This Leeds civic trust blue plaque mark the life of Robert Blackburn and his company Blackburn Aircraft.
Robert Blackburn, OBE, FRAeS (March 26, 1885 – September 10, 1955) was an English aviation pioneer and the founder of Blackburn Aircraft who was born in Kirkstall, Leeds.
The Leeds civic trust blue plaque reads:
The Olympia Works
Robert Blackburn – aviation pioneer
built aircraft here including over 100 BE2C
army and navy biplanes and the famous
Kangaroo, Swift and Sopwith Baby planes.
He test flew the BE2Cs on Soldiers’ Field
and from there, in 1919, operated passenger
flights to London and Amsterdam.
1914 – 1932
The factory shut when Blackburns moved production out to Brough, but re-opened prior to world war 2 and worked on the planes needed to fight the Nazis and closed finally in 1946.
I used to live behind the clock at Oakwood, quite close to this site but never knew the history. To think that the famous Swordfish aircraft of the Fleet air arm were built and flown from here in north Leeds. Although designed by Fairey the majority of Swordfish aircraft were built by Blackburns.
Today this site is now home to a Tesco supermarket and also Homebase.