Britain's First Female Daredevil Balloonist and Parachutist
Lily's ghost is said to haunt the Old White Lion Hotel (Room Number 7) where she was taken after her death.
Lily Cove of London England was a lovely 21 year old woman who wore bloomers or knickers under her skirts. She would dramatically throw off her skirts before she ascended in the hot air balloon.
In 1906 Lily was to ascend in a gas filled balloon to a height above the crowd and using a parachute jump out to the amazement of all attending the Haworth Gala.
Although her event was postponed due to a problem with the balloon for a day, on Monday June 11th Lily decided to move forward. Sadly, when she jumped she became disconnected with her parachute and fell to her death.
A verdict of accidental death is recorded but mystery surrounds her death as a possible act of jealousy from a former suitor to a deliberate act by her to avoid the possibility of drowning in the Ponden reservoir near Scar Top.
A newspaper article in the Hawera & Normanby Star, August 27, 1906 stated: "At the inquest at Howarth, evidence was given that deceased, being no swimmer, and fearing the possibility of falling into a large reservoir, probably detached some of the equipment, and somehow lost hold of the rope, tumbling head foremost about a hundred feet. The jury found a verdict of "Death by misadventure," and decided to memorialise the Home Secretary in favor of making such exhibitions illegal."
Her stone which was paid for by the residents of Haworth reads:
In Loving Memory of Elizabeth Mary, (Miss Lily Cove, Parachutist). Daughter of Thomas Charles Cove of London who died June 11th 1906, Aged 21 Years
(Miss Lily Cove,
Thomas Charles Cove
Who Died June 11th 1906,
Aged 21 Years.