5th March 1911 – Paterson and King return to New Brighton
On Sunday afternoon the 5th March 1911, Paterson and King returned to New Brighton where they flew over
Perch Rock, the pier and proceeded along the promenade as far as Egremont Ferry. Here they made a 180-
degree turn, and headed for the Tower, which they circled then landed on the beach in front of the Marine
Hotel. After only a brief stay they took off and returned to Freshfield.
During the flight, they reached a height of 2,000 feet and travelled at a speed of 45mph. Patterson and King
were said to have flown over from Freshfield and landed opposite Waterloo Road New Brighton on several
occasions. King was also said to have flown over and had engine trouble, leaving the machine for several
weeks, pegged down in the shelter of the Red Noses. Admiring enthusiasts wrote their name on the fabric.
|Robert King in the Farman at New Brighton where it was said to have had engine trouble. The machine was left for several
weeks, pegged down in the shelter of the red noses. Admiring enthusiasts wrote their name on the fabric.
|On the morning of the 30th May 1911, Henry Greg Melly, another early aviator and Sydney Swaby took off from Waterloo
sands in two Bleriot monoplanes. They flew across the Mersey to Bromborough and Port Sunlight. Then up the river over
Birkenhead to New Brighton and circled the tower, to the delight of the crowds gathered on the sands. They continued over
the river to Waterloo where they landed having covered 30 miles in the 41 minutes.
17th May 1911 – Egremont visited by Robert King
On Wednesday afternoon the 17th May, Robert Arthur King was planning to fly across the River Mersey again.
He had intended to start at 4.30pm, but the weather was not to his liking, so he delayed the start till 5pm,
when he made a short preliminary flight towards Southport. Finding the weather favourable, he intended to
start the crossing at 5.30pm. Taking off from Freshfield aerodrome with Mr F.C. Topham as a passenger, the
intention was to circle the Tower and then fly across the River Mersey to the new Liver Buildings at the Pier
Head. He would then re-cross the river and return to Freshfield via New Brighton and Seaforth.
The flight proceeded as planned until the re-crossing of the river at Seacombe. The weather turned against
him with a thunderstorm brewing that prevented him maintaining height. He opted for a landing on the beach
at Egremont at about 6pm. After an unsuccessful attempt to take off, it was decided that any further attempts
would be left till the next day.
The yacht “Vega”, owned by Mr R. Oliver of the Wellington Hotel, Egremont had just moored opposite the
aircraft. The crew helped secure the aircraft with ropes, and a guard rope was placed around the aircraft. The
police ensured onlookers did not get close to the aircraft. Just before eight o'clock the next morning the two
aviators made a couple of flights in the neighbourhood of New Brighton and then flew over to Waterloo,
where they had breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Melly. Afterwards King, in company with Melly, flew back to
Freshfield. Interestingly, records show that King did not receive his flying certificate (No.482) until two years
later on 16th May 1913.
30th May 1911 – Henry Melly flies over The Wirral
Another early aviator over The Wirral, was Henry Greg Melly, an electrical engineer born about 1869 the son
of Charles Pierre Melly, a Liverpool merchant and city councillor. George Melly the jazz singer and his sister
actress Andree were related Henry Melly. In March 1911, Henry Melly moved from Freshfield where he had
shared the aerodrome with Compton Paterson and King, to start the Liverpool Aviation School on Waterloo
sands. The school consisted of a couple of wooden hangars and a workshop and two (later three) Bleriot
monoplanes. At 7.25am on Tuesday morning the 30th May, Melly took off with fellow aviator Sydney Swaby to
fly around Liverpool. Having flown over Melly’s house at Aigburth, the pair proceeded across the River Mersey
to Bromborough and Port Sunlight. They then flew up the river over Birkenhead Park and the west of Liscard
to New Brighton and circled the tower, much to the delight of the crowds who were beginning to gather on
the sands. They continued back over the river to Waterloo where they landed having covered 35 miles in the
41 minutes at an average height of 1,000 feet. In July, Melly was to win the prize for the first flight between
Liverpool and Manchester.
7th June 1911 – Robert King flies across the north coast of The Wirral
Robert A. King was observed flying across the north coast of The Wirral on Wednesday the 7th June. He had
taken off from Freshfield at 12.20pm, crossed the River Mersey, and passed over Hoylake and onto the River
Dee, proceeding to Colwyn Bay where he landed on the beach. In the afternoon King returned to Freshfield,
leaving Colwyn Bay at 3.35pm. For the first part of the journey he flew at a height of about 700 feet, but flew
lower over Hoylake and Leasowe, rising to fly over the Mersey to Waterloo. Following the course of the river
he arrived back at Freshfield at ten minutes to five.
On two other occasions during the summer, he would have been observed hugging the north coast of The
Wirral. The first in July, when he returned to the Colwyn Bay area to take part in the unsuccessful two week
aerial carnival at Rhos-on-Sea. The second time was in August, when he made another flight to that part of
the North Wales coast.
17th April 1912 – Chester’s first visit by an aircraft
On Wednesday the 17th April, two aircraft flown by Mr. D. Leslie Allen and Mr. Corbett Wilson set out from
Hendon to fly to Dublin to visit their native island by this “new method of transport”. It was thought that the
flight was a risky one for such comparatively inexperienced pilots to attempt. Further more, so hastily had the
flight been arranged that no precautions were made against the possibility of coming down in the sea. They
both left Hendon soon after 3.30pm, Allen, following the London and North-western Railway line. He landed
some ten miles the other side of Crewe to ascertain his whereabouts. Taking off again he arrived at Chester,
landing his Bleriot on the Roodee at about half-past six in the evening. Corbett Wilson landed the same
evening at Almeley, about fifteen miles north of Hereford. The following morning at 6am, Allen took off
following the railway line to Bangor and on to Holyhead in an attempt to be the first man to successfully fly
across the Irish Sea to Ireland. This was not to be, the evening newspapers proclaimed, “Airman lost in Irish