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TOPIC: Maylands (Romford)

Maylands (Romford) 25 Oct 2013 19:39 #1

  • G-ORDY
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E.H.Hillman, an operator of motor coaches from London to the Essex resorts, took over the licence at Maylands Aerodrome, on the A12 just outside Romford, on 12 November 1931. His first aircraft, a D.H.80A Puss Moth, was delivered the next day and was used for charter and taxi work. On 1 April 1932 Hillmans Airways started a scheduled service between Maylands and Clacton using Puss Moth and Fox Moth aircraft. Flying time was 30 minutes or less and the cost was 12/6d one way or £1 return. By June they were operating once every three hours during daylight with a fleet of three Puss Moths, two Fox Moths and a D.H.60M Metal Moth. Hillman eventually ordered the D.H.84 Dragon "off the drawing board" to enable operations between Maylands and Paris, leading to further orders for the D.H.86 Express and the D.H.89 Dragon Rapide - but by now he had moved operations from Maylands to Stapleford Tawney and set up several internal routes as well as operating GPO mail flights to Glasgow and Belfast.

Hillman died on 31 December 1934 at the age of 45, the company continued but in August 1935 Hillmans announced a further move from Stapeford to Gatwick but on 30 September 1935 Hillman's merged with United Airways and Spartan Air Lines to form Allied British Airways - the name changing to "British Airways" on 29 October that year.

Maylands continued as a private licensed aerodrome until the outbreak of WW2, a bombing raid in 1940 destroying the Romford Flying Club's hangar along with all of the aircraft within it ... although I did hear a rumour that it may have been a deliberate fire to collect the insurance money!

The hangar base from the Hillman's Airways hangar is still extant but the white paling fence around the public enclosure on the A12 has long since disappeared. The aerodrome is now the Maylands Golf Club and when I visited during the early 1970's the clubhouse still had a large board listing famous vistors which included several 1930's aviators including Amy Johnson.

Maylands from the air, 25 August 1932 (Flight 12186)

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The same shot today from Google Earth - red circles indicate the hangar base (top) and public enclosure (next to A12)

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Edward Hillman with his Rolls-Royce, photographed in the public enclosure next to the A12, buildings in background are still there (W.N. Francis)

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The hangar was burned down in 1940 but the base is still extant (Flight 12189)

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D.H.83 Fox Moth G-ABVI, Maylands, 5 July 1932 (Flight 11771)

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Prototype D.H.84 Dragon, G-ACAN, Maylands, 30 December 1932 (Flight 12540)

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Maylands (Romford) 26 Oct 2013 04:11 #2

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Good report, thanks G-ORDY.

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Maylands (Romford) 14 Nov 2013 17:39 #3

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Thanks Peter

Here's another shot, Parnall Pixie II G-EBKM. The photo was taken on the small apron area and public enclosure next to the road, with the buildings in the background which can be seen on the aerial photos. The same spot as the shot of Hillman posing next to his Rolls-Royce.

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Maylands (Romford) 27 Nov 2013 19:44 #4

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The houses in the background are in Woodstock Avenue where I lived 1955 - 1983. The greengrocer shop in Harold Court Parade still had 'CAFE' painted on the roof into the 1970s, to catch the eye of descending passengers presumably! Number 1 Harold Court Road has been occupied by a company called Airport engineering for as long as I can remember. A link with the past? In the 1960s the hanger base was wholly visible with door runners and drainage troughs a hazard to my motorbike! I have posted before the story of the Hurricane that couldn't land on the field due to anti invasion poles driven into the ground. It tried to land on the A12 but crashed into a house. There is a plaque dedicated to the pilot on the repaired house.

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Maylands (Romford) 01 Jul 2015 21:04 #5

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G-ORDY;133804 wrote: E.H.Hillman, an operator of motor coaches from London to the Essex resorts, took over the licence at Maylands Aerodrome, on the A12 just outside Romford, on 12 November 1931. His first aircraft, a D.H.80A Puss Moth, was delivered the next day and was used for charter and taxi work. On 1 April 1932 Hillmans Airways started a scheduled service between Maylands and Clacton using Puss Moth and Fox Moth aircraft. Flying time was 30 minutes or less and the cost was 12/6d one way or £1 return. By June they were operating once every three hours during daylight with a fleet of three Puss Moths, two Fox Moths and a D.H.60M Metal Moth. Hillman eventually ordered the D.H.84 Dragon "off the drawing board" to enable operations between Maylands and Paris, leading to further orders for the D.H.86 Express and the D.H.89 Dragon Rapide - but by now he had moved operations from Maylands to Stapleford Tawney and set up several internal routes as well as operating GPO mail flights to Glasgow and Belfast.

Hillman died on 31 December 1934 at the age of 45, the company continued but in August 1935 Hillmans announced a further move from Stapeford to Gatwick but on 30 September 1935 Hillman's merged with United Airways and Spartan Air Lines to form Allied British Airways - the name changing to "British Airways" on 29 October that year.

Maylands continued as a private licensed aerodrome until the outbreak of WW2, a bombing raid in 1940 destroying the Romford Flying Club's hangar along with all of the aircraft within it ... although I did hear a rumour that it may have been a deliberate fire to collect the insurance money!

The hangar base from the Hillman's Airways hangar is still extant but the white paling fence around the public enclosure on the A12 has long since disappeared. The aerodrome is now the Maylands Golf Club and when I visited during the early 1970's the clubhouse still had a large board listing famous vistors which included several 1930's aviators including Amy Johnson.

Maylands from the air, 25 August 1932 (Flight 12186)



The same shot today from Google Earth - red circles indicate the hangar base (top) and public enclosure (next to A12)

This image is hidden for guests.
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Edward Hillman with his Rolls-Royce, photographed in the public enclosure next to the A12, buildings in background are still there (W.N. Francis)

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The hangar was burned down in 1940 but the base is still extant (Flight 12189)

This image is hidden for guests.
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D.H.83 Fox Moth G-ABVI, Maylands, 5 July 1932 (Flight 11771)

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Prototype D.H.84 Dragon, G-ACAN, Maylands, 30 December 1932 (Flight 12540)

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The concrete road that appears in the colour picture, heading down to the hanger, does not appear in the 1930s black and white picture. This road was built in the 1950s to give access to the dozens of gypsy caravans that filled the field.

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