Incident Bleriot XI Unregistered , Thursday 9 June 1910
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Date:Thursday 9 June 1910
Type:Bleriot XI
Owner/operator:Ernest Charles Clayden, alias 'Captain Cecil Clayton'
Registration: Unregistered
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Agricultural Showground, Worcester, Worcestershire. -   United Kingdom
Phase: Taxi
Departure airport:Agricultural Showground, Worcester, Worcestershire
Destination airport:Agricultural Showground, Worcester, Worcestershire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
9.6.1910: Blériot XI, owned by Ernest Charles Clayden, alias 'Captain Cecil Clayton'. Involved in a fatal accident when the machine swerved into a crowd of spectators whilst taxiing, at The Agricultural Showground, Worcester, Worcestershire. One spectator - Mrs Ellen Pitt (aged 34) - was killed. Ernest Beresford, alias "d'Artigan" (pilot) was unhurt. According to Flight magazine (June 18 1910 page 458 - see link #2):

"A very different sort of accident was that which occurred at Worcester, where a Bleriot machine charged into the spectators, injuring several and causing the death of a woman bystander. What appears to have happened was that Captain Clayton had arranged to give a series of spectacular flights at an Agricultural Show in the city, but owing to an injury sustained the day before, he was unable to carry out his undertaking. Rather than disappoint the crowd, his assistant got the machine out and ran it along the ground; but it then got out of hand and ran amok among the spectators, with the result stated

The spectators themselves do not appear to have be altogether blameless in the matter, for at the inquest which was held subsequently a County Council official who was present, said that the conduct of the crowd was foolhardy in the extreme. They insisted upon crowding around the aeroplane, and badly hampered the movements of the man who was in control, in spite of the efforts of police and officials to keep them back.

That is as may be, and it possibly happens that in this case there was more than sufficient contributory negligence on the part of the spectators to acquit the would-be aviator of blame. But there is a serious moral to be drawn from this accident, no matter who was to blame for this particularly unfortunate incident in the Faithful City. It is becoming the fashion to consider any open air function quite incomplete unless there is an exhibition of flying to give tone to it.

With this we naturally have no quarrel—in fact, we think it is all to the good of the movement and is eminently calculated to catch and hold that public interest which our readers know we consider so entirely essential to the speedy development of flight.

By all means let every town and every village and hamlet in the country have its own display of flying—the more the better—but the number of these displays and the number of pseudo aviators who are sure to hold themselves out as being able to give demonstrations is becoming so large that it is time something were seriously done to ensure that those who take in hand the conduct of the displays, and those who provide the practical demonstrations, shall be reasonably competent to carry out the duties they have assigned to themselves.

In this we do not wish to be taken as making any reflections upon the competence of those concerned in the Worcester accident—we do not know anything of either Capt. Clayton or Mr. Dartigan. We simply draw the obvious moral from what has actually happened with a view to proper safeguards being adopted against the recurrence of so deplorable an incident—perhaps with even worse results.


2. Flight magazine (June 18 1910 page 458):
3. page 11-12

Revision history:

14-Nov-2018 21:07 Dr.John Smith Added
29-Nov-2018 16:22 Dr.John Smith Updated [Registration, Location, Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2018 16:23 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
29-Nov-2018 16:24 Dr.John Smith Updated [Date]
29-Nov-2018 16:24 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]

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