The weekend of 18th – 19th September is set to mark a special occasion as Hythe Marina Village celebrates its 25th anniversary. Highlights of the celebrations include a nostalgic re-enactment sail-past, which is set to attract many local visitors and boating enthusiasts.
Organised by MDL Marinas – Europe’s largest marina owner and operator – in conjunction with Hythe Marina Association (HMA), Saturday sees the start of the marina celebrations with berth holders and residents invited to an evening celebration party featuring special guests, a buffet dinner and live music with dancing into the early hours.
Sunday morning is set to draw crowds when a 25-strong flotilla made up of classic, historic, patrol and rescue boats re-enact the moment marine craft first entered the marina 25 years ago. Open to everyone and with free entry, the sail-past starts at 10am and will be accompanied by live music and commentary, as well as a display of old local photographs. Along the waterfront visitors can also enjoy exhibits, attractions and amusements for all the family.
Peter Hogsden, marina manager at MDL’s Hythe Marina Village, said: “We’re really looking forward to the anniversary weekend, it’ll be a great opportunity to celebrate 25 fabulous years at the marina, with those that really make the marina a special place – our berth holders and residents.
“Sunday morning will be very exciting when we re-enact the first boats entering the marina, as they did 25 years ago. We’ve had great support from berth holders and local residents for this, so we’re sure it’s going to be a day to remember, hopefully for another 25 years!”
Paul Frampton, chairman of HMA, said: “We know that Hythe is a very special place to live and it’s great for everyone to have the opportunity to celebrate together. Everyone who lives here is very proud of the marina, so we hope residents and berth holders will all get involved and celebrate the marina’s milestone year.”
Hythe Marina Village
Hythe Marina Village includes more than 200 berths, operated by MDL Marinas, in addition, the village boasts 220 waterside homes with many residents keeping a boat on the berth connected to their houses.
As the first marina village in the UK, Hythe was described during its construction in the early 1980s as ‘the most imaginative housing scheme in Britain today’.
The development of a series of islands, linked by bridges and surrounded by canals and waterways was constructed on 40 acres of reclaimed land north of Hythe Pier. When the marina’s first few properties went on the market in 1985, they sold for an average of £100,000.
One of Hythe’s most famous residents, the late Sir Christopher Cockrell – inventor of the Hovercraft – laid the first house brick in 1984. Living just a few feet away from the marina entrance, Sir Christopher in his launch day speech announced that the marina is “an attractive scheme which will be an asset to Hythe.”
Today, the marina is a thriving village with residents, berth holders and visitors benefitting from on-site facilities including pubs, restaurants, general stores and a boatyard.