Ticket to ride and hover above the Solent’s waves

I have included this picture not so much for the view but for the cars of the late 1970s or early 1980s. Picture: John Rich

NOSTALGIA: It only seems like yesterday... but these cars in Portsmouth are now classics

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In the final part of our trip to the Isle of Wight we travel thought the decades as the mainland is approached and we ‘fly’ back to Portsmouth.

Hovercraft firm Hovertravel was founded in 1965 and is the only passenger hovercraft company currently operating in Britain.

A Leyland Olympian in Sandown High Street in June 2007 converted to a popular half-way format to accommodate the British weather and, below, a hovercraft gets a buffeting off Southsea in May 1977

A Leyland Olympian in Sandown High Street in June 2007 converted to a popular half-way format to accommodate the British weather and, below, a hovercraft gets a buffeting off Southsea in May 1977

This makes the company the world’s oldest hovercraft operator.

Hovertravel started its cross-Solent services, Ryde to Southsea and Ryde to Stokes Bay (near Gosport) in July 1965 using SR-N6 craft.

Although in the first year the service operated year round, in 1966 it ceased at the end of the summer to resume the following April.

The Ryde to Stokes Bay service closed in 1968 while the Ryde to Southsea service continues today.

jpns-08-12-14-028 rw rough hover''A hovercraft battles the seas off Southsea buffeted by big waves in May 1977

jpns-08-12-14-028 rw rough hover''A hovercraft battles the seas off Southsea buffeted by big waves in May 1977

Today’s pictures come from John Kirby, of Stubbington Avenue, North End.

To see video of hovercraft SR N6 crossing the Solent in 1965, click here.