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Manchester Airport - Then & Now

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Manchester Airport - Then & Now

Old 24th Mar 2007, 15:08
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Wink Manchester Airport - Then & Now

Hi there folks, i'm hoping to get a new thread going on this history of the airport and how things were/looked inside the original terminal (T1) between it's opening in 1962 to the present day. Any info would be great.
To start with, does anyone remember the inclined travalator system that used to run from the arrivals level up to the check-in hall and possibly to the various multi storey car park levels? I think they may have been ripped out in the mid to late 80's and replaced with lifts.
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 21:50
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No, but I do remember a Saturday afternoon visit of our Scout troop to the Tower VCR circa 1968. Sat at the PAR screen and watched the only arrival coming in in the hour or so we were there - A BEA Vanguard from Paris.
Hard to believe now.
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 22:42
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Yes you are correct, the multi storey car park was built with huge escalators that ran up from level 5 to 7 and 9 , I think there was also one descending. Was a great people mover but it took up too much space. It was a major attraction to the local scum bags who took great delight in launching baggage trolleys down them !
If you are really interested in times past, then the airport has a superb archive which can be accessed for research.
My first memory of visiting the airport, was cycling 4 miles from Cheadle and getting blown over by a self parking BOAC 707 on stand 2 (the fence was right next to it.
I also remember sitting down to dinner and looking towards Stockport which had a plume of black smoke rising from it, the British Midland Argonaut had just crashed.
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 14:53
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Thanks for the replies people! I think this will be an interesting thread. One flight an hour eh? happy days.. no standing around waiting to go through security back than i would imagine
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 15:37
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Domestic Security pre-1989

Does anyone know how and where passengers were security screened before the domestic terminal opened in 1989, when it was just 'Pier A?
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 15:37
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Went on one Easter weekend [Sunday?] in 1951..and saw one movement all day [a BEA Viking]. I was also there [working in the Tower] when Manchester hosted the European Cup Final
watp,iktch
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 15:57
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Depends how far back you go re pier A and screening, I remember walking down the pier in the mid seventies right to the gates, without any security check points, all that was needed to go to the aircraft was a boarding card. It was often used in winter by spotters, in summer they would be on the top of all piers, again no screening required. Ahh The good old days.
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 16:22
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I can remember as a yoof going to the airport for a post-booze coffee circa 1971 and wandering not only down the piers, but through the un-manned gates and out onto the apron under the parked aircraft!


Also, after the new terminal opened in the early 60s, there was just a small surface car park behind it - no multi-stories back then.

I can just about remember the old terminal, but usually we cycled up the wilmslow road to near where the barriers used to be that they closed for a 06 landing. I can clearly remember the piston-engined airliners taxying past on the other side of the fence after landing on 24.

Later, when I flew a based aircraft from the South Side, the only security was a guy in a hut at the Styal road south-side entrance - then you were on the airfield with acces to the hangars, aircraft, and runway. Doesn't seem that long ago, either.

SSD
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 16:36
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Get hold of a copy of "Manchester Airport" by R.A. Scholefield, published by Sutton's Photographic History of Aviation. ISBN 0-7509-1954-X.
It was first published in 1998.
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 17:04
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First time I worked at MAN was the summer of 1979 just out of school, as a temp baggage handler, parking was anywhere you fancied, I used to park my dads capri under the new pier C, when anything interesting came in it was quite normal to bring family in for a look round, god how it has changed.

Jobs were still heavily unionised and the baggage handlers had strict quotas of aircraft that they were assigned to for the shift, any extra had to be negotiated for extra payment ! As a spotty teenager I was earning a packet.

I returned 6 years later having spent 6 years in the RAF, in order to kill some time prior to starting another career, unions still had some power but the workload had more than doubled. It was quite amusing because I was now a smart clean cut product of the services and looked on with suspicion by the workers, many thought i was a Police or Customs plant, trying to catch the thieving element.
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 18:50
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In the early 60's I used to cycle to Ringway and stand on the footpath that ran from the Airport Hotel and crossed within a few yards of the 24 threshold. Unfortunately the footpath was closed when the runway was extended. I have some old B&W photos of the terminal and control tower under construction.
In those days security hadn't been invented and it was possible to wander around the airport at will. It was only when the roof gardens and piers were opened that they restricted access to the aprons, not for security reasons, but to ensure that you paid the sixpence to go through the turnstiles.

Airclues
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 20:16
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>Jobs were still heavily unionised and the baggage handlers had strict quotas of aircraft that they were assigned to for the shift, any extra had to be negotiated for extra payment ! As a spotty teenager I was earning a packet.

Ditto at Castle Don., but the issue of our potential employment as "temporary casuals" (and their loss of overtime) kicked off some massive row between the baggage handlers and airport management (circa 1980). In the end, we were taken on, but not allowed to work loading the aircraft, just sorting the bags onto trolleys as they came off the belt.

What nonsense! They were over-unionised prima-donnas, and quite unpleasant to work with.

To correct the thread drift:- when I joined SAS at Manchester circa 1985, there was still the huge glass chandelier/sculpture in the landside departures area. "How did they get the glass that colour?" I wondered, looking up at the unique yellowey-brown hue. When they reinstalled it following buidling work and relocation (about the same time that those moving walkways disappeared), I found my answer:- they had it cleaned of around twenty years of nicotine and muck, and back to clear glass.

r
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 20:44
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Mention of the turnstiles on the piers made me rummage through my archive for the very tatty copy of a verse from a 60s spotter.
My brother was at Mosley Hall Grammer school in Cheadle and apart from being one of the original members of the Northern Aeroplane Preservation Society he was an active spotter (I never sucumbed to strain of the disease that is aviation). Mosely Hall even had a spotters club - I still have my brother's membership badge somewhere.
Anyway I thought you may like the little verse.

THE SPOTTER’S LAMENT

(To the tune ‘My Bonny lies over the ocean’)

My brother he flies an Electra
My uncle runs BOAC
My father’s the Airport Director
So I get on the terraces free

Chorus

Give back; give back Oh give back my shilling to me!

The author is recorded as B.E. and the verse was dated 7/10/64

My first flight was from Ringway to the Isle of Man in a BEA Viscount and although the new terminal was built we departed from the metal hangar alongside which in later days was used for cargo. The apron between was used by the Auster G-AGXN for pleasure trips - its nice to see that she is still in good shape at Popham.

Lots of fond memories spolit by not recognising the place these days - boy the place has grown.
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 21:01
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What happened to the chandeliers? They were the only thing that was in anyway pleasant about what has, sadly, become a really awful airport.
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 21:26
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The apron between was used by the Auster G-AGXN for pleasure trips - its nice to see that she is still in good shape at Popham.

My first ever flight was from Ringway. I think it must have been about 1958 or near then, in an Auster (I can remember the airbourne bit, but nothing of the ground experience - exactly where on the airfield we flew from, etc.). Would it have been XN, or were other Austers active in pleasure flying from there at that time?
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 22:04
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wz662

I founded, and ran, the MHGS Spotters Club. It only lasted for a year so I must have given your brother his badge.

Airclues
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Old 27th Mar 2007, 07:17
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I agree with Zebedee, the chandeiliers gave the place a wonderful sense of class, it now has a cheap, shopping centre feel to it. Where did the magic go?
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Old 27th Mar 2007, 07:35
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Don't forget the concrete fins that accompanied the chandeliers each bearing the name of one of the operating airlines of the time.

Take a look here;

http://www.cube.org.uk/thecity/archi...tail.asp?id=71
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Old 27th Mar 2007, 08:12
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I have a theory that, at some point, airport authorities start believing their own hype and taking themselves too seriously.

Don't ask me to explain in too much detail - it seems to be down to triumphalist publicity, ridiculous landing fees and general charges, and an over-abundance of swanky shops instead of simple and, much-desired user-friendliness.

Manchester appeared to enter this phase some time in the mid 'eighties.

r
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Old 27th Mar 2007, 09:13
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Does anyone remember PB Enterprises (Aero)? He used to set up shop in the covered spectator area that overlooked the apron between the piers. I've just rummaged through my dangerously overladen attic and found some photo's of Ringway which I remember purchasing from him; all circa mid '70's.

If I was clever enough I'd pop 'em on here.
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