance to the city, she said: ‘The 40th anniversary of Portsmouth International Port is a key landmark.
‘Being an island city and being one of the most important ports in the world, having our own ferry access is essential.
‘We’re a city that benefits massively from our thriving tourism economy.
‘So having people travel through Portsmouth, staying in our hotels and seeing places like the Historic Dockyard and other attractions is brilliant.’
The port opened its doors in June 1976.
The ferry terminal soon gained a reputation as one of the most popular ports for not only passengers travelling abroad but for import and export businesses.
This allowed the site to boom, now occupying a 17.6-hectare (43.5 acres) footprint.
As well as opening the doors to tourists, the port also plays a vital role in supporting the city’s international business links.
Port manager Martin Putman said 2016 was going to be an ‘exciting year’.
‘From early beginnings in 1976 when initially just a single ‘linkspan’ helped get passengers on and off of ferries, there are now five ‘linkspans’ in use every day at Portsmouth International Port, just one sign of increased investment and how things have changed in the last 40 years,’ he added.
More than 70 per cent of the UK’s bananas come through the city and in recent years the site has seen a boom in the quantity of exotic fruit and vegetables being delivered.
To submit your memories, email firstname.lastname@example.org