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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
24th May 1953 Born today: Alfred Molina, London, actor (Enchanted April, Prick up your Ears)
24th May 1908 John Masefields Tragedy of Nan, premieres in London
24th May 1899 The state apartments at Kensington Palace opened to the public for the first time.
24th May 1890 Tivoli Theater of Varities opens in London
24th May 1879 James Walker's original Vauxhall toll bridge was opened up for free by the Prince of Wales.
24th May 1819 Queen Victoria is born at Kensington Palace.
Sopwith Camel maker lived here
The creator of the famous aeroplane The Sopwith Camel lived here
Location: 46 Green Street, Mayfair
Description: Sir Thomas Sopwith (1888-1989) the aviator and aircraft manufacturer lived here 1934-1940.
He became interested in flying after seeing John Moisant flying the first cross-Channel passenger flight. On December 18, 1910, Sopwith won a 4,000 prize for the longest flight from England to the Continent in a British built aeroplane. He flew 169 miles (272 km) in 3 hours 40 minutes. He used the winnings to set up the Sopwith School of Flying at Brooklands.
In June 1912 Sopwith with Fred Sigrist and others set up The Sopwith Aviation Company. The company produced key British World War I aircraft, most famously the Sopwith Camel. Sopwith was awarded the CBE in 1918.
In 1934 and 1937, Sopwith led challenges for the America's Cup in his yachts Endeavour (designed by Charles E. Nicholson) and Endeavour II. He was knighted in 1953.