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No aircraft has done so much to expand our horizons, Happy Birthday Jumbo Jet!

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1969, I was 9 years old. Then when the first one came into Heathrow in January 1970 the whole area came to a standstill.  I was at Cranford Junior School and our classroom was on the end of the building. Now that particular school is literally just over the fence from BOAC's, (Now BAs) maintenance area and aircraft coming in flew very low right over our playing fields. All the lads in the school were aircraft mad at the time so you can imagine the stir the 747 caused. The very first time I saw one I was sat in class listening to our Headmaster giving us a lesson as the regular teacher was elsewhere. Our classrooms had huge windows on both the back and sides of the room. I had been idly watching the other aircraft coming in on the regular 30 second gaps when suddenly the gap was longer, I looked out of the back window to what was next only to see this huge aircraft heading towards us quite slowly, I was overcome with excitement and in the silence of the classroom yelled ou "JUMBO!!" at which point everyone ran to the window to see this magnificent aircraft come into the airport.  Even the Headmaster came to view the spectacle, This reaction became commonplace for many months everytime one of these aircraft came in. Even as a child we all knew that this was the start of something big. Heathrow was, and still is, a major employer in the West London area and there was a buzz amongst all those that worked there as the "wide-body revolution" took hold throughout the 70s. Passenger numbers shot up and the infrastructure in the whole area suddenly became a lot busier.  The 747 changed the way people travelled and although I was oblivious to that side of things to a degree, my Dad who was then working for Dunlop Aviation Services at Hatton Cross (on the south east corner of the airport inside the official boundaries.) his workload was suddenly a lot busier. (When a Jumbo needed new tyres there were a lot more of them! ) On the weekends and and school holidays all us local kids would flock to the airport fences, (just a two bar wooden affair back then, no security!) and sit on the grass just inside it watching the aircraft arriving and departing, literally yards away, Our other favourite haunt was the Queens Building in the central area which had a superb multi tiered roof garden and viewing area which meant we could see all the action in all its glory. They were heady days for us kids and I for one will miss the 747 when they are no longer flying. 

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Just a few of the many hundreds of photos I've taken since the 1970s, some are taken on 35m, some on a C126 cartridge film and others are digital from later cameras. A few were taken from my parents back garden in Cranford, others from Hatton Cross, Myrtle Avenue, another set from  the Eastern perimeter road crossing point(before it was closed off) and others from the central car parks. A few more were taken airside when I worked as a coach driver. Now of course the security at LHR has had a major upgrade since the spectre of terrorism has arrived and as a result many of our old haunts are inaccessible. Anyway these are ones that I've uploaded onto the PC so far. Most of them are in racks of 6x4 prints whilst other later ones are on CDRs. I daren't post them all, you'd be here for years! LOL












A bit of fun with a multi exposures in the same frame, the same aircraft on approach to 27R at LHR
























Thanks for viewing, I hope you enjoyed them





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