|The model of Hengist|
The Museum of Croydon does boast a model aircraft hanging from the ceiling to represent Croydon Airport and its importance in the local area in the 1920s and 30s. The model is that of Imperial Airways Handley Page (HP) 42 Hengist. These aircaft (HP 42) would have been seen regularly flying to and from Croydon Airport on the European (or West) route and the African and Indian (or East) routes for Imperial Airways Limited. There is more about the HP42 in this post from August.
|Hengist at Croydon Airport|
|An interior of an HP42|
However, Hengist also carried out a 'first': the first service from London to Brisbane in Australia - a joint venture between Imperial Airways and Quantas. It left Croydon on 8 December 1934 with the mail bag for Australia, containing letters from the King and Queen and Prince of Wales, and was scheduled to arrive there on 20 December. Unfortunately, Hengist was destroyed by a fire in Karachi in 1937 when a cleaner accidentally set off the flares on the plane; tragically Imperial Airways employee Doug Dugdale died in the fire too.
|Hengist at Karachi (before the fire!)|
Do take a respite from shopping and eating to visit the museum over the holiday period to see our exhibition, then look up to find the model of Hengist in the museum too.
Croydon Airport Calling is in various spaces at the Museum of Croydon from Tuesday 8 December to Saturday 9 January 2016 10.30am - 5pm. (Closed Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays).
The Croydon Airport Visitor Centre is next open on Sunday 3 January 2016.