In memory of Gina Porter

1957-2021

Written by Ian Blair

The last few months have been awful in terms of the news of the untimely deaths of Pete Clark and Eric Norton, and this has been compounded in the last week, when I learnt of the passing of Gina Porter. It is hard right now to process this and find adequate words to describe how I feel today as she is laid to rest. Gina was such a big part of my archaeological journey in London in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and I lost count of the number of DUA and MoLAS excavations that we worked on together, culminating with the excavation of the Guildhall amphitheatre in 1992-3.

 Gina scrubbed up meets Queen Elizabeth II at the opening of the Guildhall Art Gallery in 1999Gina scrubbed up meets Queen Elizabeth II at the opening of the Guildhall Art Gallery in 1999

Gina was truly one of a kind and a very special person who I loved dearly, but then so did everyone who was lucky enough to have known and worked with her and could count her as a friend. She was kind, loyal, modest, funny, and fantastic company, all underpinned by being a proud Mancunian who refreshing always told it the way it was, whilst retaining an incredible humanity to all.

 Another day at the office: Gina with Tony Mackinder at Wood Street in 1986, in less formal work attire with fag and cup of coffeeAnother day at the office: Gina with Tony Mackinder at Wood Street in 1986, in less formal work attire with fag and cup of coffee 
She was a fantastic archaeologist but was happiest as a digger as opposed to a supervisor, and ultimately left MoLAS for Kent somewhat weary and disillusioned with London archaeology, to pursue other interests and fresh challenges. I will always treasure her love and friendship, and the happy times that we shared together on so many sites and the long hours socialising in the pub afterwards. As I sit here now, I can still hear her saying ‘Cheers Me Dears’ as we began yet another round of drinks. So, here’s to you Gina Porter, we will all be raising a drink to you in due course, which I know is exactly what you would have wanted from those who knew and loved you.

Our thoughts today are with her partner John, her family and friends at this difficult time.

RIP Gina

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1 comment

  • Comment Link Trevor Brigham Saturday, 28 August 2021 21:31 posted by Trevor Brigham

    One of my earliest and happiest memories of Gina was the Copthall Avenue Christmas party at the Raglan, December 1981. We all got very merrily drunk and for some reason the two of us were crawling around on the floor under the bar billiards table they had then, convulsed with giggles, looking for something Pat Allen had lost (probably a 2p bit knowing Pat - he had a walking stick having broken something vital, so couldn't look for it himself!) Bizarrely the Raglan at the time had a mini dance floor at the back where they had lunchtime and Friday night discos (!) and we all ended up throwing some drunken shapes to classics like Hi Ho Silver Lining. The last I remember was Holborn tube, Pat and me waving goodbye to Gina on the very long escalator there, she was just sat on one of the steps laughing and waving so much she was unable to stand up as it whisked her off into the distance. That's kind of the way I like to think of her. On my study window ledge I still have a little TGW jar she gave me from a site she worked on in Mortlake...

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