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Credit: Ray Troll


  1. This Article appeared in the July 2018 issue of Light Aviation, the Magazine of the Light Aircraft Association. It contains evidence that the ‘stepped’ float was designed initially and tested at Windermere, and first used successfully there on Waterbird. For further detail about floats, please click here.

  2. This Article appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of the Newsletter of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. It addresses reasons given against flying at Windermere in 1911-1912.

  3. This Article appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of the Newsletter of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. It relates the landing of an aeroplane on Helvellyn, and the history of aviation at Windermere after 1919. The first photo is of landing on Helvellyn on 22 December 1926, the only witness being the eminent classicist E R Dodds; the second is of a de Havilland DH.60X Moth, Registration: G-AAPA, which landed at Troutbeck Bridge in the early 1930s, as nurses from the nearby Ethel Hedley Orthopaedic Hospital for Children look on.
    The distance of 300 yards between the Hospital and the Sunderland flying boat factory built in 1941 (The photo was taken on 15 October) at White Cross Bay may be appreciated in this photo, taken from Orrest Head. In 1954, a caravan park opened on the site, whilst over 40 years ago the Hospital was converted into retirement flats. About 500 of the factory workers were housed at Calgarth, now the location of The Lakes School, which can be seen on the left here; this photo also shows the factory site after removal of buildings during 1950-1952.
    The factory cost £451,000 to build, the machinery and installation over £500,000, the output in aircraft and parts 1,180 tons, the works could have had 3,000 employees, the administrative block could have had 150 clerical workers and 800 were employed at the detail shop. The detail shop could have incorporated 2 or 3 football grounds, and a rugby match could have been staged in the hangar.
    In addition, on 22 February 1932, Windermere Urban District Council refused an application by British Amphibious Airlines Ltd of Blackpool for transporting passengers and for joy rides.

  4. This Article appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of the Newsletter of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. It considers the decision in December 1940 by the Minister of Aircraft Production, following the recommendation of the Supply Board, on the Short Brothers’ proposal as to Why a Short Sunderland flying boat factory was built at Windermere. White Cross Bay’s advantages included immediate deep water for the concrete slipway which extended underwater for 75 yards and a location which was not exposed. Other land had been offered by Wavell Wakefield and also by the Freshwater Biological Association at Wray Castle. In contrast to alternative locations which were considered as to suitability, Windermere was away from bombing, non-tidal and accessible. Being essential for war purposes, the Shorts’ scheme went ahead despite representations by 3 MPs from the Conservative Private Members 1922 Committee, the National Trust, the Friends of the Lake District, the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, Westmorland County Council and Windermere Urban District Council. Complaints from the County Council and others included as to the siting of the factory near the Children’s Hospital. – If you look closely at the front centre by the hangar doors of the photo within the Article, there you can see the Water Glider flown from the lake in 1943 by Captain Cooper Pattinson DFC and Flight Lieutenant Wavell Wakefield. In 1950 structural steel was in very short supply, and the detail shop lives on as Slatyford Lane bus depot, Newcastle. https://cumbriapast.com/cgi-bin/cwaas/cp_main.pl

  5. This Article appeared in Flight Deck Magazine 2022. It details the first public flying display of the replica Waterbird on 23 September 2022.

Wings Over Windermere

Edward Wakefield described flight from water as ‘Something that beckoned …’