BALLOONS floated into the air at Woodeaton at the weekend to mark the anniversary of a historic balloon landing 231 years ago.

Hundreds watched the release of 30 balloons in tribute to pioneering Oxford aeronaut James Sadler.

The Oxford pastry chef built and flew a hot air balloon from the city centre to Woodeaton on October 4, 1784.

Organiser Dave Dunphy, who wants to open a visitors’ centre in Oxpens celebrating Mr Sadler, said: “Sadler’s achievements were amazing. It would be like Paul Hollywood from the Great British Bake Off flying a rocket to the moon and coming back all on his own.

“Sadler was the only one of his contemporaries who flew a balloon and did not die during the flight, on take-off or when he landed.”