[PW] Searching for a children’s book : Elizabethan flying machine

S M Colowick januarye at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 01:40:55 PDT 2016

On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 10:58 PM, Mike Goldsmith
<mikegoldsmith639 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I read this in about 1972, it’s a children’s book about an inventor (who
> might be Sir Walter Raleigh) who lives on the South Coast of England,
> people think he’s a witch and send soldiers (on horseback?) to arrest him,
> but he is warned by some children and manages to make a brief flight over
> the cliffs. The flying machine breaks up in the waves, but the inventor
> then gets away by boat. To begin with, the inventor tries to make a
> flapping-wing device, but ends up with a glider, made of wood and leather.
> I think he sets fire to his house before escaping, to keep secret his
> discovery of how to fly. Written in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

The Woolacombe Bird by Ann Welch (1964)


"...Adam de Mountforde is the wealthy experimenter; Roger and Margaret
are the village children who come to help him. As others begin to spy
on them, the secret is nosed out and the three are suspected of
witchcraft. After a couple of trial runs, they just barely manage to
save themselves from immolation by effecting an escape on the
mechanical bird. ..."

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