“A rare use of a news picture this early, in local newspaper, the Kentish Gazette”


7.1.1785 Jean Pierre BLANCHARD and Dr JEFFERIES crossed the straits of Dover report in Kentish gazette.

On the 17th January, 1785, Mr.Blanchard and Dr.Jefferies crossed from Dover to Calais in a balloon. They pushed off from the Castle Cliff at one o’clock. Soon after the start the balloon began to descend, and to avoid immersion in the sea they threw out first their ballast, next their books, then their provisions, after that the wings and gear of the car, and lastly their clothes. The balloon then ascended and carried them safely to the Forest of Guinnes, on the French coast.

Balloon flight preparations at Dover College early 1900s (photo: Hollingsbee collection)

Balloon – Mr GREEN’s, voyage from Vauxhall to Dover passed over Archers Court – later bound for continent, and landed 51 miles from Paris
(Dover Telegraph Nov 12 1836 p.8 col.4)

Ballooning in the Channel
(Dover Express 10.3.1882 p.6 cols 1 – 3)

Balloon – Mr BURNABY
(Dover Express 24.3.1882 p.5 col.3,  also March 31 1882 p.3 col.1)

Balloon – Colonel BURNABY’s voyage from Dover Gas Works. Long report
(Dover Standard March 25 1882 p.5 col.4)

Balloon voyage by Col. BURNABY

Dover to (near) Dieppe
(Dover Standard Sat 1.4.1882 p.6 col.2,  also D.S.  1.4.1882 p.5 col.1)

1930 shows the Coffins of the victims of the R101 disaster at Dover, brought back from Boulogne on the “Tempest”.

The final flight of the R101 airship ended in disaster on Saturday 4th October 1930: “Full state honours were given to the victims and special trains were laid on to transport them from the crash site to the channel. They were carried by H.M.S. Tempest from Boulogne to Dover, where a special train took the bodies to Victoria Station. From there they were carried in state to Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster and were laid in state.
The mourning public waited many hours to pay their respects by filing past the coffins. A memorial service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday 11th October, after which the coffins were taken by train to Bedford. They were walked the two miles to Cardington Village, where a space had been prepared in the churchyard. All 48 dead were finally laid to rest in a special grave.

A final small service was undertaken, with distinguished guests including Hugo Eckener and Hans Von Schiller, followed by a flypast by the RAF flight. In 1931 a memorial tomb was completed and inscribed with the names of the victims. This memorial still dominates the tiny churchyard to this day.”