Blackpool was sky high in flight boom

It was the Golden Age of Flight. The 1930s.

Thursday, 15th November 2018, 5:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th November 2018, 5:19 pm
The Prince of Wales De Havillard Dragon in which his brother, the Duke of Kent flew to Squires Gate, Blackpool, in October 1935
The Prince of Wales De Havillard Dragon in which his brother, the Duke of Kent flew to Squires Gate, Blackpool, in October 1935

And in Blackpool, aviation was a big part of the town’s history.We delve back into the archives at the 1930s and how this relatively new mode of transport really spread its wings.Blackpool was of course home to an aerodrome in Stanley Park and another at Squires Gate – where the airport eventually developed.The beach was also used for landings, as amphibious aeroplanes were developed and used to take passengers between the resort and the Isle of Man. Our picture from 1932 shows crowds on the beach – with the Tower in the background – waiting to board. And another shot shows the planes on the water.The Prince of Wales’ brother, the Duke of Kent, flew to Squires Gate, in October 1935 and his De Havillard Dragon is pictured here,Air shows and pageants were particularly popular in the 30s and several of our library stills show aircraft taking part in various displays – including flying past the Tower and over Fleetwood, with an amazed public watching on.The RAF would sometimes put its aircraft on display, for members of the public to see up close – as shown by our photo from 1935.The RAF had a volunteer reserve centre, based at Squires Gate during the 1930s.Mr J Ralph, deputy chief instructor (left), is pictured in August 1939, explaining the instruments in the cockpit of a plane to recruits of the RAF Volunteer Reserve, at the local headquarters at Squires Gate. A campaign was in progress at that time to recruit as reserve pilots, men who would be able to train while carrying on their businessAlso in August 1939, Flight Lieut HA Howes, chief inspector, is shown with members of the RAF Volunteer Reserve Centre staff.

Saro Cutty Sark amphibious aeroplane used in 1932 for flights, between Blackpool and the Isle of Man
Aeroplane flies over the Blackpool seafront, in September 1935

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Amphibious planes on the water in Blackpool, 1930s
Flight Lieut HA Howes, with RAF Volunteer Reserve Centre staff at Squires Gate
RAF, public viewing of planes in Blackpool, in 1935
Air pageant, in 1931, in Fleetwood
J Ralph, deputy chief instructor (left), explaining the instruments in the cockpit of a plane to recruits of the RAF Volunteer Reserve, at Squires Gate, in August 1939
1935 Kings Cup Race