Ladybird: How it works The Hovercraft

Wherever I go I keep my eyes peeled for Ladybird books. You just never know when you are going to come across one. Most often I find the ones I collect in charity shops or car boot sales. Every so often though I see that familiar shape somewhere when I’m really not expecting it. That’s what happened with the Hovercraft title.

Ladybird Hovercraft Hovertravel

The latest example of this was whilst on the Isle of Wight for a quick trip with my boyfriend B. He was over there for a work trip and as I couldn’t tag along last time I made sure I did this year. After a trip up and down the Island line we then popped into the Hovertravel terminal building to find out how much a return ticket to the mainland costs. Our plan being that we could factor it into our schedule for when we next returned to the island.


There, sat in a basket in front of a load of other hovercraft related souvenirs were a huge pile of copies of the old Ladybird title The Hovercraft. This was originally part of the “How it works” series. Picking up a copy quickly showed me that whilst the interior pages are an exact copy of the original 1969 title, this version of the book was actually published in 2011, specially for Hovertravel.

Ladybird Hovercraft Hovertravel

Their logo and website address appear on the back cover, along with the following text:

“Hovertravel, the only scheduled hovercraft operator in Europe, was launched in 1965 and is the fastest Isle of Wight service across the Solent, with a journey time of under ten minutes. It is also the world’s longest-running commercial hovercraft operator.”

This is then accompanied by the following “Hover Facts” and how Hovertravel:

  • carry over 850,000 passengers per year
  • operate up to 72 journeys per day
  • their hovercraft travel at 45 knots, faster than any ferry
  • also operates the fastest freight service

The inside cover of the book also notes that Hovertravel will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2015. I’m guessing that when the book was published in the hope of it being popular as part of the anniversary celebrations. However, the pile of them still available to buy now in 2018 suggests maybe not.

Isle of Wight

It’s a shame really. The Hovercraft service to the Isle of Wight is one of many lovely little quirky things about the Island. Whilst the technology behind it may now be a bit old, it’s still fascinating to geeks like us. The How it Works Hovercraft book explains everything beautifully, even if the context of it all is a bit dated.

Ladybird Hovercraft Hovertravel

These Ladybird How It Works books may have been aimed at children, but they’re actually excellent for adults who want to learn about a new subject too.

If you want to find out more about the Hovercraft service over to the Isle of Wight then look out for a post very soon over on Penny Travels.

If you want to get your hands on your own copy of this Hovertravel version of the Ladybird book How it Works The Hovercraft then just head over to  Hovershop, the Hovertravel website shop.

Ladybird Hovercraft Hovertravel

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