A consignment of shoes from Messrs Barratt's for delivery to Hendon being loaded onto the Radley-Moorhouse monoplane piloted by William Moorhouse. The man in the bowler hat in the centre of the photo is John Evans, the Chief Postmaster at Northampton from 1910 to 1918. The sight was so unusual that crowds, who had never seen an aeroplane before, gathered to watch. William had been granted his Royal Aero Club certificate on 17th October 1911 and on the same day he flew to Northampton. A strong wind prevented a landing on the Racecourse and Moorhouse touched down near Nunn Mills. Unable to take off because of the weather, the plane was stored overnight at Mulliner's Garage (they had an interest in aeroplanes and had completed the construction of one as reported in the Northampton Independent on 12 March 1910 - there is no evidence of it having flown). The Bleriot was taken to the Racecourse on 18 October 1911 and Moorhouse took off. Poor weather forced him to land at Fenny Stratford and the delivery was completed on 20 October. This was hailed as the first commercial use in the world of an aeroplane for a parcel (the first air letter was on September 11 1911).
Acknowledged to William Rhodes-Moorhouse VC Charitable Trust