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Recollections of LHR 1954 to 1965 by Terry Baker.

The original accommodations for Trans-Canada Air Lines were on the north side of Heathrow airport, at the junction of the Bath Road and Sipson Road, in huts.

The nearer hut contained the administration and next to it were the hut for ramps, communications and flight dispatch. The cargo complex was several hundred yards east and the commissary, maintenance and stationery was on the south east near Hatton Cross.

Later, the administration office was moved to a hut near the control tower when the entrance off the Bath Road was improved to service the tunnel to the centre of the airport.

Food was usually available in the Green Dragon and, off the airport, at the Three Magpies pub and The Air Hostess hotel.

Personnel who I recall during this time were:

  • Alf Lake and Reg Stoakes - Cargo
  • Archie Furzer and Jim Barber - Chauffeurs
  • Alex Murray, Les Powell, John Baker and George Steele - Flight Dispatch
  • Harry Berry, Tony Blencoe, Bill Alderson - Ramp
  • Edie Etheridge, Margaret Ewing, Daphne Larkin - Communications
  • Jack Ross - Station Manager
  • Nancy Perry, Secretary to Jack Ross; Valerie Phipps - Secretary
  • Audley Summers - Assistant to Station Manager
  • T. Carr Hodgson - Purchases & Stores Manager
  • Ron Munson, Jack Morath, Cyril Cavanagh, Phil Smythe, Ted Dean, Derek Strevens, Peter Hodge, John Shaffner and Terry Baker – Main Office
  • Wally Evans and Jim Arnold - Customs
  • Tom Howson - Stationery
  • Daphne Steele, Secretary to Carr Hodgeson; Hilary deCourcey-Donovan - Steno
  • Al Coutts and Bill Singer - seconded from YUL
  • Don Wiley - Maintenance Manager
  • Colin Bailey, Andy Cunning and Bill Cameron - Mechanics
  • Rae George - Commissary Manager
  • Dickie Summerell - Commissary
  • Erica Frost - Passenger Service

Ted Rogers (YUL), Bill Swidnicki (YWG), Danny Sweetman (YUL) - seconded for cabbage patch.

The only events I recall were the Vulcan aircraft crash, the Edgehill AirStairs, arrival of Pan Am Boeing Stratocruiser, Comet and B707 first flights - who can forget the black smoke from the B707 with the water methanol injection on take-off - the passengers pouring out of the double deck Air France Languedoc, the marquee which was the departure lounge at one time in the central area and the DC-8 Cabbage Patch incident.

Many of us took the fam flight of the Super Connie to Dusseldorf and of the DC-8 to Shannon.

Arriving at Customs and being asked the fatal question "Anything to declare" and the relief on having a chalk mark applied to your luggage, which allowed one to exit - now you can breeze through the "Green - nothing to declare" exit, which is generally staffed by groups of a few Customs officers chatting to each other, seemingly paying no attention to the throngs passing before them.

Of course all the accommodations have changed or are long gone, especially the huts on the north side. In the 60's TCA/Air Canada moved the administration, Purchasing, Flight Dispatch and
Communications into the Queen's building located in the central area of the airport.

(We invite anyone with memories to share with us, please do so - eds)

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