Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A Flying Visit to Bedford

Soldiers gathered on the playing fields at Bedford Grammar School, 1914
(Bedfordshire Archives, ref: Z1130/12/9)

21 September 1916: Bedford is treated to a bi-plane display over the High Street, which ends in a dramatic landing at Bedford Grammer School. The bi-plane was flown by Lieutenant E. J. Grevelink, who left Bedford Grammar School in 1911 and looked to make his landing in his school playing fields. However, the young airman found the playing fields so thickly dotted with goal posts, he was unable to land. Twice he circled the school and then ascended again doing the loop-the loop. Then he was plagued with engine trouble and forced to make a go of the landing, passing over the chimneys in North Hartlington and Gladstone streets and landing inside the field near the Clarendon Road gates. After alighting and attending to his engine, he left for home to visit his parents, leaving his fellow flying pupil in charge. Local residents and schoolboys flocked to see the aircraft until the civil and military police cleared the ground. Getting out of the field proved even more difficult than getting in, and two goal posts had to be removed for the run across the ground. However, just as Lieutenant Grevelink made the ascent his plane caught the fence posts on the edge of the field and he was forced to come back down to earth with a bump. Lieutenant Grevelink was unhurt in this incident and had joined the Royal Flying Corps only two months previously.

Source: Bedfordshire Times 22/09/1916

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