Hot Air Over Handsworth: Lieutenant Lempriere
George Philip Lempriere remains one of Handsworth's most colourful characters from the past. Born in 1855 in London he arrived in Handsworth as a young man to study his first love of Aeronautics. Lempriere's displays and exhibitions were a major crowd pleasing attraction wherever he went. He stood for MP in Birmingham unsuccessfully despite his unique campaign style - leafletting the public from his hot air balloons!
The above two images come from the Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service's Lempriere collection of memorabilia. The top image is an example of one of his many different calling cards - this one highlighting his exploits with his female assistants! The bottom image was taken at one of his displays in Dudley Castle. The gentleman in the top hat (right of the hot air balloon basket) is Lempriere's father Fred, who served on Handsworth Council for many years.
The attached PDF document is a report from the Handsworth Magazine (April 1898) and is an account of Lempriere's flight from Handsworth Victoria Park on the official opening of the extension to the park.
Lempriere Flight Report