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Blue plaque unveiled in Hythe in memory of hovercraft inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell

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THE inventor of the hovercraft, who carried out much of his research in Hythe, has been honoured with a blue plaque in the village.

Sir Christopher Cockerell lived at Prospect Place and was the driving force behind the machine's invention in 1955.

He is reputed to have tested his theory using empty tin cans and a vacuum cleaner.

The hovercraft was invented in 1955
The hovercraft was invented in 1955

Much of his early work was done in East Anglia but the designs were refined in offices at The Grove in St John's Street, now occupied by the parish council.

Huts on the opposite side of the road were used as workshops and laboratories.

The blue plaque marking his success was unveiled to mark the 63rd anniversary of the first crossing of the English Channel by the hovercraft.

Cllr Malcolm Wade unveils the plaque in honour of Sir Christopher Cockerell
Cllr Malcolm Wade unveils the plaque in honour of Sir Christopher Cockerell

A parish council spokesperson told the A&T it had been wanting to recognise the importance of Sir Christopher and the hovercraft development for many years.

Cllr Malcolm Wade, parish council chair, said: "The unveiling of the Blue Plaque to commemorate Sir Christopher Cockerell and the Grove building, the home of hovercraft development, is a great tribute to the work he and local Hythe people – some of whom were at the unveiling – contributed to a great British invention and innovative mode of transport."

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