IN 1934, a rocket was lined up on a golf course just outside of Lymington, pointed at the IW, filled with mail and fired.

This was a test by German engineer Gerhart Zucker, who was attempting to revolutionise high speed mail.

His plan was to send 600 items of mail from Lymington, across the Solent, to the Island.

The Solent launch was the latest in a series of test firings for rocket post by the engineer.

Initial trials on the Sussex Downs “proved quite successful”, according to Julian Stray, assistant curator at the British Postal Museum and Archive.

With plans for a Dover to Calais rocket mail service, or even from England to Ireland, the next chosen location was Harris and the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Both launches, witnessed by Post Office officials, exploded.

The fate of the Solent launch was no better. All 600 items of mail were lost as the rocket flew upward, but was then blown back towards the launch pad and crashing into marshland.

Gerhart Zucker was eventually deported back to Germany, but was arrested by the Nazi authorities for espionage charges following his time in England.