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LUTON History and Nostalgia

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LUTON History and Nostalgia

Old 18th Feb 2016, 15:58
  #1221 (permalink)  
 
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Aaaah, I see Luton Flying Club owned a couple of Taylorcraft in 1939, so you are correct-well done
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 16:10
  #1222 (permalink)  
 
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T/craft (England) Plus Model C G-AFTZ/FUD/FVB during 6 and 7-39 to Luton F/C Ltd, Municipal airport, Luton........first I have seen....any ground level photographs please??
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 16:56
  #1223 (permalink)  
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LTNman, you asked for a pic of the farmhouse from the other side . . .



If that scaffolding is for the completion of the tower then this must be 1952.
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 17:19
  #1224 (permalink)  
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Thanks, I have been on the lookout for a photo like that for around 10 years.
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 18:01
  #1225 (permalink)  
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The building between the tower and farm house became The Greasy Spoon, staff canteen. More grease than spoon.
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 18:26
  #1226 (permalink)  
 
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Napier Pilots' Office Autographs



I came across this the other day. Hadn't seen it for years and cannot remember where I obtained it but it must have been during my time at LTN (1966-70ish) I met Ken Cartwright and Ken Souter but I don't know who the other chaps are. Any ideas?

Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 18th Feb 2016 at 18:30. Reason: Add text !
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 19:26
  #1227 (permalink)  
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I knew Ken Cartwright well and met Ken Souter but don't know the others.



Fred Pinchin on the left, owner of Luton Flying Club, Ken Cartwright in the middle, Napier pilot, and I think the other person is Mike Strangways, in the older Flying Club, the farm buildings alongside the control tower. Must be late 50s I would think.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 05:50
  #1228 (permalink)  
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That building looks a bit rough around the edges and not very inviting and seems to be WW2 vintage. I see it had a stage and piano so some good times must have been had there. I wonder it is also doubled up as maybe a location for Percivals sports and social club which I have read was quite active.

The world and the airport has changed so much since those days. I would love to step back in time and have a wander around Luton as it must have been a fascinating place.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 06:37
  #1229 (permalink)  
 
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I did my 30 hours flying scholarship at Luton in 1967. The club house was still being used as a ‘doss house’ then. There was mention of the greasy spoon. My mates mum was the manageress, and is still alive, so I will not mention the comment of more grease than spoon! Britannia Airways buildings were between the greasy spoon and the tower. It was interesting reading about the Autair catering. The photo 1215 and the comments in 1217 jogged the memory. After finishing my 30 hours, I got a summer job with Harry Carras Catering. They did the catering for Autair, and were based in the buildings mentioned in 1215, and I remember going into Autair ops to get the flying programme each shift.

One day I walked in and Hazelden was briefing a pilot for a Herald base check. I looked interested and asked if I could come, and was taken!!! No idea what was going on but what a memory to have. The final words spoken to me by the great man were after we landed. The engines stopped and he came out of the cockpit, saw me in the front row of seats, and said;

‘Good god, I forgot you were here. Did you enjoy it?’

The flying bit of the flying club, was by then in the buildings attached to the hanger where the club aeroplanes were kept. We rarely used the main runway, using the grass strips instead. I don’t remember the commercial traffic being a problem, although perhaps we were a problem to them.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 06:51
  #1230 (permalink)  
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The Flying Club building is the one on the right in this pic. Sorry, poor shot but taken by me in 1960 - Turbi G-AOTK and DH.82 G-AOGS.



It was the one that someone tried to rearrange by starting an unchocked Messenger



Sorry to monopolise this forum.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 06:59
  #1231 (permalink)  
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staircase - apologies to your mate's mum!

I started work there in 1967 so we must have spoken over the telephone. I remember Hedley Hazelden; he was Handley Page's chief test pilot before Autair and was flying the prototype Herald (with four Alvis Leonides engines) that suffered an engine fire en-route Farnborough and he had to put it down in a field. I believe his wife was on board.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 07:09
  #1232 (permalink)  
 
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Had my first flight in 1957 after winning ten bob on the fruit machine in that bar ( immediately appropriated by my father for "savings" ).
The Messenger incident of course made "The Luton News" and also, IIRC , included a shot taken from inside the Club showing the nose framed in the hole.
Vintage ATCO , please continue to post these classic pictures and reminiscences!
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 07:21
  #1233 (permalink)  
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Sorry to monopolise this forum.
I am hearing tales and seeing photos that that are putting events onto the web that could be lost forever with the passage of time. Keep them coming please as you and others are providing valuable information about the history of Luton that will no doubt be dug out in the future when the next history of Luton Airport is published when the airport reaches its 100th birthday.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 09:04
  #1234 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry to be a pedant but Hazel's Herald that force landed at Milford, Surrey had by that time been re-engined with Darts. I too had a joy ride on one of Hazel's training details, at one stage we became slightly lost. I've recounted the tale elsewhere on PPRuNe so I won't bore even more of you with it.

Fortunately there was not too much bull around in those days and ops staff were welcome to joy-ride and sometimes could even take along a pal to act as ballast.

I recall riding on an Ambassador one dark winter's evening. The aircraft was due off check and needed an air test. Everything was set up for a departure after lunch. However as is sometimes the case the crew were left kicking their heels because the aircraft was late out of the hangar and didn't turn up on to the ramp until late afternoon. It was thought that the air test would take less than an hour. Having finished my shift I went along for the ride. It was growing dark as we took off. With me in the cabin was a flying spanner - it might have been Stuart Clegg or Pete Hart - can't remember now. Anyway after at least an hour and a half we were still airborne - all checks long completed. Another 45 minutes passed still no indication of a descent. Peering out of the window it looked as black as a badger's anus - not a light to be seen. Looking through the cockpit door one could see the pilots in animated conversation and charts all over the place.

A few minutes later I glanced out of the window, nothing and then suddenly I could see breakers crashing on to the shore. Landfall! We arrived at Luton about twenty minutes later. No mention was ever made of our little expedition over the North Sea.

Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 21st Feb 2016 at 12:42.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 09:32
  #1235 (permalink)  
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Yes, you're right, it was G-AODE after being re-engined. I had always thought it was the four engine one. Never assume.

Last edited by vintage ATCO; 19th Feb 2016 at 09:33. Reason: speeling
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 10:36
  #1236 (permalink)  
 
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vintage ATCO, you are correct about Hazel having his wife on board when he put the Herald down in a field. I flew with him as an FO quite a few times in the mid 70s when we were both with Air Anglia based in ABZ, a very interesting gentleman!
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 11:13
  #1237 (permalink)  
 
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What was Mike Strangway's history at LTN? I knew him at Cranfield in the early '80s but know nothing of his career and background.

Anyone able to fill in some detail?
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 12:03
  #1238 (permalink)  
 
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vintage ATCO.


I don,t think the gentleman in the picture is Mike Stangways, it looks a little on the tall side for Mike, ( he was only about 5ft 2inches at most ) and I do not think he was around the airport in the 50,s.


wageslave.
Mike Stangways worked for Autair Helicopters at the airport, they had a worldwide operation at one time before Bristow Helicopters ever started. When the Autair was sold to become CourtLine, the helicopter company was retained by Mr Armstrong, ( I think that was his name ) and was then run by Jimmy Harper.
Mike then went on to form Trent Helicopters in the blister hanger next to the Luton Flying Club hanger, they operated Bell 47 and Jetrangers and set up a flying school at Cranfield for British Airways Helicopters to carry out ab initio training on the student coming out of the Hamble training facility. They were in batches of 10, three times a year. The Chief Pilot of Trent Helicopters was the late David Dixon who went on to set up Sloane Helicopters at Sywell.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 12:31
  #1239 (permalink)  
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Hmm, wrong guess then. The figure seems so familiar, just can't put a name to him. Here's another view



Any good?
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 13:10
  #1240 (permalink)  
 
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That doesn't look like Mike Strangways to me either - Mike passed away in April 2010. It was Bill Armstrong who was part of Autair Helicopters. Jimmy Harper's son, Peter, was a Fleet Air Arm helicopter test pilot and in 1966 I believe he was the youngest ETPS graduate ever (I think he was 23) - I was on the same Squadron as him and much later in the 80's we flew together many times when he was the Chief Helicopter Test Pilot in the CAA. Sadly he died from Parkinson's at the age of 72 recently and his funeral is taking place as I type this. Gutted that I only found out last night.

Trent's was a good organisation - we took a couple of their graduates in BCAL Helicopters - both excellent piots who have done well for themselves.

I may be wrong but I don't think it was David Dixon who set up Sloane Helicopters at Sywell - David George certainly owned it when I used to hangar a helicopter there in 73/74. People and associated time scales sometimes get a bit mixed up though when I look that far back!

Last edited by Democritus; 19th Feb 2016 at 13:20.
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