RECENTLY FEATURED ON BBC RADIO
Listen to Win Scutt's Local History slot on The Late Show with Vic Morgan every Monday evening at 10.30pm, broadcast on 95.7FM, 855 medium wave and DAB digital radio.
RENDEL'S FLOATING BRIDGES
This week on the Plymouth Breakfast Show with Gordon Sparks, Win Scutt will be talking (Wednesday 8.30am) about James Rendel, the engineer who brought the incredible Floating Bridge to the River Tamar. There's a great new book out about it by Alan Kittridge.
NEW ZEALAND BOUND
Here is a link to some fascinating diaries of emigrants describing their voyage from Plymouth to New Zealand on board the Arethusa, Eagle, Hereford and Royal Stuart.
On Plymouth's Barbican you will find a plaque commemorating the first transatlantic flight, which arrived in Plymouth on 31st May 1919.
The United States Naval Air Service planned for four four-engined flying boats, the NC1, NC2, NC3 and NC4, to achieve this "First Across the Atlantic" flight, but it was only the NC4 that actually made it to Plymouth.
A fire in the flying-boats' hangar meant that the NC2 had to be cannibalised to obtain parts for the other three.
Sixty eight destroyers were assigned to mark the route of the flight. Mother ships were despatched to each port of call with spares and fuel facilities for repairs. Five battleships were assigned to stations every 400 miles along the route.
With their six-man crews, the three remaining planes took off early on 6th May 1919 from Rockway, New York for Nova Scotia. NC1 and NC3 arrived on schedule, but NC4 ran into difficulties and she arrived in time to meet the other two planes taxiing back from a vain attempt to start their transatlantic journey.
After an engine change and replacement of three engines, all three flying boats took off on 16th May. They were separated by bad weather, and only NC4 arrived in the Azores safely. NC1 sank off the Azores after a rough landing in heavy seas. NC3 also had a rough landing and taxied into port after two nights in a storm.
NC4 took off again on 26th May. Although the crew found it difficult to follow the line of destroyers, they touched down at Lisbon to a great welcome. The 6 man-crew under the command of Albert Cushing Read, had made the 2,400 mile flight in 25 hrs. 1 min. flying time. The whole journey had taken them 20 days and 10 hours.
NC4 proceeded to Plymouth, flying over the US Battleship Rochester and the minesweeper Aroostook which were at anchor inside the Plymouth Breakwater awaiting their arrival.
The following month, 14-15 June, Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown in a Vickers Vimy bomber, made the first non-stop transatlantic flight between islands, 1,960 nautical miles from St John's, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in 16 hours, 12 minutes.
Links to other websites on Plymouth history
Brian Moseley's Plymouth Data Website, covering old Plymouth, Devonport and East Stonehouse, and also the ancient parishes of St Budeaux, Eggbuckland and Tamerton Foliot, which make up the modern City of Plymouth, within the County of Devon, in the United Kingdom. Webpages relating to Plympton and Plymstock are now being added.
Chris Robinson's website with prints, books and Plymouth history.
Steve Johnson's wonderful emporium of historical images and maps of Plymouth.