It was an interesting article on Ronald Waters and his involvement in the embryonic Gatwick Airport in the 1930s (Crawley Observer August 19).
He died in 1954 which was a significant date for me at the airport as I was with a group of students from Collyer’s School( all boys grammar then ) who, in August of that year,flew from the grass runway airport to Basel/Mulhouse. This route has been restored in relatively recent years and there was at that time the added minor problem in that we were destined for Switzerland whilst Mulhouse airfield is in France. We flew at 7,000ft in a Dakota( DC3 ) of Transair which took two hours 40 minutes! Prior to boarding our party was cleared through the Beehive terminal followed by a short walk to the aircraft.
After the Gatwick closure in 1956, there were complaints in Horsham about the routes taken by trucks through the town carrying hardcore from Chichester for the new hard surface runway, which the Queen opened in 1958. How different the airport is today !
Graham Booker, Hurstpierpoint
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