CHILDREN playing out in Stanbury one fine June evening in 1906 saw a great brown balloon float high overhead, with a young woman in a white blouse and black knee-length trousers sat swinging her legs on a seat hanging beneath.

Shortly afterwards a cart trundled through the village bearing her dead body.

Miss Lily Cove, from East London, had been making parachute descents for two years, employed and trained by Captain Frederick Bidmead, himself “the hero of 400 balloon ascents and 83 parachute descents”. She had jumped at Cambridge the previous week.

That June evening she had ascended from the annual gala promoted by the Haworth and Oxenhope United Friendly Societies and Tradesmen’s Association. But during her descent near Ponden Reservoir, she had unbuckled herself from her parachute and plunged to her death.

Nobody knows why. She had probably feared landing in the reservoir, meaning to hold on till the last minute but losing her grip.

Haworth folk subscribed towards her funeral expenses, and drew their blinds in sympathy. Carried shoulder-high from the White Lion Hotel by members of the gala committee, her coffin was laid to rest in a still-rural Haworth Cemetery.

More recently, somebody planted London’s Pride on her grave.