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-   -   LUTON History and Nostalgia (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/527527-luton-history-nostalgia.html)

T-21 25th Mar 2014 14:52

Vintage ATCO What a great selection of photographs so nostalgic. Luton airport has changed so much now. I can remember the old farmhouse in the late sixties as a cafe for the airport workers. It was called "The Greasy Spoon". Do you have a date when the old terminal buildings(ex Brit Ops) and the old tower were demolished as I worked there Britannia Ops 1974-1980. I moved to the new Ops building in 1979-80 next to the Airline Eng hangar and even that has gone now. The only remnant of that era is the old Britannia admin offices near the main road that has been cut off .

Haraka 25th Mar 2014 16:56

Many thanks indeed Vintage ATCO for that amazing collection of photos. Many old "friends" in the images as well as some "Wow! Now I remember" moments . Plus a few "Well I never saw THAT!" surprises.
I've bookmarked the site,

vintage ATCO 25th Mar 2014 18:03

The old farm house was the airport administration building until the 'new' terminal opened in (I think) 1965. It then became the Flying Club Bar. Use to finish shift at 22:00, into the bar for a pint or six and then back in the following morning for a 08:00 start. :-) Closing time was non-existant.

The 'greasy spoon' (aren't they all called that?) was a separate building between the control tower and the farm house.

The old tower and Building 50 (the wooden building) were demolished in the early 2000s.

LTNman 25th Mar 2014 18:21

One of the best set of Luton photos I have seen for a long time. Thanks.

LTNman 25th Mar 2014 22:20

vintage ATCO photo 55, where is that location at LTN as I can't place it?

jumpseater 26th Mar 2014 21:28

Looks like off Percival Way behind Monarch engineering

LTNman 27th Mar 2014 18:25

Think I have worked it out. It looks like it is at the back of McAlpines looking towards Monarch's old hanger

vintage ATCO 27th Mar 2014 22:00

Yep, that's it.

LTNman 28th Mar 2014 05:34

Luton Airshow



22/04 7th Apr 2014 21:50

Just got my 75 year anniversary book- thought it might have stymied my retirement project but although it has some great photos it is a lighter treatment and I think there is still room for a "heavier" history.

I have asked before but will ask again in this new thread if anyone can provide detail (times, destinations) of Sudflug's ops into Luton c.1967?

Fokkerwokker 8th Apr 2014 19:20

Vintage ATCO wrote: Closing time was non-existant

ISTR the bar closed promptly at 2230 when the shutters were lowered?

The side hatch opened at 2230:15 promptly and thereafter business resumed as normal.

Happy daze!

sycamore 8th Apr 2014 21:20

F-W,thought you would have been too young for being in a bar at that time.....S..

LTNman..what is the date of the airshow..?
The aircraft nearest the camera is `probably` a Mk2 J-P,as it has short oleos ,no ejection seats,P-P type canopy and short pitot head,and handgrip on port intake..Any idea which aircraft it was,as it does appear to have `trainer yellow bands` on the wings..XD694..?
I flew XM354 at Syerston in `63,which would be the one earlier than `355`,next one along....
and yes,I `bunked` in the original Fred`s Flying Club accomodation,and spent my `youth`,(mis-spent) pushing Austers/Tigers,et al to the pumps,and then swinging props, but couldn`t hold a candle to the `swinging lamps` tales of the esteemed bar contingents of ,`Dizzzy`,Don Mayne,Ken(Napier Lincoln),Dave ,etc,etc...indeed ,Happy daze....

Haraka 9th Apr 2014 05:56

Mk 2 JP
I would be pretty sure the JP noted by Sycamore is one of the four Mk 2s. Colloquially 3 Mk2's and the Mk "2 1/2" ( in which Jack Overbury died). The lack of tip tanks probably puts it as one of the first ones so XD694 ,which was a converted Mk1, is quite likely.

vintage ATCO 9th Apr 2014 08:39

I think the airshow would have been 1960, it was a one off. Some of my b&w pics were taken there.

Yes, I remember those reprobates from the Flying Club bar too. ;)

GQ2 10th Apr 2014 12:27

Luton Pre-War.......
Always interested to see Early photos of Luton from when Percivals moved up there from Gravesend - until the war broke out. Especially images depicting construction of the various wooden a/c. Images of 'AFAA especially interesting.

'AFAA was burnt at a PAC social bonfire event after the war. It was lent to DH's for airscrew testing during the war and was damaged at Hatfield. Any stories of this incident or images related to it, or the a/c's subsequent storage would be of interest. Anyone got any morsels of information...?

LTNman 12th Apr 2014 05:33

This is from the Percivals Aircraft book by Norman H Ellison regarding AFAA


LTNman 14th Apr 2014 11:13

1992 when Luton based AirFoyle brought this beast into Luton


India Four Two 14th Apr 2014 17:58


Great photographs. I had to do a double take when I saw the Colt on its back. I thought it was one I had flown, but then I realized, I had flown KR, not KS in your picture.

The Beechcraft with the Aztazous looks very odd. I had never heard of it before.

Planemike 15th Apr 2014 09:41

The Beechcraft with the Aztazous looks very odd. I had never heard of it before.
It is SFERMA Marquis..... Beech-SFERMA PD-146 Marquis Beechcraft Baron airframe converted by SFERMA to Aztazou turbine power.


GQ2 15th Apr 2014 19:49

@ LTN Man;- Thanks for posting those. G-AFAA was of course the sole example of the E3H. I heard that 'AA was lent to DH's for airscrew testing during the war and that one of their test-pilots tried to flare it out too high and put the oleos through the wings. (When and who I wonder..?).
When the fus' was burnt at Luton, as per your photo, it was actually an old wing off another a/c. I wonder if there are any photos around of it stored at Hatfield or Luton between the accident and when it was destroyed...probably a period of 2 - 7 years...?
All the Mews were built at Gravesend, with the exception of 'AA, which was made later, after the move up to Luton and though looking superficially like the other a/c was, in fact, a totally new design. 'AA would have been almost new when the upper image from the opening of Luton was taken. Evidently, Percivals had been at Luton long enough to produce the E3H, as well as the Q6 in the background of that photo too. At that time, a/c ordered were ready to collect in a mere three months...! hardly seems possible in todays climate. So much for 'progress'....!

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