Harold Blackburn
Harold Blackburn
Harold Blackburn & Scout
Collection of Colin Walker, 4-1-06

via email from Mike Hallett, 8-27-08
     The Sheffield Aviation Week machine pictured above is a Blackburn Type I (letter 'i', not Roman numeral 1), which can clearly be seen stencilled on the rudder in some of the photos in the album. It's the same machine that won the Wars of the Roses air race.The same one still in flying condition at the Shuttleworth Collection. They do look very similar but the Shuttleworth's aircraft is a single-seater while the machine that gave joy rides at the Sheffield Aviation Week is obviously a two-seater. I would refer anyone who queries this to A.J. Jackson's definitive 'Blackburn Aircraft since 1909'. The Shuttleworth aircraft is known as the 'Blackburn Single-Seat Monoplane' and was first flown by Harold Blackburn at Leeds late in 1912.
     The photograph album I have from the Sheffield Flying Week also contains a picture of Harold Blackburn standing in front of his aircraft with a Boy Scout -- except that it's a different Boy Scout. This suggests the entire troupe may have had their pictures taken!

Scouting Milestones
via email from Colin Walker, 4-1-06
Hi Ralph
     I came across your website on Harold Blackburn when searching via Google for more information on this man.
     I am a Scout historian and have written a large Scout History website to be found at:
Scouting Milestones

     One of the pages on this website is the History of Air Scouts which you might be interested to have a look at as it contains information about Baden Baden-Powell who was an early flying pioneer as you probably know and Claude Grahame-White who you will definitely know about.
     Anyway, because of my interest in Scouting, and having written on the history of Air Scouting, I was pleased to be able to buy this postcard above at this week's York postcard fair. ( I live in Pontefract)
     You will see that it is almost identical to the one you feature on your site- except that it has the an additional (but small) Boy Scout. What may be of interest to you is that the card has a caption that states the photograph was taken on The Stray at Harrogate, but unfortunately does not say when. I wonder if The Stray was part of Yorkshire Air Week? Any help you could give in dating the pc would be appreciated.

Editor's Notes: I thank Colin for alerting me to his contribution to our online community of this very interesting website and to the fact that Baden Baden-Powell played such an important role in the development of aviation. I heartily recommend that you visit his site, especially the "History of Air Scouts" entry.

The Stray
via email from Colin Walker, 4-3-06
Hi Ralph
     I live quite close to Harrogate - about 30 miles and 'The stray' is a very pleasant piece of parkland surrounded by Georgian houses. At this time of the year the grass is covered in daffodils or crocuses depending on the season. I am sure it would have long to take off in the plane in the photograph but not in any more modern.
      I will forward Ian's mails that he sent me on this subject and ask him to contact you directly about Claude Grahame White. He certainly the man to talk about him- he certainly knows enough to write a book.

Editor's Note: You can see a photograph of this aeroplane, the Blackburn 1912 Monoplane, by visiting this website:
Shuttleworth Collection

     The photo can be located most easily by using your FIND function on "Blackburn." two times.

Boy Scouts to the Rescue
via email from Mike Hallett, 9-4-08
     I have one anecdote from my mother that may be worth including on the Boy Scout page.
     At one point Harold Blackburn force-landed on a beach (quite possinly at Filey, where much of the testing of early Blackburn aircraft took place). The tide was coming in and threatened to swamp the aircraft. Harold Blackburn noticed a troop of Boy Scouts encamped nearby. He enlisted them to build a dyke around the aircraft, which kept the tide at bay long enough for the aircraft to be recovered!

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