WORTH A SECOND GLANCE
(NOT) WORTH A SECOND GLANCE
– someone comes to you saying they have a load of company issue cards from
short lived UK charter operators from the late 1960s. I guess most collectors
would at least take a look, and many would hope they had stumbled on quite a
valuable horde. You take a look at the
cards – they feature Britannias and a 707.
You have to explain that the Britannias are highly collectible but the
707s are best used up as postcards. Why? Because they are the two cards shown
from Donaldson International Airways.
707” has become a shorthand for a card that, by its age, origin and subject
ought to be rare but most certainly is not. It points out the difficulty of any
catalogue generalisation on value/rarity as, although
in the prime category of airline issue first generation jets from
lesser known, short life British companies,
rare it is not. By contrast, the
earlier Black & White Britannia line up’s status is all that one would
expect it to be. Why?
Basically because when Donaldson ceased
trading in 1974 it seems that its stock of postcards formed part of the
liquidation sale and found their way onto the market in thousands – in the
late 80s they were on sale in bulk for about 1p a card or maybe less.
If this had not been the case they would no doubt rank with contemporary
short lived 707 operators Lloyd
International (see below) and
Pelican Cargo. The Lloyd back message has
“Flew from Kennedy Airport New York in this plane and arrived Stansted Airport
England at 3.15 pm Sunday 23rd August 1971”)
Donaldson themselves lasted 10 years but only 7 of these were as
airliner owners, starting with Ex British United Britannia G-APNA in 1967,
adding its sister PNB in ’69 together with ex BOAC OVC and OVF from 1969 and
1970. The card shows OVC
“Mikado” , PNA “Juno” and PNB “Carillon”. The 707s were ex Pan
American , 2 being acquired in 1971 and 2 more in 1972. Three were converted to
freighters. The last major contract undertaken was operation of 2 707s for Iraqi
Airways pending delivery of their own 707s.
On termination, the 707s were repossessed by Pan Am and British Midland
took over the Iraqi contract.
With “Donaldson 707” having entered the language of the hobby it was
perhaps inevitable that there should be a standing rumour to go with it.
Basically this says that during the very short period of
Donaldson 707 passenger operations under their own name, (1971-2) this
same card was available but with space on the back to fill in date, flight no,
origin and destination. If
anyone out there has one such I guess we would all like to know in case
its worth while looking at the back of those that lurk in sale boxes worldwide.
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