This site is created by John A Dunn to publicise a remarkable brochure and to commemorate the centenary of Britain's first Aviation Meeting.
Billed as: The First Flying Meeting in England" it was held at Doncaster Racecourse over nine days between October 15th and 23rd 1909.
The commemorative brochure belonged to my late relative Charles Pinchbeck who attended this meeting one hundred years ago, as Press representative of The Hull Daily Mail.
Meeting, interviewing and photographing Aviators, Aircrew and Officials, during the course of the meeting, resulted in this evocative and historic Souvenir Booklet. Enhanced by authentic signatures on each page this a unique glimpse into early aviation history.
The brochure is still in excellent condition, comprising a sixteen page, spine stapled booklet, with page sizes of approximately 180 mm x 125 mm. The "Art Deco" front cover by artist Dudley Hardy contains his original drawing of Pilots and Aircraft, many with the actual signatures of Aviators, Dignitaries and officials .
This Doncaster (Yorkshire) billing as the first Aviation Meeting in England may be technically correct but in fact it only preceded a similar meeting held at Blackpool (Lancashire) by three days. The Blackpool meeting held from the 18th to 23rd of October 1909 had backing from the municipal authority and the Royal Aero Club making it Britain's first official meeting.
Despite this clash of dates many prominent Aviators of the day opted for Doncaster. As a Yorkshireman I like to think they made a good choice!
Poor weather throughout the meeting led to delay and long periods without any flying. However, records were broken and trophies and cash prizes awarded to the intrepid aviators.
At one point the famous Samuel Franklin Cody made a show of signing away his USA citizenship. This in order to become eligible for a £1000 prize offered by the London Daily Mail to the first all British aircraft and pilot to fly a one mile course. In the event Cody failed.
The brochure contains autographed Dudley Hardy drawings/cartoons of: Samuel Franklin Cody, Leon DeLarange, Roger Sommer, Hubert LeBlon, Colonel Schaeck, and Sir W G Windham, and unsigned drawings in the same style depicting Louis Bleriot and Wilber Wright. Additionally many other signatures of Officials, Judges, and possibly Aircrew and ground support personnel are to be found.
Artistically drawn throughout, the front cover is highlighted in red with inside caricatures and aircraft drawings in black and white. All drawings are by the artist Dudley Hardy (DH). Similar DH cartoons can be viewed at http://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/ the picture library of Science & Society. In some cases the aviators signatures can be verified from these pictures.
Printed and published by J Weiner, Kingsway, London and priced at 6d (six old pence) the front cover has a facsimile of Dudley Hardy's signature and each illustration shows his DH logo.
Although I know of an official programme for this meeting, I have been unable to locate another of these Souvenir brochures and will be interested to know if any survive. There must have been a reasonable print run.
I hope you find these drawings as interesting as I do. Please contact me via this site if you have any comment or additional information relating to this event and booklet.
To view brochure please click on http://tinyurl.com/rcn5xd or Doncaster brochure on header