The day I met Amy Johnson

Memory Lane Classmates Aviator Amy Johnson meets children outside the Queens Hotel, South Promenade, Blackpool, in the early 1930s. Next to her and shaking her hand is Alan Forrest, a pupil at Thames Road School.
Memory Lane Classmates Aviator Amy Johnson meets children outside the Queens Hotel, South Promenade, Blackpool, in the early 1930s. Next to her and shaking her hand is Alan Forrest, a pupil at Thames Road School.

HIS two young friends give the salute as Alan Forrest, now 84, of Blackpool Road, Carleton, shakes hands with famous female aviator Amy Johnson, in the early 1930s.

The picture was taken on Blackpool Promenade, outside the Queens Hotel, when Amy met the members of a Scottish dancing school, run by a dentist called Mr McFarlane from his nearby seafront premises.

At the time, Alan’s dad 
Harold had a hairdresser’s shop in Lytham Road.

Alan, who attended Thames Road School, joined the Royal Navy and, aboard aircraft carrier HMS Implacable, escorted HMS Vanguard on its Royal tour to South Africa.

He swapped the Scottish dancing of his boyhood for professional boxing and sparred with many top class fighters, including Ronnie Clayton and Brian London. He also belonged to Blackpool Seagulls Ice Hockey team, which played on Sunday mornings at the Pleasure Beach Ice Drome.

Alan’s wife Christine says: “We have many photographs from over the years which are treasured by the family.”