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Old 26th Jul 2012, 13:32
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Grantlee Kieza
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 13
Grosvenor Cup

Hello everyone
I thought you might be interested in this excerpt from my book about Bert Hinkler and the Grosvenor Cup

* One of the most important races for British flyers became the Grosvenor Cup held for the first time at Lympne on 25 June 1923. It was a handicap event for British-built aeroplanes of not more than 150 horsepower contested over a course of 650 kilometres.
Bert lodged with his friends Henry and Maggie Staines, who had a bungalow named Ingleside next to the Lympne airfield, and whenever he wanted to take off he just climbed over the back fence and strolled out to his machine. He was a big hit with all the kids of the village and those who flocked to the air meets, and he let them take turns listening to his new whiz-bang radio through special devices he called ‘earphones’.
Nine pilots took off for the inaugural Grosvenor Cup race with the favourite being the newly married Major Ernest Leslie Foot in a Bristol Monoplane with a 100-horsepower Lucifer engine. Bert fancied his chances in the Avro Baby registered G-EAUM and was the first to take off at 10 a.m. By the time the planes arrived before a crowd of 25,000 enjoying a carnival atmosphere at Bristol’s Filton aerodrome, RAF ace Flight Lieutenant Walter ‘Scruffy’ Longton was in the lead on a Sopwith Gnu, but Bert was just six minutes behind. When Major Foot landed after them at Bristol he said he felt dizzy from petrol fumes, and mechanics got busy repairing the leak. In the end Longton held on to win the race with Fred Raynham second and Bert third.
In a stark understatement, the local paper later reported that a good day’s sport was rather ruined when Major Foot was burned to death. He had covered 480 kilometres when his machine crashed onto Stonehill Road near Chertsey between Bristol and Croydon. Both his legs had been torn off at the thigh, and he was burnt beyond recognition.
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