Old News


Ballooning in Hertfordshire

From the Herts Advertiser

 19th September, 1891




Hemel Hempstead

St Albans


On Thursday in last week, a balloon was seen passing over Barnet, thence over St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Dunstable, and finally Toddington, the balloon descending into a field on Dropshot Farm. The car was occupied by two gentlemen who safely alighted, and partook of refreshments at Mrs. Shelton’s XE "Shelton" , and proceeded to Dunstable station and thence to London. The balloon was the property of Mr Spencer XE "Spencer" , who was in charge of it. The ascent had been made at the Royal Naval Exhibition, Chelsea, at 2.30. At first the balloon travelled northwards over Barnet, and taking a turn proceeded directly over St Albans, thence to Hemel Hempstead, and over Dunstable, across Sundon Hills, and after skirting the town of Toddington, finally alighted at six o’clock in the evening. The distance travelled, as estimated by Mr Spencer, was 70 miles, and the rate 20 miles an hour. The heights reached varied from 7,500 ft to 500ft, which last was the average height while travelling round Toddington; there was only one passenger with Mr Spencer, Mr Griffiths XE "Griffiths" , of Bedford Row, London. Both expressed themselves as highly gratified with the course taken, and the lovely scenery which everywhere met their gaze.

On Saturday afternoon, another ascent was made from the Naval Exhibition, and once again this locality was visited, the wind being favourable. About four o’clock a balloon was seen to pass over St Albans and bear across Gorhambury Park. When near Beech Hyde Farm the balloon descended near enough to the ground for the occupants to get a good view of the harvesting in the locality. It then mounted again and eventually descended at Lovett’s End, near Hemel Hempstead. There were six occupants of the car. The balloon was secured with the assistance of several people, who had watched the descent, and was packed in the car and dispatched to Boxmoor Station for London

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