I delved into the box to look through the unmounted photographs, still in their paper covers. I had been hoping that they were ones post-1939, which is as far as Geoffrey’s photo album goes. Unfortunately my hopes were unfounded: nearly all of them are the rejects from those films.
There were a couple of gems, though…
There is what looks like a professional photograph, with Geoffrey’s writing on the back “Heliopolis with Turkish Civil Aviation Delegation and Robert Maxwell, Reg. Director M E 1941”. Geoffrey is facing the camera, the Turkish Delegation are wearing fez, and there are three other gentlemen in the picture. I suspect Maxwell is the one with his back to the camera, facing Geoffrey.
There is a series of photographs of a flying boat approaching and landing, and the first is labelled “Canopus Proving Flight, Butiaba, March 1938”. The last in the sequence is a close-up of the crew picking up the mooring, labelled “W/O Paddy ~~~”
Also of interest: a few extra pictures from Brindisi, some with names, and a few more of flying boats arriving in various places. I hope they scan well enough to be able to identify the registration marks. There are also some more photographs of the convoy leaving Butiaba to transfer up to Juba.
There are a series of books which I’m sure will be of interest to one of the museums, either the Croydon Society or the BA archives.:
- Medical Notes and First-Aid Treatment for Flights in the Tropics and Sub-Tropics (1936)
- The ‘Q’ Code and other Abbreviations to be used in the Civil Aeronautical Radio Service (1937) – this is relevant to Geoffrey’s comments of radio codes, especially when he was in Juba.
- British Air Mails – A Chronology (1935)
- Civil Aviation and the Export Trade by Norman J Freeman (undated but Geoffrey has dated it 1946)
- Warne’s Metric Conversion Tables (1950)
- Fifty Years of British Air Mails 1911-1960, together with some memos from Francis J Field Ltd. dated 1966
- A leather-bound ring-leaf book with alphabetical notes made by Geoffrey including hatch measurements of aircraft, conversions, documents to be carried by aircraft, definitions e.g. “Empty Weight” etc. Includes an Aircraft Log & Load Record, completed in pencil, for Service No NE103, departure date 18/7/41, flown by G-AEUE (Cameronian), Commander Poole, P/O Anderson, R/O Cussans, Purser Bullock. “Test Flight delayed because of mist.” Shows all the transit and joining weights. I think this is only there having had notes written on the back of other things to define in the notebook!
The final gem, to my mind, carefully folded up, is an Imperial Airways pennant, complete with toggle and loop for fixing to a standard. It is black (possibly navy) with a white cross, and a coat of arms with IA in the centre. I don’t know whether it’s from a ‘boat or from one of the launches. If I work it out, I’ll let you know.