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Heathrow Airport September 1948

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    Heathrow Airport September 1948

    Now I realise that this will be a VERY long shot but I was just looking through one of my aunt's diaries and she had an entry for the 18th September 1948 which mentions that the family went to Heathrow and trhat I and my cousin played in the sandpit. She also said there was lots going on because it was Battle of Britain week. So my question is: Has anyone ever heard of a sandpit at Heathrow around that time? The airport obviously hadn't been operating very long but I guess they had some sort of visitor's enclosure and that presamably was where the sandpit was probably located. My second question is : Does anyone have any info on what B of B activities were going on at Heathrow in September 1948. Its a tall order I know but any info on either question would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Ian

    #2
    A sandpit in 1948 at Heathrow? The Queens Building didnt open until 1955. Photos and vine film Ive seen of post war Heston Aerodrome were military style canvass tents. Having a sandpit for children to play in sounds unlikely when you consider the facilities available at the time. Perhaps it was a pile of construction sand?
    My mother worked for BEA circa 1950 and spoke of very sparse facilities. I have her diary from 1953 and some photos in a box somewhere.

    https://archive.org/details/london_airport_TNA
    Last edited by merlin70; 21st April 2018, 07:54.
    Watching the planes fly by...

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      #3
      I went there around 1953/4 on a school trip, returning from Hampton Court. There was I remember the control tower with the Queen's building probably still under construction. On one side there was a car park (just ground level) with a low fence separating us from the aircraft! I remember Sabena and BEA? Dakotas being loaded and serviced in front of us.
      A Tannoy announced each arrival and departure. I was too interested in the aircraft to look for a play ground but as has been suggested may be it was builders sand.
      mmitch.

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        #4
        It is perfectly feasible. Although way, way before my time both Heathrow and Northolt had public enclosures in the late 40's. There were also pleasure flights in Rapides into the mid 50's. I believe on BofB weekends there were static aircraft on show, certainly in the 50's.
        Video from 1948, shows a sign to the visitors enclosure.
        Some interesting photos of the era here https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/search/...tted&order=asc

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          #5
          If you remember a sand-pit, there was one! Later there was also a fairground of sorts, roundabout , rides etc. There are photos from the control tower looking west https://artsandculture.google.com/as..._AHKpBWTGb5S9Q and looking east https://artsandculture.google.com/as...CgGB2aSVSqwnPA ( the flying DC-4 is a fake add-on) In Peter Berry's abpic photos https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/photographer/P%20Berry the Lockheed 14 and Tudor are on display for the public enclosure. Airliners were often put on display and some military...I've seen photos of a B-29 being viewed by the public around 1948
          Last edited by longshot; 21st April 2018, 12:21.

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            #6
            The post-war tents were at Heathrow some 3 miles from Heston Aerodrome a completely separate airfield which was still active until 1948 (and later :-))

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              #7
              There's a longish thread on the Northside enclosure etc here https://forum.keypublishing.com/show...hrow+enclosure

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                #8
                Well thank you all for your very helpful comments. I don't actually remember the sandpit as I was only 3 in 1948. However I have just had another look at my aunt;s diary and we went to Heathrow (rather than Northolt) on Saturday 18th and again on Saturday the 25th, She said there was 'lots on' because it was Nattle of Britain week. I feel fairly sure this would have been a sandpit within the visitors enclosure. I am now wondering if there was a Static B of B exhibition. I became a spotter in 1956 and I do remember going to see the B of B static display at Heathrow in 1959. Well thanks again everyone and if anybody happens to spot a sandpit in a picture or runs across a photo of the B of B Static display for 1948 I'd love to see them.
                Regards
                Ian

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                  #9
                  British Pathe archives have a lot of heathrow footage. By 1958 there were playthings on Queens Building.

                  http://www.britishpathe.com/video/ai...y/Terry+Parker

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                    #10
                    I photographed this Supermarine float-plane, atop the Queen's Building at LAP, in 1958.

                    Mark





                    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

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                      #11
                      I wonder how they tied that down? I don't see any obvious fixings?

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                        #12
                        The cockpit must have flooded when it rained.

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                          #13
                          They put a cover over it when it rained.....????

                          In the second photograph it looks as though Heathrow is out in the country.
                          I suppose in 1958, it was to an extent.

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