(Above, left to right) Warwick Jacobs, Frances Cockerell and Stuart Wilkinson (Transport Trust chairman) with a Red Wheel Plaque at the Hovercraft Museum
Hot on the heels of its successful Museums at Night weekend opening the Hovercraft Museum in Lee-on-Solent is celebrating a prestigious new award from the Transport Trust recognising the site as one of the country's most notable transport locations.
Frances Cockerell, the daughter of hovercraft inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell, was at the Museum this week in the centennial year of her father’s birth to unveil a Red Wheel Plaque in recognition of the importance of the site.
"We are delighted the Museum has been recognised with such an outstanding award," said Museum Trustee Warwick Jacobs.
"The Transport Trust is the only national charity established to promote and encourage the preservation and restoration of Britain's unique transport heritage and to be honoured in this way recognises the importance of the site."
A former wartime seaplane base, the site still boasts two giant seaplane hangers, the last example of their type in the Northern hemisphere, as well as the best slipway on the South coast.
The Solent location has been home to the Hovercraft Museum for the past 21 years and is again seeing new craft on trials, including a recent example from Sweden and brand new craft for the Royal Marines.
It was the base of the original military trials for the hovercraft from 1961-1981 and hovercraft of all shapes and sizes were tested by all three services to decide who would use them best. Craft flew from the slipway to the Artic circle and back, and circumnavigated the British Isles.
"The site is at last being recognised for its crucial role in transport history," added Jacobs.