Saturday, October 14, 2006

New England Airways - Follow Up

Photo: New England Airways, Avro10s, photo courtesy of Bruce Robinson.

While this blog has a historical focus, one of the nice things about it is that I am not bound by the canons of academic discipline. Yes, I do try to observe proper standards, but because I do not want an academic career (it's a bit late for that!), I do not have to subject myself to the whole rigmarole. I can go where I like.

My aim when I started was to capture and document the New England experience before it was lost, hopefully drawing others in. I am starting to get there.

In earlier posts I spoke of New England Airways (here(1) and here(2)).

I first came across a reference to New England Airways back in 1982 when I was doing my PhD thesis. I was fascinated. I knew Don Shand and the story of East West Airlines (story), but I had never heard of New England Airways. Yet here was a pioneer airline of some substance holding the Sydney-Brisbane mail contract that had somehow vanished. I could not do anything about it at the time, so put it aside.

When I launched this blog and came to write something for the first time on New England aviation I made finding out something about New England Airways my first priority. While the on-line historical record was skimpy it did allow me to fill in some gaps. In turn, this led Bruce Robinson, the grandson son of New England's founder George A Robinson, to contact me. Now we may be able to fill in some gaps.

Does this matter? I think that it does very much and not just from a New England perspective.

Today when airlines are the bus lines of the sky, we forget the romance and the physical and commercial risks associated with this early period. Nevile Shute, one of my favourite authors, brings this early period alive in many of his books. New England Airways was a major player in this early period and deserves to be remembered for that fact alone.

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