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Clifden held a festival in 1994 to celebrate the 75th. anniversary of the


On the 15th of June 1919 Arthur Whitten-Brown and John Alcock flew 1900 miles from Newfoundland. Their aircraft was a Vickers Vimy biplane powered by two Rolls Royce Eagle VIII engines of three hundred and fifty horse power each.

After sixteen hours and twenty-eight minutes they crash-landed in the Derrygimlagh bog, close to the Marconi station having mistaken the soft ground for hard ground and won a 10,000 prize offered by London's Daily Mail newspaper for the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic. This event is best described in the words of Albert Millar who was eight years old at the time:

"I was getting ready to go to Sunday School when I heard a commotion and rushed out onto the street. 1 looked up and saw this thing flying very low between the houses. The pilot was waving down. According to John Alcock he was looking for a place to land and saw what he thought was a green field, but was in fact the bog.

After Sunday school I came home and the whole family drove out in my father' s pony trap to the bog. As we walked up the railway line (which l inked the Marconi station with the road) we met two farmers coming down. My Father asked did they see the plane. 'We did, Sir, it's a hell of a yoke'. 1 ran ahead of my parents and saw the plane lying in the bog. 1 ran back and said 'I've seen the hell of a yoke lying in the bog but it has no wheels'."

The rest is history. Both Alcock and Brown were knighted by King George. On the Errislannan pen insula is a monument, shaped like a tail-fin, to commemorate this flight. The monument points down to the exact spot in the bog where Alcock and Brown landed.

Click on this link to learn about the Vimy Project in 2004