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For those of you with longer memories, and those who used to travel the channel by hovercraft instead of ferry - Dover Harbour Board have started to demolish the check-in and terminal building belonging to the old Hoverlloyd / Seaspeed hovercraft operation.

Apparently, the area is to be redeveloped into the new Dover Western Docks, to ease operations at the Eastern docks.

We shall see - a little bit of history passing into oblivion.......

Carl
 

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I didn't realise it was still there.

Can you remember the sudden silence as it left the water and waddled up the beach ? They were great craft on a calmish day but not a lot of fun when it was rough.

G
 

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Blimey, Carl - that old picture shows a Townsend Thoreson ferry. That brings back memories :D

Sad to see the hovercraft buildings go, although I can understand the reasoning. I've spent many happy times being thrown around inside a hovercraft. Damned quick, though :D

Gerald



 

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Why were the Hovercrafts stopped as it was a brilliant invention.
A bit noisy. rough as we skimmed the waves but a fast journey.
The Isle of Wight still has one in service and it seems to do very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
geraldandannie said:
Blimey, Carl - that old picture shows a Townsend Thoreson ferry. That brings back memories :D

Sad to see the hovercraft buildings go, although I can understand the reasoning. I've spent many happy times being thrown around inside a hovercraft. Damned quick, though :D

Gerald
Free Enterprise V - on lay-up in Granville Dock awaiting sale after the introduction of the Prides of Dover and Calais... She still exists in much the same form, as the 'Veronica Line' out of Otranto, Italy

Likewise about the memories - we always crossed with Townsends in the '70's to Zeebrugge.........far better than Sealink!!!

Never used the Hovercraft though.....I think they couldnt take our 'van as it was too high....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
locovan said:
Why were the Hovercrafts stopped as it was a brilliant invention.
A bit noisy. rough as we skimmed the waves but a fast journey.
The Isle of Wight still has one in service and it seems to do very well.
I think they just became too expensive to operate and maintain Mavis.

They had 4 huge Rolls Royce aircraft engines driving the props - plus lift engines.....no wonder they were noisy....

The skippers of these craft even had special licences to 'fly' them - more akin to pilots licences than ship's captains papers....

I think two of the larger craft still exist - albeit in a slightly tatty state - at the Hovercraft museum near Portsmouth....must pay it a visit soon..
 

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Carl_n_Flo said:
locovan said:
Why were the Hovercrafts stopped as it was a brilliant invention.
A bit noisy. rough as we skimmed the waves but a fast journey.
The Isle of Wight still has one in service and it seems to do very well.
I think they just became too expensive to operate and maintain Mavis.

They had 4 huge Rolls Royce aircraft engines driving the props - plus lift engines.....no wonder they were noisy....

The skippers of these craft even had special licences to 'fly' them - more akin to pilots licences than ship's captains papers....

I think two of the larger craft still exist - albeit in a slightly tatty state - at the Hovercraft museum near Portsmouth....must pay it a visit soon..
When your in Portsmouth travel to the Isle of White on the foot passenger one it really is an experience.

I missed the Duty Free being sold when we went to France on one all those bottles would have been on the floor in no time 8O
 

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locovan said:
Why were the Hovercrafts stopped as it was a brilliant invention.
A bit noisy. rough as we skimmed the waves but a fast journey.
The Isle of Wight still has one in service and it seems to do very well.
They are actually still made and in some cases the only thing that will do the job but they use a great deal of fuel and simply cost too much to run.
 
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