A V Roe - West Hill, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 27.395 W 000° 12.146
30U E 694354 N 5704313
Quick Description: This green plaque is on a gatepost at the entrance to a housing estate on the south side of West Hill in Wandsworth, London.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/24/2013 11:46:17 AM
Waymark Code: WMJJCN
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 1

Long Description:

The plaque, installed by Wandsworth Council, reads:

Wandsworth Council

A. V. Roe
1877 - 1958
Aircraft pioneer and designer
AVRO aeroplanes
experimented in stables
on this site


The Verdon-Roe website tells us about the man:

Sir Alliott Verdon-Roe OBE, Hon. FRAeS, FIAS was born in Patricroft in Manchester and was the first Englishman to fly an all-British machine at Lea Marshes on 12th July 1909. He claimed to be the first Englishman to make a powered flight in June 1908 at Brooklands.

He founded AV Roe and Co in Manchester with his brother Humphrey on 1st January 1910. From its early beginnings at Brownfield Mills, A.V. Roe and Co, became one of the most successful British aviation companies building iconic Avro marques such as the Avro 504, Tutor, Anson, Lancaster, Lancastrian, York, Shackleton and the Vulcan.

Alliott left AV Roe and Co in 1926. He was knighted in 1928 and established Saunders-Roe, builders of the jet powered SARO SRA 1 and SARO Princess flying boats at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where he remained Chairman till his death in 1958.

The Wandsworth Council website, that placed the plaque, tells us:

Aircraft pioneer and designer of AVRO planes. Born in Eccles, aged 14 he travelled to Canada to train as a surveyor, but on arriving in British Columbia found there was little demand for surveyors and he spent a year working odd jobs.

He returned to Britain and served as an apprentice with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. Dockyard work followed with him joining the ship SS Jebba of the British & South African Royal Mail Company as fifth engineer on the West African run.

He served on other vessels, finishing his Merchant Navy career as third engineer aboard SS Ichanga. It was during this time that he first turned his mind to the possibility of building a flying machine.

To spend more time studying the problems of flight he left the sea in 1902 and became a draughtsman in the motor car industry (at Brotherton and Crockers Limited).

In 1906 the Daily Mail offered prizes for model aeroplanes capable of sustained mechanical flight. Roe carried off the first prize. This encouraged him to build an aeroplane which would be able to carry him aloft.

A half-used stable behind the surgery of his brother (Dr Spencer Verdon Roe) in Wandsworth, was ideal for the construction of a flying machine. Construction of the began in May 1907 and then moved to a shed at Brooklands motor racing track.

Walthamstow Marsh was the location of Roe's later attempts to build and fly his early aeroplanes.

Despite many failures, Roe continued his experiments and there is now a blue plaque commemorating his first successful flight (in July 1909) on one of the railway arches he worked from.

With his brother Humphrey, he founded the A.V. Roe Aircraft Co. in 1910 at Brownsfield Mill in Manchester.

His most popular model, the 504, sold more than 8,300, mainly to the Royal Flying Corps and later to the Royal Air Force for use by training units. In 1928, he sold his shares and bought S. E. Saunders Co., and formed Saunders-Roe Aviation.

He was knighted in 1929.

Location: 47 West Hill, SW18

Unveiled: 28 October 2011

Blue Plaque managing agency: Wandsworth Council

Individual Recognized: Alliott Verdon-Roe

Physical Address:
47 West Hill
London, United Kingdom

Web Address: [Web Link]

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