Airlines and Christchurch in the 1930s
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Air Charters Ltd : Set up in April 1938 to operate air taxi services with a Fox Moth and a Puss Moth.
Air Dispatch : In November 1936 initiated a Croydon-Portsmouth-Southampton-Christchurch-Teignmouth(Torquay )service. The fare from Christchurch to Croydon was £3-3-0 return.During WW2 the company became involved in overhaul and maintenance of RAF aircraft .
????? DH Dragon
Channel Air Ferries(previously Olley Air Service): Operated from 1936 till 1941 using DH Dragons... routes to Croydon-Brighton- Bembridge , Shoreham,Bristol & Cardiff,Brighton- Ryde- Christchurch-Bristol-Exeter-Plymouth- Lands End- Scilly Isles.Some services were operated in conjunction with Railway Air Services.Aircraft used were DH84 and DH89s
Cobham Air Routes (Alan Cobham) :In mid-May 1935 Cobham Air Routes commenced a Croydon-Portsmouth-Christchurch-Guernsey service using four Airspeed Envoy IIs and a Westland Wessex. There were plans for a hangar to be erected at Christchurch .Pilots wereMessrs.C Bebb, P Beresford and R Ogden. However after the Wessex(G-ADEW)suffered an engine failure and ditched south on the Needles on July 4th 1935 with the loss of the pilot Mr R Ogden,services ceased and the airline was sold to Olley Air Services.The sole passenger on board was picked up by a passing vessel , the "Stanmore" and taken to Fowey.
G-ABAJ Westland Wessex.
G-ADBA AS6J Envoy.
G-ADEW Westland Wessex.
G-ADFZ Westland Wessex.
Crilly Airways:Operated daily service to Bristol in 1936. The original intention was to use 4 Fokker F.XII aircraft (G-ADZH/I/J/K) purchased in 1935.However these aircraft were pooled with British Airways for a London -Lisbon service so it is unlikely they ever visited Christchurch .More than likely the company used it's DH Dragon aircraft for the Christchurch- Bristol service.The company ceased trading on September 9, 1936.
Western and Southern Air Lines Limited:Formed by the merging of Channel Air Ferries and Railway Air Services in December 1938 .In March 1939 GW&SAL applied for a licence for a service once daily in each direction between
Shoreham and Bournemouth, and in addition, four times in each direction between Ryde and Bournemouth.The latter service would be jointly operated with PSIOWA.The fare to Ryde was 17/6d return and to Shoreham-£2-1-6d.
Hillman's Airways: operated charter flights to Christchurch using DH Dragons.(extant 1932-35).
Jersey Airways:Heston-Southampton- Jersey - Christchurch on request...used 14 DH.84s(see photo below) and DH.89As(extant 1933-45).
Portsmouth Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation Ltd (P.S.I.O.W.A.):
Commenced with a Portsmouth to Ryde and Christchurch sevice on 14-05-34 using Westalnd Wessex aircraft. However , due to the poor state of Christchurch's grass runway the service was suspended after a short time.
Once the running of the airfield had been taken over by Francis Fisher service recommenced. Read a .contempory newspaper account of the commencement of services.There were six flights a day - seven days a week using Westland Wessexes and DH Fox Moths.In 1935 the Bournemouth - Isle of Wight run operated 4 times a day fromApril 15th , increasing to 5 times daily during the peak summer months.The service was to be operated by Airspeed Couriers equipped with Marconi A.D.6N. sets and
artificial horizons and directional gyros with Reid and
Sigrist turn and bank indicators..
By 1936 PSIOWA was expanding fast and , over the next few years ran numerous services covering the Hampshire, Sussex and Isle of Wight area .An international route to Paris was also serviced. PSIOWA also did charter work to various destinations including Christchurch.
Locally PSIOWA had premises in Scotts Hill Lane at Christchurch where later during the war , as " Portsmouth Aviation"(which is still in business today at what was Portsmouth Airport ), they undertook work servicing Airspeed Oxfords- the actual aircraft being held at the Warren Avenue Hangar ..
G-ACLR AS5A Courier.
G-ACLT AS5A Courier.
G-ACRF DH Dragon II.
G-ACLF AS5A Courier.
G-ACNZ AS5A Courier.
G-ACVF AS5B Courier.
G-ADAY AS5A Courier.
G-ADCA AS6J Envoy .
G-ACCA DH83 Fox Moth.
G-ACIG DH83 Fox Moth.
G-ABVB Westland Wessex.
Provincial Airways:Daily flights Croydon-Southampton (Eastleigh)-Christchurch-Weymouth-Plymouth-Newquay-Hayle using a DH Dragon and two Fox Moths.Operations commenced in 1934.The company quoted the Shamrock and Rambler coach company as their Bournemouth agents.Their 1935 Summer timetable showed two flights westbound to Torquay(Haldon) ,Plymouth,Newquay amd Penzance at 10.55AM and 5.55PM, and two easterly flights to Southampton,Portsmouth and Croydon ....Bournemouth was a request stop.(1934-35)..
G-ACEX DH83 Fox Moth.
G-ACEY DH83 Fox Moth.
Railway Air Services ( predeccessor of BEA): Started in 1938...services: Christchurch -Ryde -Brighton.Brighton-Ryde-Bembridge- Christchurch.Southampton-Bristol-Cardiff.The summer 1938 timetable shows three flights daily weekdays (two on Sundays) from and to Ryde(One the flights was actually operated by PSIOWA but bookable via RAS).
Western Airways Ltd(Norman Edgar) of Bristol: Operated twice daily to Bristol and Cardiff using DH.84 Dragons from 1934 till 1936.Services commenced on Sunday 12th May 1934.The Bristol-Bournemouth service was suspended for the winter from October 7th 1934.The Summer 1935 timetable shows two flights daily to and from Bristol and Cardiff , arriving Bournemouth(Christchurch) at 11.10 and 6.40PM .A day return to Bristol cost 29/6d(approx £1.48) and Cardiff 39/-(approx £1.95)..
G-ACJT DH Dragon
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