Following the cessation of service of Hoverspeed in 2005 and its short-term use by high-speed ferry company SpeedFerries (now no longer trading), the Dover West Hoverport building, opened in 1978 is finally being demolished to make way for future developments on the land it currently occupies.
I took a few trips to the site in June/July 2009 to capture some final memories of the site before it was completely destroyed.
The Dover Hoverport site is being prepared for a major development programme of the Dover seafront area, and is apparently scheduled to become a large truck-stop-type facility for lorries (Walker, 200). If this is incorrect, please enlighten me!
Panorama of the hoverpad at Dover. Click here for very large version. Imagine 6 SRN4s sitting on there once upon a time!
Gallery 1 - June 2nd 2009 - Dover Hoverport Demolition
Looking out across Dover Harbour toward the famous Castle and White Cliffs
A seagull over the White Cliffs: An iconic representation of Dover
The Western Docks' clock tower
Looking toward the Hoverspeed (and later SpeedFerries) catamaran berth on the Prince of Wales Pier
Looking down the Prince of Wales pier toward Dover's western docks
The Dover Harbour Board installed these windows (and later, steps for the vertically challenged) into the concrete walls to let people watch the hovercraft as they came and went Good on DHB!
The observation shelter
Inside the shelter
I spent hours as a kid looking through these windows as the N4s roared into life Now the same windows lie un-looked through, and salt-spray-free
The ramp leading to the sea, seen by hundreds of SRN4 journeys over 22 years of operation
Looking at the SeaCat (catamaran) berth
The hoverport at the end of the hoverpad, a JCB tearing its guts out, as viewed from the Prince of Wales Pier
Looking toward the hoverport from the Promenade
Now shut off, the old vehicle entry/exit ramp
Demolition site, keep out!
Old road markings still present
Through the wire fence
The Hoverspeed engineering bays, now silent after nearly 9 years
As it's been left, empty, for nearly 5 years, except the brief usage by the now bust SpeedFerries; The old red SNR4 propeller still standing, awaiting transfer to The Hovercraft Museum
Vehicle entry/exit lanes
Looking toward the promenade from the Hoverport roundabout
Gallery 2 - July 6th 2009 - Dover Hoverport Demolition
30th June 2009, Crane taking down the right hand side of the terminal building
6th July 2009, from the old Hoverspeed car park, only a few huts remaining
6th July 2009, looking down the side road to where the engineering sheds were, now just the security hut standing
6th July 2009, closer look at the engineering sheds
6th July 2009, looking toward where the terminal was, from the top of the sliproad footpath
6th July 2009, just the propeller and a couple of huts still standing
6th July 2009, close-up of the propeller, standing proud amongst the rubble
Gallery 3 - July 29th 2009 - Dover Hoverport Demolished
Not a lot remaining of the hoverport buildings, or rubble, only the pavement, propeller and a couple of sheds remaining
View down the vehicle entry lanes toward the cleared pad
Portrait showing the blanked-out gantry and propeller remaining next to one solitary building
Page updated Wednesday, August 15, 2012