Flog It Filming

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A successful day of filming at the museum has concluded today after a production crew visited the Hovercraft Museum today to film for The BBC’s Flog It programme.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather for filming, albeit a tad on the cold side.  We even got the presenter Paul Martin out on a hovercraft.  He really enjoyed the flight and said if he lived near the coast he might buy one.

We definitely did attract some attention at the slipway with both hovercraft, AND TV cameras – it’s always great to see people taking an interest in such a unique mode of transport.

The episode of Flog It featuring the museum will be released in the new year and we’ll put out an announcement nearer the time when we know the air date so you can watch at home!

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Warwick’s 30 years with the Hovercraft Museum

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The Hovercraft Museum being presented with an Engineering Trust award.

Warwick (left) being presented with the Engineering Award for the SRN5 restoration.

After an eventful 30 years with the Hovercraft Museum, our longest running trustee, Warwick Jacobs, has decided to step back from his role as trustee. After devoting such a long period to the museum to make it what it is today he has decided that now is a perfect time to pass the torch on. While still being involved with the museum, hopefully for another 30+ years, he aims to take some time to focus on his art career (see some of his art here) and fulfilling his dream to relocate to France with his partner.

Many people know Warwick “as the museum”, which is no small part down to his exceptional job as a PR/Spokesman, representing us in the local community, news articles and reports, numerous hovercraft productions and even national television! However, this is only the public side of what Warwick has done.

Back in 1986, along with members of the Hovercraft Society Council, a subcommittee was set up to investigate the creation of a designated hovercraft museum.  In 1987 Charitable status was applied for, and granted in 1988.  Twenty-five trustees and six landlords later, the Museum now has a large site with an SRN4, BH7, and many other important craft. In the last year, the museum has been able to open all year round, welcoming over 5000 visitors from all around the world, including people from Germany, France, America, Canada, The Netherlands, and Belgium! With this brilliant surge of interest in Hovercraft, the museum membership has grown vastly with a fresh influx of eager volunteers that work hard every weekend to restore and maintain a growing collection of craft.

Warwick has overseen some truly great museum achievements over the years, such as seeing Sir Christopher Cockerell take control of a hovercraft on his 80th birthday flypast, receiving a Transport Trust Award for the restoration of our SRN5, winning our hangars listed status and even bringing, not one, not two, but three SRN4 craft onto the site over the last few years! The campaign to save The Princess Anne was an extremely successful one, collecting over 22,000 signatures and successfully stopping the scrap men from destroying a unique piece of British engineering heritage.

Here are a few words from Warwick:

“It is always so rewarding to see the museum getting stronger and the enthusiasm and team of the volunteers in what is become a world class one off museum for hovers.”

“I wouldn’t be stepping down now if it weren’t for the healthy position we are in with great new talent in trustees to see us on into the 21st century! I certainly have not abandoned the cause and my heart and best wishes remain with the group!”

We hope you will join us in giving Warwick a massive thank you for his service and congratulating him on his achievements!

The Museum Trustees
Louise Jenkins, Alex Wheeler, Steve Henderson, Rob Hiseman, Doug Coulson

Ho Ho Ho, Santa’s in Town

A red hovercraft being pulled by three reindeer.  Shows opening times for Santa's Grotto 2016 at the Hovercraft Museum (10th & 17th December 2016 10am till 3pm).Santa is visiting The Hovercraft Museum this year.  Come down on Saturday 10th and 17th to meet him on our SRN5 hovercraft.  The whole museum will be open as usual and all visitors are welcome whether they wish to see Santa or not!  The museum will be open both days from 10am till 3pm.  There is no extra cost to enter the museum this Xmas (see here for entry prices & directions), but an extra £3 is required if you wish to see Santa and receive a present.  We hope to see you there with your Santa hats!

SRN4 Update

Work continues on The Princess Anne to get the roof temporarily watertight before winter sets in.  The HMT Engineering and Site teams have been working to patch the main problem areas, and next year we will start more long term work to preserve and seal the roof.  Some surfaces have already been prepped ready for painting, with the first layer of primer paint going on this Wednesday (2nd Nov 16) on the side decks.

Unfortunately, at this time there is no more news on The Princess Margaret.

First Successful Flight of Hoverguard 800 After Refit

A newly refitted Hoverguard 800 (ex Heathrow Airport Rescue craft) has made her first successful sea trial at Lee-on-Solent today.  Originally laid down in 1990 and powered by a Ford V6 engine , she served for over 10 years at Heathrow Airport as a rescue craft to navigate the marshland areas that eventually became Heathrow Terminal 5.  The craft is privately owned, but stored at the Hovercraft Museum on permanent loan since 2003 and has been overhauled in the Museum’s workshops.  She is the only American Hovercraft in The Hovercraft Museum Trust’s collection!

 

Photos courtesy of Warwick Jacobs.

 

An ex-Heathrow Airport rescue craft exiting the water onto a concrete slipway after it's first successful flight after a refit.   Hoverguard 800 in original Heathrow Airport livery.   A Hoverguard 800 landed on a concrete slipway on a clear day.

 

Job Vacancies

The Hovercraft Museum Trust is currently looking to recruit for two roles:  Operations Manager and SR.N4 Project Manager.  If any of these roles seem interesting then please visit our vacancies page.  Anyone is welcome to apply, and knowledge of Hovercraft is not a necessity!  Both positions will be closing for applications on the 31st October 2016.  Good luck to all applying!

The Hover Mini Lives!

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Last weekend (3rd Sept 2016), the Hover Mini hovered for the first time in ten years! This was in no small part due to the two brothers Andrew and CJ, who have spent the last few months working on the craft in the workshop. They’ve done a fantastic job, despite having known nothing about hovercraft when they joined as volunteers earlier this year! CJ is an Aircraft Simulator Engineer and Andrew is a former paramedic – it just goes to show that you don’t to have prior experience of hovercraft to make a difference at the museum!  If you’d like to get involved please go to www.hovercraft-museum.org/volunteer to learn more!

SR.N4 Update 15/04/16: We got it!

SRN4 “The Princess Anne” saved for the Nation!

The Hovercraft Museum Trust is delighted to announce that they have been successful in securing the future of SRN4 “The Princess Anne”.

We are also absolutely delighted to announce we will partially open the craft to the public at the Hovershow next weekend!!!

We have worked very closely with our landlord, the Homes & Communities Agency to land an initial three-year lease (at peppercorn rent) with the intention of the HCA to hand the craft over completely to the Trust at the end of the 3 years.

This time, period allows us to fulfil obligations in making the craft safe and of smart appearance.

We would like to thank the team at HCA, the 23,000 signatories to our petition and the support of the Museum’s local MP Caroline Dineage. There has been an awful lot of work going on behind the scenes.

Special thanks also go to our hardworking team of volunteers and trustees who have managed the campaign and we would also like to thank Cliff Valize-Jones for setting up the Save the SRN4 Facebook group which massively raised our profile.

The real work starts now, though – volunteers to undertake work on her please get in touch!

Wednesday this week we will drop the bow ramp to allow access for volunteers to prep part of the craft for public access but we have a huge job list to do before the craft is fully open and accessible.

Also, share and support our fundraising page at www.gofundme.com/srn4hovercraft

Many thanks again for all your help and support.

Ben Avery
On Behalf of The Hovercraft Museum Trust