mail: Colin Cohen, 22 Selvage Lane, London NW7 3SP, UK
ARTICLE NO. 42
This time I was looking through one of my albums and thought that it
would be nice to devote my article to the early British national carriers in my
collection. The first few cards feature British European aircraft publishers
such as Pamlin, Flight International which are in black and white with not many
airline issues in those days. Then we
move on to a rather unusual BEA issue card of de Havilland – Airspeed Ambassador “Elizabethan” Class with two Bristol Centaurus
Next the Vickers Viscount which I remember well as a boy in that livery
when I used to visit Elmdon airport and travel on the feeder plane to Heathrow
to go on our summer holidays, as there were few direct flights in those days to
holiday destinations other than from London. The big square red box marked BEA
in white was well known everywhere. I
always recall the great fleet of BEA aircraft waiting lined up on the apron at
Heathrow as we landed and took off and of course I had to be seated by the huge
window. This feature regretfully is not well depicted on postcards – but Trans
Canada did one.
I have numerous Viscount drawings with
one of my favourite being a Salmon Series card numbered 5259. The Vanguards,
Comets and Tridents then appear in my album. In the late sixties early seventies
the livery changed to the navy blue tails and the union jack arrow. I recall the
first time I saw this livery I was very surprised especially as there was a long
transition period and some aircraft were not fully painted and some on German
services only ever had the navy tails with red writing. This is depicted by a
set of two cards from BEA at Berlin Tempelhof with BAC1-11 featured. The idea of
marking certain planes on the fuselage with the regions that they were serving
came in for such as Channel Islands, and Scottish airways.
This card by Jarrold is of a painting presented by BEA to the Channel
island Aero Club to mark 25 years of Channel Island operation by the airline.
Was there a Welsh division also, does anyone remember, perhaps not as
Cambrian Airways were linked to BEA. This was then followed by the birth of
British Airways as known today following the union of both BEA and BOAC.
move now to BOAC which I have early drawing postcards of Salmon Comet 5257 and
black and white cards from various aircraft of the fleet including Argonaut,
Handley Page Hermes, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, Britannia, Constellations, early
All these have white tails and dark blue writing and then the livery is reversed
with dark blue tails and white writing. There are various drawing postcards of
this era. Comets and Boeing 707 then feature on postcards together with early
cards of the VC10. The livery was then modernised with gold writing and a large
dark blue strip along the fuselage. The writing was subsequently enlarged in a
later version. The Boeing 747 was the last member of the fleet to be added, with
the gold writing by the nose changed to dark blue bold letters above, as on this
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