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Wednesday, 3 August 2011


History students from The John Fisher School in Purley have been awarded £12,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1000 from the Historical Association to make a short documentary about the history of Croydon Airport.

Croydon aerodrome had major military significance as part of London's air defences in World War One and in World War Two it played an active role in the Battle of Britain and became a base for the Royal Air Force Transport Command. In between the wars it was the official customs airport for all international flights and ran scheduled passenger, mail and freight flights to many European destinations. Famous highlights are Cobham's return from his five-month African trip in 1926; Lindbergh's visit after his first Atlantic solo flight in 1927; Bert Hinkler's first flight to Australia and Amy Johnson's return flight from Australia.

Its decline began after the war when it became unsuitable for the larger, faster heavier aircraft. Major airlines relocated to Heathrow and by 1959 Croydon airport was no longer a viable airport.

The twenty John Fisher School boys involved in the project are looking to interview people who have any memories of the airport. Tanya Smith, Head of History at the school explains the importance of the film: "We are hoping to raise awareness of our incredible local heritage and to make links between young and older people. This is taking History out of the classroom and into the community. It is a great opportunity for our students"

If you have any stories or memories about the airport, no matter how small, please contact Tanya Smith at [email protected] alternatively, you can write or telephone The John Fisher School.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 11:41 am  

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