Marvellous Men In These Flying Machines
Julian Fellowes set the first episode of Downton just over 100 years ago. The early 20th Century began to lay the technological foundations for all the modes of travel, the shopping, the civil rights and above all the gadgets on which we rely on (without thinking) today.
Horses for riding or carriages were being replaced with the horsepower of early cars. Women’s clothes became less restrictive and in the 1920’s somewhat shorter than fashion had permitted in any preceding years. Aviation was beginning. In fact, the first flight in England was made by Geoffrey de Havilland from Highclere in September 1910. Planes would of course be increasingly important during the First World War as the Royal Flying Corp was re-organised in to Royal Air Force. Planes have subsequently been part of all our lives, for better times and also for tragic times.
Following on from Highclere’s association with early flying, we have a wonderful collection pf planes here on Sunday, Tiger Moths, vintage planes mocking up a dog fight in the sky, from the Second World War, a Mustang, a Spitfire and so forth ending with a B17.
Not just the planes are rather the special, but so are the marvellous men in these flying machines, who have planned, prepared and given their time to entertain us all on Sunday. So thank you to Steve, Jeff, Tim, Peter, Jonathan and others, all of whom have thousand 100,000’s of miles as commercial pilots or in the RAF. Some of these men whom have flown Concorde or hold records but all of whom look back with us to the courage of early aviators.
During the latter years of the First World War, many of the men sent here to Lady Carnarvon’s hospital were from the Royal Flying Corps with broken legs – orthopaedic injures. With the benefit of her nursing and the Thomas splint, many men recovered.
Thank you to all these men who are flying for us all.
What a fantastic blog Lady Carnarvon I so enjoyed reading this write up of something that is very close to my heart, The 1st & 2nd World War & the aircraft that flew in them. I have some fond memories of doing some work with Steve at the place where Geoffrey de Havilland had his 1st Aircraft. This Sunday is going to be just wonderful. All the work that everyone has put in will to bring the past to life will be magic bit like Dr Who Time Traveling. Thank you Lord & Lady Carnarvon & all your staff at Highclere Castle for all your hard work in getting this off the ground & into the air for all to enjoy & let hope we all rase lots of Money for Heroes at Highelere..
Flew in a restored Stearman once…nothing like open cockpit flying!
Visited Highclere, July 22 from South Carolina. Spent whole day there, it was magical! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with the world!
What a marvelous view of Highclere Castle from one of those bi-planes. It takes a brave passenger to volunteer for the ride. I’m enjoying your Blog from my computer-room chair.
Thank you so much for this and for honoring the men and women of the Flying Corps and RAF. So much history and they were so young. I recently visited the RAF Chapel at Biggin Hill. Very moving. How I wish I could be at your celebration, sadly I’ll be out of England then. I am sure you will have a marvelous time. Toast the airmen and women for me!
Great view of Highclere Castle from the air! Saw it during my trip to England in May. Wishing you all the best for a great turnout this weekend.
Brenda, from Nova Scotia, Canada
Wonderful blog & I love the bit about Geoffrey de Havilland I feel i have gotten close to him last year, I would like to think that all the WW1 & 2 Pilots would look down from little cloud On Sunday 3rd August see how we are doing to remember them all..
Splendid view on Highclere Castle. I love those planes. My eldest son(54) is a pilot based in Belgium, and with friends they have restored such a flying engine of the twenties. They enjoy it to go to France or to Germany. I wonder why they never went to England. Especially as his son is living n London… I will ask him. And thank you for the picture. I would like to come and visit Highclere next year, but that will depend of my health and other everyday problems and worries. Good luck to all of you.
The view of the English countryside is breathtaking, this would be on my bucket list !!!!!
Great views of Highclere. Right now I am watching Downton Abbey. Guess you could say I am at Highclere myself. Love the show. Bought both books on Amazon Kindle. Thank-you for sharing your home and your life with me. May God bless you and your family.
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I loved my visit to Highclere and enjoy reading your blog. I’ve been doing research for my next novel, and I remembered seeing this photo and your comment about Geoffrey de Havilland’s flight being the first flight in England. There were actually 2 Air Meets in England in October 1909, one in Blackpool and one in Doncaster, where several aviators flew in races and demonstrations. I think de Havilland may have taken part. This was only two months after the first international Air Meet in Reims France.