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Charles Rolls and Britain's First International Aviation Meeting

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Charles Rolls

Join us for an evening lecture on Saturday 26 January to discover the story of Charles Rolls and Britain's first International Aviation Meeting.

The seaside town of Bournemouth was the venue for Britain’s first International Aviation Meeting in 1910 during which Charles Rolls, along with other competitors, and aircraft feature in some early newsreel. Rolls came from a wealthy background with an interest in cycling, cars, ballooning and aeroplanes. When the Wright Brothers visited England it was natural that Rolls hosted them to meet with the Short Brothers, who had been granted a licence to build Wright aircraft and thus created the first specific aircraft factory in Britain. Rolls completed a non-stop return flight across the English Channel in June 1910 to prove that England had ceased to be an island yet he died just over a month later at Bournemouth in the country’s first fatal aircraft crash.  ​John Montagu and Charles Rolls both competed in the Paris – Ostend race in 1899, the first British drivers to race in a continental road race (Montagu in the 1899 Daimler and Rolls in a Panhard).

Our speaker this evening, Stephen Robson, Chairman of the Charles Rolls Memorial Trust, celebrates this great international aviation event and also remembers some of the motoring achievements, as well as the aviation ones, of this awesome motoring and aviation pioneer.


The evening will commence at 7:30 pm in the Lecture Theatre of the National Motor Museum’s Collections Centre and finish at around 10:00 pm. A pay bar will be available in the Collections Centre for the purchase of beers, wines and soft drinks.

Please note The National Motor Museum will not be open at this event.


For further information and to purchase tickets please contact Theresa Browning on 01590 614792 or email theresa.browning@beaulieu.co.uk.

Tickets will be sent electronically where possible, so please provide an email address in any correspondence. If tickets are required by post, please provide an SAE.

Members* £7.50
Non Members £10.00

*Friends of the National Motor Museum Trust


For more information about becoming a member of the Friends of The National Motor Museum Trust, visit their website.

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