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How did Heathrow used to look ?

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How did Heathrow used to look ?

Old 30th Jul 2008, 09:40
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And from the 'What Aerodrome' thread (p169) what it actually did look like:




Talking of the tunnels, as a schoolkid I often went spotting at Heathrow around 1960 and I can confirm what Overfly said that both of the two smaller tunnels did have raised walkways next to a railed off cycle track. I also recall that looking north from the Central area, just to the left of the main tunnels there was a tunnel stub as if boring had started but abandoned. Anyone know what the original plan was?
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 09:58
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just to the left of the main tunnels there was a tunnel stub as if boring had started but abandoned. Anyone know what the original plan was?
There used to be tunnels from the terminals out to the outer stands before any piers were built. I remember busses going through these tunnels. They were each side of the main tunnels.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 11:45
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Thanks for that Steve.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 12:44
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Here's an oddball sidetrack for those who remember the somewhat strange looking custom-built road coaches that BEA used from Heathrow to Central London, a fleet of 65 in all. They were owned by BEA but operated for them under contract by London Transport. They came along in 1953 and lasted until 1966, so all through the period being discussed here, and I get the feeling that several will recall them. I do from the end of their time.

IAN'S BUS STOP: The LONDON TRANSPORT RFs

One of their features was they had on the front indications of destination, able to be wound round like any other bus, but the points listed were all the BEA destinations, as they were operated one bus per specific flight rather than a general purpose regular service. You checked in at the town terminal, and your baggage travelled with you in the very large underfloor compartment of your bus. So you would see buses to "Milan" or "Stockholm" headed down Cromwell Road in Kensington alongside the regular 74 to Putney ! As the passengers were seated very high up they could look down, appropriately haughtily no doubt, on the hoi polloi on the pavement below.

It was only when reading the article I realised they always had semaphore direction indicators (well, normal for road vehicles in 1953 I suppose) which must have been more than a bit anachronistic once the M4 opened !
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 14:28
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Thanks The SSK for posting the map. I always wondered where London Air Park was.

The map answers a few questions I had.

I like the pictures that have also been posted.

It would appear from the old pictures (I could be wrong) but the north East - West runway was in use first with some sort of terminal to the north of the runway.

If I use a recent map (like flash earth) I can see various taxi ways running North of the runway up to the edge of the airfield now where northern perimeter road is, it would appear that a terminal existed there.
location :-

Flash Earth ...satellite and aerial imagery of the Earth in Flash

Comparing the previously posted pictures it would also become apprent of the extension to the runways as well (extended further west).

If I am wrong then please correct me.

RD
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 14:45
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Diddy :

The area on the northern edge of the airfield you describe is that known as "Northside". This was the original terminal area from the day Heathrow opened, and they were still all in tents, then operators steadily moved over to the Central Area until the intercontinental operators were last to move out to the Oceanic Building (now T3) in 1961. Others can correct me but I believe most of the terminal buildings at Northside were wooden/temporary structures.

The area nowadays is occupied to a considerable extent by the large Pink Elephant car park. The original rough concrete surface of the ramp is still in use there for car parking, and if you walk around and look closely you can identify where aerodrome light fittings etc have been removed.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 16:20
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BUSES

FROM WHAT I CAN REMEMBER THE LUGGAGE WAS CARRIED IN TRAILERS TOWED BEHIND THE BUS CANNOT REMEMBER IF ANY WAS CARRIED UNDER THE BUS.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 16:28
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There was still some freight activity on the Northside ramp in the late 1960s, I recall the N-reg C46s that Lufthansa used to use and I think I recall a Lufthansa Connie over there.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 16:52
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The VIP suite was northside too until at least 1970; I was at the LATCC radar unit in 1970 when Nixon departed from this 'terminal'; his secret service helicopters must have caused havoc the way they were just circling around the north side.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 17:00
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Missed Pub

There used to be a pub in Hatton RD about where the road crossing the taxi way to TBJ is now as a 16/17 year old and the engineers who worked in hangers 2,3,4,[now freight sheds ]for B.O.A.C. sometimes went there for a small beer and eat our sandwiches at luch time [very cool we had an hour for lunch in those days]this was in 1947 long before "The Kremlin" TBA was built I think it was pulled down to make way the old 5and 6 Argonaut hangers.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 17:08
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I travelled on the BEA bus from Waterloo to LHR
in '56/57.
Flew in a BEA Dakota to Koln/Bonn airport, which then, was also RAF Wahn (where I was stationed). Most convenient. 11.00 return, Forces concession!
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 17:10
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This is an interesting thread. Here's my memories of "LAP" in the 50's and 60's. My earliest recollection is on 30/09/58 when we flew in a KLM Viscount 803 from LAP northside to Amsterdam. I remember lots of aircraft parked very close together on northside, at around 0800 -0845. Looking at old photos of this area, it appears that in fact only a limited area was used for aircraft parking, out of the total area available between runway 28R/10L and the Bath Road, and aircraft were indeed parked very close, sometimes "double parked" one behind the other. Can someone explain if this was so, and why more stands were not provided. Also, why did KLM continue to use the northside area when the central terminal area was available from 1955 onwards?

Another question: Why was T3/Oceanic Terminal so long in being built, when the facilities at northside were obviously so antiquated and cramped. Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris Orly all had far more modern terminals for their long-haul passengers during the 1950's. The northside "terminal" (more like a temporary holiday camp structure) and aircraft parking must have been very cramped by 1961-62, when 707's and DC8's were regularly using northside before T3 was opened in 1962.

I too use to ride my bike through the tunnel in 1965 -1966. Setting out from our home in Hertfordshire, the ride would take about 3 hours, via St.Albans, Watford and Uxbridge, often with a bulky VHF radio in the saddlebag as well. We would arrive at LAP at around 0830, check out any ineresting freighters parked on northside (Capitol C46's, United Arab and Trans-Med. DC6's were common sights), watch some noisy departures if 28R was being used, then cycle through the tunnel for a day's aircraft spotting.

Regarding Runways 23/05, I can remember a British United cargo DC6A landing on 05L in 1965, and a Thai 747 landing on Rwy 23 as late as 1988.

Yes, night departures in piston-engined days could be spectacular. Super Connies and DC7's semed to provide the best pyrotechnics, probably due to the very high temperatures generated by the turbos in the Wright R3350 radials at take-off and METO power settings.

Happy days indeed.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 17:38
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FROM WHAT I CAN REMEMBER THE LUGGAGE WAS CARRIED IN TRAILERS TOWED BEHIND THE BUS
Ah yes, Routemasters (standard length, front entrance, high-ratio diff....) with trailers. They followed on from the RF's.
Have a look at Ian's home page and click on "RMA". Ian's Bus Stop

Aviation History and Nostalgia is bad enough. Combine that with London Bus History and Nostalgia and I'm in for a few sleepless nights. Oh, Nurse.......

Last edited by gruntie; 30th Jul 2008 at 17:40. Reason: Spelling. See, I told you I got too excited...
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 21:11
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Just remembered I have an earlier photo of Heathrow as it looked in 1949/50.




It's all a bit of a jumble, but the photo appears to have been taken looking west with the Bath Road (A4) on the right together with the original North Terminal alongside. Runways appear very short and I assume this is as a result of foreshortening in the image.

Last edited by Warmtoast; 30th Jul 2008 at 22:56.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 21:37
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Set off, as a 5-6 year old for Dar-es-Salaam from the northside in the early 50s. Aircraft was a BOAC HP81 Hermes named either Hestia or Heron. Anyone got a fleet list that matches names with registrations?

Arrived back a couple of years later on an Argonaut. Made further departures on a wonderful mix of more Argonauts/Stratocruisers and Britannia 102s. That was in the days when the BOAC Junior Jet Club had seniority numbers!

Can't actually recall if I made a departure from central area. Must dig out JJC logbook and check dates.

Would be nice to see some northside pics published.

FW

PS. I recall landing my Lockheed Trimoth on RW23 in a number of gales with a southerly component in them. Aaaaah the good old days!
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 21:56
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Originally Posted by Fokkerwokker View Post
Aircraft was a BOAC HP81 Hermes named either Hestia or Heron. Anyone got a fleet list that matches names with registrations?
Too easy for us lot

Heron = G-ALDO. New July 1950, sold to Airwork September 1957.
Hestia = G-ALDT. New September 1950, sold to Skyways February 1955.
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 22:41
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WHBM

You are far too quick for me.

Many ta's!!

FW
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 22:59
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Would be nice to see some northside pics published
Well this is what you'd see as you entered northside.

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Old 30th Jul 2008, 23:35
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BEA buses

FROM WHAT I CAN REMEMBER THE LUGGAGE WAS CARRIED IN TRAILERS TOWED BEHIND THE BUS
The original BEA buses were as shown near the bottom
Google Image Result for http://www.countrybus.org.uk/rf/RF50/366zBEA.jpg

THe baggage was carried at the rear.

The later BEA buses were Routemasters with a special dispensation to have a trailer.

Airport Buses

The BEA buses ran from WLAT ( West London Air Terminal) in the Cromwell Road ( Now a Sainsbury's store) but the vehicle ramps are still there.
Check in was upstairs and boarding was down the stairs to the appropriate gate where the bus was boarded.

BOAC buses ran from The Victoria Air Terminal by Victoria railway station.
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Old 31st Jul 2008, 01:12
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Early BEA buses. Town terminal to LHR.

An even older BEA bus ( assume it must be prior to 1953)

http://cache.viewimages.com/xc/32772...5A1E4F32AD3138

More views of the intermediate bus 1953 -1966

BEA RFW on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Google Image Result for http://www.lbpt.org/vehicles/bea.jpg

Last edited by beamender99; 31st Jul 2008 at 01:19. Reason: adding dates
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