Friday, October 28, 2011

A plaque on the bridge

Walking down the river Lea today we have discovered a blue plaque at the least expected place, on a railway bridge across the marshes:

A.V. Roe blue plaque

We've been there before and wouldn't have noticed it this time again if not given a clue from a bypassing friendly old-timer. That bridge and the marshes are the very place from where the first all British airplane first took off for its 30 metres flight in 1909. The only difference is that it used to be in Essex before London spread outwards:

First British airplane took off from here

The plane, one example of which is now exhibited at the Science museum in London, was built by an English pilot A.V. Roe. Once a supporter of the British fascist movement, he then had his two sons killed whilst serving with the RAF during WW2, and the company he founded contributed enormously to Allied victory.

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