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Hi Biggles,

I was very pleased when my son found your website, because I have many fond memories of the early days of Newcastle Airport, and flying with B.K.S. I was one of a group of computer programmers who used to commute to Heathrow to test our programs on a computer at EMI’s factory at Hayes in Middlesex. During 1960 and 1961 we made regular flights from Newcastle to Heathrow once, twice, and sometimes three times a week, down and back in a day. Then many more trips right through to the 70’s.

I remember standing waiting for the first flight in the morning, in the old nissen hut that served as the terminal building, grouped around an old coke stove with its chimney going up through the ceiling, drinking a cup of tea or coffee purchased from a lady in a little kiosk. A far cry from today's luxurious surroundings. I also flew from Ouston (and I think from some other NE airfield), during work on the runways at Newcastle.

There were many minor incidents during our flights, such as, on at least two occasions being struck by lightning on our way back to Newcastle, landing at Heathrow with snow piled high on each side of the runway, flying back to Newcastle with computer printout spread around the cabin trying to solve program errors. Of course it was not all work, there was the game we used to play where we stood our empty drinks cans at the top of the table and guess which would be first to fall off the bottom due to the aircraft vibration.

There is one particular event that sticks in my memory. The evening flight back to Newcastle had been delayed, and eventually cancelled. B.K.S. being ever generous provided us with first class rail tickets, and organised a coach to get us to Kings Cross before the last train to Newcastle departed. We arrived just in time to find the first class compartments full with aircrew, and we were relegated to the standard class seats.

On a later occasion I was flying on an evening flight to Birmingham in a Dakota. It was a very foggy night and as we made our approach to Birmingham it could not have been thicker. Nevertheless we continued with our descent and the wheels hit the runway, we immediately shot up like a rocket, made another circuit then headed for Manchester it was a little clearer there so we managed to land. However this was not the end of the saga, as we were eventually taken by coach to Birmingham on a horrendous journey speeding through dense fog when I was sure that the driver could not see more than a couple of yards in front of the coach. Well we made it, and I am here to tell the tale for what it is worth.

Then one year I decided to take my family (Wife, Son, and Daughter), to Ostend for a holiday. We flew in an Elizabethan, sitting in the front seats on the starboard side of the aircraft. We had no sooner taken off from Newcastle and were climbing up to our cruising altitude, and I noticed water pouring through the bulkhead in front of me. I informed the stewardess and on investigation found that the plug had been left in the galley sink and the water was overflowing while the aircraft was climbing.

Well I am sure many others have lots of much more interesting tales to tell, but when I saw your website I just thought it was an opportunity to set down some of my, mostly happy memories, of flying with B.K.S.

Regards, and good luck with the site,

Gordon Lock.

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