Accident Gas balloon Capt Frederick Bidmead Unregistered, Monday 11 June 1906
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Date:Monday 11 June 1906
Time:19:45 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Gas balloon Capt Frederick Bidmead
Owner/operator:Capt Frederick Bidmead
Registration: Unregistered
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Location:West Lane Football Ground, Haworth, West Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:West Lane Football Ground, Haworth, West Yorkshire
Destination airport:Scar Top, Ponden, Haworth, West Yorkshire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
11.6.1906: Gas balloon, owned and operated by Capt Frederick Bidmead was involved in a fatal accident when a Parachutist fell from balloon, Haworth, West Yorkshire. The parachutists, Elizabeth Mary 'Lily' Cove (aged 20) was killed. According to contemporary reports:

"Britain's First Female Daredevil Balloonist and Parachutist

Lily's ghost is said to haunt the Old White Lion Hotel (Room Number 7) where she was taken after her death.

Lily Cove of London England was a lovely 21 year old woman who wore bloomers or knickers under her skirts. She would dramatically throw off her skirts before she ascended in the hot air balloon.

In 1906 Lily was to ascend in a gas filled balloon to a height above the crowd and using a parachute jump out to the amazement of all attending the Haworth Gala.

Although her event was postponed due to a problem with the balloon for a day, on Monday June 11th Lily decided to move forward. Sadly, when she jumped she became disconnected with her parachute and fell to her death.

A verdict of accidental death is recorded but mystery surrounds her death as a possible act of jealousy from a former suitor to a deliberate act by her to avoid the possibility of drowning in the Ponden reservoir near Scar Top.
A newspaper article in the Hawera & Normanby Star, August 27, 1906 stated: "At the inquest at Howarth, evidence was given that deceased, being no swimmer, and fearing the possibility of falling into a large reservoir, probably detached some of the equipment, and somehow lost hold of the rope, tumbling head foremost about a hundred feet. The jury found a verdict of "Death by misadventure," and decided to memorialise the Home Secretary in favor of making such exhibitions illegal."

Her stone which was paid for by the residents of Haworth reads:

In Loving Memory of Elizabeth Mary, (Miss Lily Cove, Parachutist). Daughter of Thomas Charles Cove of London who died June 11th 1906, Aged 21 Years"

Hansard (Volume 158) 14th June 1906 records the following exchange between Arthur Fell, MP for Great Yarmouth and Herbert Gladstone (Leeds West) the Home Secretary, in the House of Commons:

Fell: “I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the death of Miss Cove when descending from a balloon in a parachute on June 11th; and whether he proposes to take any steps to prohibit such exhibitions in the future.”

Gladstone: “My attention has been called to this shocking case. I have prepared, and hope to introduce shortly, a Bill extending the Dangerous Performances Acts to all women whatever their age may be.”



Revision history:

14-Nov-2018 19:57 Dr.John Smith Added
14-Nov-2018 19:58 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]
19-Nov-2018 19:30 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport]

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