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  CS ROLLS CENTENARY CELEBRATION
Bournemouth and Avington - Sunday 11 July 2010
 
Memorial to CS Rolls  
Memorial to CS Rolls.             Photo: John Ryley

By 11am around twenty-five Club motor cars had lined up on either side of the newly refurbished memorial to CS Rolls in the corner of St Peter's School Playing Field 99 years and 364 days after the fatal crash of the pioneering motorist and aviator. The memorial had been established some years ago, on the site that once was Bournemouth Airfield, but only very recently improved with the help of a donation from Rolls-Royce plc. Richard Staple, Wessex Committee member, said a few words to the gathering of members and the public, about the site and CSR's untimely demise and then asked for a period of silence in remembrance.   Members' cars in Bournemouth
Members' cars in Bournemouth.             Photo: Andrew Honour

Jim Myson, East Midlands Section, had published a booklet entitled Royal Aero Club, First International Meeting, Bournemouth 1910 and had kindly donated approximately thirty copies to the event. Accordingly each driver of a Club motor car attending was presented with a copy of this fascinating document recording the list of patrons, numerous officials, royalty, martyrs of the aeroplane (!), names of competitors with photographs and descriptions of their machines, programme and even a list of generous prizes 'To encourage aviation'.

Last flight   Rolls flight

Several members walked across the playing field to the school building where a very interesting exhibition had been put together to mark the centenary of the Charles Rolls accident. The display included various copies of photos of CS Rolls and a history of his life including remarkable footage of the take off of the fateful last flight. The exhibition also had displays on other aviators of the time and Bournemouth as it was.

Some of the Club motor cars then made their way to Avington Park, near Itchen Abbas, to join a number of other Club motor cars already lined up on the front lawn. Thanks to Wessex Chairman, Georgia Cheer, David Steel and Chris Tween for greeting and marshalling. Most members brought picnics but snacks and drinks were available from the House. After lunch guided tours of the formal rooms of the House took place with guides giving a fairly detailed history of the house and its owners. The weather had been really 'summery' all day and ideal for the motoring, gathering and picnicking for this two venue event.

Ted Meecham - Section Secretary


Members' motor cars in front of Avington House.
Display of members' motor cars in front of Avington House. Photo: Ian Burt