Aldershot in old picture postcards

Aldershot in old picture postcards

:   T.G. Chilterhouse
:   Aldershot
:   Hampshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2276-4
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2 - 3 working days ((subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.


Fragments from the book 'Aldershot in old picture postcards'

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59. The new factory contained many facilities and the shed was large enough to house a number of inflated balloons of the ten thousand cubic foot capacity . The 1890's was a period of great activity in the Balloon Factory, turning out additional balloons and equipment for the Balloon Sections. The normaloutput of balloons was doubled, and thirty balloons were sent to South Africa to equip the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Balloon Sections eperating there. Some of the early military aeronauts outside the Balloon Shed in 1896. Sergeant Champion and crew with ten thousand cubic foot balloon.

60. On 1st April 1911, the Balloon School was reorganised as the Air Battalion, and the final phase of the responsibilities ofthe Royal Engineers for military aeronautics began. In the early months of 1912 monoplanes fell into disrepute. There had been breakages of stay wires, and it was considered that they were unable to withstand the top pressure caused by steep diving. This Bleriot 21, although it is being serviced by Royal Flying Corps personel, it is probably a civilian aeroplane. The use of the monoplane was banned early in 1912 pending technica! inquiry. The backdrop of the trees and fencing suggests the Bleriot was being serviced on the Queens Avenue playing fields close to the canal.

61. Captain Baden-Powell, of the Scots Guards experimented with kites and balloons at Aldershot from about 1890 until the outbreak of the South African War in 1899. He c1early proved the kite's capacity to lift the weight of a man to a considerable height, as weIl as for towing carts or boats. The British Army realised the kite could play its part in the warfare of the future as weIl as the balloon. Samuel Franklyn Cody, an American showman, settled in Aldershot where he started his career in aeronautics - first in kites and then aeroplanes. In order to supplement the balloons of the Royal Engineers, the man lifting kite system of Mr. S.F. Cody was purchased, and his kites were added to the regular equipment of the Balloon Companies in 1906, after successful trials held in 1904-05. Cody was engaged as Chief Instructor in Kiting at the Balloon Factory. This picture, taken in 1911, shows a Cody man-lifting Kite being launched. It was from this parade ground in 1905 that Sapper Moreton, Lieutenant HolweIl and Lieutenant BrokeSmith of the Royal Engineers, attained the heights of 2,600, 3,000 and 3,300 feet respectively. All were world records for man lifting kites.

62. 1895. The traction engine brigade. The original hutments at Aldershot were at that time being taken down and replaced by brick buildings, The components of these huts were in great demand and applicants were allotted huts on condition that they were cleared away. Major Templer, Superintendent Balloon Factory, secured a good allottment, and a small traction engine and truck, manned by all available hands of his civilian staff, including a few sappers, were tumed out to collect the material. The civilian staff assembied at Stanhope Lines. Sergeant Major Wise is on the extreme right.

63. The complement of the Balloon School between the years 1892 and 1899 was given as Superintendent, three officers and thirty-three other ranks. This posed picture was taken in 1895 and shows the early aeronauts testing a new pattern welded pressure tube nine feet long and eight inches in diameter, which held 500 cu. ft. of' hydrogen at full pressure of 1,000 lb. per sq. in. The greatest difficulty had been to devise a valve for the tubes, secure against the leakage of the gas. The other major problem was to devise an envelope for the balloons. They had flown silk balloons, envelopes specially treated with varnished cambric, and what proved to be the finest-gold beaters skin, which was impervious to hydrogen, very tenacious, and lighter, strength for strength than any other balloon material. From left to right: unidentified, Major Willoughby Verner, a member of the Weinling family-inventors of the gold beaters process, Lieutenant A.H.W. Grubb, Sergeant Major Wise holding small balloon, Captain Templer Superintentent, and Captain H.B. Jones, all of the Royal Engineers.

64. The first Torchlight Tattoo was held in 1894 and was attended by Queen Victoria. This military spectacular had been the idea of the Duke of Connaught and was held in the grounds adjoining the Royal Pavillon. The Queen expressed her pleasure and interest in an event which was to become part of the Aldershot scene. The Grand Military Tournaments continued by torchlight until the searchlight replaced the torch just before the First World War. The scene illustrated is of the 1907 Tournament held on July 9th and 10th. The theme was 'Sons of Empire' and up to one thousand musicians are in the arena. On both days, trips could be had for one shilling and six pence in a captive balloon, ten shillings could buy an aseent in a man lifting kite, and for f5 a limited number of seats were offered for a free run in a balloon. The Tournament was held on a ground behind Government House.

65. 1899, 2nd Volunteer Battalion Lincoinshire Regiment leaving the Rushmoor Camping ground on August Bank Holiday week. In 1899 Volunteer units of the North Midland Brigade under the Command of Colonel Lord Newark visited Aldershot for the first- time. Aldershot was of course the station most sought after, but it was not always possible to obtain permis sion to visit this great military centre. The camp was on the west slope of Rushmoor Bottom and was within a mile of the town where these young volunteers could mix with the regular soldiers, General Sir Redvers Buller, VC. was G.O.C. Aldershot at thetime and he visited and inspected the Volunteers during their stay in Rushmoor Camp. The following year many of these men were fighting under Buller in South Africa.

66. Daylight Rehearsal, 1929 Searchlight Tattoo. Rushmoor Camping Ground was developed into an arena which was to become the showplace of the British Army. In 1894 Aldershot was agog at the Torchlight Tattoo held in honour of a visit by Queen Victoria. Compared with the superb spectacles held in Rushmoor Arena between 1923 and 1939, it was a simple performance, but it was the germ from which greater things grew. This wonderful entertainment set amid an area of charming scenery was the sole work of soldiers and it attained the weIl merited status of a brilliant musical festival of world wide interest ...

67. The arena consisted of forty acres of turf, a massive grandstand and terraeed seating to accommodate nearly one hundred and twenty thousand people, Held in June of each year, searchlights illuminated the darkened arena where the performance lasted until midnight, The thirty-three searchlight projectors produced a total of three thousand million candle light. The floodlighting effects on the arena were carried out by Burch & Vertue of High Street Aldershot. The local boy scout organisation supplied three hundred scouts as ushers and up to seventy thousand vehicles were accommodated in the Parks surrounding the arena. Depicted is 1930 version of Ellzabeth I at Tilbury. Young officer plays the part of the Queen. Rushmoor Arena was also the venu of the Aldershot Horse Show.

68. The Cambridge Hospital, circa 1910. This hospital was built by Martin Wells and Company of Aldershot at a cost of f.46,000. The hospital was named after the Duke of Cambridge, seventh son of George lIl, who from 1856 to 1904 was Commander-inChief of the Army. It was opened for admission ofpatients on 18th July 1879. Of good architectural design, the building is faced with white brick, the base adorned with diaper rustic work. From the centre block rises a massive clock tower which is a landmark seen for miles around. The four faces of the clock are 8 feet in diameter. The main corridor in the early days was 528 feet long and 11 feet wide, but this was subsequently much lengthened. Florence Nightingale, after her return from the Crimean War, influenced the Secretary of State for War to reform the medical services of the army, and the Cambridge Hospitallearned much from her experiences. In 1879 two hundred and sixty beds were available, but over the years this number was greatly increased. Thousands of wounded soldiers passed through its wards during the 1914 War. There was a wonderfu1 staff of eminent surgeons ably assisted by the staff of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and the Queen Alexandra Nurses.

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