The James Sadler Oxford Balloon Experience | James Sadler
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James Sadler

Apr 06 2016

The very first English ‘magnificent man in his flying machine’

The very first English ‘magnificent man in his flying machine’ – a pastry chef and Oxfordshire hero When ballooning first began in Europe in 1783 with the first flight by Pilatre de Rozier over Paris, the race was on between the European powers to emulate the feat. No-one wanted to be left behind in the first aviation race – the race that changed the world forever. Ian Woodmansey, Pilot for the Altitude Balloon Company in the UK, investigates. Read the article here...

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Oct 07 2015

Balloon release marks pastry chef’s pioneer flight

BALLOONS floated into the air at Woodeaton at the weekend to mark the anniversary of a historic balloon landing 231 years ago. Hundreds watched the release of 30 balloons in tribute to pioneering Oxford aeronaut James Sadler. The Oxford pastry chef built and flew a hot air balloon from the city centre to Woodeaton on October 4, 1784. Read more...

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Oct 02 2015

231 reasons to be cheerful

FEARS an anniversary event to record a landmark balloon flight from Oxford could be cancelled completely have been quashed after a local school stepped in to save the day. Dave Davies and Dave Dunphy planned to release 231 balloons in Oxpens Meadow on Sunday to mark the number of years since James Sadler’s inaugural flight from the city on October 4, 1784. Read more ...

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Sep 08 2015

Balloon idea is not just a lot of hot air

Those magnificent men and their flying machines hope to bring a bit of joy to the skies of Oxford. It's not unusual to see the Virgin balloon hovering high above the dreaming spires and the idea that a tethered balloon could bring the experience a little closer to Oxford residents is rather exciting. And how wonderful that this would also be paying homage to a momentous occasion in the city's history. Let's hope this is something that gets off the ground and doesn't end up being a lot of hot air. Article in the...

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Sep 08 2015

Up, up and away! Pair plan balloon ride tribute to unsung adventurer

WHAT better way could there be to see Oxford’s dreaming spires than from the silent pinnacle of a hot air balloon? That is the vision of two businessmen who want to create a “tethered balloon experience” in Oxpens meadow behind Oxford Ice Rink. The pair want to pay tribute to one of the city’s greatest unsung heroes, James Sadler – the first Englishman to make a flight in a hot air balloon. Read more...

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Aug 12 2015

Living the high life in Hackney

This colourful print of a hot-air balloon flight caught my eye while I was cataloguing a collection of prints and drawings relating to Hackney and other East London boroughs. As it happens to be the 204th anniversary of the event depicted, it seemed the perfect opportunity to share the story. Read more...

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Jul 27 2015

The day hero balloonist brought Bristol to a halt

Say what you want about the constellations of modern stars, but it is doubtful whether any celebrity in the 21st Century would have the power to visit Bristol one day and expect every school, shop and factory to close. Plus have the day formally decreed as a public holiday by the Council. Yet that is exactly what occurred when James Sadler decided to conduct a balloon ascent in Bristol on 24th September 1810. Take note, One Direction!...

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Jul 27 2015

Manchester library commemorate balloon flight

The first ever hot air balloon flight from Manchester is being commemorated with the display of lyrics from an 18th century ballad at the Central Library. The ‘broadside’ is a musical recounting of English balloonist James Sadler’s famous flight from Long Millgate to Radcliffe in 1785 – the song lyrics also highlight the danger posed by French soldiers attacking Britain using hot air balloons....

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Jul 27 2015

The Oxford balloon man history forgot

Two hundred years ago James Sadler was a name on every Englishman's lips. The pastry chef from Oxford with a gift for science became the first ever Englishman to fly. So why is his name virtually unknown today? Tens of thousands of expectant faces had lined Hyde Park in London for a glimpse of the "grand balloon". The year was 1814, the date 15 July, and London was resplendent in its lavish celebrations of a grand jubilee, marking 100 years since the Hanoverians acceded to the throne. Throughout the month-long festivities there were...

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