Up, up and away, well...to the battery and back

Auster J1A Autocrat.
Auster J1A Autocrat.

David Hodgson wants to know about the aircraft which was operated from the beach near the golf course around 1958/9 (Who operated flights from Morecambe over the bay?, April 22).

The aircraft was a four seat Auster J1A Autocrat. It was operated by Pine Airways who were based at Blackpool. Pine Airways was operated by George Pine who had just the one aircraft. His assistant took the fares at a small wooden cabin on the prom at the top of the concrete steps leading down to the beach.

The beach was in a different condition then, there was a long stretch of smooth sand more than enough to land a plane on. They used a wooden boardwalk to get over the three or four metres of standing water close to the sea wall.

A trip along the prom as far as the Battery and back was five bob. A trip around the bay was a whole 12/6 (shows how values have changed). Each price assumed three passengers. I managed to save enough pocket money for one of each.

Geoff Byron

Address supplied.