One of the aims of next years 50th festivities is to celebrate the many things we have done over our half century. Given that aim is it a coincidence that:
Our previous UK Worlds Championships have been at Weston Park and Towcester, both of which are directly on the A5, the old London - Holyhead trunk road.
We celebrated our 25th at Stanford Hall, and our 50th will be at Tamworth, both of which are just off the A5.
The first Rally I took a craft to was at Shrewsbury in 1968, also on the A5.
The cruising components of next years festivities will be on the Medway near Rochester and Thames in central London, both on the A2, the London -Dover road.
The A2 and the A5 were both originally built by the Romans, who called it Watling St - their trunk road from the Channel ports through London to Holyhead. Work on it started in the winter of AD47-48.
Watling St ran to 3 channel ports:
Richborough - todays Pegwell Bay, home of the Hoverlloyd SRN4 cross channel operation for many years, the site of our School Championships in the 1970's and close to the British Hovercraft Co's factory at Sandwich
Dover - Where the SRN1 made the first channel crossing in 1959, and the Seaspeed SRN4's ran across the channel for over 30 years.
Lympne - close to the ill fated Folkestone Racecourse race site
The Romans originally crossed the Thames at a natural ford in Westminster before building the first London Bridge. In the 1970s we used a slipway on the site of that ford to cruise in central London downstream under the modern London Bridge, something we hope to do again as part of our 50th festivities.
One American friend has emailed saying he's keen to come to our festivities next year as long as he can combine it with some history trips for his wife. Seems to me history, both ancient and hovercraft, is built in!
Whats the hold the Romans had over hovercraft? Did they secretly invent hovercraft but Tacitus forget to tell us? Are there hovercraft ley lines under Watling St?
Or did I just dream all this under the anaesthetic? But then the hospital was right by that ford......
With a little help from Wikipedia