Talk will remember aviation pioneer Robert

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IT is almost 100 years to the day that aviation pioneer Robert Blackburn made his first successful flight along the beach at Filey - and a free talk will take place to mark the anniversary.

Vanessa Milner, of Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society, will be giving a presentation for the Friends of the Filey Bay Initiative at 7pm next Friday, March 11, in the concert hall at the Evron Centre.

Less than a year after surviving a crash near Saltburn, which wrote off his original aircraft, Blackburn set about redesigning the engine-powered monoplane which this time reached a height of 50ft, averaging 50mph.

He designed further aircraft and went on to found the Blackburn Aircraft Company, building a hangar and a bungalow for staff on the cliff between Primrose Valley and Hunmanby Gap. The operation later moved to Brough and was eventually absorbed into what is now BAE Systems.

Friends chairman Catherine Welch said: “This talk is a celebration of some of the earliest aviation and an important location in the development of flying. Come along if you want to find out more about what happened in Filey 100 years ago.”

Mrs Welch said it was hoped that members of Robert Blackburn’s family would be in attendance.