Maryport History (click here for home page)

Maryport Hoverport - The Hoverport that never was

Maryport – The Hoverport that never was!  

Local historians Herbert and Mary Jackson wrote The Maryport Walkabout guide and they suggest that visitors start their walk at this intriguing location: “Hoverport what better place to begin your walk about?”

Huh, … so I asked Geoff B. who offers the following explanation.

“The site of the Hoverport was to be Woods Harbour ie to the south of the North Pier – where the new boardwalk is.

It was a Bank Holiday weekend (not sure if Whit or Easter) around 1975/76 ish that Herbert Jackson (Chairman of the Traders Association) created “Maryport – Queen of the Solway” and set up the idea of a regular, 8 man ex military hovercraft service across the Solway to the Caravan Park at Southerness.  The idea being that loads of holidaymakers would come across using the hovercraft to spend money in Maryport.

Crowds of people turned up that weekend to have rides around the harbour on this hovercraft but the sea was too rough to attempt a crossing. 

There is a picture in existence of the event – try the Times & Star. 

Shortly after that the hovercraft company which was based in Millom went bust and for a while Maryport became a bit of a laughing stock around the county.”

Some Internet sleuthing found the following illustrations of the hopes and dreams of West Cumberland visionaries.  The project seems to have been based in Haverigg but where are the people and hovercraft bits now?  There was once a RAF museum at Haverigg, but now gone – fortunately I took some photos for the Millenium project, Haverigg has claim to be the start of RAF mountain rescue and was nearly the start of Hovercraft in The Solway.

References:

Millom Hovercraft videos by Mark Sewell :

BBC1 WITH SEALAND HOVERCRAFT MILLOM HAVERIGG 1970 s – 1978.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tlLWd5g8fo&t=169s

SEALAND HOVERCRAFT IN SNOW MILLOM HAVERIGG. 1970S

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LXhrj4p5j8

SEALAND HOVERCRAFT 1970- EARLY 80S MILLOM – HAVERIGG. ALBUM 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXC53kFvFjc

SEALAND HOVERCRAFT 1970’S MILLOM -HAVERIGG ALBUM 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms6wweHhA2c

SEALAND HOVERCRAFT MILITARY THEME 1977 MILLOM HAVERIGG. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5grh2i5nB9o

SEALAND HOVERCRAFT 1970S-80S MILLOM – HAVERIGG.wmv https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4JPvw8_Ccc

Click a pic below for slideshow. Click the links above for YouTube videos