Cardiff Aerial View

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Cardiff's Annual Air Display (June 1933)
"Flight" July 27th 1933

The Principality during the past few months has been showing increasing indications of airmindedness, fostered by the Cardiff Aeroplane Club, and enhanced lately by the visit of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales in the Vickers " Viastra " (2 Pegasus). The enforced stay of the Mollisons has also had a great effect, and brought aviation into prominence, many thousands of visitors having journeyed to the Municipal Airport, to view the Seafarer, which was kindly loaned to the Club for exhibition. In addition, Cardiff is somewhat exceptional as a provincial Municipal aerodrome in having two scheduled air lines operating, using Cardiff as a junction the G.W.R. line, which now runs from Birmingham to Ply-mouth, via Cardiff and Teignmouth, and the Bristol-Cardiff air ferry, which has now accomplished some 35,000 miles in twice-daily trips. It is not surprising, therefore, that approximately 25.000 people turned up on July 22 for the annual pageant organised by the Cardiff Aeroplane Club, and were treated to an. exceptionally attractive and well-organised display, favoured with magnificent weather.


Mr. A. J. Styran flying Sir Derwent Hall-Caine's " Leopard Moth " (" Gipsy Major ")
Mr. A. J. Styran flying Sir Derwent Hall-Caine's " Leopard Moth " (" Gipsy Major ")
in which he won the Heston-Cardiff race on Saturday, July 22.

In spite of the depression, the usual Cardiff exhibition of fine cars and fashion-able gowns was much in evidence. The Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Sassoon, Under-Secretary of State for Air. declared the meeting open, having flown from Hendon in a Hawker " Hart " (R.R. Kestrel), with an escort of three machines. His speech was carried to every corner of the aerodrome through the loud speakers, and he emphasised the merit of co-operation between the civic authorities and club promoters, visualising a day not long distant when flying enterprise, which had commenced so well in Cardiff, would play an important part in the restoration of economic prosperity in South Wales. Sir Philip was introduced by Mr. C. Temple Morris, M.P., who is an enthusiastic member of the Cardiff Club, and in whose constituency the pageant was held.

The first event was the arrival of the competitors in the Annual London (Heston) to Cardiff Air Race, which again proved its popularity by attracting a good entry in spite of the other meetings scheduled for the same day. It will be seen, from the table below, the field comprised a good mixture of aircraft types, with many good hands (and feet) to steer them.
As the competitors assembled at Heston so the day grew hotter and the vagaries of the wind in strength and direction increased. In fact, when the time came for the race to start, it became necessary to decide on a wind direction in order to maintain a constant position for the starting line. An after-luncheon siesta on the part of the well-known Heston wind indicator played its part in this connection.

The inspection of the competing aircraft passed without incident other than the necessity to inspect Mr. K. E. Lloyd's Parnall " Elf " in the repair shop. An under-carriage fitting had come to grief during the previous evening, and whilst mechanics worked hard to prepare for re-placing the fittings, so new fittings were being rushed up by air from Yate. Until the very last moment it seemed hopeful that the " Elf " would be a starter, but in spite of every effort it could not quite make it, the starting time of the race being governed by the need for the finish at Cardiff to be at 3.30 p.m. in order to fit in with the remainder of the programme at that end. As it was, and in spite of the " ubiquitousness " of Miss " Susan " Slade in her efforts to drag some of the competitors from their luncheons, the start was 5 min. late ; otherwise, all went according to plan.

The handicapping by Capt. Dancy was as effective as last year, and a really thrilling finish was witnessed by the crowd, Sir Derwent Hall Caine's " Leopard Moth," piloted by A. J. Styran, being first over the line, followed in quick succession by A. Henshaw on the Comper " Swift " with which he won the Siddeley Trophy in the King's Cup, and Norman Edgar in the " Puss Moth " entered by Mr. Richard Cadman, of the Cardiff Aeroplane Club. Mr. Percival, Lady Bailey and Mr. A. H. Cook were all within a few seconds of each other, providing excel-lent testimony to the skill of the handicapper. Col. L. Strange, who was the first man away, told us that the handicapping was so good that he was not overtaken until after Newport, when he could see the finishing line, and then all the machines came past him in a bunch.

Sir Derwent Hall Caine's " Leopard Moth " was quite a centre of attraction, after its success in the King's Cup, and this was the first occasion on which the new D.H. production has been seen in the West. Capt. Cyril Uwins, who has been a regular performer at Cardiff since the inception of the Club. save his usual polished exhibition on the Bristol " Bulldog." His climbing slow rolls are still a joy to watch. Strictly to schedule time, No. 501 (Bomber) Squadron from Tilton, Westland " Wallaces " (" Pegasus "), flew over the aerodrome under the command of Sqd. Ldr. W. Elliott, and gave a perfect example of Royal Air Force training and discipline. At Bristol in June, even in a very high wind, the formation was beyond criticism, but on Saturday the squadron certainly excelled itself, calling for much enthusiastic comment. The crazy fying of Mr. H. B. Field in an Avro was of a very high order, and Capt. " Wingy " Wyndham and Mr. G. de Greeuw furnished some very spectacular parachute jumps. The delayed drop of the former was the first event of this nature seen in Wales, and tremendous excitement prevailed as the parachutist dropped for some 2.000 ft. before opening, landing in the middle of one of the enclosures, without, however, inflicting any damage.

Left to right) Sir Philip Sassoon ; Mr. J. A. Sandbrook, Editor-in-Chief, Western
(Left to right) Sir Philip Sassoon ; Mr. J. A. Sandbrook, Editor-in-Chief, Western
Hail and South Wales News ; Mr. A. J. Styran ; Mr. A. Henshaw ; Mr. Norman
Edgar and " An Other." Mr. Styran was the winner of the Heston-Cardiff race for
the Western Mail Trophy.

About 50 machines attended the meeting, and it was somewhat unfortunate that the date clashed with two other important events. The organisers, however, have every reason to be satisfied, as every item went off without a hitch, and to schedule time. Joyriding took place until a late hour, and the Lord Mayor of Cardiff (Alderman C. F. Sanders) and the Lady Mayoress (Miss M. Muriel Sanders) took flights.

The Corporation was represented by Sir Illtyd Thomas (Chairman, Aerodrome Committee), the Town Clerk, Mr. D. Kenvyn Rees, Councillor George Williams, Councillor A. E. Shippobotham, Mr. William Forbes, whilst visitors included Mr. O. Temple Morris, IMP., and Mrs. Morris, Mr. Tom Griffiths, M.P., Dr. G. Arbour Stephens, Mr. Robert J. Webber, Managing Director of the Western Mail, and Mr. J. A. Sandbrook, Editor-in-Chief of the Western Mail. The Cardiff Club have reason to be especially grateful to the Western Mail for the Flying Scholarship scheme recently inaugurated by that journal.

On an occasion when team work alone is responsible for such success, it is difficult to single out individuals, but special mention must be made of the work of the Chairman, Capt. W. R. Bailey, and Secretary, Mr. Arthur Davies. Mr. Evan Roberts handled the publicity extremely well, and Mr. Norman Nash was responsible for control of the crowd and layout of the aerodrome arrangements. Councillor O. C. Purnell was his usual bright self on the announcing, assisted by
Mr. C. H. Phillips. Cardiff hospitality is proverbial amongst the flying fraternity, and Saturday's event was exceptional, even for Cardiff, in this respect. Mr. Charles Keen and Mrs. Keen, together with Mr. Kenneth Davies and Mrs. Davies and Mrs. Bailey, entertained all the guests to dinner and dance at the Angel Hotel, the party after-wards migrating to the latest Welsh inspiration, " The Blue Horizon "a charming old mansion converted into a very entertaining country clubwhere dancing and bathing kept the entertainment going until an early hour.