Monday, 14 March 2016

Flying Through the 30s: A one day symposium on air travel and interwar Britain.

16 April 2016
The Aerodrome Hotel, Croydon Airport


9:45 – 10:15 Coffee and Registration

10:15 – 10:30 Welcome Address
Peter Skinner (Croydon Airport Society): ‘History of Croydon Airport and the Jimmy Jeffs' Collection’

10:30 – 11:30 ‘Flying into the Unknown’
Luke Seaber (UCL): ‘“Upon its glittering lake /Lie Europe and its islands”: The     “Groundmindedness” of Auden and Others in the ’30s’
Daniel Kilburn (UCL): ‘A pilot’s perspective on the formation of modern airmindedness through the 1930s’
Henry K Miller (Cambridge/Anglia Ruskin/Slade): ‘Lumière Comes to Croydon’

11:30 – 11:45 Coffee and Tea Break
Jacky Pett will introduce her display of archival material and book about her father’s work with Imperial Airways in the 1930s.

11:45 – 12:45 ‘Aviation Fever’
Rebecca Harrison (UEA) and Rachel Kapelke-Dale (UCL): ‘Sweethearts of the Skies:     
Gender, National Identity and the “Aviatrix”’
Kathryn Simpson (Cardiff Metropolitan University): ‘Taking Flight: The Literal and Literary          Flights of Lady Mary Heath and Virginia Woolf’
Francis Dyson (UEA): ‘Egypt and Back with Imperial Airways: Ruth Stuart's Passion for Air         Travel’

12:45 – 13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 14:30 Tour of Croydon Airport and Museum

14:30 – 15:45 ‘Tension in the Air’
Derek Ryan (University of Kent): ‘Bunny in the Air: David Garnett, Flight and Animality’
Sarah Fill (Royal Holloway): ‘The Aerial Vision of Paul Nash’
Simon Goulding (Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust): ‘Look to the           Skies! Orwell, Warner and the Coming New War’
John Higgins (University of Stirling, retired): ‘A Novelist's View of Flying for Fun’

15:45 – 16:00 Coffee and Tea Break

16:00 – 17:00 ‘Flying Business’
Michael McCluskey (UCL): ‘Croydon Calling: The Documentary Aerodrome’
Nicola Darwood (University of Bedfordshire): ‘Flying Dangerously: Elizabeth Bowen’s To the       North
Guy Woodward (Maynooth University): ‘A Solar Emperor: Robert Byron Flies East’

17:00 – 17:30 Roundtable Discussion
All presenters and audience members are invited to speak about the day, share memories and stories of Croydon Airport, make connections between papers, and consider ideas for future collaborations.

£35 Standard
£30 Speakers
£25 Students

Registration fee includes three-course lunch, coffee and tea breaks, and tour of the Croydon Airport Museum.

To register:   (Search: Flying through the ’30s)

How to get here:
The symposium will be held at The Aerodrome Hotel (part of the Hallmark Hotel chain), Purley Way, Croydon, CR9 4LT

The hotel is just next to the Croydon Airport Visitor Centre.

By Train
Waddon is the nearest station and a 10 minute walk to the hotel/airport. We have found this to
be the most direct route from London. Trains leave from Victoria, and Oyster cards are acceptable to Waddon and on return. Out of Waddon Station turn right then turn left onto Purley Way. The Aerodrome Hotel will be on right.  The 289 bus also goes from Waddon Station to Croydon Airport.

Purley is 10 minutes from the airport/hotel by 289 bus.

East Croydon is 20 minutes from central London and then 15 minutes to the airport/hotel by the 119 bus.

By Bus
Bus routes that serve Croydon Airport are the 289 and 119. Buses stop outside Croydon Airport/TheAerodrome Hotel or across the road at The Colonnades.

Dr Michael McCluskey (UCL)
Dr Luke Seaber (UCL)
Dr Amara Thornton (UCL)
Dr Debbie Challis (Croydon Airport Society)


Friday, 12 February 2016

The Tragedy of Airship R101

On 5 October 1930, the Airship R101 left Britain and crushed in Northern France. Forty-six passengers and crew on board burnt to death, including Sir Sefton Bracker and others at the top of the Air Ministry. It was a shocking catastrophe and stopped the idea of airships being a viable alternative to airplanes in Britain. The idea had been that R101 would fly to India and, due in part to its large size, would not need as many stops for fuel as an aircraft making a similar journey. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Flight Travel Necessities 1930s Style

On longhaul flights today passengers often get 'amenity kits', usually containing things like an eye mask, toothbrush and paste, socks, a freshening up wipe and blanket. This is not a recent phenomenon. When I was repacking some of our Imperial Airways archives on Mondays, I found the objects on the left all packaged together in what seems to be an 'amenities kit' from the 1930s.

The packet appears to be a flannel still in its wrappings. In addition there is a luggage tag, matches (smoking was only banned on most UK flights in the mid 1990s), a pencil, lavender smelling tubes from 'Boots', and eau de cologne. An insight in to what the passengers below on an Imperial Airways HP-42 (Hengist) would have had when flying? In fact, you can see a few of the passengers smoking, so the matches would have been useful!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Olley Air Services and Geoffrey Keating

Captain Gordon P. Olley seated at his desk
The photograph to the right was taken by Geoffrey Keating, staff photographer for The Daily Sketch, in 1937. The Society's archive include a letter from Keating accompanying the photographs to Captain Gordon P. Olley. They were commissioned to promote Olley's new airline Olley Air Services shortly after it began business. The photographs below give a wonderful view of air travel in the 1930s and, among other things, passengers on a Olley Air Services' plane; a passenger being weighed at check in; Captain J.F.D. Scott reading the weather; a pilot preparing for take off; the Misses Boakes (sisters) cleaning the plane.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Academic Symposium on Croydon Airport in the 1930s

The first academic symposium on Croydon Airport (that we know of anyway) is going to be held on 16 April 2016 at the original Aerodrome Hotel (Croydon Hallmark) next door to the airport. We are very excited about this as it is an opportunity to explore the history of the airport across lots of different areas with expert minds.