Heritage Talk focuses on pioneer pilots

The Southwick Society's February Heritage Talk tells the story of the brothers Eric and Cecil Pashley
The Southwick Society's February Heritage Talk tells the story of the brothers Eric and Cecil Pashley

THOSE magnificent men in their flying machines, the Pashley brothers, were among the earliest pioneer pilots at Shoreham Airport.

Their story will be told by local historian Bill Gage at the Southwick Society’s February Heritage Talk.

Eric and Cecil Pashley helped establish Shoreham as a centre of flying before the Great War.

Cecil learned to fly in 1908, aged just 17, followed by Eric in 1911. In 1913, they started the South Coast Flying Club at Shoreham and taught many people to fly.

Cecil continued flying and teaching until just before his death in 1969 and was an instructor for more than 50 years.

Eric joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 and died in an accident in 1917 but not before he had become an ace, shooting down eight enemy aircraft.

Cecil taught Fred Miles from Portslade to fly and in 1926, they formed the Gnat Aero Company with Fred’s brother, George. This developed into the famous Miles factory, which built aircraft in Shoreham until the 1960s.

The illustrated talk will be given at Southwick Community Centre on Monday, February 8, at 7.30pm, at 7.30pm.

Admission is £4, with a reduction to £2 for Southwick Society members. The talks programme is part of the outreach of Manor Cottage Heritage Centre, operated by the Southwick Society.

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