Esoteric London

No. 463: New Bond Street, W1

Posted in Amusements, Shops, Transport by esotericlondon on December 7, 2011

Louis Vuitton, New Bond Street, London, W1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

The Illustrated London News – Saturday June 7th 1851:

BALLOON ASCENT FROM BATTY’S HIPPODROME AT KENSINGTON

The announcement that a Balloon Ascent would take place from this novel capacious place of entertainment, attracted a vast multitude of spectators on Monday evening; and at five o’clock, so eager were the public to obtain admission, that it was with difficulty we gained an entrance to the Elliptical Pavilion, which is said to be capable of accommodating 14,000 spectators [ … ] At the moment of our entering, the Balloon was filling rapidly; and at a quarter to six o’clock it was fully inflated, when its size and beauty were much admired, as testified by the plaudits of the thousands of spectators. The Balloon is 90 feet in height, and 120 feet in circumference, and contains 40,000 cubic feet of gas: it is decorated by two large medallions – one bearing a figure of Britannia with the national emblems, the other an emblamatic [sic] representation of Hibernia and her wolf-dog; between the medallions is inscribed ‘Erin go bragh’ in silver: the whole had a most brilliant effect.

All things being ready by six o’clock, Mr. Hampton, the aeronaut, took his seat in the car, accompanied by two gentlemen. When the signal was given, the ropes that confined the Balloon to earth were cast off, and she ascended majestically into the air amidst the acclamations of the spectators. The clearness of the evening enabled the Balloon to be seen distinctly upwards of an hour: it then entered the clouds; and after continuing in the air upwards of two hours, the aerial travellers descended in safety a short distance from the New Cross railway-station. Mr. Hawkins and other gentlemen connected with the station rendering them the most prompt  and kind attention.

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