‘For the Record’: New Project Underwayfor PFBC
Barbara with Dave Rose (- formerly of BOAC’s Marinecraft Units): Dave has been unwell recently, and we wish him a speedy recovery!
Barbara Plumbridge (nee Davis) is heading up a major project for PFBC involving audio-visual recordings of those with their marvellous stories to tell and to record for future generations...
Her own background as a member of the distinguished Poole Davis Family with long associations with boating, and BOAC, means that Barbara has a keen appreciation of our local history. Her father Gilbert Davis was a senior figure in BOAC’s MCU as Coxswain, together with her uncle David who later became a much-respected broadcaster: So that it is hardly surprising Barbara has inherited their knowledge and passion for Poole ! [Her affable & engaging disposition have already benefitted ‘Friends of Poole Park’ where she is a volunteer for its kiosk.]
In turn, Barbara is now seeking volunteers for this Task Force where you might have expertise for interviewing & recording! An approach has been for technical & other support from our local College, for this is such a significant initiative to PFBC and to Poole’s History of the era of Flying Boats + Seaplanes.
Likewise,if you have your story to tell about your experiences or such information to relate about your parents /grandparents and would like to be interviewed ~ then please contact PFBC... Our promise is that it be enjoyable, and certainly not onerous; as we aim for a stress-free, and informal atmosphere/settings!
Barbara is also seeking volunteers for the PFBC Day at Poole’s DolphinCentre. It is scheduled for the Bank Holiday Saturday, 29th. August in the main foyer just outside Marks & Spencer PFBC’s set of Display Boards (see above) will be set out there for so many visitors on the day to Poole’s prime shopping mall.
For News about a forthcoming BBC4 Production see Col.6 overleaf
~ LVE: ‘Poole to Poole’ with Romance in the Air!
With the Summertime upon us, and no doubt romance in the air, a great place to visit is Solent Sky Museum - Southampton, where VH-BRC Beachcomber is the marvellous centrepiece…
This beautifully restored ‘Sandringham 4’ has its fascinating story to reveal, for it started life as an RAF Sunderland MkIII
JM715 by Shorts in 1943, before being converted at Belfast.
Postwar, like so many of its counterparts this Flying Boat was surplus to requirements, but was destined to be a Tasman Class. It was so called, as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) needed 4 replacements for its pair of ageing C-Class Empires on the Sydney - Auckland route: So a great adventure began !
From Poole, Capt. Tommy Rose of BOAC (a Lilliput resident) flew now named RMA Auckland to Sydney on 15th. Oct. 1947, with 12 stops en route, then on to Auckland arriving 28th.Oct. However, by 1950 the 4 Sandys had in turn been replaced by Solent 3s, and RMA Auckland sold to Barrier Reef Airways ! As VH-BRC Beachcomber it next passed to Ansett Airways in 1953, and operated between Sydney and Lord Howe Island until an airfield opened in 1974: Beachcomber was sold again.
The new owner was Antilles Air Boats in the Virgin Islands WI belonging to the distinguished & decorated Capt. Charles Blair, where it was re-registered VP-LVE and named Southern Cross. As an ex Pan Am Clipper pilot and record breaker, Capt. Blair was a celebrity, and in 1968 he had married Maureen O’Hara ! She was a glamorous star ~ so their romance was captivating!
VP-LVE Southern Cross
Just imagine the publicity when this famous couple took off: In 1976 VP-LVE Southern Cross was flown ‘transatlantic’ to Lough Derg as Maureen O’Hara had a residence near Bantry, and then flew onwards to land in Poole on 23rd. August 1976. Touching down, LVE had gone ‘Poole to Poole’ in 28 + years !
To be continued: Exciting Times when at Poole (+ PFBC Members)
Webfooters + Webfootage: ‘PFBC Postcard from…’
The term Webfooters applies to Aircrews of the Flying Boats of the RAF as they operated out of the UK around the world and the RAAF Squadrons formed in WW2 in their vital role .
PFBC Archive + Website are benefiting from the generosity of John Witcombe & other members on 461 Squadron when at RAF Hamworthy from Sept. 1942 through to April 1943, coping with challenges of Wareham Channel & Lake Shore, and the U-boat menace in the Western Approaches & Biscay.
PFBC Trustees are determined to mark 461 Sqd.’s History when at Poole with a ‘fitting memorial’ as our Celebration: More news about this Project will hopefully follow soon...
Just as members of RNAS Sandbanks and RAF Hamworthy reached far and wide, so did the routes of BOAC Flying Boats which stretched out from Poole in WW2, and postwar period.
G-AFRA Cleopatra with Captain Peers
I c o n i c P h o t o o f G - A G C A B e r w i c k t a k i n g o f f f r o m a l a g o o n a t L a g o s P o s t c a r d F r o m . . . © d u e o n P F B C ’ s W e b s i t e