Not in Canada!

Pilot - - AIRMAIL -

Still de­bat­ing whether to write – re­gret­ting that you don’t have a des­ig­nated pedants’ cor­ner – but here goes.

Very in­ter­est­ing re­view of Yes­ter­day we were in Amer­ica but one word gave a bit of a jolt. ‘Once at St John’s in Canada, other fliers…’ At that time, St John’s was not in Canada, it was cap­i­tal of a sep­a­rate UK colony. New­found­land and Lab­o­rador only joined Canada af­ter a ref­er­en­dum in 1948 – which was only nar­rowly in favour of join­ing Canada. (I spent the sum­mer of 1966 as air­craft dis­patcher at a med­i­cal mis­sion in North New­found­land, and the heated de­bate was still go­ing on!)

Triv­ial point and over­all very much en­joy monthly treat of the ar­rival of Pi­lot.

Pa­trick Earle by email

How good to see men­tion of the cen­te­nary of Al­cock and Brown`s great epic feat of en­durance men­tioned by Dave Un­win in Pi­lot, June 2019. But why is no­body com­mem­o­rat­ing this event (noth­ing in ‘Cal­en­dar', other than an event at Brook­lands with their Vimy replica?) Even the Sci­ence Mu­seum, which has the orig­i­nal aero­plane has noth­ing planned! Com­pare this to Ire­land which has planned ma­jor cel­e­bra­tions and even gone to the trou­ble of ‘bor­row­ing’ the Al­cock & Brown statue from Heathrow.

The Royal Aero­nau­ti­cal So­ci­ety has a pre­sen­ta­tion at its London HQ on 3 June ‘A Cen­tury of Transat­lantic Fly­ing’. Hal­ton Aero­plane Club is hold­ing a Young Fly­ers Event to com­mem­o­rate on Fri­day 14 June (the date in 1919 that Al­cock & Brown took off from New­found­land) and on the cer­tifi­cates awarded to the chil­dren for­tu­nate enough to get a flight will be a note about the epic 1919 event. At least the Daily Mail, as an orig­i­nal pro­moter of early aviation, has given some recog­ni­tion of Al­cock & Brown`s achieve­ment with a two-page fea­ture in the is­sue pub­lished on Satur­day 25 May.

My per­sonal in­ter­est re­lates to Sir Arthur Whit­ton Brown's ashes be­ing in­terred at St Mar­garet’s Church, Tyler’s Green (near High

Wy­combe). I re­cently vis­ited the RAF Mu­seum at Cos­ford and was for­tu­nate to see the ‘Twin­kle­toes’ cat mas­cot that ac­com­pa­nied Brown on their epic At­lantic cross­ing.

Al­most as in­ept are Bri­tish Air­ways’ cel­e­bra­tion of their cen­te­nary: Air­craft Trans­port & Travel just about gets a men­tion, but noth­ing of the vi­sion­ary Ge­orge Holt Thomas who cre­ated the air­line (and was also the driv­ing force be­hind the cre­ation of IATA). And BA’S ideas of his­tor­i­cal colour schemes from the six­ties/sev­en­ties are hardly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a cen­tury.

When en­quir­ing why Bri­tish Air­ways did not give greater recog­ni­tion to Holt Thomas I was told “he was no more im­por­tant than many other in­di­vid­u­als in aviation his­tory”. Ex­cept that that he is con­sid­ered the true founder of Civil Air Trans­port on which Bri­tish Air­ways are bas­ing their cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tion!

Dave Scott by email

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