Harriet Quimby memorial project set up by Dover residents

  • 16 April 2012
  • From the section Kent

Dover residents are setting up a project to create a permanent memorial for the first woman to fly solo across the Channel.

On 16 April 1912, Harriet Quimby flew from Dover to Calais in a plane borrowed from Louis Bleriot.

However, news coverage of her journey was sparse because the Titanic had sunk the day before.

Martin Young from the Harriet Quimby Centenary Project said: "She should be a household name."

He added: "I was born in Dover and I know about Louis Bleriot, Charles Rolls [of Rolls Royce, and the first recorded cross-Channel swimmer] Matthew Webb but there is nothing to commemorate Harriet.

"Why wasn't I told about this when I was at school?"

'Unique representation'

The group are hoping to raise about £50,000 to create a stainless steel sculpture of Quimby.

Mr Young is hoping it will be sited on the National Trust land above the Eastern Docks.

"It will be in full view of France and it will catch the morning sun and the evening sunset," he said. "It's a unique representation of her just after she landed."

Quimby, who was also the first woman in America to gain a pilot's licence, died a few months after her historic Channel crossing in a flying accident at an airshow in the US.

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