William Moorhouse is posing with his friends and mechanics in front of a particularly flimsy looking aeroplane at Huntingdon aerodrome (which he part owned with James Radley) where he learnt to fly. The poster in front is advertising Marshall Bottled Ales, in particular Oatmeal Stout - the brewery was based in Huntingdon. Second on the left is Charles Branson, father of another Charles Branson, the latter being Nancy Branson's father. He lived at Spratton Grange and was killed in an air raid over Courtrai in April 1915, and awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously - the first airman ever to receive this award.
Pilot licence No. 147, dated 17 October, in the name of William B. R. Moorhouse issued by the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom in English and French text - and unsigned! Following his two flights to Spratton Grange on 3 October (landing at Northampton racecourse on the way) and 6 October, he undertook his qualifying 30 minute 'test' over Huntingdon aerodrome (which he part owned with James Radley) on Saturday 7 October in the presence of five Aero Club representatives. Needless to say, he passed! The following Thursday, he flew to Cambridge to 'take tea' with a friend!
Acknowledged to the Air Force Museum of New Zealand
William Moorhouse landed at Northampton Racecourse on Tuesday 3 October on the way from Hendon to Spratton Grange. In his Bleriot monoplane (with a 50 hp Gnome engine) the 45 mile flight took 30 minutes, flying at speeds of between 10 and 90 miles per hour. He had navigated by following a road route that he knew and had kept warm by wearing six vests, seven shirts, two suits and an overcoat! He posed for photographs, spoke to a journalist and then took off for home in Spratton. The Northampton Daily Echo reporter who had rushed out to the Racecourse asked him if he had been flying long. Moorhouse replied, “No, about a week. This is my first cross-country flight. I have only been up before on the machine on our ground at Huntingdon where we are quite prepared to teach you. Nerves? No, I haven’t any.
Statue in Christchurch, New Zealand, botanic garden of William Sefton Moorhouse unveiled on 22nd November 1885 and carrying the testimonial "To whose energy and perseverance Canterbury owes the tunnel between the port and the plains". When Moorhouse died in 1881, he was accorded a huge State funeral. This bronze statue on a blue stone pedestal by English sculptor G A Lawson was financed by public subscription in recognition of the Lyttelton tunnel, Moorhouse's greatest achievement.
Lectern in Old St Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington, New Zealand given in memory of William Barnard Rhodes by his wife Sarah Anne Rhodes. W B Rhodes was one of the earliest settlers to New Zealand (1838), and was prominent as a member of Wellington Provincial Council, and also its first member of Parliament
On 8 December, 1911, Will Moorhouse of Spratton, a friend of Edgar Mobbs, landed an aeroplane on the Harborough Cricket Field. He had come by arrangement from Huntingdon, and a great crowd awaited him. The combination of a difficult cross wind and too small a landing area meant that the plane came down too steeply, digging its still-spinning propeller about a foot into the ground. The plane reared up and nearly flipped over, the supporter struts crumpling like matchwood. Nevertheless it was an historic occasion, the first landing of an aeroplane in Market Harborough.
Acknowledged to “Yesterday’s Town: Victorian Harborough