Seeing Airship R101, October 1930

We heard the drone of the engines first, coming from the sky.

One of my earliest memories was when I was four years old.

I lived with my parents, sister and brother, in Cliftonville Gardens, Whitley Bay.  The year was 1930.  I recall my parents taking me, and my sister and brother, down towards the sea at the corner of Marine Avenue.  If I remember correctly it was early evening.  We soon heard the drone of engines coming from the sky, and then appeared an airship.  It was the R101.

It was an incredible experience and I can still picture it in my mind.  It was flying north just off the coast.  I have recently found on the internet a site devoted to airship history, and discovered that the R101 was on a test flight over the North Sea on the 1st and 2nd of October 1930.

The R101 crashed on the 4th October 1930 at Beauvais in France.  There were 48 dead with only eight survivors.

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