One hundred years ago today - a bizarre incident occurred just North of Broomfield Park, in Derwent Road, Palmers Green.

Pilot Jean de Manio discovered that the plane he was flying had engine trouble - trying to bring it down in Broomfield Park he fell short and crashed into the roof of 75 Derwent Road. He was rescued by two schoolboys, who rushed off to find a ladder. It was reported that whilst waiting de Manio calmly puffed on a cigarette.

The spectacle was reported on by the Recorder on 19 December 1912

All ways led to Derwent Road, and the inevitable crowd gathered. I think it may he said that the majority of the inhabitants of this usually peaceful suburb felt the importance of the occasion, and I verily believe that they were even imbued with a feeling akin to pride that the first aeroplane to fall—I beg pardon, to fly—on to a house-roof should have performed that feat in their own neighbourhood.


Sadly, de Manio died in a further accident a year later, before the birth of a baby son, also called Jean. As Jack de Manio, Jean Jnr became one of the most famous and controversial radio presenters of the 50s and 60s.

 

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Why oh why can our journalists not be allowed to write like that nowadays. I beg pardon indeed!

I wholeheartedly agree "I verily believe that they were even imbued with a feeling akin to pride" is a sentence unlikely to grace the grandest broadsheets or the humblest red-top today.

I'm afraid I do write like that, and no-one understands me!

Wow, what a story.  I'm also afraid I can remember Jack de Manio - the jaunty name, anyway.

I was speculating with friends who live in Ally Pally on why their 1930s house is slap bang in the middle of an Edwardian terrace.  The tendency is to blame the Blitz for a vacating a building plot*, but it could have been bombing in 1915 (the Victoria & Albert Museum has chunks out its wall from First World War attacks) - or another of Mr de Manio Senior's escapades?!

*  Or just noone wanted to build on such a steep bit of land?

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