A Fleeting Peace

Golden-Age Aviation in the British Empire

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A complete list of Alan Cobham's 'National Aviation Day' and the 'British Hospitals Air Pageant' displays, in the UK and South Africa, during 1933.

Cobham: 306 displays. Two tours operated simultaneously in the summer in the UK.

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
cobham south africa 1932-3
January
           

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

7

 

8

 

9

 

10

 

11

 

12

 

13

 

14

15

16

 

17

 

18

 

19

 

20

 

21

 

22

 

23

 

24

 

25

 

26

 

27

 

28 29
30 31          
February
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17

18

CAPE TOWN

- End of S A Tour -

19
March
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31  
April
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7

8

 BHAP: Yeading

9

BHAP: Yeading

 

 

10

BHAP: Sundridge

11

BHAP: Chatham

12

BHAP: Penshurst

13

BHAP: Watford

14

- Cobham: start of UK season -

- (day off)

&

Southend

15

Dagenham

&

Southend

16

Woolwich

&

Gravesend

BHAP: Kingston

17

Woolwich

&

Maidstone

BHAP: Walthamstow

18

Hitchin

&

Elstree

BHAP: Walthamstow

19

Gatwick

&

Luton

BHAP: Addington

20

Canterbury

&

Hertford

BHAP: Hitchin

21

Tenterden

&

Kings Langley

22

Mertsham

&

W Clandon

BHAP: Harrow

23

Mertsham

&

W Clandon

BHAP: Chingford

24

Wallingford

&

Alton

BHAP: Hanworth

25

Slough

&

Petersfield

 

26

Welwyn

&

Reigate

BHAP: Hanworth

27

Pangborne

&

Chichester

BHAP: Kettering

28

Epsom

&

Newbury

BHAP: Oxford

29

Warlingham

&

Southampton

BHAP: Guildford

30

Warlingham

&

Christchurch

BHAP: Northampton

May

1

Faringdon

&

Lymington

BHAP: Buckingham

2

Witney

&

Shaftesbury

BHAP: Leamington

3

Uxbridge

&

Salisbury

BHAP: Stratford

4

Colchester

&

Gloucester

Read More ...

BHAP: Shrewsbury

5

Evesham

&

Warminster

BHAP: Ludlow

6

Birmingham

&

Taunton

BHAP: Gloucester

7

Birmingham

&

Taunton

BHAP: Reading

8

Daventry

&

Barnstaple

Read More ...

BHAP: Winchester

9

Banbury

&

Delabole

10

Kidderminster

&

Newlyn East

BHAP: Swindon

11

Burton-on-Trent

&

Hayle

BHAP: Stroud

12

Melton Mowbray

&

St Austell

BHAP: Trowbridge

13

Leamington

&

Exeter

BHAP: High Post

14

lLeamington

&

Okehampton

BHAP: Fareham

15

Towcester

&

Wells

BHAP: Wallingford

16

Rugby

&

Sherborne

BHAP: Colchester

17

High Wycombe

&

Devizes

BHAP: Bishops Stortford

18

Ashford

&

Radstock

BHAP: Cambridge

19

Thakeham

&

Weston-super-Mare

BHAP: Peterborough

20

Bexhill

&

Hereford

BHAP: Coventry

21

Folkestone

&

Hereford

BHAP: Ross-on-Wye

22

Lingfield

&

Melksham

BHAP: Llandindrod Wells

23

Brentwood

&

Chepstow

BHAP: Welshpool

24

St Albans

&

Port Talbot

BHAP: Stafford

25

Oxford

&

Cardigan

26

Finedon

&

- (day off)

BHAP: Pontefract

27

Ipswich

&

Porthcawl

BHAP: York

28

Clacton

&

Cardiff

BHAP: Leeds

29

Braintree

&

Builth Wells

Read More ...

BHAP: Leeds

30

Huntingdon

&

Aberayron

BHAP: Melton Mowbray

31

Boston

&

Welshpool

BHAP: Lincoln

       
June
     

1

Cambridge

&

Walsall

2

Lichfield

&

Leominster

BHAP: Stamford

3

Sheffield

&

Bristol

BHAP: Stoke-on-Trent

4

Nottingham

&

Bristol

BHAP: Stoke-on-Trent

5

Sheffield

&

Derby

BHAP: Swansea

6

Newark

&

Stone

BHAP: Swansea

7

Lincoln

&

Malvern

BHAP: Yeovil

8

Doncaster

&

Shrewsbury

BHAP: Teignmouth

9

Bawtry

&

Bridgenorth

BHAP: Tiverton

10

Woodford

&

Solihull

BHAP: Birmingham

11

Leeds

&

Solihull

Read More ...

BHAP: Birmingham

12

Leeds

&

Tamworth

13

Wrexham

&

St Neots

14

Chester

&

Wisbech

BHAP: High Wycombe

15

Oswestry

&

Gt Dunmow

BHAP: Worcester

16

Rhos Ucha

&

Newport Pagnell

BHAP: Haverford West

17

Birkenhead

&

Brighton

BHAP: Haverford West

18

Birkenhead

&

Brighton

BHAP: Hereford

19

Knutsford

&

Sudbury

BHAP: Frome

20

Blackpool

&

Long Eaton

BHAP: Camelford

21

Lancaster

&

Sleaford

BHAP: Plymouth

22

Kendal

&

Retford

BHAP: St Austell

23

Whitehaven

&

Scunthorpe

BHAP: Truro

24

Workington

&

Hull

BHAP: Minehead

25

Workington

&

Hull

BHAP: Cirencester

26

Wigton

&

Barton

BHAP: Sherborne

27

Annan

&

Leek

BHAP: Bude

28

Castle Douglas

&

Redcar

BHAP: Tavistock

29

Stranraer

&

W Hartlepool

BHAP: Taunton

30

- (transit)

&

Chester-le-Street

BHAP: Taunton

   
July
         

1

Dublin

&

Newcastle-on-Tyne

BHAP: Bideford

2

Dublin

&

Newcastle-on-Tyne

BHAP: Bideford

3

Waterford

&

Kelso

BHAP: Blandford

4

Clonmel

&

Penicuik

BHAP: Clevedon

5

Cork

&

Perth

BHAP: Devizes

6

Cork

&

Kirkintilloch

BHAP: Weston Super Mare

7

Limerick

&

Alloa

Read More...

BHAP: Dorchester

8

Limerick

&

Glasgow

BHAP: Portsmouth

9

Dublin

&

Glasgow

BHAP: Bognor

10

Galway

&

Bathgate

11

Bundoran

&

St Andrews

12

Londonderry

&

Brechin

BHAP: Bournemouth

13

Londonderry

&

Kirriemuir

14

Belfast

&

Huntly

BHAP: Ford

15

Belfast

&

Macduff

BHAP: Shoreham

16

Dundalk

&

Aberdeen

BHAP: Shoreham

17

- (travel)

&

Aberdeen

BHAP: Reigate

18

Harwick

&

Lossiemouth

BHAP: Wye

19

Lockerbie

&

Nairn

BHAP: Eastbourne

20

Carlisle

&

Stonehaven

BHAP: Chichester

21

Penrith

&

Bathgate

BHAP: Bekesbourne

22

Barrow-in-Furness

&

Edinburgh

BHAP: Whitstable

23

Aintree

&

Edinburgh

BHAP: Dagenham

24

Heywood

&

Dunbar

BHAP: Clacton

25

Bury

&

N Berwick

BHAP: Bury St Edmunds

26

Unsworth

&

Airdrie

BHAP: Southend

27

Stoke-on-Trent

&

Berwick-on-Tweed

BHAP: Southend

28

Altrincham

&

Morpeth

29

Redditch

&

Tynemouth

30

Wolverhampton

&

Tynemouth

BHAP: Yarmouth

31

Nuneaton

&

Sunderland

BHAP: Felixstowe

           
August
 

1

Loughborough

&

Richmond (Yorks)

BHAP: Thetford

2

Gt Barr

&

Darlington

BHAP: King's Lynn

3

Burton-on-Trent

&

Stockton-on-Tees

BHAP: Spalding

4

Stratford-on-Avon

&

Bridlington

BHAP: Long Eaton

5

Stag Lane

&

Yeadon

BHAP: Derby

6

Stag Lane

&

Blackburn

BHAP:

Liverpool

7

Stag Lane

&

Blackburn

BHAP: Speke

8

Herne Bay

&

Blackpool

BHAP: Southport

9

Margate

&

Bolton

BHAP: Lancaster

10

Folkestone/Dover

&

Thirsk

BHAP: Carlisle

11

Folkestone/Dover

&

York

BHAP: Houghton le Spring

12

Lewes

&

Birkenhead

BHAP: Newcastle

13

Brighton

&

Birkenhead

BHAP: Sherburn

14

Eastbourne

&

Bakewell

BHAP: Northallerton

15

Littlehampton

&

Skegness - 'showers and high winds'

BHAP: Stockport

16

Burgess Hill

&

Cromer

BHAP: Nuneaton

17

Ryde

&

Cromer

BHAP: Newark

18

Shanklin

&

Lowestoft

BHAP: Rugby

19

Portsmouth

&

Norwich

BHAP: Walsall

20

Wimborne

&

Yarmouth

BHAP: Birmingham

21

Petworth

&

Frinton

BHAP: Leominster

22

Bournemouth

&

Southend

BHAP: Banbury

23

Weymouth

&

Ramsgate

BHAP: Kidderminster

24

Swanage

&

Birchington

BHAP: Scunthorpe

25

Teignmouth

&

Bexhill

BHAP: Stretford

26

Plymouth

&

Eastbourne

BHAP: Sheffield

27

Newquay

&

Bognor

BHAP: Harrogate

28

Newquay

&

Bridport

BHAP: Redcar

29

Camborne

&

Exeter

BHAP: West Hartlepool

 

30

Penzance

&

Budleigh Salterton/Exmouth

BHAP: Eaton

31

Bodmin

&

Lyme Regis

BHAP: Stockton

     
September
       

1

Bude

&

Launceston

 

BHAP: Castle Douglas

2

Barnstaple

&

Padstow

BHAP: Ayr

3

Wellington

&

Fowey

BHAP: Dundee

4

Ilfracombe

&

Chard

BHAP: Arbroath

5

Ilfracombe

&

Minehead

BHAP: Banff

6

Bridgewater

&

Cheltenham

BHAP: Aberdeen

7

Nailsworth

&

Ammanford

BHAP: Huntly

8

Hay

&

Tenby

BHAP: Stonehaven

9

Whitchurch

&

Swansea

BHAP: St Andrews

10

Beaumaris

&

Abergavenny

BHAP: Renfrew

11

- (travel)

&

Pwllheli

BHAP: Falkirk

12

Carlow

&

Rhyl

 

13

Wexford

&

Whalley

14

Dungarvon

&

Preston

15

Fermoy

&

Widnes

BHAP: Jedburgh

16

Athy

&

Sheffield

BHAP: Peebles

17

Portmarnock

&

Barnsley

BHAP: Dunbar

18

Boyle

&

Hull

(Driffield)

BHAP: Edinburgh

19

Bundoran

&

Gainsborough

BHAP: Tynemouth

20

Sligo

&

Mansfield

21

Castlebar

&

Grimsby

BHAP: Bishops Aukland

22

Ballinrobe

&

Peterborough

BHAP: Darlington

23

Nenagh

&

E Dereham

BHAP: Yeadon

24

Killarney

&

Hunstanton

25

Tralee

&

N Walsham

BHAP: Doncaster

26

Newwcastle W

&

Ely

27

Mallow

&

Bungay

28

Cahir

&

Saffron Walden

BHAP: Hinckley

29

Tullamore

&

Bletchley

BHAP: Wolverton

30

Athlone

&

Kingston

BHAP: Slough

 
October
           

1

Drogheda

&

Harrow

BHAP: Abridge

2

- (travel)

&

Uckfield

 

3

Caernarvon

&

E Grinstead

4

Presteign

&

Chippenham

5

Worcester

&

Aldborne

6

Chipping Norton

&

Horsham

BHAP: Woking

7

Molesey

&

Dartford

BHAP: Reading

8

Staines

&

Romford

Cobham: End of UK Season -

BHAP: Woolwich

         

 

15

16 17

18

BHAP: Hook

       

 

 

AIR CIRCUS'S 700,000 MILES. SIR ALAN COBHAM'S PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR. Taunton people who remember the visit of Sir Alan Cobham's air circus this year will be glad to hear that it is likely to return next season. Sir Alan is now at work on a programme including still more exciting aerobatics" which he hopes to make a feature of the displays. The pilots and machines are now in their winter quarters after having given displays during 1933 at 306 towns in Great Britain and Ireland. The 18 machines which comprised the two squadrons flew a total distance of 700,000 miles, consuming 124,000 gallons of National benzole. Over 800,000 people paid for admission to the displays, and enjoyed aerial trips. In most cases it was their first flying experience. The road transport section of the circus necessitated the use of 36 vehicles, which covered more than 9,500 miles on each of the two tours.

 

May 4, Gloucester:

Gloucestershire Echo "TEN MACHINES TAKE PART The display was a big improvement on last year's show. No fewer than 10 machines took part, the aerobatics and exhibitions were more daring and comprehensive, the general arrangements were better, and there was greater variety of flying. The whole from the most intricate exhibition to the efficient car parking arrangements, ran smoothly and punctually. The attendance was as big as ever, which seems to indicate that Sir Alan's aim to make everyone air-minded is being fulfilled in this district least.

Large numbers booked flights with great eagerness, with the result that machines were constantly going up and down giving passenger flights. In the lighter and faster 'planes longish trips with half rolls cost 7s. 6d. a passenger, and all the stunts imaginable could be obtained for 15s.

Though to many the novelty of flying must have worn off, as soon as Captain Eskell, who superintended the display with his usual proficiency, announced a particularly attractive item there was a rush for the booking tent.

CRAZY FLYING For the amusement of those who prefer to be air-minded from a terrestrial standpoint—with their feet firmly planted on the ground and neck craned skywards—there was a certain Capt. Mackay, among others. This wizard of the air likes nothing better than flying in and out of trees, people's heads and other things close to the ground. His impersonation of a pilot who had forgotten quite a lot about aeroplanes was probably the best aerial entertainment seen in Gloucestershire. After darting hither and thither with the skill and sureness of a dragon-fly, Capt. Mackay reached a thrilling climax by streaking over the heads of the crowd, standing in his cockpit and waving his arms all directions.

Capt. Jacques demonstrated the autogiro, which with its weird mechanism is capable of such wonderful feats.

Mr C. W. H. Bebb, flying Tiger Moth, gave a fine display of aerobatics, in which he flew upside down for an unusually long he righted the 'plane with a skilful inverted turn.

Kemp and Mr. Faraday gave exhibition of simultaneous wing walking the wings of the same plane. The crowd cheered its admiration of their daring.

There were hosts of other interesting items, such as speed-judging competitions, height-judging, shooting st balloons from the air, pylon racing, and the grand formation flight."

 

May 8, Barnstaple:

"In connection with the National Aviation Day Crusade, Sir Alan Cobham will be coming on Monday next, May 8th, to Barnstaple personally to conduct and fly in his air display, which is to be held at Heanton Court. With the support of the entire aeronautical community, Sir Alan has arranged to hold the National Aviation Day Display at over 300 towns throughout the British Isles this summer, and once again Sir Alan is bringing before the public the finest air pageant yet seen. At each display Sir Alan will show the public what British aviation is doing by the most effective means possible —by a brilliant display of flying, which will depict in a popular manner all that is finest in aircraft and piloting skill.

Sir Alan's squadron is composed of such distinguished pilots as Flying Officer C. K. Turner Hughes and Mr. C. W. H. Bebb, masters of the art of aerobatics, Flight Lieut. A. H. C. Rawson, the famous pioneer test pilot of the Autogiro, Flight Lieut. H. C. Johnson, and Capt. J. D. Parkinson, well-known as pilots of Sir Alan's Handley Page and airspeed air liners, Messrs. Ivor Price and H. Ward, the leading British parachutists, Mr. Martin Hearn, most fearless of wing-walkers, and the two redoubtable exponents of crazy flying, Capt. A. N. Kingwill, and Mr. W. MacKay ("Daredevil Red MacKay.")

Sir Alan has assembled the greatest gathering of air talent yet brought together in one organisation, for he is determined to stir everyone to give enthusiastic support to the cause of British aviation. "

"For the 1933 display season, Sir Alan Cobham’s rival, the British Hospitals Air Pageant (BHAP), had obtained the use  of Cornwall Aviation Company’s aircraft, which were normally used by Sir Alan Cobham, leaving Cobham requiring replacement aircraft.  This short fall was made up from the bankrupt stock of Northern Air Transport supplied through Lance Rimmer’s association with the company.  Thus surplus military Avro 504Ks G-ABLL (ex.J8333), G-AHBJ (ex. J8343) and G-AHBK (ex. J8351) appeared with the No.2 team after August 1933.  

Rimmer also put the Avro 504Ns of his own company,North British Aviation, at Cobham’s disposal for the duration of  this short fall.  G-AHBJ & G-AHBK were written off later in the year after crashing at Hooton Park, halving the fleet of Northern Air Transport."

 

May 29th, Builth Wells:

Builth Wells UDC Officals being taken aloft by EB Fielden on what is now the RWAS Showground 1933

These august members of the Builth Wells Council were taken up aloft in the Airspeed Ferry by pilot E.B ('Safety First') Fielden (q.v.)

(photo courtesy Phillip Jones)

 June 11, Leeds:

"TWO BOYS KILLED AT AIR CIRCUS. Two boys were killed last night when they were struck by an aeroplane belonging to Sir Alan Cobham's circus in Middleton Park, Leeds, where an aerial display was being given. The boys were Frederick Smith, 12, of Cameron street, Stoneyrock lane, Leeds ; and Leslie Taylor, 8, Westbury-street, Leeds. Sir Alan Cobham was greatly distressed. It is terrible," he said. There was no defect in the machine, and neither the pilot, Mr. Johnson, nor any of his 21 passengers knew that anything had happened until they were told afterwards. The two boys were struck by the tail of the plane. I cannot account for the accident unless the machine was caught by a sudden down current or gust of air. The machine was landing in the ordinary course, and the boys were on the edge of the aerodrome. They were not in the reserved enclosure. Mr. Johnson is a most experienced pilot. This is the first serious mishap we have had at one of the displays. Nearly 1,000,000 spectators have witnessed them in various parts of the country, and about 250,000 passengers have been in the machines. We have given about 800 displays."

 July 7/8, Limerick:

Alan Cobham: "At Limerick in 1933 Geoffrey Tyson was flying the Fox Moth with four passengers on board, and suddenly found himself without an undercarriage, so that he had to make a belly landing. He did this most delicately in soft grass, and his passengers were unhurt and even unaware that anything unusual was happening. It wasn't his fault; a local Irish pilot had insisted on joining in with the display aircraft without bothering to learn the necessary discipline, and had flown beneath Geoffrey's aircraft and wiped off the undercarriage. He and his passenger were both killed."

 

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