16 MARCH 2020
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Not the world’s first international airport, but nearly.
A colourful new mural at Thameslink’s Cricklewood station has been unveiled honouring the area’s rich aviation heritage. The eye-catching imagery on the walkway up to platform one of Handley Page biplanes was created by local artist Alistair Lambert.
Frederick Handley Page went down in history for his pioneering role in aviation. He founded the first British public company to build aircraft in 1909 and established a factory and airfield (literally) in Cricklewood in 1912. After WWI Cricklewood for a few years was home to one of the very earliest airlines in the world.
Next station up was Hendon and its military aerodrome (now the home of the RAF Museum), and two stops further is Radlett, which replaced the Cricklewood plant and where the Handley Page Victors were built. And to complete the aviation heritage tale, de Havilland and Hatfield was just a little further north.
By converting the large biplanes developed during WWI, Handley Page Air Services flew passengers and post between Cricklewood and Paris. The pilots were out in the open air with their flying goggles on while the passengers enjoyed the luxury inside of wicker chairs and spectacular views.
Photo and initiative by Transport for London (TfL).
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