Lympne Airfield History Society

Our meeting on November 7th was our best attended ever as we welcomed former Halifax and Lancaster pilot Henry Shackleton to tell his story of flying heavy bombers in WW2, being shot down over Berlin and incarceration in Stalag Luft 111 at the time of the famous Great Escape. Henry’s presentation was delivered with humility, humour and high drama to a very appreciative audience of over 70 people.
On January 2nd David Goldsmith will make a presentation on Silver City Airways.
The talk will focus on Silver City at Lympne from 1948 -54. Yet another example of Lympne’s pioneering position in the history of British civil aviation. The Cross- Channel car ferry was a world first. Initially two cars were loaded onto Bristol 170 Freighter aircraft. Later motor cycles, pedal cycles, horses and passengers were carried. From 1953 three cars were carried in the long nose Freighters, which will be described in detail A year by year review of operations, traffic, fares, profit and loss etc., will be covered. The talk will conclude with a summary of the airlines subsequent famous life at the specially built Ferryfield Airport at Lydd until the last Freighter flight to Le Touquet in October 1970.
All meetings start at 7.30pm sharp.
Please feel free to enjoy our continuing celebration of our Airfield in the wonderful surroundings of Lympne Castle’s East Bar. There is no charge. Thanks to our generous hosts Richard and Rod at the castle.
For more information please contact: John Simpson 01303 265078
Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com Web: www.lympneairfield.com

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Lympne Airfield History Society

Henry Shackleton

Our next meeting on November 7th welcomes former Halifax and Lancaster pilot Henry Shackleton who will present his fascinating talk entitled Henry’s War. His early Air Force career was taken up with learning to fly and instructing others to fly in Canada. Henry returned to England and went on ‘ops’ over Axis territory. He went on to join a Pathfinder squadron. Finally shot down over Berlin, one of two survivors, Henry wound up in Stalag Luft 111 as The Great Escape  was about to happen. Henry played his part in helping the break out, with the preparations for those escaping, depositing soil from his trouser legs.

I recently went to meet Henry at his Elham home to hear about his talk, and was so impressed with this very interesting and good humoured character. Henry is a fit as man thirty years younger. For those attending on the night you are in for a treat.

In January David Goldsmith will make a presentation on Silver City Airways. All meetings start at 7.30pm sharp.

Please feel free to enjoy our continuing celebration of our Airfield in the wonderful surroundings of Lympne Castle’s East Bar. There is no charge. Thanks to our generous hosts Richard and Rod at the castle.

For more information please contact: John Simpson 01303 265078

Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com Web: www.lympneairfield.com

 

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Lympne Airfield History Society

 

On a very wet night on September 5th, Tony Moor presented the story of Florence Mary Morris-Davies, a very successful lady pilot of the CPFC. Born in London, the daughter of the 3rd Baronet of Rochester, Mary as she was better known, took up flying here at Lympne after the death of her husband in January 1934. Inspired by the likes of Amy Johnson and Jean Batten, Mary learned to fly with the CPFC. During this time, she rented a flat at Marine Parade in Hythe rather than travel from her home in Guestling, Sussex. Joining the CPFC in 1935, Mary went solo in a De Havilland DH60 Moth, and was soon to buy a B.A.Swallow of her own. Mary’s main instructor had been Leslie Cliff, who together with his wife was a well known figure skater who won Olympic medals in Germany in 1936. For her part Mary was an award winner herself, together with Jane Donald flying to Budapest in 1937 in the Swallow recording the best time in competition with others. It was sometime after this she was to meet Amy Johnson at a dinner. Today memorabilia of Mary’s flying exploits are on show at Brenzett Aeronautical Museum. She died on 3rd July 1989 aged 98.

Tony went on to show us several never before seen photographs from a private collection, featuring Lympne Airfield from WW1 to the late 1940’s.

November 7th’s meeting features a talk by WW2 Lancaster pilot Henry Shackleton from Elham. All meetings start at 7.30pm sharp.

Please feel free to enjoy our continuing celebration of our Airfield in the wonderful surroundings of Lympne Castle’s East Bar. There is no charge. Thanks to our generous hosts Richard and Rod at the castle.

For more information please contact: John Simpson 01303 265078 Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com Web: www.lympneairfield.com

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Lympne Airfield History Society

 

Our next meeting on September 5th, is hosted by Tony Moor who will tell the story of Florence Mary Morris-Davies, a very successful lady pilot of the CPFC in a male dominated world. November’s meeting features a talk by WW2 Lancaster pilot Henty Shackleton from Elham. All meetings start at 7.30pm sharp.

Please feel free to enjoy our continuing celebration of our Airfield in the wonderful surroundings of, Lympne Castle’s East Bar.

There is no charge. Thanks to our generous hosts Richard and Rod at the castle.

For more information please contact: John Simpson 01303 265078

Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com Web: www.lympneairfield.com

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Lympne Airfield History Society

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Our meeting on July 18th will be presented by David Goldsmith, who will tell the story of the Cinque Ports Flying Club formed between the wars and spent many years at Lympne before eventually transferring to Lydd in the 1970’s. The CPFC were a civil aviation organisation also responsible for training many RAF pilots who would go on to serve in WW2. Hosts of many air shows before and after the war, the CPFC operated many different types of aircraft, significant numbers of which are still in existence either flying or in museums all over the world today. Indeed one of the many real characters of the CPFC, its manager Bill Davis lies in Lympne Churchyard today having been killed in a flying accident with three others in 1938. He was succeeded by his wife Ann as manager at the time.

Forthcoming meetings later this year include a talk by WW2 Lancaster pilot Henty Shackleton from Elham.

Please feel free to enjoy our continuing celebration of our Airfield in the wonderful surroundings of Lympne Castle’s East Bar. There is no charge. Thanks to our generous hosts Richard and Rod at the castle.

For more information please contact: John Simpson 01303 265078 Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com Web: www.lympneairfield.com

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Lympne Airfield History Society

img014aa_small Lympne 1930's (2)

Lympne Airfield History Society

 

Our meeting on July 18th will be presented by David Goldsmith, who will tell the story of the Cinque Ports Flying Club formed between the wars and spent many years at Lympne before eventually transferring to Lydd in the 1970’s. A civil aviation organisation, the CPFC were also responsible for training many RAF pilots who would go on to serve in WW2. Hosts of many air shows before and after the war, the CPFC operated many different types of aircraft, significant numbers of which are still in existence either flying or in museums all over the world today. Indeed one of the many real characters of the CPFC, its manager Bill Davis lies in Lympne Churchyard today having been killed in a flying accident as he came into land in 1938. He was succeeded by his wife Ann as manager at the time.

From our September meeting all our meetings will be the first Tuesday of the month as we avoid clashing with the SHAL meetings. Owing to holiday commitments our July date is later, but this does not clash. It was good to see several SHAL regulars at our May 2nd meeting as John Simpson told a well attended meeting the fascinating story of WW2 RAF heroes, Douglas Bader and Roger Bushell, both household names who knew our village very well indeed.

Please feel free to enjoy our continuing celebration of our Airfield in the wonderful surroundings of Lympne Castle’s East Bar. There is no charge. Thanks to our generous hosts Richard and Rod at the castle.

For more information please contact: John Simpson 01303 265078 Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com Web: www.lympneairfield.com

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Lympne Airfield History Society

Squadron leader Douglas Bader on his Hawker Hurricane 1940

Squadron leader Douglas Bader on his Hawker Hurricane 1940

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  NPG x163805; Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader by Godfrey Argent

Our meeting on May 2nd will be presented by John Simpson, who will tell the true events of two RAF WW2 legends; Douglas Bader and Roger Bushell and their connections with Lympne Airfield. Both shot down Spitfire pilots, and both ultimately incarcerated in well known prisoner of war camps; Colditz and Stalag Luft 111 respectively, owing to their continued prowess in escaping earlier captivity. Both subject in later years to be portrayed on the silver screen by Kenneth More and Richard Attenborough  in Reach for the Sky and The Great Escape respectively.

They were both here at Lympne on numerous occasions before, and in Bader’s case after the war. Heroism, humour, survival and tragedy are all part of these accounts of these two household names who knew our village very well indeed.

Come along and learn about these larger than life ‘Boys’ Own’ characters at Lympne and beyond. Some great rare images survive from before WW2 of those years. Remember we do not clash with the SHAL meetings anymore!

Please feel free to enjoy our continuing celebration of our Airfield in the wonderful surroundings of Lympne Castle’s East Bar. There is no charge. Thanks to our generous hosts Richard and Rod at the castle.

For more information please contact: John Simpson 01303 265078 Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com Web: www.lympneairfield.com

 

 

Bushell Roger Bushell 3

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Lympne Airfield History society

Ann Hill 2

Over thirty people attended our presentation by Betty Black on the life of Skyways as a Lympne based airline from 1955 to 1974. Betty’s presentation was well illustrated with many colour photographs of all aspects of the era. The first flight to Beauvais near Paris was made on 21/9/55 linking London with Paris as a coach air service. The man behind Skyways was Eric Rylands who had seen a similar service linking Blackpool with the Isle of Man, and brought the idea to Lympne. He bought the airfield outright in 1956. The booking in hall and airport lounges had been created by Silver City, but since this car carrying airline had moved to Lydd in 1954, Skyways had to have them extended as they were too small. Other routes to Jersey, Ostend and Montpelier were also operated at first with Dakotas and then a brand new fleet of Hawker Siddeley 748 twin turbo prop aircraft. By 1968 Skyways were flying 247,000 passengers from Lympne. Many Lympne residents and others from the local area were working at the airport, with over 300 working for Skyways alone. By 1969 Lympne became Ashford Airport opened by Ted Heath the then leader of the opposition. A new runway had replaced the grass one after a serious landing accident in 1965, in which all survived the upturned 748 as it rolled over in poor weather. Other hair raising airliner incidents were recalled including one landing on a French beach and another diverting to Manston with a nose wheel jammed half way, to land on a foam covered runway. Again no loss of life

Many personalities were remembered with affection by our audience which included several former employees, too many to mention here, save for Cpt. Murray (Andy) Anderson who had flown PRU Spitfires in WW2 and gone on to fly Lysanders in and out of France at night dropping off and collecting SOE agents. He would go on to have a further flying career in the civil sector including Skyways. Several other Cpts. had been RAF pilots in WW2. We even learned that Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh flew into Lympne often in a Queen’s Flight Andover (a military 748) to visit the Brabourne estate. One such flight was in 1967.

Skyways Coach Air became Skyways International in 1971 after a management buyout and part of Dan Air in 1972. The last flight of a Dakota left Lympne on 31/10/74. Its return flight landed at Lydd where everything transferred that year ending a 19 year golden era of aviation history for Skyways at Lympne.

Our next meeting on May 2nd will be presented by John Simpson on the stories of Douglas Bader and Roger Bushell (Great Escape Big X) at Lympne before, during and after the war. We meet every two months at 7.30pm in the East Bar of Lympne Castle. There is no admission charge. Please note we are working with SHAL to avoid clashing dates in future, albeit holiday commitments may make this more difficult for our July meeting. From September this should be the case, as we look to occupy the first Tuesday in the month.

 

Skyways 2Skyways4Avro 748 County Members - Copy

For more Information please contact:

John Simpson 01303 265078

Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com

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Lympne Airfield History Society

Lympne Airfield History Society

 

Our meeting on March 14th welcomes Betty Black who worked for Skyways/Dan Air at Lympne from 1968 until 1974 when the airline moved to Lydd. Betty will present her experiences of those times with many images being shown to demonstrate what a busy enjoyable time it was for her. Part of the ground staff, Betty went on to say it was a great time for aviation and that locals will be surprised to hear just what used to happen at Lympne in those days.

Other presentation subjects to come this year will include Douglas Bader & Roger Bushell at Lympne, Silver City and more stories from the Second World War.

Please feel free to enjoy our continuing celebration of our Airfield in the wonderful surroundings of Lympne Castle’s East Bar. There is no charge. Thanks to our generous hosts Richard and Rod at the castle.

For more information please contact: John Simpson 01303 265078

Email: johnsimpson43@btinternet.com Web: www.lympneairfield.comavro-748-county-members-copy

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Lympne Airfield History Society

Happy New Year to you all.

The next meeting is set for Tuesday 10th January, 7.30pm – Lympne Castle East Bar.

We will be playing host to David Goldsmith as he presents his look at the attempted and achieved record breaking flights from England to the rest of the world (excluding Australia), of which Lympne was a major player. Diverse destinations like Brazil, USA, China and South Africa being just a few. Famous names such as Amy Johnson, Jim Mollison alone and together and Bill Lancaster predominate.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Best regards
John

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