The 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 Liverpool.


The 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”.

It 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”.

The 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.


Card 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 vans used.


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