Interesting picture of the Orion Viking G-AHOS, went on to join Air Safaris I believe and ended its days being broken up at Hurn in 1962. Seen under the nose in this photograph are some buildings, does anyone recall what use they served at the time the photo was taken. In later life were these the buildings used by a flying school - UCL or something like that? Stuart
Great to have you aboard, and as for Eagle taking the first photo, I can think of better deserving cause. Especially when you look at who gave us the great honour of unveiling the "Airlines of Blackbushe Airport" sign back in '13. No less than the Founder of Eagle Airways himself, Mr Harold Bamberg.
A great moment in time..
Harold Bamberg on the right with Simon Biddulph on the left. Simon, of course, so generously manufactured the sign after our long consultations as to its design and content. The bloke in the middle was feeling disgust with the weather having just received a face full of fresh rain water, nonetheless I was very happy!!
Long may our association with Eagle Airways be maintained!!
Here we see a bit of south side maintenance on Hermes G-ALDM circa Sept. 1957. This aircraft was on lease to Britavia from African Air Safaris. Scanned from an old print, original photographer not known.
Feeling a little more at home today, and thrilled at how our forum has burst into life thanks only to you wonderful people for joining up..
With a vast selection of material stored 'down there' in the vaults it's difficult knowing where to start. Maybe today we can simply reflect on the three ages of Blackbushe as covered in the Photo Libraries created this morning. Libraries should have some form of easy reference so some work will be necessary to improve things in that respect, but for now it's only day three of the forum's life, so forwards...
First image for today I have already placed in the new Photo Library to start the thread..
The First Age of Blackbushe. RAF Hartford Bridge, was given birth solely because of the global conflict that threatened the lives of every one of us. The Nazi war machine was poised to strike at our very hearts, and had they been successful it's pretty sure we would not be doing what we are today..Thanks to our military fortitude, the Nazi tide was turned never to darken our shores, but it was a close fought affair. Blackbushe, known as RAF Hartford Bridge until being civilianised after the war was home to many RAF Squadrons plus it proved home to allied air forces too. Photographed are a crew from the famous Free French Lorraine Squadron with one of their Bostons. Their story is legend, and we can but imagine what ran through their minds when being tasked with bombing their home country in the name of liberation.
The Second Age of Blackbushe.
From 1946, now named Blackbushe, our airport grew in strength to become London's Second Airport. Hard to believe now looking around at the tangled surroundings that encase the surviving part of the airfield. But, it happened, and Blackbushe proved her worth geographically, meteorologically and for both civil and military operations. Often Heathrow would be fogged in, and in those days when aircraft did not have the avionics enjoyed today, Blackbushe frequently provided the perfect fog diversion.
The Third Age of Blackbushe..
Following it's closure in 1960, Blackbushe was saved by the skin of its teeth when AVM 'Pathfinder' Bennett purchased 360 acres of its freehold. Many years of planning restrictions associated with various issues involving Common land and Rights of Common have blocked serious development. However, we still have a reasonably busy airfield that passed from AVM Bennett to Douglas Arnold who in turn sold it to British Car Auctions. BCA spent a huge amount of money on improvements, and thankfully Blackbushe Airport remains in service. A shadow of its former self, but retaining huge potential...
Thank you Peter, my morning fix of history is back! I used to push-bike from West London on a fairly regular basis, just sad now that I didn'have a camera, just a paper and pencil, lists long lost in house moves.
Now I can only visit very occasionally, but your pictures and words bring back the memories.
Welcome back Pete, sure good to see Blackbushe back on the world wide web. just as it should have always been. How about the name, do you know its origin. Continue with the good information. Great stuff Avioligist