The Alverbank Hotel, Stokes Bay Road, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 2QT
Find out about a Gosport invention from 1917, which is still inspirational in today’s flight training – The Gosport Tube. Explore this story in a creative and accessible way, through a multi-sensory textile panel and soundtrack, and other materials
In the First World War, many thousands of young pilots died in training. Part of the reason, was the Flight Instructor not being able to communicate with the trainee in open-cockpit planes in the air. Even if the Instructor could sit behind the trainee pilot, the noise from the engine would drown out shouted communications, and the only option was to turn the engine off to be heard!
In 1917, Robert Smith-Barry, of the Royal Flying Corp at Gosport’s School of Special Flying, developed a speaking tube to solve the problem. He experimented with the design whilst he was staying at The Alverbank. It was called The Gosport Tube. This, along with the flying techniques which he taught, revolutionised safety in flight and put Gosport’s name firmly in aviation history.
Through our textile, soundtrack, and viewing of an original Gosport Tube headset, you will come to understand the relevance of this. The textile is designed to be touched and explored, and we’ll use an audio description device to help people with visual impairment to fully engage with the experience. We’ll have fun activities for children by way of playing with our ‘mock’ tube, and interactive sheets with quizzes, facts, colouring, and even flight!
Following this, at 3pm there is an illustrated talk on the history of Grange Airfield, which will cover the story of Gosport’s School of Special Flying and the Gosport Tube, as well as many other things that happened.
Duration: Allow 45 – 60 mins.
Monday 11 September: 1400
No booking required
The venue is step-free, with a ramp at the entrance. Blue Badge parking close to the door. Extra parking to the rear of the venue.
This project has been made possible by a grant from Gosport Cultural Consortium and by the creative services of Splodge Designs.