Ballooning was a popular sport in early 20th century Britain; Hurlingham (an exclusive club in Fulham) hosted races most weekends during the summer of 1914, inevitably attracting the attention of the newsreels. Elegant ladies and top-hatted gentlemen gaze on as men are hoisted into the balloon's basket before it slowly, effortlessly ascends. The final shot reveals two majestic balloons in flight.
The Mortimer Singer's Cup was a long-distance race organised by the Royal Aero Club. The 1914 contest, which took place on June 27th, was won by Mr John Dunville, piloting 'Banshee', who made it as far as Folkestone in a single flight. Having been set up as a recreational club for aeronautical enthusiasts, the Royal Aero Club changed its priorities in the years leading up to World War I. Before 1915 the British military had few flying schools, and most military pilots took their Aviator Certificates with the Royal Aero Club. Aeronautical antics are the subject of countless newsreels, which eagerly lapped up upper-class leisure pursuits and sporting contests.