George Herbert Volk
George Herbert Volk (10 May 1881 in Brighton - ?), known as "Bert", was a British automobile and general engineer noted as a pioneer builder of seaplanes. He is also the second son of Magnus Volk, who built Volk's Electric Railway, and Anna Volk (born Banfield).
George Herbert's younger brother Conrad wrote a biography of their father, in which he recalls George Herbert attending a dame school in Walton-on-Thames. In March 1902 George Herbert sailed for South Africa and he later served in Zululand with the Natal Mounted Rifles. During this period he farmed at Mooi River (town) near Durban and in January 1908 married Annie Hephzibah "Hephie" Rosanna. He returned to Brighton in 1909 and in March traveled to Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques in France, where Louis Bleriot - who was to make his famous Channel flight a few years later - had started a Flight Training school.
In 1910–12 he worked in a small workshop at 86 Gloucester Road, situated in the North Laine district of Brighton. In this workshop he repaired cars, and also made parts for engines, wings, floats, and fabric bodies for seaplanes. Once assembled, they were taken to Volk's carriage sheds on the beach at Paston Place, to an arch which was known as Volk's Seaplane Station. The Banjo Groyne at Paston Place was also home to his father's short-lived Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway, which ran east from here. From Paston Place, seaplanes were carried down to Brighton beach and launched into the sea. Noted seaplane pioneer John Cyril Porte also worked at the Seaplane Station. George Herbert also worked for Shoreham Airport during this period.
In 1912 famous air pioneer Claude Graham White, who later built the Hendon Aerodrome in London, brought his seaplane on a lorry to Volk's sheds and gave demonstrations. On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the government requisitioned the tiny seaplane base at Paston Place. In 1913 George Herbert returned to Natal.
- Volk, Conrad. Magnus Volk of Brighton. (London: Phillimore, 1971) 111.
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- Maureen Brand, http://www.nlcaonline.org.uk/page_id__252_path__0p17p165p158p110p.aspx
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- Carder, Tim. Encyclopedia of Brighton. http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page_id__8896_path__0p115p212p1677p.aspx
- 1913 - 1049.pdf Reference to Mr Volk and Flying Boats in Aviation History 1913, Flight Global site