View Full Version : Philip Cleife - personal details sought

24th Jan 2023, 15:27
Philip Cleife was an ex-RAF pilot who set up an airline - Mayflower Air Services - operating DH.89 Dragon Rapides between Plymouth and St Mary's in the Scilly Isles 1961-2. Sadly he was seriously injured during a take-off accident (tyre blow-out) and the airline closed.

He subsequently wrote a book about his experiences, entitled 'Airway to the Isles', published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1966. I have a copy of the book and my intention is to convert it to digital (HTML) format and add it to my website for free access. I have written (twice) to H & S to ask for details of copyright ownership but have not received a reply.

Do any readers here have information about Capt Cleife or his family so that I can get the necessary permission to publish?

Thanks for info.

25th Jan 2023, 00:25
Fantastic if you can.
Coincidence, on a Jersey facebook group recently someone posted a shot of a BEA flight bulletin issued during a dak flight to Jersey in 1953. Captain was Peter Loat wo makes an appearance as Mayflowers second pilot. I referred the poster to the book

Tony Mabelis
25th Jan 2023, 11:01
You might like to try his son Peter.
[email protected]

25th Jan 2023, 21:03
As a youngster I well remember Philip Cleife appearing on a TV program (B&W) in which 'contestants' had to present their business to a panel with a cash prize to the eventual winner. In the end I think he came second in the final show but the presentation which included film of both Plymouth and St Marys Airports and Capt Cleife in what looked like a tropical issue uniform was very smart. I think his wife did bookings and ran the passenger side.
His T/O incident (Tyre/innertube issue) would not have been a problem at Plymouth but Scilly is terribly unforgiving with no run off, and 'clutching rocks' ready to complete the misery. One of the fireman who rescued him from the ensuing blaze was awarded the BEM for his efforts, and was still there when Pobjoy used to drop in with the C337(stol) and the BN2.
There were several occasions when Mayflower could still operate services from Pymouth when the BEA Rapides at Lands End were well 'socked in' on the 400 ft amsl field at St Just (nothing changed there then)

26th Jan 2023, 11:33
Thanks TM. I've emailed Peter.

Tony Mabelis
26th Jan 2023, 12:29
I think possibly this email address is obsolete, as he does not respond to mine.
He is on farcebook maybe message him.
Edit...my email just bounced back.

1st Feb 2023, 10:31
Update: Thanks to TM I'm now in communication with Peter, who has granted permission for publication. I'll post again with a link when the project is complete and ready for viewing.