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.
The 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 cars.
The 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
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. This is when the SRN4 came to
Daedalus in 2000:-
The 2 Hovercraft have
remain in situ since their arrival in 2000.
The Homes and
Communities Agency (HCA) (now Homes England) (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.
early 2016 the ownership of the two craft were passed to the then HCA (now
Homes England). Homes England have let the Princess Anne to the Hovercraft
Museum and allowed them to take parts from the Princess Margaret to enhance
Princess Anne as an exhibit and have always intended thereafter to remove the
Princess Margaret from site as she impedes development plans.
England tendered the removal of the Princess Margaret in October and received
returns in November having contacted all those who previously expressed an
interest. We received 11 returns none of which indicated an ability to remove
from site intact (all advice was that it would be virtually impossible anyway).
England has selected Hughes and Salvidge to undertake the dismantling and
removal from site and this is likely to take place over a 5 week programme
starting at the end of February 2018. All works will happen within Seaplane
Square and access will from the north via Daedalus Drive and Broom Way. Working
hours will be 8:00am – 5:30pm weekdays only. Hughes and Salvidge are liaising
with the Hovercraft Museum about what parts they would like and a film company wants to document its
construction for the Smithsonian Channel. Cushman and Wakefield are managing
the project on Homes England’s behalf with specific emphasis on health and
safety and waste management.