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Heathrow before the Europa terminal and Queens building

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Heathrow before the Europa terminal and Queens building

Old 7th Mar 2021, 08:32
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Ahhh ! The Peggy Bedord, the Three Magpies, remember them well. Lived in Osterley whilst initially working out of Heathrow
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 09:14
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The absence of BEA aircraft can be noted. They built up quite a substantial operation immediate postwar from Northolt instead with DC-3s and Vickers Vikings, surprisingly the frequencies to the likes of Paris or Amsterdam by the early 1950s were not a lot different to nowadays - much smaller aircraft, of course. BEA were waiting for the completion of the Queens Building. The Airspeed Ambassador's arrival (and very soon after the Viscount) changed things, these were never operated from Northolt, although it was apparently not unknown for their flights to be in the transition years - passengers had reported to Heathrow and were suddenly told the Ambassador was u/s and the flight would now be operated by two Vikings from Northolt; all aboard this bus.

Speaking of buses, note the aircraft in the pictures are all on remote stands. The apron bus contract had been given to London Transport, who used a motley collection on airside transfers, quite separate to the elegant (for their times) new vehicles running from the central London terminals. Some of them were even pre-war. It was however a nice driving experience compared to regular bus routes, so came to the more elderly, most senior drivers, who apparently struggled negotiating the ramp, especially at night, between the aircraft.

The European operators came to Heathrow much earlier, although a few pioneers, like KLM, actually went back to Croydon at the beginning, from 1946. They were handled by a separate BEA team.

Such was the popularity of the airport as a tourist attraction that a sightseeing operation, with Dragon Rapids running 10-minute flights, started from alongside the spectators' enclosure; there have been several posts about the detail of this here in the past, so won't repeat that.

The big Northside ramp west of the tunnel later became the long term car park, not resurfaced, and certainly until the early 2000s had the original concrete surface, looking a bit careworn, with the ghosts of where various flush lights etc had been patched over.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 10:02
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
The Master Robert Hotel was further along towards Osterley.
The Master Robert was demolished about 3 years ago and a brand new budget hotel built on the site, which was finished about 6 month before the first lockdown started!
There used to be a big aviation model shop/book shop etc where they sold/made a lot of the big models that used to be in travel agents etc across the road from the Master Robert, in the curved row of shops, but the name of the shop completely escapes me now 45+ years on despite many visits there.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 10:14
  #44 (permalink)  
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Was it Skyline Models? I never went there, used to go to the enthusiasts' shop further east down the Bath Road - same people as the Aviation Hobby Shop?

Or is that the one you mean - I don't recall the travel agents' models though...

Edit: I think we are talking about the same place!
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 12:16
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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1950's airlines at LON

What airlines did we see at North side?


BOAC up to the Comet 4 and 707 era

Pan Am up to the 707 era

TWA

TCA up to the DC-8 era

KLM

SAS

Flugfelag (Iceland Airways)

Air India up to the 707 era

Qantas Empire up to the 707 era

SAA

Lufthansa

Swiss Air

Air France

Panair do Brasil

Air Ceylon

PIA first 707 1960

CAA

CAA WAAC EAAC SAA Malayan Nigeria Ghana BWIA (all flown by BOAC types)

Aeroflot

EL AL

Slick

Sabena

Iberia

Capitol

Hunting Clan


Fascinating stuff, seems St Mawgan NQY was the only other place that had the same tower as Heathrow, complete with the SECO huts and Met. square all laid out the same, it's all still there?

Runway No1 28R/10L was closed from about 1952 - 1955 while the road tunnel was dug by cut and cover. The eastern end was used for overspill aircraft parking from the Northside apron which BEA was using increasingly with Ambassadors and Viscounts and eventually all of their London ops went there when they had to vacate Northolt, the passengers were processed in the Northside terminal then bussed to the temporary apron on Runway No1.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 12:32
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
The big Northside ramp west of the tunnel later became the long term car park, not resurfaced, and certainly until the early 2000s had the original concrete surface, looking a bit careworn, with the ghosts of where various flush lights etc had been patched over.
I don't think there was ever a northside ramp west of the tunnel, just a continuation of the parallel taxiway that eventually rejoined the northern runway at the 09L (10L) threshold, just past the threshold of the relocated 15R (originally 16R), opposite what is now exit A11:



You can indeed still see the neglected concrete taxiway slabs on GE, at least up to the boundary fence, and I remember them in the northside staff car park when I used to work in the CTA, though it looks like the car parks themselves are pretty well all tarmac now.

The stretch of the Northern Perimeter Road past the Renaissance is on the line of the original taxiway, and you can still see part of the Heathrow North apron to the south of the road, opposite the Heathrow Academy.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 13:25
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Thanks for the additions/corrections to my recollections and indeed ut was the Travellers Friend at the A4 A30 split-it was, of course, the A4 not the A3 as well.

My first date with my wife was in the very old White Horse in Longford village 45 years ago, of course being locals the fact that the lovely old pub was so very close to the airport and noisy as hell-this is 1976 -was just unnoticed.

As has been pointed out being an old coaching era road there were several pubs along the Bath road and indeed if one headed a little further west to Colnbrooke there were several coaching inn types including the famous/infamous Ostrich .
Perhaps they have all gone too.

As for the poster who cycled from Ashford to Beacon road via Stanwell village (,wouldnt Clare Road through the 'Airways Estate' have been quicker of perhaps it was not built by then. The road access at Beacon road was open to all and I remember the Skyways Yorks parked down that end of the airfield at 'Field Aviation' or thereabouts. Fields was the main handling company for various biz jets light aircraft and other oddities back then and a spotters target even though for those days it was fairly secure.




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Old 7th Mar 2021, 14:42
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Pre WWII.


Then in 1948



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Old 7th Mar 2021, 17:32
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Wasn’t Hunting Clan before Fields?
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 00:32
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I don't think there was ever a northside ramp west of the tunnel, just a continuation of the parallel taxiway that eventually rejoined the northern runway at the 09L (10L) threshold, just past the threshold of the relocated 15R (originally 16R), opposite what is now exit A11:


Look above the two 15R thresholds; there's a site outside the taxiway with connnection to the taxiway. This was originally an air defence radar unit (nothing to do with airport ops) for Ground Controlled Interception (GCI) ie vectoring fighters onto attacking aircraft.
It was operational from WW2 until the mid '50s when its function was transferred to a new unit at Chenies, just south of Bovingdon airfield and the site was then occupied by Southern Air Traffic Control Centre controlling civil aircraft in controlled airspace around the south of England who moved in from Uxbridge.
This was later joined by Heathrow Radar, an RAF ATCRU ie not air defence and the two operated from this site until 1971 when they moved to RAF West Drayton, Southern ATCC being re-named London ATCC in the late '60s and Heathrow Radar becoming London Military Radar..
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 00:42
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Originally Posted by Leovinus View Post
When you said Northolt was also in need of construction I'm not quite sure I follow. Wasn't Northolt only temporarily used for passenger services before the RAF took it back? I would have thought the focus would have stayed with London Airport (Heathrow) as prime concern over Northolt.
During WW2, Northolt was a fighter airfield and as such, did not have aprons large enough for large numbers of transport aircraft nor did it have buildings suitable for processing large numbers of passengers, so these were built on the south side of the airfield next to the A40 road.
The apron is still in use nowadays.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 03:53
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My first date with my wife was in the very old White Horse in Longford village 45 years ago
In the late 80s, I was with a group of fifteen oil-company colleagues that overnighted in the Sheraton at Heathrow, on the way back to Calgary, after two weeks in Russia. Collectively we were desperate for something other than vodka to drink, so after checking-in, the plan was to meet in the lobby and go to the hotel bar. The bar didn't look very inviting so I went to the concierge and asked him if there was a decent pub nearby. He enthusiastically recommended the White Horse so we strolled the half-mile down to the pub. It was the evening of Guy Fawkes Day and I distinctly remember the smell of gunpowder in the air and rockets littering the streets.

Several of my colleagues had never been to England before and were stunned to discover that the building was 400 years old! We had a very convivial evening and probably drove out some of the regulars, but I don't think the landlord minded. We drank vast amounts of beer and the smokers amongst us bought the whole of the landlord's cigar stock. I remember a blue-haze overcast between the ceiling beams that was becoming lower and lower as the evening progressed.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 08:28
  #53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
It was the evening of Guy Fawkes Day and I distinctly remember the smell of gunpowder in the air and rockets littering the streets.
I believe Baron Knyvet who was instrumental in foiling the Gunpowder Plot had connections with the Heathrow area...
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 13:52
  #54 (permalink)  
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  • My first visit was in about 1963 to wave my sister off on a school exchange trip to Germany from the Europa.
  • First 'active' visit was leaving from the Oceanic on a VC-10 for JNB in December 1965 (via CIA + NBO!) with my family, I was nine.
  • Perhaps most unsual arrival was on the old diagonal '23' in a Viscount of the first Manx Air (from IOM) in the early 1980s. Someone will tell us when 23 was closed.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 15:15
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Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
There used to be a big aviation model shop/book shop etc where they sold/made a lot of the big models that used to be in travel agents etc across the road from the Master Robert, in the curved row of shops, but the name of the shop completely escapes me now 45+ years on despite many visits there.

VHF Supplies?
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 16:45
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Great thread, how about same for LGW

Hi, I am really enjoying this thread. As a boy I grew up around LGW. Anyone care to offer similar memories? Thanks!
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 17:13
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Originally Posted by MarkB1 View Post
VHF Supplies?
Yes, VHF Supplies at Noble Corner (opposite the Master Robert), run by the late Brian Tomkins who later traded as Collectors Aircraft Models.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 17:14
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Originally Posted by PAXboy View Post
Someone will tell us when 23 was closed.
You'd have to tell us whether you mean 23L or 23R.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 18:03
  #59 (permalink)  
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DRUK. As you are a venerable poster, I shall refrain from saying [email protected]! We were approaching from IOM and, somewhere near the usual Wenbley point of turning on to the Eastbound circuit, the flight deck announced we would see an unusual view of LHR but not to be worried as it also meant we would arrive early! As far as I recall, it was then in from the North East on to 23 [?]
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 18:13
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Yes, VHF Supplies at Noble Corner (opposite the Master Robert), run by the late Brian Tomkins who later traded as Collectors Aircraft Models.
Ah yes, that's the place I used to go to - could never afford much as an impecunious teenager, would generally just buy a few postcards from their extraordinary collection. Rather more spacious than AHS as I recall...
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