Old Sydney Society Lecture – 28 November 2013


“I Often Wonder What Become of Her”: Beryl Markham’s Atlantic Crossing, September 5,1936. Abingdon, England to Baleine, Nova Scotia.

Charles Burke will Speak at the Next Meeting of the Old Sydney Society on 28 November 2013, 7:30 PM at the Centre for Heritage and Science (the Lyceum) in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

At 6:50 pm on Friday, September 4th 1936, the aviatrix Beryl Markham departed Abingdon Aerodrome in England in her small monoplane named “The Messenger”. Beryl was bound for Floyd Bennet Field in New York and a place in the aviation record books as the first woman to fly the dangerous westward route from England to North America solo. Shortly after noon on September 5th, the residents of Baleine heard the small plane coming from the east and watched as the Messenger circled the cove and descended into the bog beyond their homes. Beryl Markham had successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 21 hours and 25 minutes. Over the next few days, sightseers, journalists, mounted police officers, and eventually a salvage crew gathered in the village of Baleine to see the plane and watch its removal. The story of Beryl Markham’s Atlantic adventure is well known through contemporary newspaper coverage and from her own account many years after the event. Naturally some aspects of the story were modified by her publicists and generally the events as seen by the residents of Baleine are rarely known. This presentation will focus on Markham’s flight and on some of the lesser known people and facts  associated with her important 1936 landing in Cape Breton.


This talk will be steamed live at


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