On 25 July 1959, the fiftieth anniversary of Louis Blériot's successful flight across the English Channel, a totally new form of transport made its own first crossing of the Channel - the hovercraft.

Invented by the maverick Christopher Cockerell and piloted by Commander Peter Lamb, the SR.N1 made the crossing in just over two hours, to the delight and amazement of crowds on both sides of the sea.

Watch original footage from the crossing in this British Pathé video, above.