|by Bill Bawden, PRO|
18 January 2011
Brabazon, Frontiersman of Aviation
The annual general meeting of the Woking Branch of the AirCrew Association, postponed from December because of the snowstorms, was held at Fairoaks Airport. Members stood to remember the six colleagues who died during 2010 as welfare officer, Ron Houghton, read out their names.
All branch officers and committee members were re-elected nem con which should ensure continuity into another successful year.
The meeting was followed by an illustrated talk by guest speaker Alex Toohey on the life of Lord Brabazon of Tara (1884-1964). Brabazon had a great many interests including motor and winter sports (he was still competing in the Cresta Run at the age of seventy), but he is chiefly remembered for his pioneer work in aviation. He was the holder of the first British pilot's licence and broke several air records before serving in the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War.
Subsequently he entered politics and rose to become Minister of Transport and then Minister of Aircraft Production during WW II. In view of his achievements, it is unfortunate that the post-war prototype airliner bearing his name proved to be a commercial failure and was never put into production.
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