Ventnor Aviation 1911
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The pictures below were kindly provided by the Ventnor Heritage Museum via the Rev.J.Hibberd.
In 1911 there was a "Flying Ground " at Ventnor.This was at Lawn Field, St Lawrence (at or near Dean Farm on the Whitwell Road ,approx 50.35.27N/01.15.19W). The handbill below is advertising an event in early July but is seems likely that the ground stayed in use until August.On the 11th July when two "Bristol " machines arrived from Shoreham.After a stay of 3 days during which some exhibition flights were made the aircraft departed on the 14th
During "Ventnor Week"(14th- 19th August)there was more flying activity.Two Bristol machines piloted by Mr Pizey and Mr Gordon-England came from Salisbury Plain - however Mr Gordon-England crashed 3 miles from Newport(without injury).Another arrival was Mr Valentine in a Deperdussin Monoplane who flew from Dean Farm on the Whitwell Road.At some time during this summer Mr Pizey (an instructor at the Bristol School on Salisbury Plain)apparently had some kind of mishap at Ventnor whilst flying a Bristol aeroplane.James Valentine and Robert Loraine (see bottom two pictures) were both well known aviators of the time.Scroll to the foot of the page to see extracts from "Flight" reporting on the various aviation activities here in 1911.
FLIGHT JUly 15th 1911
Flight in the Isle of Wight.
No little excitement was caused in the Isle of Wight on Tuesday
when it became known that Messrs. Pizey and Fleming intended to
fly from Shoreham to Ventnor on the following day, and long before
6 p.m., when it was anticipated they would arrive, a large crowd
made their way to the " Station," and about ten minutes past eight
the first Bristol arrived with Mr. Fleming in charge, and Mr.
Collyns Pizey in the passenger seat. The aeroplane was at
once cleared off the ground in order to allow as much room as
possible for Mr. Gordon-England, who arrived half an hour later
with the luggage on the second Bristol. In flying across the Solent,
Messrs. Fleming and Pizey were at a height of 2,700 ft. On
Thursday a number of exhibition flights were made, some of them
with passengers, and one of the machines was slightly damaged
through coming down on rough ground. Messrs. Fleming and
Pizey made an early start for home soon after five on Friday
morning, and flying by way of Shanklin, Sandown, Ryde, and
Southampton, reached Salisbury after an hour and a half trip.
FLIGHT Aug 12th 1911
Aeroplanes for Ventnor Week.
IN connection with Ventnor week, which is to be held under
the patronage of Princess Henry of Battenberg from the 14th to
the 19th inst., one of the special features will be a series of flying
exhibitions on Bristol machines.
FLIGHT August 19th 1911
Brooklands to Ventnor on a Deperdussin.
AMONG the arrivals at Ventnor on Tuesday morning was Mr.
James Valentine, who had made a satisfactory flight from Brooklands
on a Deperdussin machine.
FLIGHT Aug 19th 1911
During Sunday afternoon
the Bristol school was hard at work, and at a quarter to seven Mr.
Pizey and Mr. Gordon-England started off to fly to Ventnor. An
oil pump on Mr. Pizey's machine was in a refractory mood, however,
and he came down, as also did Mr. Gordon-England. It was then
decided to postpone the flight until Monday morning
T h e Ventnor Flying Week.
FROM a flying point of view the Ventnor week
was somewhat of a fiasco, as from one cause or
another most of the machines which it had hoped
would have taken part were put out of commission.
Mr. Valentine, on the Deperdussin machine which
he had flown from Brooklands, saved the situation
by making a fine series of flights on the 17th inst.
Rising from the Dean Farm on the Whitwell Road,
he made quite a long trip over the Downs, and
also circled round the town.
Flying from Ventnor to Brighton
ON Monday last Mr. Valentine left Ventnor on
his Deperdussin monoplane, and steered for Brighton.
Arrived at " London-by-the-Sea," he first circled
the Palace Pier and then landed safely at the
A telegram handed in at Ventnor as Mr. Valentine
left was not delivered at Brighton until some time
after the aviator arrived.
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