The 2 SR.N4
Hovercraft Princess Margaret and Princess Anne which are
at Daedalus but not actually owned by the Musuem. The Hovercraft Museum in
Lee-on-Solent is to save the Princess Anne.
Princess Margaret and Princess Anne, which were built on the Isle of Wight by
the British Hovercraft Corporation in the 1970s, the
SR.N4 was the largest hovercraft built in its time, designed to carry 254
passengers in two cabins besides a four-lane automobile bay which held up to 30
This is when the SRN4 came to Daedalus in 2000:-
SR.N4s operated services across the English Channel between 1968 and 2000 until the abolition
of duty-free made their service unprofitable.The craft entered commercial service in August
1968, with the Princess Margaret initially operated
between Dover and Boulogne but later craft also made the Ramsgate (Pegwell Bay) to Calais route. The fastest ever crossing of the
English Channel by a commercial car-carrying hovercraft was 22 minutes,
recorded by the SR.N4 Mk.III Princess Anne on 14 September
1995, for the 10:00 a.m. service.
GH-2006 Princess Margaret and GH-2007 Princess Anne were
bought by Wensley Haydon-Baillie for £500,000 and reside at
the Hovercraft Museum. Haydon-Baillie was the also
owner of the super yacht Brave Challenger and
uses the same Rolls-Royce Proteus Marine engines as the SR.N4s. The purchase
included seven years' worth of spares including engines.
2 Hovercraft have remain in situ since their arrival in 2000.
Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) (Current owners of this part of Daedalus), was
granted legal consent to remove the hovercraft from the land and has been in
discussions with the museum and other local partners to find the best outcome
for both the development and the future of the hovercraft.
Hovercraft museum trustee Emma Pullen said,
“The SRN4’s are the centre point of the museum and
our most important exhibits. Many people come simply to see these huge relics
from a bygone age and their loss would be an enormous blow to the museum. But
more important than that is the fact that they are piece of British history,
the like of which we will never see again.
“The Hovercraft Museum trust is dedicated to
preserving them and we hope that a deal can be reached to allow this to happen.
“We will do everything in our powers to protect at least one of these
HCA have stated the they have now agreed to lease Princess Anne to the Hovercraft Museum.
TRUSTEES at the Hovercraft Museum say they are delighted that a deal has been reached to save one of the
last remaining cross-Channel crafts, Princess Anne.
HCA is committed to regenerating the area and delivering hundreds of new jobs
on this part of the Enterprise Zone, in line with the aspirations of the local
authority and Solent Enterprise Partnership.