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Memorial display for Charles Rolls at Hengistbury Head approved by BCP Council



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A DISPLAY has been approved by BCP Council at Hengistbury Head to honour an aviation pioneer who became the first to die in the country in a powered flight.

A set of boards west of the Hiker Café will mark Britain’s inaugural international aviation meeting in 1910 in which Charles Rolls, trailblazing pilot and co-founder of Rolls-Royce, was killed, writes Trevor Bevins of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The 1910 event was organised by Bournemouth Corporation at Hengistbury airfield to celebrate the town’s centenary and attracted 19 pioneer aviators.

The wreckage of the plane crash which killed Charles Rolls at Hengistbury airfield
The wreckage of the plane crash which killed Charles Rolls at Hengistbury airfield

But on the second day an accident led to the death of Charles Rolls (32) when his plane began to break up and crashed to the ground.

A memorial plaque already exists but is on private land which is part of St Peter’s School, Southbourne.

Charles Rolls with fellow aeronaut Assheton Harbord aboard a balloon"
Charles Rolls with fellow aeronaut Assheton Harbord aboard a balloon"

The Charles Rolls Heritage Trust said the new display has the potential to be seen by up to a million people a year, with a level area enabling access for all.

The boards will be west of Hiker Cafe at Hengistbury Head (picture: Google)
The boards will be west of Hiker Cafe at Hengistbury Head (picture: Google)

The design includes railway sleepers at its base and hardwood timber sections covering the three corners between the three sides which will explain the history of the event and the life of Charles Rolls.

Preliminary design for the memorial
Preliminary design for the memorial

The display will stand more than six feet tall with a weathervane at its tip. Almost 30 people had written to the council in support of the application, which was submitted in the summer.



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