Long dormant memories have been stirred by an item in the August (1971) Motor Sport—which, having been left with me recently by a visiting Canadian fellow-member of the VSCC, I have only just seen.
In the first paragraph of your absorbingly interesting article on Cyril Paul, he is reported as having ridden “…a 1911 single-speed clutch-in-hub, belt-drive, Triumph motor cycle to watch the first looping of the loop from his favourite vantage point overlooking the near-by Hendon aerodrome….”
I, too, lived at that time in Finchley, having been born there in 1908, and I well remember being taken by my father to Hendon to watch the first aviator to “loop-the-loop”. I wonder if any others among your more senile readers can recall seeing this tremendously exciting demonstration, and can confirm the identity of the pilot—who, if my memory is correct, was a German named Gustav Hamel?—[B. C. Hucks was the first British pilot to loop, at Hendon, in 1913.—Ed.]
This was obviously before the war (the first one, of course, probably in 1912 or 1913. Perhaps some long-toothed reader can also recall the type of aircraft concerned; in my memory it was ultra-modern in appearance.—[Hucks used a Bleriot monoplane—Ed.]
I have a faint recollection of having been told a year or two later that Hamel had disappeared in mysterious circumstances while flying the Channel—but this may well have been just another item of early-war sensational gossip.