Lily Cove was the main attraction at the 1906 Haworth Gala, where strapped to a harness she was to ascend in a gas filled balloon to a height above the crowd, jump from the balloon and land using a parachute.
On the Saturday of the Gala there were problems with the balloon and it was postponed. On Monday 11th June they tried again and were successful, Lily Cove ascended high above the crowd. However very soon she got into trouble and somehow became separated from her parachute and hit the ground, dying shortly after.
Nobody knows why she became detached from her parachute. It has been speculated that the harness may have been tampered with, a relationship with another man causing jealousy. It has also been suggested that as she was approaching Ponden reservoir she feared the balloon might descend into the water, rather than drown she decided to jump.
A verdict of accidental death is recorded, why she came detached from the harness remains a mystery. Her grave is at Haworth Cemetery, Cemetery Rd next to Penistone Hill Country Park.