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Charles Henry Lutman(1st) and his descendants – a family of aviators

Charles Henry Lutman Discovering Heritage

Charles Henry Lutman 2nd 1930 – 1995

Charles Henry Lutman photographed above lived in Gosforth during the 60s and 70s. His family have a rich association with early flight, beginning with an 1899 flying machine built in a back yard and followed by early flight attempts from Newcastle Town Moor. The family went on to have a long and successful attachment to Newcastle through eighty years of trading as The Model Shop which can trace its family heritage back through three generations. In this exceptionally detailed post David Wardell follows the Lutman family from 1873 to 1995.

N.B.   within this article the members of this family with the same forenames are designated as (1st ) or (2nd )  etc.  to help with identifying them. You will also find references to Q1 ,2, 3 or 4. This refers to the first, second, third and fourth quarter of the year.

A partial family tree for Charles William(1st)  Lutman

Charles Henry(1st ) Lutman was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire in 24th July 1873 .  He was the son of  Charles William(1st ) Lutman a Pawnbroker’s Manager and Ellen Humphrey’s , his wife of 91, Bright Street, Attercliffe cum Darnall, Yorkshire, England.

Sources Censuses And 1939 Register and an Ancestry family tree

Birth Registration Charles Henry(1st) LUTMAN  1873 Q3 Sheffield

In 1881 the census shows the family were living at Attercliffe Common , Attercliffe cum Darnal , Sheffield.   Father Charles William(1st) Lutman is shown as a Pawnbroker’s Manager and mother Ellen is not working .  Charles Henry(1st )  is a scholar

Census 1881 (over two pages 332 & 330)

The 1891 census reveals that Charles Henry(1st) Lutman aged 17 years is now a spring plate forger and his mother Ellen Lutman a widowed milk dealer , his father now deceased. They are living still at 68, Attercliffe Common, Attercliffe cum Darnal, Sheffield.

Census 1891 ,  68,Attercliffe Common,  Attercliffe cum Darnal, Sheffield

In 1897 Q2  Charles Henry(1st ) Lutman married Rosetta JUBB at Sheffield.  Rosetta was a local girl , the daughter of Thomas and Harriet Jubb

Marriage to Rosetta JUBB 1897 Q2  Sheffield 19th April 1897

Children of William Lutman and Ellen Humphreys

  • Charles Henry (1st) 24th July 1873
  • Albert Edward 1876 – 1934
  • Florence Emily 1878 -1970
  • Lily Ellen 1881 – 1967


Charles Henry(1st) Lutman’s flying machine, 1899 . He invented and built this aircraft in his backyard chasing the big monetary  prize for the first man-powered flight.

The 1901 census lists Charles Henry(1st ) incorrectly as Charles Wm.  Charles is now shown as a railway spring fitter . Rosetta does not appear to be working . They now have a son  Charles Wm. ( – William )(2nd )  just 2 years old .   Charles Henry’s mother in law Harriet Dawes (a twice married – widow aged 68) , and brother in law Albert Jubb aged 35 (single) are living with them. Albert is a tile grinder.  They are still at Attercliffe cum Darnal but have moved to 15,Wilfrid Road.

Children of Charles Henry(1st ) Lutman and Rosetta Jubb

  • Charles William (2nd) Lutman b. 4th May 1898 at 24 Ellison Street, Sheffield,  Yorkshire, England
  • Albert Lutman b. 6th Sept 1903
  • Frank Lutman b. 1905 d. 1984
  • Reginald Lutman . 6th August 1908 d. 1974
  • Arthur Henry ~(just 2..) b. 31st August 1908 d. 1974


It was said that  Charles Henry(1st ) Lutman had attempted flight on Newcastle town moor even before the Wright brothers. Charles Henry (1st) Lutman, reputed to be the youngest pilot in the country, and his brother, Albert Edward, entered a powered flight competition on the Town Moor in 1903. Unfortunately they did not win but continued with their interest in flight. However flying efforts had scared the grazing cattle on the town moor and all future flying attempts on the town moor at that time , were stopped by the controlling Newcastle Freemen. All future flying was diverted to Gosforth Park racecourse and aerodrome .

From early flight posters

By 1911 the family have moved again to 4,Berkeley Terrace, Newburn, Northumberland – just outside Newcastle upon Tyne. Charles Henry(1st)  is listed as a spring maker at a steel works. Rosetta is still not working. They now have five sons.  Charles William(2nd) 12, Albert 8, Frank 6, Reginald 4 and Arthur Henry just 2. All were born in Sheffield.

Census 1911  4,Berkeley Terrace, Newburn

Charles Henry(1st) Lutman became a major importer of balsa wood in the late 1800’s which was used for making model aeroplanes, balsa wood being light and having a very high strength to weight ratio of any other material available at that time. Scale models of larger aircraft were often produced for testing first in wind tunnels before the full size craft was produced.

Charles William (2nd)  Lutman

b.4/5/1898   d. 29/10/1969

Born from 24 Ellison Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England on 4th May 1898 to Charles Henry Lutman and Rosetta Jubb.   

Charles William(2nd) married Elizabeth J Hartley at The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Ridley Terrace, Scotswood Newcastle upon Tyne in  July 1925 Q3 living at 1 Beacon Road, Newton on the Moor .  Described as Engineer in a coalmine at Ashington. They had two children . 

Children of Charles William2 Lutman &  Elizabeth J Hartley

  • Charles Henry (2nd) Lutman 1930 – 1935
  • Glenda Lutman 1935 – 2014

Birth Regn. Charles Henry(2nd) LUTMAN 1930 Q3


In 1924  Charles William(2nd) Lutman opened ‘The Model Shop’ in Barras Bridge in  Newcastle, which was said to be the first model shop in the World. The Model Shop supplied balsa wood to the Air Ministry and several aeronautical companies.  Those working on the full size aeroplanes normally had to sign the Official Secrets Act, but no one bothered about the model makers who produced  a rubber motor powered flying model plane for sale to the public.

Paraphrased from an article in the Evening Chronicle – by Ray Marshall  21 Oct 2009


By 1939 the National Register shows the Charles Henry (1st ) Lutman’s family living at 80 Westmacott Street, Newburn. Charles is a laminated spring maker. Rosetta is at home on unpaid domestic duties and son Frank (single) is a tool – maker-model aeroplanes. 

Their dates of birth are given in the register as:

  • Charles Henry (1st) 24th July 1873
  • Rosetta 3rd May 1876
  • Frank 13th April 1905

Charles Henry(2nd) Lutman a schoolboy aged 9  Staying at Brokenheugh Cottages,  Hexham. with  Cecil Temperley (a tractorman) and Jane his wife. Other residents have been redacted since they may still be alive. Probably Charles has been evacuated here for the war.

In 1936 an article appeared in the Evening Chronicle about Charles William (2nd ) Lutman.He had been flying a large scale model of  an aeroplane with a wingspan of 4’ 6” , said to incorporate revolutionary and powerful features during a competition with the Newcastle Model Aero Club on the town moor. After climbing to 800 feet the plane had disappeared in the direction of the Royal Victoria Infirmary and was later found in Strawberry Lane having been in the air for around an estimated 45 minutes and thus reckoned to have beaten the current record by seven minutes. The plane had incorporated the ‘bird theory’ and thermal gliding principles, and at first when it disappeared it was suspected of having been stolen for the revolutionary ideas it incorporated. Charles William (2nd) decided to patent these improvements.

Two articles about Charles William (2nd ) Lutman

Newcastle Journal 06 October 1936      Newcastle Evening Chronicle 19 Nov 1940

1940. A visit to Lutman’s model making factory had been made by the reporter who described seeing highly detailed models including a Spitfire and a Messerschmidt B.F.W.M.E 109. As well as being in great demand by schools and boys alike there had also been high demand from R.A.F. depots all over the country for these models, many being used as mascots in the real planes. These models were made up of over 300 individual parts and built exactly to scale. Mr Lutman had been designing and building model aircraft since he was a young boy and he said that 3 years previously one of his planes had flown from Newcastle Town Moor round Shiremoor to Forest Hall making a three hour non-stop flight. This was a world record.

1940  Death of Charles Henry (1st ) Lutman

At Leazes Wing, RVI Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.  Age: 67 

Described as Spring works manager. C W Lutman in attendance 8 Fairfield Road. Son, 

1969 Death of Charles William (2nd) Lutman

Death of Charles William Lutman (1898) 29th Oct 1969 of   729 West Road, Newcastle death at RVI Newcastle from a. Exsanguination, b. Ruptured aortic aneurism lnformant – Charles Henry, son.

Probate Charles William(2nd) LUTMAN 7th Jan 1970

Charles Henry (2nd) Lutman b. 1930

Born on 15th July 1930 at Ashington  the son of Charles William(2nd) Lutman,  Charles Henry (2nd) known to his friends as Charlie, was another keen aviator. This time however it was not just an interest in model aeroplanes but instead a desire to fly the real things. Charles Henry (2nd) Lutman obtained his pilot’s licence in 1948 at the early age of 17 ½ years claiming to be the youngest pilot in the country as reported in the local press.

Charles’ Royal Aero Club Aviator’s Certificate 1948.

On 21st July 1954 Charles Henry (2nd) Lutman passed out as a pilot in the University Squadron, at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk.

Charles front row 1st on left (recorded incorrectly on photo).

Jan 1949

RAF, Wittering, Northamptonshire, England. 607 Squadron No 25 Pilot Course

RAF Wittering located in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, is the main operating base and headquarters for the RAF A4 Force and is a major Station for flying training. The A4 Force deploys the vital engineering and logistic support needed to sustain RAF operations and exercises around the world, from explosive ordnance disposal to catering, and aircraft repair to ground transport vehicles.

Jun 1956

International Netherlands Trophy was presented to Charles for winning the event.

1957 Worked as a pilot with BKS airlines from Newcastle Airport known as BKS Air Transport until 1970 when it became Northeast Airlines (NEA) – – it was an airline based in the United Kingdom that operated from 1952 until 1976, when NEA’s operations and fleet were merged into British Airways.

1961  on 23rd Oct at Saint Anne’s Church, Dunbar. Charles Henry (2nd) married. Banns were read by Rev Edmund Ivens . Her parents living at 41 High Street, Dunbar. Charles Henry (2nd) Lutman married Patricia Barnett. Patricia (Pat) was from the Barnett family who  many will recall owned the High Class grocery business on St.Georges Terrace in Jesmond.

Charles’ wife Pat worked for many years running the Model Shop.

Board of Directors for Model Shop

Pre – WWII advert. For Model Shop

Death Charles Henry Lutman Oct 1940 Q4

The Lutman family, proud of their family’s heritage with regards to the development of the Spitfire Plane subsequently opened the Lutman Aero Works which today manufactures half-size Lutman Spitfire MK XII’s for memorials and garden sculptures for enthusiasts.

Model kits produced by the Model Shop were of a very high quality compared to many others,  which allowed  model makers to build high-performance and detailed scale replicas. 

By the mid-60s Charles William (2nd) Lutman’s daughter-in-law, Pat, ran the shop at which his grandson (and Pat’s husband), Charles Henry (2nd) Lutman, a commercial airline pilot, sometimes assisted when not flying. Pat and Charles’s  two sons later joined the business.  

The Model Shop closed down in 2005 with sales of more than a million model aircraft during it’s  80 years reign in Newcastle managed by three generations of the Lutman family.

Charlie Lutman, the BKS pilot, was a very well-known local character in Gosforth , but developed extremely poor vision becoming partially sighted and had to stop flying.

Charles Henry Lutman (2nd)  Died 11th Oct 1995

At Conrad House, Newcastle On Tyne. Aged 65.  Home address-Whintings, Tranwell Woods.

Copyright David Wardell

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Ian Lennox Gosforth Author Spotlight!

Westfield Avenue Ian Lennox Gosforth Author Spotlight

It is one of the most intriguing notions when we research a house history to imagine what went on behind the front door. In this guest post, we are delighted to be able to give you a glimpse of life behind the door of one such house on Westfield Avenue.

Ian Lennox was brought up in the “leafy suburb of Gosforth” and is the author of several books including The Sixties Man and Bare Knuckle, based around Newcastle. Marley’s Weapon his latest novel is now available on Kindle.

Ian Lennox Gosforth Author Spotlight Marley's Weapon Book Cover

Marley’s Weapon

It’s the Sixties and newspapers are still enjoying a boom. Young reporters still knock on doors and dream of careers on the Nationals.

Noel Marley isn’t one of them. He seems content to be one of life’s losers and endures the sneers and sniggers of his ambitious colleagues.

Then one day, John Drury, one of the alpha males, humiliates him gratuitously in front of the whole office and Marley decides to fight back.

His choice of weapon is a clattering old typewriter that sounds like a machine gun. Marley’s Weapon doesn’t use bullets, just words.

Drury writes reviews and features. Marley writes letters to the paper attacking them. He knows he’s winning the battle. But can he win the war and launch a new career?

We are sure like us you are eager to read more, so here is the link! 

Please read on and enjoy the colourful memories Ian has of teenage life and early adulthood in Gosforth.

The Magistrates Court

I was eighteen years old when I was sent to cover my first magistrates court at North Shields. The youth in the dock was charged with burglary and I stared at him and thought, ‘Hmmm, so this is what a criminal looks like.’

A few months later I was pursued outside the same court by three ladies of the night who shouted ‘Just because you’re big don’t think you’re tough. We’ll get the dockers on to you.’

Not surprisingly, I suppose, they objected to free publicity in the evening paper about their activities.

I mention these two anecdotes to emphasise the hapless state I found myself in after my upbringing in the leafy suburb of Gosforth. There was a world going on outside which no one had told me about.

Gosforth wasn’t entirely an island of innocence. I seem to remember one lady about whom there were whispers, that spread to even my virginal ears. Indeed, her reputation for being a bit of a goer was sharply enhanced when by chance we were passengers in a car which was driven past a past a building site.

 ‘Good God! That man’s got a TORSO,’ she exclaimed. I followed her gaze to a large shirtless workman shovelling cement. Hmmm!

Westfield Avenue

Westfield Avenue taken some years ago Copyright Ian Lennox

I lived in Westfield Avenue, in a fourteen roomed terraced house in which each door had its own sound shutting. The front door was never locked. We never felt the need. In any case my father, a former England University rugby player, was worth about three pit bulls as evidenced one night when some youthful party goer foolishly threw an orange through his bedroom window. I, who had been fully clothed, emerged first into a silent empty street. My father who had had to dress and smash his way through three doors and a hat stand, followed five seconds later ready to fight anyone or even a lamppost if there was nothing else.

 ‘Search the gardens,’ he roared.

Seconds later, a trembling young man emerged with his hands above his head. He offered to repair the window that afternoon in exchange for his life. He kept his word and my father later declared he ‘was quite a nice chap, actually.’

Occasionally my father gave me a glimpse of his rugby playing days. It seemed to involve lots of fighting on the pitch and lots of friendship and drinking off it.

One time, the local sports reporter got so drunk he couldn’t write his copy. He asked my dad to send in a report. ‘So I did,’ dad told me. He paused. ‘Mind you, I had a hell of a game.’

The 1950s

Cars were far between in the fifties and we played in the street. At the bottom of our road, Westfield stretched down to Oaklands creating part of the crossroads on which there was wasteland on each corner.  Grass and nettles grew three feet or more and this is where we played as happy as posh pagans. Just William wasn’t in it.

Large concrete anti-tank blocks stretched along one plot. Across the adjacent Dukes Moor, the blocks stretched right up the Grandstand Road. We used to leap from one to another. I had no knowledge of tactics for tank warfare, but as far as I could judge, the blocks seemed designed to send invading Panzers up the Grandstand Road and far away from my house.

It was on the Dukes Moor that I was stricken hopelessly with my first and most potent romance. For weeks I’d adored a girl at school but was too shy to approach her ethereal presence.  I was seventeen and one Saturday I went to watch a gymkhana on the moor despite feeling vaguely threatened by horses who seemed to have large teeth and larger feet. Suddenly the girl appeared from the Grandstand Road end with her two sisters. She spotted me from 100 yards and waved a vigorous welcome. We sat side by side chatting all afternoon and I remember the elder sister, who must have been in her early twenties smiling in approval. I had an innocent, angelic face and she must have estimated that I was at least a year away from being a moral threat to her pretty sister.

She was correct. I think we lasted one chaotic date, but hell, the journey was more important than the destination and the surge of joy when she waved to me that afternoon sustained me through many a future ephemeral relationship.

Musical Prodigy?

My mother’s parents were wealthy and they lived in a huge house in Osbaldeston Gardens.  They had three children and a grand piano (and other things, obviously!) My mum was a brilliant pianist, as was her brother James Gibb who went on to play at the proms and become a professor at the Guildhall School of Music in London. My mum inherited the piano and during the war it served as a bomb shelter for yours truly at our home in Sanderson Road, Jesmond. That was the only use I had for it, unfortunately. My mother, whose heart, obviously ruled her head and all other critical faculties, decided that I had ‘pianist’s hands.’ I was sent for lessons at my prep school where my uncle Jimmy had formerly been a pupil. I believe the poor woman who taught me knew of my pedigree and must have dreamed of great things as the ‘prodigy’ strode in for his first lesson. If I was writing the incident as fiction, I would have her sobbing quietly after ten minutes, and writing my end-of-term report with the words, ‘quite good at rugby.’

Ian Lennox Gosforth Author Spotlight
Mrs. Lennox (Ian’s mum) and the Grand Piano at Osbaldeston Gardens copyright Ian Lennox

Dedication to Louisa

As Fiona mentioned in a prelim post I have just finished my seventh novel. It’s called Marley’s Weapon and is set in a newspaper office in the Sixties. One of the important characters is an old lady called Nan. When writing fiction, sometimes you base characters on real people without realising it. Nan is more than an echo of Louisa who came from an impoverished background before starting work as a maid for my grandmother. She and mum became the closest friends and Louisa was the sweetest kindest, most generous soul I met in my life. Her fiancé was killed in the Great War. I think I was the son she never had. When I was about fifteen, I rode home from school each lunch time. One day she took a picture of me and I one of her. These are they. 

Ian Lennox Gosforth Author Spotlight in the garden aged 15
Ian Lennox (Author) Aged 15 copyright Ian Lennox
Ian Lennox Gosforth Author Spotlight Louisa in the garden
Louisa copyright Ian Lennox

I am 77 now and Louisa died fifty years ago. I and my sisters visit her grave every year. The family told me that there is a picture of me buried with her. Did I mind? NO!

Marley’s Weapon is probably my last novel and I have dedicated it to Louisa in the opening pages. It seems a good beginning and a good end.

Copyright Ian Lennox

Marley’s Weapon

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