The world authority on Vauxhall Gardens, David Coke, is the author of vauxhallhistory.org’s latest picture feature on the ‘Royal Vauxhall Balloon’. And what a story David has to tell.
Who would believe that a manned flight distance world record was set in 1836? Or that the record stood for another eight decades?
That’s not a lot of hot air. It’s a lot of hot coal gas, which is what lifted ‘The Royal Vauxhall Balloon’ and its crew of three, up, up and away from Vauxhall Gardens to land only one day later and 480 miles away in Germany.
On the way, the balloonists delivered what could be the first airmail letter.
David’s ‘Royal Vauxhall Balloon’ story is fabulously illustrated from his own and other collections.
David Coke leads vauxhallhistory.org’s Vauxhall Gardens guided walks and is the author (with Alan Borg) of Vauxhall Gardens: A History (Yale University Press).