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Aviation at Lanark 1910

Aviation at Lanark 1910.

Lanark was host to the world’s Third International Air show in August 1910.

Lanark was chosen because of its racecourse which was an ideal spot for flying. It also had excellent rail links with Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The air show venue including the construction of a new station at Lanark Racecourse was prepared in six months. This feat could not be done today!

Twenty two aviators from many different countries were entered for the event. However several did not turn up – they missed out as Lanark was the most successful event of 1910.

The aviators included the following nationalities:- American, Peruvian, Belgian , Dutch , French , Swiss, Irish , Scots and English.

The air show lasted from August 6th to August 13th 1910. A variety of records were smashed. The distance record was gained by an Italian called Cattaneo. The altitude record was achieved by an American Drexel and the speed record was smashed by the English competitor Cecil Grace. It was the first air show that the French did not come away from with the main prizes.

The show attracted vast crowds and on Wednesday August 10th thirty thousand people turned up to see the aviators.

The legacy of the air show was important for Britain. A Scottish aviator serving with the military, Bertram Dickson, along with the Times Military Correspondent Major Lionel James, recommended that the army acquired Bristol Boxkites. It was this order that led to the foundation of what was to become the RAF.

A monument called ‘the Spirit of Flight’ was erected near Lanark Loch in 2010 to celebrate this legacy.

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