The Balloon Factory
‘Frater is a reliable, informed and entertaining navigator. He soars confidently across the centuries, between abandoned aerodromes and Scottish estates, from one delightful anecdote to another’ Sunday Times
At the heart of his story lies the balloon factory, a cathedral-sized shed overlooking Farnborough Common, and its most celebrated occupant, the remarkable long-haired gun-toting ex-cowboy, Sam Cody.
Frater, in a work that is part history, part travelogue, goes in search of some of the most extraordinary pioneers, including Sam Cody, John William Dunne, Sir George Cayley and Geoffrey De Havilland. His richly described and wonderfully anecdotal journey brings those magnificent men, the rock stars of their time, and the places they knew vibrantly to life.
‘Frater’s book is a treasure chest of facts wrapped in anecdotes . . . The Balloon Factory should be purchased in bulk by BA and substituted for the glossy in-flight magazine’ Literary Review
‘The Balloon Factory is the rarest of things – a thorough overview of a subject that manages to remain enjoyable and entertaining throughout.’ BBC Focus magazine