Edward Wakefield’s hangar at Hill of Oaks, Windermere, which was “just right for aeroplane testing”, proved to be out of the way for business, hence him wanting to come to Bowness.
On 29 March 1912, the hangar collapsed in a storm, causing Waterbird to be badly damaged. It was re-erected, with the benefit of shoring.
This photograph, which includes Waterhen at the Cockshott Point hangar, is intriguing in that the background story to it is known. It was taken in August 1913 by Vida Bloede, who was 17 at the time and on vacation from Maryland, visiting Scotland and England with the rest of her family. In that Vida had photographed the Wright Flyer at Virginia in1908, it might be assumed she wanted to have a passenger flight in Waterhen. The boy in the canoe is her 19 year old brother, Victor Bloede, Junior. Their father had become wealthy, having invented the process for dyed fabric that would not fade on exposure to sunlight and also the gum adhesive used on US postage stamps.
In 1919, the hangar was leased for use by two Avro 504’s which were operated by Howard Pixton for A. V. Roe & Co. Ltd., including joyriding, instructing, charter flights and delivering newspapers to the Isle of Man.
Windermere: birthplace of British naval and civil marine aeroplanes
Alliott Verdon Roe