Celebrating the First UK Aerial Post


In 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright secured their place in history with a powered flight of 852 feet, a great step forward for mankind.

This prompted a huge surge in popular enthusiasm for flight, and a mere 8 years later in 1911 the first UK aerial post flight took place between Hendon and Windsor - a distance of just over twenty miles. The event was heavily promoted, with souvenir postcards and covers, and a special postmark. Huge crowds gathered to watch the arrival of the flight, such was its popularity.

Significant anniversaries of the flight were later celebrated and this display examines them.

The flight was celebrated just two years later in 1913 when it featured in a very scarce Australian series of Wills cigarette cards, subject "Royal Mail. The standard iconic image of the flight (as will be seen repeatedly) is a Farley biplane, but in fact most of the flights were carried out in the Bleriot monoplane pictured on card 46 (see page 1).


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. 1911 The Event - A Souvenir Item
  3. 1961 Fiftieth Anniversary - Press Release
  4. 1961 Fiftieth Anniversary - The Official Flight
  5. 1961 Fiftieth Anniversary - The Slogan Postmark
  6. 1961 Fiftieth Anniversary - How Not to Collect!
  7. 1961 Fiftieth Anniversary - Midpex Postal Stationery
  8. 1971 Sixtieth Anniversary - The Official Flight
  9. 1974 The UPU Centenary - Poster
  10. 1981 Seventieth Anniversary - The Official Flight
  11. 1981 Seventieth Anniversary - The National Postal Museum Postcard
  12. 1981 Seventieth Anniversary - The Royal Mail Postcard
  13. 2011 The Centenary - The Miniature Sheet
  14. 2011 The Centenary - The Business Customised Stamp Sheet
  15. 2011 The Centenary - The Prestige Stamp Book
  16. 2011 The Centenary - The Prestige Stamp Book