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.

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

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.

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

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


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 .

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.

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


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.


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.

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.

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.

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

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.

1956 June 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.

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. 

Copyright David Wardell

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4 thoughts on “Charles Henry Lutman(1st) and his descendants – a family of aviators

  1. Ray Urwin says:

    What a fascinating article, thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I knew about the aircraft factory on Grandstand Road.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Hi Daniel. I met you yesterday at the Priory Hotel in Caerleon. I was one of Henry’s friends from schooldays in York in the 1960s. At yesterday’s coffee gathering, I mentioned to Emily that I had found this article on the internet a couple of weeks ago when I couldn’t get in contact with Lol and I was trying to get the funeral details.
      Emily knew absolutely nothing about her family’s aviation and modelling history in Newcastle. Do you have a contact number for her? If you do, she would be delighted to learn what you know.
      With my best wishes to you both
      Bob King

  2. Denise Koisser says:

    my Great – Grandmother was Lily Lutman ! she was my Grandfather’s (Roland Pugh) mother.

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