The First All-British Flying Meeting
Express & Star
Dunstall Park, Gorsebrook Road
| The first midlands aviation meeting was held at
Dunstall Park from 27th June to 2nd July, 1910 under the auspices of
the Midland Aero Club, which was formed in 1909. Its headquarters
were at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham and the club president was the
Earl of Dartmouth. The official programme listed a varied selection
of events. Prizes were awarded for the flight of the longest
duration, cross-country flying, passenger carrying, figure flying
and bomb throwing.
Music was provided by the South Staffordshire Regiment and the
Wolverhampton Military Band. There was almost no flying in 1910 because
of bad weather and a dispute with some pilots over payment of their
||This postcard, postmarked 1910, was issued for the
event. The plane is superimposed on it. But it does
show Dunstall Park, and its grandstands at the time. Presumably
the sheep were removed for the event.
The event was very popular and aviation meetings were held at
Dunstall Park for several years.
The World Altitude Balloon Record at Stafford Road Gas Works.
British Gas Transco
Science Park, Stafford Road
|On 5th September 1862 a balloon filled with coal-gas
from Stafford Road gas works, ascended from the works and achieved a
world altitude record of over six miles. The balloon was piloted by
James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell, who nearly lost their lives in the
flight. Henry Coxwell was a balloonist and James Glaisher a
scientist. The balloon eventually landed near Ludlow. After the
flight James Glaisher wrote: "On emerging from the cloud at 1hr 17m.
we came into a flood of light, with a beautiful blue sky without a
cloud above us, and a magnificent sea of cloud below, its surface
being varied with endless hills, hillocks, mountain chains and many
snow white masses rising from it." Two hours later he passed out.