Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Cross-Channel hovercraft Princess Margaret scrapped

The two cross-Channel hovercraft Image copyright Google
Image caption The cross-Channel hovercraft had been stored on the former HMS Daedalus naval base site since 2000

The Princess Margaret, one of the last remaining cross-Channel hovercraft, has been dismantled and scrapped.

The Hovercraft Museum in Lee-on-the-Solent said it had used "vital" parts in the ongoing restoration of the second giant craft, the Princess Anne.

In January 2016 they were both on the verge of being destroyed, but the museum later secured a lease through Homes England for the Princess Anne.

They have been kept on the former HMS Daedalus naval base site since 2000.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Princess Margaret carried up to 400 passengers and 55 cars between Dover and France

More than 21,000 people signed a petition to save the hovercraft after the Homes and Communities Agency - which has since been replaced by Homes England - announced it wanted to develop the land they are stored on for homes in January 2016.

The museum submitted a proposal and secured a lease for the former Hoverspeed craft to renovate it as a public exhibit because its condition was better than the Princess Margaret.

In a statement, the museum said: "Although we are sad to see the Princess Margaret go, we now move forward and plan to accelerate our restoration work on the Princess Anne."

Image copyright Stephen Jones
Image caption Restoration work to the Princess Anne hovercraft is ongoing

The Princess Anne will be open to the public during the museum's annual Hovershow between 26-28 May.

The 250-tonne vessel is also due to be powered up for the first time in 12 years at a ticketed evening fundraising event in aid of the craft's restoration on Saturday.

The cockpit and artefacts from the Princess Margaret are also expected to go on display.

The Princess Margaret and Princess Anne Hoverspeed vessels carried up to 400 passengers and 55 cars between Dover and France for over 30 years.

They were taken out of service in 2000 and replaced by a catamaran service.

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