Tuesday 11 November 2014

Little Gnome Weather Fact #6 Armistice Day and Mushy Peas

November 11th 1938 How good weather and a  promotional flight ended up in court.

November 11th 1938 and a  Captain Michelmore is under contract with the mushy pea manufacturer Batchelor’s to advertise their product by trailing a banner behind his biplane aircraft over Manchester.

Poor weather had grounded him in previous days. His contract says that he must contact Batchelor’s before each flight. However in those days phones were often not reliable and he cannot contact Batchelor’s.

On this day the weather is good so at mid morning he takes off but he has forgotten one detail, at the stroke of 11.00 o’clock the crowd in Salford`s main square bow their heads and remain silent to commemorate armistice day.

At precisely this moment Captain Michelmore arrives overhead with the aircraft engine roaring and the banner telling people to ‘Eat Batchelor’s Peas’

The two minute silence finishes and Batchelor’s head office is jammed with complaints.

An action for defamation and breach of contract follows. The case sets a precedent for recovery of damages in breaches of contract cases.

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