PIONEERS: 1910 London-Manchester race
The cries of excited onlookers at Pytha Fold Farm near Burnage said it all — France had beaten Britain in 1910’s great race to become the first man to fly between London and Manchester. But both pioneering men, Henri Paulhan and Claude Grahame-White, were deserving of all the plaudits they received
In November 1906 press baron Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, created a remarkable piece of news which he promptly ran in his own paper, the Daily Mail. A strident campaigner for the advancement of flying in Britain, Northcliffe put up a glittering prize of £10,000 — today around £1.2 million — for the first person to aviate between London and Manchester. The contest’s rules, published in the Mail’s 17 November edition, allowed 24 hours for the 185-mile journey and just two stops along the way. Competitors would also have to pass within five miles of the newspaper’s London and Manchester offices.