Eric Ward operated a garage called Motor Olympia on Leasowe Road Wallasey, in the area that Longacre Close now
occupies. Ward did his flying training at Old Sarum, but it is not known if he saw active service in World War I. He used to
fly from a field near Cross Lane Wallasey in a Spartan Arrow, which was kept in a small corrugated iron hangar. Eric was
also a member of the Birkenhead Flying Club where he had given lectures to the members. He became the North of
England agent for the Belgium aircraft company of Fairey Avions, as E.D. Ward Ltd of Wallasey.
On 28th of April 1937, a Tipsy S2 registered G-AESU (constructors number 102), was delivered to Eric Ward at Wallasey
by Fairey Aviation Co. Ltd at Harmondsworth. This open cockpit aircraft had been built earlier in the year by Aero Engines
Ltd. at Kingswood and fitted with a Douglas Sprite II 24hp engine. It was the first Tipsy fitted with a dual ignition. On the
2nd of May whilst Eric was flying the aircraft at Walsall, the aircraft crashed into a tree, Eric was uninjured. The C of A (No.
128) was cancelled in September 1937.
On the 19th May 1937, a Tipsy S2 G-AEXK (constructors number 104) was delivered by Tipsy Light Aircraft Ltd. at
Hanworth to H.R. Humphries at Sherburn-in-Elmet. The aircraft was flown by Eric in the Isle of Man air races. On 29th
June 1937, it was registered to Eric Ward at Hooton Park where it was scrapped during August 1937 and the C of A
On 21st January 1938, Tipsy Bc (constructors number 506) was registered as G-AFEI (C of A No. 145) to Brian Allen
Aviation Ltd. at Croydon. The 31st of August 1939 saw the aircraft registered to Eric Ward at Hooton Park and later to R.
E. Bibby. Its C of A expired on 20th January 1940, when it was stored under the grandstand at Hooton Park until it was
destroyed by the “great fire” of 8th July 1940. On 31st of August 1939, G-AFMN a Tipsy Trainer I (constructors number 6)
was registered to Eric Ward at Speke and then later Hooton Park, it had been issued with its C of A (No.6477) on 27th
January 1939. It was stored at Hooton Park along with G-AFEI under the grandstand, to be destroyed in the “great fire”
of July 1940.
The 1939 Tynwald Air Race on the Isle of Man for aircraft with engines under 120 hp. saw seven machines taking part
including Eric in a Tipsy. Eric came in fourth behind another Tipsy.
His automobile business, Motor Olympia was noted as a vast source of spare parts for pre-World War II cars. This had
come about because Eric had a contract to remove the cars that had been liberally placed on open ground around The
Wirral to obstruct the landing by German troop carrying transport aircraft, in the event of an invasion.
One story told about Eric is that he spotted an advert for a car for sale in Crosby. He rang up the owner and asked him if
he could have it down on the beach in ten minutes so that he could take a look at it.
“Where are you coming from?” asked the owner. “Wallasey” replied Eric. “You will never do it,” said the owner. “Just you
have it there in ten minutes” said Eric. And with that climbed into his aircraft in the field behind the garage, flew over the
Mersey landing on the sand next to the car, liked it very much, and said he would buy it. Hopped back into his aircraft
and flew back to Wallasey to get one of his mechanics to go and collect the car.
|The information on this page has been kindly supplied by local aviation enthusiast Colin Schroeder.
|A Spartan Arrow as owned by Eric Ward
|A Tipsy S2 as owned by Eric Ward