This book looks at the early history of manned flight in the southern Marches, from ballooning, through gliding and parachuting to flying. In doing so it considers the question as to whether the earliest manned flight in Britain was actually made in Shropshire; abortive attempts at flying in Ross, the engine and propeller of he machine eventually being attached to a water craft to make a more successful speed boat; the contribution to ballooning made by Charles Rolls, the unscheduled stops of early aircraft in fields around the counties, and an individual who helped in the testing of parachutes.
More recent claims to fame and activities are also detailed, from a commercial airfield at Hereford, to the developments at Tilstock (Shropshire), Shobdon (Herefordshire) and Staverton (Gloucestershire), the Gliding Clubs at Shobdon, in the Black Mountains and on the Long Mynd; Ian Ashpole’s attempts at a variety of ballooning and allied records; the development of hang gliding, paragliding, microlight flying, and helicopter and flying enterprises.
Each of these activities Tony Hobbs also attempts in his own right in the spirit of the early pioneers, meeting today’s enthusiasts in the hope it may encourage others to also ‘have a go’ – though, in at least one case, with less self harm resulting!
Tony Hobbs has written many local history books for Logaston Press, more recently,The Story of Dilwyn.
Paperback | 128 pages | 236 x 156 mm | 2007
75 b&w illustrations