Sir Christopher Cockerell (1910-1999), the inventor of the Hovercraft, lived in East Cowes and then in Hythe for many years. His house in Prospect Place looking out over the water is still owned by the Cockerell family today. Close by used to be the marine institute, where hovercraft models where tested in a long test-tank.
A memorial stone was erected in his honour at Hythe. The inscription reads:
“HOVERCRAFT On this site Sir Christopher Cockerell (1910-1999) and his team continued the early development of hovercraft which he had first demonstrated in 1955. They also developed and tested hovercraft skirts in a wave tank built here in 1965. Let this creative work be an inspiration to young engineers of the future”