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Denny’s Hoverbus

In May 2011 I made this posting about the Denny’s Hovercraft which I remember on the Clyde as a youngster. The posting has a link to a short Pathé News film from back in the day.

This week, regular correspondent John O’Hare sent me a great film of the hoverbus on its initial manouvres. Unfortunately the film doesn’t have sound. The description is as follows:

This hoverbus – the Denny D2 hoverbus – was the first in the world produced for commercial operation. The film begins with tests in Loch Long. It then records the maiden voyage sailing from Dumbarton to Oban, along the Crinan Canal to Inverness, Fraserburgh, Aberdeen, Berwick-Upon-Tweed and down the east coast finishing at the River Thames, London. The last section of the film concerns the liquidation of William Denny & Bros. Ltd.

On its maiden voyage, the hovercraft was skippered by 57 year old captain, Richard Mason. Peter Denny [featured in a memorial statue in the film] was born 1821 and died 1895. The statue was erected by friends and fellow townsmen in 1902.

Click here to view.

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3 Responses

  1. Ah yes, one of the few innovations which slipped from Denny’s grasp. My father worked on the hovercraft project in a minor role, but the main man was a guy named Quentin ? who passed away in Ayrshire not that long ago.

    These two links may be of interest, especially the one in the Leven at the yard; note the famous Denny’s tradition of ‘gentlemen fitters’ who wore ties at all times. Good shot too of the (at that time very recently- built) Plating Shed in the background.

    The prototype hovercraft D1 on the day of its launch in 1961 - Image courtesy of Dr Mike Cooper

    Denny Hovercraft D2-002 pictured entering the Caledonian Canal during its 820 mile voyage to the River Thames in 1963

  2. My hovercraft is full of eels.

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