The Trevor Whelan Collection
Maritime Images 3:
Hovercraft, 1964-2010

Hovercraft already appear on two pages within this site, but I could not resist adding one dedicated to these versatile machines. I first encountered a hovercraft - the Hovertransport SRN2 featured below - in June 1964, during a family holiday to the Isle of Wight. The SRN2 images were taken by my father, A.J.G. (Jim) Whelan, on an elderly roll film camera and I was very fortunate to rescue the negatives from destruction many years later.

The majority of my own hovercraft images have been taken on the Solent and, unsurprisingly, are mostly of the Hovertravel fleet. However, my paternal grandparents lived in Ramsgate for a few years from 1977 and I managed a couple of visits to Pegwell Bay. Examples from a handful of monochrome images shot during these visits are reproduced below.

Hovertransport SRN2, Ryde, June 1964. Ref 036604
The Hovertransport SRN2
embarks passengers on the
beach at Ryde;
June 1964.
Hovertransport SRN2, Ryde, June 1964. Ref 036603
A young boy leans against the
skirt of the SRN2. Clearly, a
different take on health and
safety in those days.
Hovertransport SRN2, Ryde, June 1964. Ref 036303
The Hovertransport "terminal"
at Ryde was further south
than Hovertravel's is today
and far more rudimentary!
Hovertransport SRN2, Ryde, June 1964. Ref 036302
Sand and spray in abundance
as the SRN2 departs;
June 1964.
Hovertravel SRN6, Ryde, June 1969. Ref 012909
One of Hovertravel's SRN6s
is captured with my basic
Instamatic 25 camera.
Ryde, June 1969.
Hovertravel SRN6, Ryde, June 1969. Ref 012910
Another Hovertravel SRN6
at Ryde in June 1969,
wearing a different livery.
Hoverlloyd SRN4, Pegwell Bay, May 1979. Ref 022018
Hoverlloyd SRN4 Sure
lifts into the hover;
Ramsgate, May 1979.
Hoverlloyd SRN4, Pegwell Bay, May 1979. Ref 022019
Sure turns and glides towards
the English Channel.
Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate;
May 1979. (022019)
Hoverlloyd SRN4, Pegwell Bay, May 1979. Ref 034106
Sure again, approaching
Ramsgate on Sunday
24th August 1980.
Hovertravel AP1-88
Hovertravel AP1-88
Island Express leaving Ryde;
17th September 2008.
Hovertravel BHT-130
Newly commissioned
Hovertravel BHT-130
Solent Express is
refuelled at Ryde;
July 2007. (113509)
Hovertravel AP1-88
Island Express approaching
Ryde on 11th September
2006. Wightlink's St Clare
is visible heading for
Fishbourne. (DC2293)
Hovertravel BHT-130
The low profile of
Solent Express is evident in
this view at Southsea;
16th September 2007.
Hovertravel BHT-130 cabin detail. Ref DC3494
The front of the BHT-130 has
an aggressive, almost military
look about it. Stealth
hovercraft anyone? Ryde,
September 2007. (DC3494)
Solent Express on the pad at Ryde, September 2008. Ref DA4834
Solent Express squats on the pad at Ryde. Even fluffy
clouds can't soften her lines.
6th June 2008. (DC4389)
Island Express leaving Southsea, October 2007. Ref DC3615
The steepness of the ramp
at Southsea is shown to
good effect as Island Express
departs on 11th October 2007
Island Express captured en
to Ryde, with one of the
Palmerston forts in view.
28th June 2009
Island Express departs
from Ryde at low tide;
2nd July 2009.
Freedom 90 leaving Ryde, July 2010. Ref DA6933
An attractive portrait of
Freedom 90 as she
leaves Ryde;
11th July 2010.
Hovertravel AP1-88
Freedom 90
approaching Ryde;
11th July 2010.
Port side detail of
Port side detail of
BHT-130 Solent Express
on the pad at Ryde;
11th July 2010.

All content © Trevor Whelan 2010

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