Local Balloon Ascents
Following the experiments by the
the Montgolfier brothers
in 1782, several balloon ascents – and descents – are recorded in the
At 3:40 pm on 12th April 1784, a large balloon, – containing about
700 gallons of inflammable air – ascended from the Piece Hall.
It rose to an astonishing height and was visible for 12 minutes.
It landed at Kirkheaton at 4:10 pm
On 11th August 1785, William Frobisher made one of the first
untethered balloon ascents at Beacon Hill
Anne Lister writes of a balloon which gave a display at Halifax
At 4:30 pm on 19th April 1824, Charles Green, a famous English
aeronaut and balloonist, left the Piece Hall in the balloon
and landed near Hornby Castle, 53 miles away.
This was the first recorded manned balloon ascent in the district.
It was said that there were 50,000 people to see the spectacle, many
standing along the top of Beacon Hill and the hillside.
Those watching in the Piece Hall were charged 1/- to stand in the
open area, and 2/6d to watch from in the galleries
On 31st October 1837, Anne Lister recorded a balloon ascent by
George and Margaret Graham, famous English balloonists
In 1863, Mr Cockroft constructed 3 balloons for the
opening of Halifax Town Hall
On 12th September 1863, Mr Youings ascended from the Piece Hall
in his balloon, the Volunteer.
It snagged on telegraph wires and then stuck to the top of a mill
chimney, leaving Mr Youings suspended 150 ft above the crowd.
A local man, Charles Rawson, fell to his death as he tried
to release the balloon
On 7th August 1889, a balloon carrying Captain Reuben Bramhall and
his 2 assistants flew from Bradford and landed in Cragg Vale 45
In August 1891, Miss De Voy gave a demonstration at Holme Meadow,
Todmorden when she made an ascent in her balloon and parachuted back
In 1902, a balloon – carrying Mr Patchett of Bradshaw – left
the Halifax suburbs and landed 2 hours later, having travelled
eastwards over Leeds and on to land near Hull, a total distance of
On 22nd August 1908, Lieutenant George Philip
Lemprière of Birmingham had to make a forced landing at
Clifton as he flew his air-filled balloon from Burnley back to
Malcolm Bull 2017 /
Revised 14:07 on 8th May 2017 / mmb2805 / 6