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Airhead

December 1, 2006

Voici le glamour!

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There was a nice post from Dick Headley this week showing a before and after aerial photo of Gatwick Airport – it’s quite astonishing and I suppose not altogether surprising but even so…. It made me think about how aviation has changed and how ‘special’ flying once was. My grandmother didn’t fly for the first time until she was in her 60’s. I went on my first flight when I was 7 when we de-camped to Greece for a year (yes – my mother did a Shirley Valentine – I think I’ll save that for another post) and my son went on his first flight aged 9 months!

Gone are the halcyon days of BOAC, Freddie Laker and British Caledonian – I always remember seeing this ad on the tube on the way to school in the late 70’s/early 80’s

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Flying used to be quite glamorous by all accounts

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with nice ladies to do nice things for you – and look at the legroom!

One of my distant cousins Edna was a BOAC hostess in the 60’s – I remember there always being a photo of her in her uniform waving from a red sports car looking radiant ontop of my granny’s telly much to my mother’s chagrin who was/is an artist. Now and again she would jet in from somewhere exotic and was treated like royalty when she visited the family – usually in sunny Bournemouth where they had all settled to dye their hair purple, wear dentures and eventually die in the other way. And goodness, we never heard the end of it. Such status! Edna this Edna that.

Anyway…Dick’s post made me go on a little trip down memory lane which I thought I would share for a brief moment.

Doors to manual.

And no smoking in the cabin.

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11 Comments
  1. JDA permalink

    Yes RoMo, it’s posts like this one and DH’s that remind me of better times in a manner of speaking, things were slower and one had time to think, organise oneself. Roads wre not as bad then either as they are now. But advancement has no boundaries or limitations, and when it comes it is cold and heartless which leaves us all looking backwards to earlier times that bring nostalgia and longing….wow, don’t I go on?

  2. rockmother permalink

    I think that is very concise Jif.<br/><br/>Thank you.

  3. Remarkable Ape permalink

    What happened to Edna. Did she marry a Dubai billionaire. Become a palyboy bunny or does she now head a world super villian conglomerate. <br/><br/>I have always had a wish to follow what happened to the glamourous tea ladies. <br/><br/>Did they all downgrade to Easyjet as they got older? Do they now run BA’s Union.

  4. rockmother permalink

    Hello Remarkable – well, Edna had a boyfriend who was a pilot called Roger. he was the one that had the red sports car. They split up, he ended up with a boyfriend I believe and poor Edna never married, contracted cancer at 39 and died. All rather sad really.

  5. Arabella permalink

    Edna’s story (bless her) would probably have made a very good ‘Play For Today’.<br/>It all seemed so glamorous and brings to mind my Cindy doll’s great Pan Am air hostess outfit.<br/><br/>But RockMother – you ought to know that I have tagged you.

  6. rockmother permalink

    Arabella – hello! goodness I thought I’d lost you for a while. Yes – poor sad Edna. <br/><br/>Agh. Tagged! Oh no – I couldn’t possibly! I’ll have a look. Thank you x

  7. SimonHolyHoses permalink

    Air Hostesses were a thing of their day, weren’t they. Like blob lamps, kinky boots, clackers, and adverts for fags on telly.<br/><br/>I watched a series of UFO on borrowed DVDs the other week and couldn’t believe how much they smoked. Even on the moon. You know! Didn’t they ever worry about burning up their air and all that?<br/><br/>And drinking. Pilots belting down the scotch before they go off on an interceptor mission.<br/><br/>But funniest of all; how they play the theme tune on saxophone at half tempo everytime they show footage of a young lady in a mini-skirt walking down a corridor.<br/><br/>It makes you wince to watch it now.

  8. Istvanski permalink

    That was very sad with what happened to Edna. It’s also amazing the kind of status bestowed upon flight crew, isn’t it? I remember reading somewhere about the wages of pilots that flew for some internal American airline (which were really poor – around ??18,000 per annum)…they’d be better off working for the railway.

  9. rockmother permalink

    I once insulted a smarmy pilot on a flight to Fuerteventura who invited me up to the cockpit. After having a good look around I said: it’s a bit like being a glorified bus driver really isn’t it? and sniffed in a really unimpressed manner. He DID NOT look pleased. Which was just as well as I think he thought I would snog him if he showed me the cockpit. What a wanker. He was ghastly.

  10. I had a girlfriend who worked for Caledonian. She smelled of duty-free gin mostly.

  11. SimonHolyHoses permalink

    You lucky person, DH. What nicer smell could a laydee have?

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