National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

ALCOCK AND BROWN MEMORIAL

Summary

Type Panel

     Bronze low relief. Main relief shows Alcock and Brown's aeroplane flying over a stylised globe, with two groups of figures at either side representing the continents they were flying between. At the left edge there is a group of native Americans, while at the right edge, Brittannia or similar figure, accompanied by dog welcomes A and B to Europe. Beneath these at either end are relief portraits of the aviators, between which is the inscription. This is placed on a green marble tablet.
     When Alcock and Brown's achievement was recognised by the City Corporation in July 1919 there was some disappointment that they were not given a more lavish procession and the freedom of the city. It was decided to provide a bronze tablet in the town hall to mark their historic flight and to provide them with gold medals but neither the tablets nor medals were ready when Alcock and brown came to the city in July 1919. The civic welcome proved to be a somewhat low key affair, failing to do justice to their achievement. What the Manchester Weekly Times referred to as a "badly bungled" occasion. Neither was the memorial plaque ready though it was mentioned by the Lord Mayor. The contract for the bronze tablet recognizing Alcock and Brown's achievement was given to John Cassidy in December? 1919. Cassidy also designed the two gold medals it had been decided the airmen. It depicted the two airmen...and was inscribed with words included on the illuminated address presented to Alcock on their visit to Manchester in July 1919. It was unveiled in 1921. Was the low key ceremony because of the Victory Day celebrations which also occurred in the same week? Proceedings of Manchester City Council, 2 July, 1919 pp.354-5; 7 January 1920 p.79; 2 March 1921 p.24.Manchester Weekly Times, 19 July 1919 p.8
     First non-stop flight across the Atlantic. Alcock and Brown's flight across the Atlantic in June 1919 was a milestone in the history of aviation.

Inscriptions

THIS TABLET IS ERECTED BY THE CORPORATION OF MANCHESTER TO RECORD THE/GREAT ACHIEVEMENT OF TWO MANCHESTER MEN, CAPT. SIR JOHN ALCOCK, K. B. E., D.S.C./AND LIEUT. SIR ARTHUR WHITTEN BROWN, K.B.E., WHO ON THE 15th OF JUNE 1919/WERE THE FIRST TO FLY WITHOUT A STOP ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN FROM/AMERICA TO THE BRITISH ISLES, THE TIME TAKEN IN COVERING THE DISTANCE/BEING 15 HOURS 57 MINUTES, THE DISTANCE BEING 1,950 ENGLISH STATUTE MILES/AND THE AEROPLANE USED BEING ENTIRELY OF BRITISH MANUFACTURE.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Cassidy, John Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Panel Bronze 45cm high x 68cm wide
Backing Marble 55cm high x 79cm wide

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
MR/MTH38 MR
General condition Poor
Surface condition
  • Other
Structural condition
  • Other
Vandalism
  • None
Road Albert Square
Precise location Sculpture Hall
A-Z ref p. 158 F1
OS ref SJ835980
Date of design 1919-21
Year of unveiling 1921
Unveiling details 2 November 1921
Commissioned by Manchester City Council
Duty of care Manchester City Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? Not at risk

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