WORTH A SECOND GLANCE
THEIR LIVERPOOL HOME
centrefold features the cards of Real Photographs Ltd of
Liverpool – whose cards were all untitled. To decode the card numbers
you needed to have their published lists from the 1930s/40s.
The majority of their cards were supplied by manufacturers or other photo
agencies but at least two depict events from the company’s home city of
first card , number 146 shows a DH Dragon of Railway Air Services with a
gathering that suggests some kind of special event. A stone building and some
quite opulent 1930s limousines are in the background. A real Photographs Listing from 1942 (price 9d = old pennies) is in fact incorrect as it says
that the subject is a DH86 but also says “First RAS mail service”.
also lists no 145 as a DH86. In fact 145 IS a DH86 G-ACVY “Mercury” but,
oddly for a real Photographs card, has a
title “First Mail, Railway Air Services , Liverpool”.
Dragon card scene is recognizable as the original Liverpool-Speke airport –
the building was an ex farmhouse, converted to a terminal/control tower by the
insertion of a glass windowed lookout point in to the roof, just visible at the
left card edge. Member Peter
Little has found a reference in an aerophilatelic source which says that
the date is 7th May 1934 and the occasion is the inauguration
of the RAS service to Plymouth with Dragon G-ACPX. The route was via Birmingham
and Cardiff. It also claims that this was
the first service appearance of the RAS red/green colour scheme, which seems
likely as CPX was delivered from deHavillands on the 3rd May. This
latter information is from “Railway Air Services “ by John Stroud which
confirms the picture identification too.
145, the DH86 is a bit more problematical. G-ACVY inaugurated the RAS
Glasgow-London air mail on 20th August 1934 but did not call at
Liverpool, being routed via Isle-of-Man, Manchester-Barton.
It sustained weather damage southbound and was substituted for a Westland
Wessex northbound. So it is not clear to
which event at Liverpool the postcard caption refers, especially as, by December
of 1934 the London-Belfast-Glasgow mail was awarded to Hillmans Airways, whose
Rapide G-ADAL is shown with the farmhouse/tower on this Royal Mail retrospective
card from 1984 which also shows an example of the special streamline Air Mail
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