Aviation 1909-1910-1919

7 October 2010
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Stanley Park Aerodrome was an airfield located in the Stanley Park area of Blackpool, Lancashire, England which was in use for civil and military flying from 1929 until closure of the airfield in 1947. The site is now used by Blackpool Zoo.

History of Stanley Park Aerodrome

Aviation Week – 1909

In 1909, the first “official” aviation meeting to be held in the United Kingdom, was staged at Blackpool.  Another rival event was being held at Doncaster on 15th-23rd October, but the Blackpool event had the “official” backing of the Royal Aero Club.


The flying course was established to the south of Squires Gate Lane in St. Annes, to the east of the L & Y railway line.  October 18th 1909 was the start of a new exciting world of aviation. Everything went well but the weather, which held up flying for at least days during the week. Huge marquees catered for 200,000 spectators who created another record by their consumption of food and drink, including 500 hogsheads, 36,000 bottles of beer, 40,000 dozen bottles of minerals, 500 cases of champagne and 600 of whisky, 1,000 hams, 2,000 pork pies and literally millions of sandwiches.

In view of the winds it was remarkable that 15 flights were made. Rougier rose up to 300 feet at a top speed of 40 m.p.h.

To tell the crowds what to expect, coloured flags were flown from the top of Tower. According to the handbook, ‘Red Flag means Flying in Progress, Black Flag means Flying Suspended, White Flag means Flying Probable’.

View of the Aviation ground view with the hangers in the distance

A very large souvenir card showing the pilots and the aviation committee

Aviation Souvenir (7)

Souvenir Postcard 1909 – Rongler


Souvenir Postcard 1909 – Bleriot


Souvenir Postcard 1909 – Santos Dumont


Souvenir Postcard 1909 – Voisin

Souvenir Postcard 1909 – Wilbur Wright


Souvenir Postcard 1909 – Curtiss


Souvenir Postcard 1909 – Various

 Souvenir Postcard showing Hubert Latham on his plane Antoinette IV – Dated 24th October 1909

Souvenir Postcard showing Mr. Henri Farman on a Biplane – Dated 18th October 1909


The above card, published by The Blackpool Times, pictures Hubert Lathom’s Antoinette at the 1909 meeting. Here, Lathom astounded onlookers by flying in a storm and winning the prize for the best flight. Longest flight was by Henry Farman, 47 miles


1909 Aviation Week Programme


1909 Aviation Week Badge

Novelty souvenir which contains eight pictures of pilots and planes


Reverse of the Winter Gardens programme – 18th October 1909

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

‘Flight’ magazine dated October 30th 1909

Blackpool Flying Carnival – July 28th to August 20th 1910

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Claude Grahame-White

Some fine flying was seen at Squire’s Gate, with some remarkable acheivements. French pilot, Tetard, flew around the Towerand cruised over the Fylde countryside, and fresh from his glorious failure in the £10,000 London to Manchester competition, C. Graham-White thrilled all Blackpool by touching down on the sands near South Pier and flying off to such remote places as Barrow-in-Furness and New Brighton.

He was also the first man to transport mail by air. During this meeeting he carried a bag of mail for seven miles


Grahame White in Flight – 1910 – over Layton Hawes Farm

1910 Blackpool Aviation Meeting – Pathe Film


Official ticket for the 1910 Flying Carnival. Issued to the Motor Press

Grahame White on Beach

Claude Grahame-White landing on the beach at South Shore

 Aviation Grahame White on Beach (2)

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Posted 2nd August 1910

Grahame White in Flight – 1910


Grahame White in Flight – Dated 1910

The stands and hangars at the aerodrome were demolished in September 1910

A. V. Roe on his triplane – postmarked 22nd August 1910

1910 Blackpool Aviation Meeting – Pathe Film

Farman Biplane – Grahame-White in Flight – Posted 28 Sept. 1911

AVRO – Blackpool 1919


The service started on May 24th 1919, three and a half weeks after civil flying was legalised in Great Britain. It was the first daily service by air in this country and was mentioned in railway guides. The general public still had the impression that flying was a dangerous undertaking only indulged in by extremely venturesome spirits. Outside the R.A.F. there were no records of a daily air service to guide the Avro company in organising such an undertaking. Yet the service ran for 18½ weeks with no interruption except through bad weather on 14 days.


Flying at Blackpool – July 1919 – Daily News


Flying at Blackpool – August 1919


Flying at Blackpool – July 1919 – Daily News

The daily return air service between Blackpool, Southport and Manchester, carried out during the summer of 1919 by A.V.Roe and Co.Ltd, came to the end of the 222 flights scheduled, 194 were carried out, the other 28 being prevented by weather conditions. The grand total of miles flown was 8,730.


Boots on the corner of Station Road/Bond Street offering FREE flights in August 1919

150 flights were booked with A.V.Roe & Co.,by Boots, the chemists, and these flights were free to customers at the local branches. The flights took place from August 19th to 23rd inclusive.

The scheme allowed that during the whole of the week starting Monday, every purchaser of goods to the value of 1/- at any of the local branches of Boots the chemists, would receive a flight application form. The customer would fill in his or her name and address, and return the form to the shop. After business hours thirty forms would be picked by ballot each day and the holders notified that they are eligible for a free flight the following day.

The Mayor of Blackpool, Lindsay Parkinson,M.P. made the draw for the first thirty, and the subsequent selections were be made by the Deputy Mayor Collins, Coun. T. Masheter, Dr. Carr, and Mr. J. B. Calkeld. Each day twenty flights were allocated to the customers of the two Blackpool branches and the remaining ten to the customers of the St. Annes and Fleetwood branches.

The selections were made each day at the Blackpool Winter Gardens, and announced from the stage of the Empress Ballroom.