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Sadler 1810 balloon

On September 24, 1810, James Sadler and local chemist William Clayfield took off from Bristol in their hydrogen-filled balloon. At first the intrepid balloonists flew towards Leigh Down, where they proceeded to parachute a small basket containing a cat down to earth. Fortunately the cat, who was subsequently named 'Balloon' by the local doctor, seems to not to have suffered from the ordeal. The balloon continued on its flight passing over Clevedon before crossing the Bristol Channel towards Barry in South Wales where, fearing they would not make land before ditching in the sea, the men threw as much as they could out of the basket - including Mr Sadler's hat. The balloon drifted down the channel before landing on the sea about four miles off Combe Martin. Both men were then rescued by lifeboat.

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