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  • "The singular and plural of 'hovercraft' are the same - like 'sheep'.

    There is a 700 page book with 450 pictures and a foreword by the The Duke of Edingburgh, also available on Kindle, called 'On a Cushion of Air', ( or www.thebookdepositor, which tells the story of the development of the hovercraft by those who were there, from the very early days through to the heyday of the giant 165-ton SRN.4, which crossed the English Channel starting in 1968 carry 30 cars and 254 passengers at speeds in excess of 75 knots on a calm day. It was subsequently widened to carry 36 cars and 280 passengers with an A.U.W. of 200 tons and was later lengthened to an A.U.W of 325 tons and capable of carrying 55 cars and 424 passengers. The amazing point was that from 165 tons to 325 tons only 400 extra hp was required, although a bit of speed was sacrificed.
    Sadly, for economic reasons, the service came to an end on 1st October 2000. In total 6 SR.4s were built and the two remaining ones are in the Hovercraft Museum at Lee-on-Solent. The original SR.N1 Mk.5 is in the science museum at Wroughton, Swindon. See www.onacushionofair.
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Gloucestershire firefighters join Somerset counterparts to help tackle flooding

First published in News
Last updated

FIREFIGHTERS from Gloucestershire have been drafted in to support their colleagues in Somerset after the area was hit by once in a lifetime flooding.

Crews stationed in Cirencester were sent to help with the relief efforts in Taunton last week as a host of other agencies battled to keep floodwaters under control.

Teams from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue headed south on Wednesday, January 29, to help lay hose lines and carry out high volume pumping with local partners from the Environment Agency.

Additional firefighters and the county’s hovercraft teams were also placed on stand-by to provide further assistance if required.

Hovercraft proved invaluable during Gloucestershire's own floods in 2007 because they could operate across areas of low level flooding, which were inaccessible to boats and vehicles.

GCC’s cabinet member for fire and planning Will Windsor-Clive, said: “I’m pleased that, once again, the skills and experience of Gloucestershire's fire service are being used to benefit other counties.”

Chief fire officer Jon Hall said: "We have become very used to assisting other services around the country, this being the fourth occasion in the past year.

“Similarly, with our own experience of flooding, we know how important it is to receive external support when local resources become stretched."

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