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Postby angelahaus » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:39 am

I have a postcard sent from Mexboro in Yorkshire in 1915, from my gt grandfather to his daughter, my grand-mother. The photograph shows a single winged aircraft with pilot standing at the nose. He does not appear to be in military uniform, as there are no insignia on his flying suit.
The insciption printed below the photo states:
Sheffield Aviation Week 1914 Mr H Blackburn Yorkshire Pilot
No 4. Copyright & Sole Publisher, E Hawley Hillsbro.
Official Photographer

On the reverse it states: "Hawley" Series Hillsboro, Sheffield.
My gt grandfather was John Blackburn (born York 1885); he had no brothers with the initial H, so the pilot could be a cousin.
Any help in identifying the pilot or indeed with any information, would be greatly appreciated.
The postage to York cost half a penny!
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Re: Aviation

Postby ColinB » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:35 am


This page has photos of H Blackburn , including the one you describe , I think
and carries some brief biographic notes at the bottom :

Also more info if you click on the Census image on the rhs of the page.

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Location: Essex

Re: Aviation

Postby Loish711 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:49 pm

Hi Colin,
I find that really interesting as I live at Hillsborough Sheffield and I have a friend that is very knowledgeable about the areas history. I will send him the link. Also it might be worth posting this on Sheffield Forum's history section ( many people may have some information.
I presume you read this bit which gives a bit more detail of the area.
Sheffield's "Aviation Week"
via email from Philip Robinson, 11-21-08
Hello again Ralph,
As far as I recall, the 1914 "Aviation Week" was held at the Niagara sports/recreation ground, in the Wadsley Bridge area. Although Sheffield is indeed, like Rome, built on seven hills, Wadsley Bridge is a location where the valley of the River Don broadens out into a flood plain sufficient to accommodate a sports field (as well as the nearby Hillsborough football stadium), and this flat area was large enough for the light, early-1900s planes to take off and land.
The fact that the photos of the Aviation Week were taken by E. Hawley is perhaps significant, as his studio was on Langsett Road, Hillsborough, less than a mile from the Niagara ground.
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Location: Sheffield

Re: Aviation

Postby angelahaus » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:43 am

Many thanks for the great information on this early aviator. Although Harold Blackburn shares a surname with my gt grandfather, I cannot, at this stage, see a link between the families. Interestingly, John Blackburn, my ancestor, did name one of his sons Harold - but perhaps that is merely a coincidence. I will keep looking to see if my York-born ancestors have any connection with this innovative and resourceful character. If I find any connection I will post it on the forum. Thanks again for the responses - made most interesting reading. BTW - my postcard is, indeed, shown as the middle photo on the first page.
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