A Fleeting Peace

Golden-Age Aviation in the British Empire

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A complete list of Alan Cobham's 'National Aviation Day' displays for 1935

At Aberdeen: Another one of them composite photographs

 

 

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
April
       

12

Fareham

13

Redhill

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14

Harrow

15

Andover

16

Witney

17

Cirencester

18

Malvern

19

Birmingham

20

Birmingham

21

Dudley

22

Dudley

23

Runcorn

24

Standish

25

Blackburn

26

Northwich

27

St Helens

28

St Helens

29

Chorley

 30

Sandbach

         
May
   

1

Birkenhead

2

Pwllheli

3

Carlow

4

Enniscorthy

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5

Dundalk

6

Belfast

7

Belfast

8

Coleraine

9

Londonderry

10

Sligo

11

Dublin

12

Dublin

13

Maryborough

14

Wexford

15

Kilkenny

16

Waterford

17

Limerick

18

Cork

19

Cork

20

Tralee

21

Calway

22

Castlebar

23

Athlone

24

Longford

25

Liverpool

26

Birkenhead

27

Blackpool

28

 

29

Leeds

30

Woodford

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31

Retford

   
June
         

1

Brighouse

2

Brighouse

3

Doncaster

4

Coventry

5

Derby

(Stenson Rd)

6

Wolverhampton

7

Tewkesbury

8

Leamington Spa

9

Birmingham

10

Birmingham

11

Weston-super-Mare

12

Yeovil

13

Bath

14

Maidenhead

15

Southampton

16

Rochester

17

Thame

18

Oxford

19

Henley-on-Thames

20

Cambridge

21

Chesham

22

Ipswich

23

Romford

24

Havant

25

Fordingbridge

26

Salisbury

27

Lower Kingswood

28

Alton

29

30

Gravesend

July
The tour then split into two - the 'Astra' and 'Ferry' shows...

 1

Penshurst

and

Huntingdon

 2

Sittingbourne

and

Stamford

3

Maidstone

and

Selby

4

Uckfield

and

Northallerton

5

Thakeham

and

Chester-le-Street

6

Bournemouth

and

Durham

7

Eastbourne

and

Durham

8

Maldon

and

Dumfries

9

Walton-on-the-Naze

and

Castle Douglas

10

Felixstowe

and

Cambuslang

11

Southwold

and

Hamilton

12

Cromer

and

Crieff

13

Norwich

and

Kirkcaldy

14

Gt Yarmouth

and

Kirkcaldy

15

Holbeach

and

Inverness

16

Bourne

and

Dingwall

17

Swadlincote

and

Wick

18

Sutton-on-Sea

and

Thurso

19

Scunthorpe

and

Lossiemouth

20

Wakefield

and

Macduff

21

Brighouse

and

Kintore

22

Hull

and

St Andrews

23

Whitby

and

Kilmarnock

24

Saltburn

and

Edinburgh

25

Gateshead

and

Peebles

26

Newcastle-on-Tyne

and

Kelso

27

Newcastle-on-Tyne

(joint display)

28

Nottingham

and

Sunderland

29

Hunstanton

and

Carlisle

30

Ramsey (Hunts)

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and

Cockermouth

31

High Wycombe

and

Wigton

       
August
     

1

Ramsgate

and

Penrith

2

Birchington

and

Workington

3

Swalecliffe

and

Barrow

4

Folkestone

and

Middleton

5

Hastings

and

Reddish

6

Hastings

and

Llandudno

7

Bexhill

and

Llandudno

8

Worthing

and

Aberystwyth

9

Bognor

and

Llanelly

10

Christchurch

and

Pontypool

11

Cowes

and

Pontypool

12

Yarmouth IOW

and

Cheltenham

13

Shanklin

and

Wantage

14

Bembridge

and

Glastonbury

15

Swanage

and

Gillingham (Dorset)

16

Weymouth

and

Crewkerne

17

Teignmouth

and

Bristol

18

Newton Abbot

and

Cricklade

19

Lyme Regis

and

Taunton

20

Exmouth

and

Woolacombe

21

Barnstaple

and

Tavistock

22

Launceston

and

Falmouth

23

Liskeard

and

Salcombe

24

Plymouth

and

Sidmouth

25

Newquay

and

Guildford

26

Penzance

and

Pitsea

27

Torrington

and

Sheerness

28

Minehead

and

Hythe

29

Lynton

and

Rye

30

Dulverton

and

Seaford

31

Wimborne

and

Sanderstead

 
September
           

1

Gosport

and

Sanderstead

2

Littlehampton

and

Rickmansworth

3

Selsey

and

Wisbech

4

Kingston

and

Horncastle

5

Staines

and

Sutton Coldfield

6

Shifnal

and

Lytham

7

Wigan (Standish)

and

Blackpool

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8

Wigan (Standish)

and

Cannock

9

Southport

and

Bakewell

10

Lowton

and

Ormskirk

11

Aintree

and

Altrincham

12

Sheffield

and

Llangefni

13

Coalville

and

Tunstall

14

Solihull

and

Leeds

15

Solihull

and

Leeds

16

Nuneaton

and

Long Eaton

17

Towcester

and

Boston

18

Kidderminster

and

Mansfield

19

Burton-on-Trent

and

Grimsby

20

Walsall

and

Tadcaster

21

Northampton

and

Preston

22

Wolverhampton

and

Bury

23

Rugby

and

Welshpool

24

Slough

and

Pershore

25

Sutton (Surrey)

and

Cardiff

 

26

Ilford

and

Swansea

27

Windsor

and

Chepstow

28

Farnborough

and

Marlborough

29

Dorking

and

Tonbridge

30           Read More ...

The Aeroplane: "At Redhill Aerodrome, Kingsmill, Sir Alan Cobham's 1935 National Aviation Day Tour had its opening display on April 13. All events are the best of the kind to be seen, all are done where you can see them, and several are not to be seen except in the Cobham Display.

From the time the display starts until it ends there is always something happening worth watching... our old friend the Airspeed Ferry, or the built-up-areaplane as it has been called, did not appear...

'Miss Joan Meakin's new glider, specially designed for towing by aeroplane with a single wheel and a brake, made its first appearance and behaved very nicely. A specially made radio transmitter is to be fitted... when it is working Miss Meakin will explain each manoevre before doing it and so refute any leg-pulling assertions that the last loop was a fluke."

 

May 4:

"Sir Alan Cobham's circus, which will be in Ireland from May 4 until May 23, is co-operating with the Irish Aero Club. Sir Alan's team is also to give a display at Leopardstown, County Dublin"

 

May 30th, Woodford:

"Parachutist Falls to Death. Before the eyes of his bride of a fortnight and a crowd of several hundred people, Ivor Price, the famous parachutist, crashed to his death when his parachute failed to open nearly 1000 feet up at the close of a display by Sir Alan Cobham's air circus at Woodford Aerodrome, near Stockport, last night.

Mr Price and Miss Naomi Heron-Maxwell ascended in two Avro Cadet planes, which circled the aerodrome prior to the descent being made. It was to be a dual parachute descent.

Miss Heron-Maxwell rushed to the spot where Price lay, as did officials of the display, but the crowd seemed to stand rooted to the spot. Price, who had made several descents before during the day, some from 1200 feet, was married only a fortnight ago. His wife, who witnessed his death, was overcome. Tugging at Mr R. J. Beard, owner of the Woodford Garage, which backs onto the aerodrome, told a Press representative: " We had a clear view from the garage of the whole display only a few fields away. " Suddenly I realised that while the woman was floating down under an open parachute the other figure was just dropping, the unopened parcel of cloth trailing above his head. "As we strained our eyes we could see the man's hand tugging at something, apparently the ring of the release cord. He disappeared. There was silence. "Then we could hear a man's voice, apparently making appeal through the loud-speaker which had been used to announce all the events." After the fall the announcer of the display shouted through the loud-speaker appeal to the crowd to keep calm and leave the ground in an orderly fashion. Members of the Cobham circus said that the parachute whose failure to open caused Price to crash his death was one that had been selected and then rejected by Miss Heron-Maxwell. One of them said:-"She picked up the parachute from a number of silk chutes which were on the field ready for the parachute jumpers and was about to have it strapped on when she changed her mind, put it down, and picked another one up."

Alan Cobham's version was as follows: "Then there was the extraordinary lapse of Ivor Price, who had been our parachutist from the start and used to pack his own parachutes, using a tied handkerchief to hold the shroud lines in position while he folded the 'chute itself. He was always most careful to remove the handkerchief before finishing the job, but at Woodford in Cheshire, in 1935, he forgot to do so - perhaps because he was distracted by the crowds who always stood around to watch the operation. He did his usual delayed drop, the parachute failed to open, and he was killed at once."

30th July, Ramsey:

FAMOUS GLIDER : : PILOT KILLED WIFE AND PARENTS SEE CRASH WING SNAPS OFF AT AIR CIRCUS Mr G. E. Collins, Britain's foremost glider pilot, was killed near Ramsey (Hunts) yesterday before the eyes of his wife, father, and mother. They were watching him for the first time in a glider exhibition in connection with Sir Alan Cobham s flying circus. A wing of the glider snapped, and the machine hurtled to earth.

LOUD SNAP. The machine had been towed by aeroplane to a height of more than 2000 feet. Mr Collins had cast off from the tow rope and had made several large circles over Upwood Aerodrome disused military aerodrome—when there was a loud snap and the left wing of the glider broke away from the fuselage. The glider went into a spin. After falling several hundred feet Mr Collins appeared to regain control and began a straight dive. Eye-witnesses state that hung out of the fuselage on the side of the broken wing in an attempt to keep it on an even keeli. The dive, however, continued straight to the ground, and the glider crashed into hedge on the far side of the aerodrome, Mr Collins being killed instantly.

WIFE STUNNED. All the while his parents, sitting in motor car not far from the hangars, had anxiously watched his fall. Mrs Collins, his wife, is stunned by the tragedy. Mr G. W. Jones, of Ramsey, who was playing in a cricket match about two miles from the accident, told a reporter that heard the snar of a broken wing. 'We had stopped play to watch the exhibition, he said. ' The glider had been released from the tow rope two or three minutes before the accident happened." The pilot appeared to put his machine through a loop. Immediately afterwards there was a crack as loud as a gun. The wing left the fuselage and pieces of fabric floated in the air. . " Some parts of the wing were found over a mile from where the glider crashed. There was quite strong wind blowing at the time.

DEAD IN COCKPIT. Mr J. T. Hemmington. of Ramsey, said "Suddenly there was loud snap. A wing came off, and the glider dived into the ground. I ran to the place where it fell and saw the pilot in the cockpit. He was dead." Mr Collins had made many flights in gliders of German construction. It is stated that this was the first time he had flown a British one. Air Ministry inspectors will inspect the wreckage to-day, when the inquest will be held at Ramsey."

Alan Cobham said: "Then there was Collins, who did very fine exhibition flying in a glider but rashly attempted a bunt or inverted loop, though his machine was not stressed for this manoevre; it broke up in the air and killed him."

 

September 7, Blackpool:

"THREE DEAD IN BLACKPOOL CRASH Blazing Plane Falls in Crowded Street Thousands of holiday-makers at Blackpool yesterday were horrified witnesses of a mid-air 'plane collision and crash, in which a pilot of Sir Alan Cobham's air circus and two women were killed. The dead pilot was Captain Robert William Patrick Stewart, of Hurlingham. The two women were sisters, Lilian and Doris Barnes, of Gloucester Avenue, Blackpool. They had gone up for a joy ride. Cobham's Air Circus 'planes were flying over the centre of the town, when a large 'plane came into contact with a smaller one. The latter broke in two. The forepart fell in Swainton Street. Before it burst into flames the dead pilot was pulled clear. Later a woman's body was found in the burned-out wreckage."

Alan Cobham remembered this incident in his 1978 autobiography: "Finally, just before we closed down for good on 30 September 1935, we suffered the appalling tragedy of a mid-air collision over Blackpool. A pilot named Carruthers was waiting for the others to join him so that our arrival could be announced by the usual formation flight, when he suddenly felt a violent impact from below... Carruthers managed to land his aircraft in one piece withour hurting anybody, but the pilot of the machine that had flown into him from below - Stewart by name - was killed, as were his two girl passengers and the blind man on whose house they fell. It was a terrible thing."

October 1935

AIRMAN DIES AFTER CRASH. COMPANIONS STILL IN HOSPITAL: CAR HITS WALL. Lieut. Eric Sowerbutt, a member of Sir Alan Cohham's Air Circus, died in Famham Infirmary to-day from injuries received in a car crash at Ewshot, Farnham, on Saturday night. Flying-officer Geoffrey Tyson, the driver of the car, and also a member of Sir Alan Cobham's Air Circus, is in the infirmary with a broken leg, and Miss G. Jenkins, of Fleet, one of the two lady passengers in the car is confined to the infirmary with multiple injuries. The car crashed into a 10ft. wall.

PARACHUTE FAILED TO OPEN Injured Man Dies in Hospital Frederick Leonard Marsland, who was seriously injured when his parachute failed to open properly after he had jumped from an air liner 1000 feet above the Kingston Bypass on September 4, died in Kingston Hospital early to-day. His jump was part of a display by Sir Alan Cobham's air circus at Kingston. Marsland crashed to the ground, fracturing his right leg and arm, and severely injuring his head.

He had been lying seriously ill at Kingston Hospital for the past seven weeks. Two years ago, at a display given by the Guild of Air Pilots at Brooklands, the Prince of Wales, who was one of the spectators, saw Mr Marsland have a narrow escape when was attempting a parachute descent. After Marsland had leapt from the machine the parachute fell around him instead of opening. He dropped 200 feet with the canopy draped around him, and then, to the relief of the crowd, the parachute opened, and Mr Marsland landed safely.

END OF A FAMOUS AIR CIRCUS Sir Alan Cobham Says "We Have Done Our Job" Sir Alan Cobham's Air Circus is to be disbanded. In the four years of its existence the aeroplanes of the circus have carried three quarters of a million people in joy skyrides and the circus itself has visited 1,000 towns.

Three million people have entered the displays as spectators. Sir Alan told a reporter last night that the machines and equipment of the circus had been sold and the company would be entirely disbanded by Christmas. 

"We have done our job, he said. The whole thing was started a means of propaganda to popularise flying with the public and to bring about the municipal aerodromes schemes."

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