Aeroplane manufacture and aerodromes

The Stag Lane Aerodrome opened in 1915 as the training aerodrome of the London and Provincial Flying School. The members of the London Aeroplane Club regularly flew from Stag Lane and Amy Johnson was among the would-be pilots who gained their licence there. The aerodrome also played a key role in the development of the aircraft industry.

F.W Hooper & Co.

In 1917 Hooper & Co, opened a works next to North Wembley station. The company was originally established as coachbuilders in 1806 and had a major factory in Chelsea. Hooper & Co produced aeroplane wings and later complete aeroplanes such as the Sopwith Camel. By the end of the First World War, Hooper & Co were producing three complete planes per day, with the same number of spare parts. The Hooper's site was eventually taken over by G.E.C. There is a Hooper & Co Sopwith Camel in the Canada Aviation Museum in Ottawa.

Handley Page

Handley Page moved to Cricklewood in 1911 and was the largest aircraft firm in the area. A number of local residents complained that when the Handley Page aircraft took off in a southwest wind, they flew low enough to blow soot down their chimneys. A local newspaper claimed that it was dangerous to stand up on the top deck of the trams between Cricklewood Broadway and the Welsh Harp Pub because of the low flying aircraft!

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