Plaque to remember trailblazer

SHE set the skies on fire and today Britain's first female pilot has been honoured in Ipswich.Ipswich-born Edith Cook set a trailblazing path in 1910 by becoming the first woman in British aviation history to fly solo.

SHE set the skies on fire and today Britain's first female pilot has been honoured in Ipswich.

Ipswich-born Edith Cook set a trailblazing path in 1910 by becoming the first woman in British aviation history to fly solo.

And today a blue plaque commemorates the place of her birth, 90 Fore Street in Ipswich town centre, thanks to the Ipswich Society.

The Society has also put up a plaque for pioneering bomb disposal expert, Leslie Barefoot, who helped create Ipswich as it is seen today by designing two of its shopping streets.

Tony Marsden of the Ipswich Society said: “Recently we have unveiled new plaques to commemorate two unique people connected with the town.

“At a time when the mere sight of ladies wearing trousers caused a sensation, Edith Cook was an adventurer and a very courageous woman.

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“And it is amazing that we had someone as brave and important as Mr Barefoot living in the town and playing such an important role.”

In 2000 the Society put up seven plaques in the town but none have gone up since.

However it is hoping to honour photographers Harry Walters and William Vick soon.

Who do you think should be honoured with a blue plaque? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Born September 1, 1878, at 90 Fore Street, Ipswich.

She became a balloonist and parachutist and made around 300 balloon ascents during a ten year period.

She learned to fly a Blériot monoplane in early 1910 at the Claude Grahame-White School in France and later made several flights.

She was also known as Viola Spencer and Spencer Kavanagh.

On July 11, 1910, she parachuted on to a factory roof in Coventry before falling onto the road below.

She died on July 14 as a result of serious injuries to her pelvis, arm and back.

SOURCE: Ipswich Society

He was born in Dulwich in 1887.

He served in the First World War and in 1920 moved with his family to Ipswich to join an architectural practice.

He designed the pedestrian shopping streets known as Thoroughfare and The Walk in Ipswich.

In 1939 he rejoined the Royal Engineers and volunteered to form a new unit to deal with unexploded bombs.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross and George Cross and has already been commemorated by a plaque in Westminster Abbey.

He died in 1958.

SOURCE: Ipswich Society

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