Monday, 18 October 2010

'The world's greatest airport' in 1929

It makes Easyjet look positively luxurious. The enormous biplanes you see here were used for the regular flights to Paris from what The Strand called in a feature in April 1929 'the world's greatest airport' - Croydon. It's amazing to think how new freight and passenger flights were in 1929. As the breathless correspondent states: 'You could never have believed anything so Wellsian could ever have come into being in your own time. At any moment you expect, half-fearfully, to see Wells's monstrous Martians striding across that Futurist-looking plain, with its pylons, its wireless masts...' etc etc. But then, as he points out, ten years previously those fields had cows grazing on them. By 1929 it had become 'the jumping off place for the airways of Europe, the Near East, and the British Empire'. [Incidentally,when did the Near East become the Middle East? Is the Near East now Norfolk?].

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