Social Philosophy

Manchester, Air Power and the Great War

Professor Richard K. Morris
14th November 2016, 7:00pm

In 1909, the Committee for Imperial Defence advised that the aeroplane had no foreseeable military purpose; by the end of the Great War there existed a Royal Air Force with some 4,000 aircraft and pilots of the Royal Flying Corps had cumulatively logged some 0.9 million flying hours.  Manchester and its region played a distinctive part in this story.  This lecture will outline what this distinctive role was, compare Manchester with other early centres of aeronautical engineering and look for key factors that shaped the city’s contribution to the emergence of air power.



About the Speaker

Richard Morris is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Huddersfield and a trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.  He has been director of both the Leeds Institute for Medieval Studies and the Council for British Archaeology.

Professor Morris is the biographer of Guy Gibson and Leonard Cheshire.  His book Time’s Anvil: England, archaeology and the imagination was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and shortlisted for the 2015 Archaeological Book of the Year. He is presently working on a new biography of the aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis and a social history of interwar England from the air.


Note about the above image: Crowd at Castle Rock, Alderley Edge watching the arrival of aeroplanes in the London to Manchester Air Race (1914). Reproduction of image courtesy of Manchester Libraries


Menu for Supper

Chicken with Diane sauce with new potatoes and vegetables or goats cheese and red onion quiche (v)

Lemon tart or fresh fruit salad

N.B. the Lit & Phil office have to inform venues of catering numbers approximately 7 days before an event so please make sure you book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.