History flying by
The first aeroplane to fly over Peterborough was piloted by WHE wen (pictured above inset) in October 1911. A year later he was at the controls for the first landing of an aircraft in Peterborough.
Thousands gathered (top left) to greet him in June 1912 as he arrived at the old golf links in Walton in his aircraft, a 60 HP Cauldron (bot- tom left).
Amid the excitement he was presented with a rose bowl by the city’s mayor C. E. Crawley to mark his achivement.
Ewen thrilled the crowds by doing some demonstration flights before he headed off for Lincoln.
But he had barely reached tree height when he hit one and crashed. Fortunately, neither he nor his mechanic was hurt in the accident.
The picture ( top right) shows crowds milling round the crashed plane.
The first recorded fatality in a civilian air crash in the Peterborougharea occured eight years later in 1920.
The picture bottom right was taken before the plane’s fateful flight from opposite the Cock Inn in Werrington. The pilot and two passengers (none of whom are on the picture) died when the wings collapsed as the aircraft looped the loop at 2,000 ft.
One of the dead was a Mr Guest, who was the son of the landlord of the Salmon and Compass pub in Peterborough.