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Nottingham marks milestone balloon flight

The council in Nottingham unveiled a plaque recently in honour the city’s first successful hot air balloon flight, which took place 200 years ago. The journey was orchestrated by James Sadler on November 1, 1813. Its permanent location will be above the door of the popular Fellows, Morton and Clayton pub. This is where the balloon launch is thought to have taken place. Watched by more than 30,000 spectators - who waited for up to seven hours beforehand – Sadler travelled 30 miles in the space of an hour. Many people visited from Derby, Leicester, Mansfield and Newark, and spectators took up every single vantage point in the surrounding area of the huge event. The red and white balloon successfully departed from a section of land alongside the canal, after two failed launches elsewhere in the East Midlands. The spectacle was an ‘incredible event’ for the city, according to Robin Macey, balloon enthusiast. Mr Macey has spent a lot of time deciding on the precise spot of the launch. He said:
“I have been studying local balloon history for over 20 years and earlier this year I identified exactly where Company’s Wharf was. I looked through some old Ordnance Survey maps from the 1880s and I was able to identify exactly where it was. We realised straightaway it was on a space of land that’s now occupied by the pub.”
Sadler’s first flight from Oxford in October 1784 earned him the title of first Englishman to travel in a hot air balloon.
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