Corridor to the skies

  • Theme - Transport
  • Year - 1969
  • Location - Southend-on-sea
  • Filmmaker - Trio Film Unit

Notes

This colour film was an ambitious attempt to document working life and operations at Southend Airport at a time when it was at its peak. In the 1960s, the airport was the third busiest in the UK until the importance of the Southend terminal declined in the 1970’s, largely due to the development of Stansted.
Originally a wartime military base, the airport was purchased by the council in 1933 and transformed into one of Britain’s first municipal airports. The film, shot with sound, presents a useful picture of this part of Southend’s aviation history. Southend airport was where airline entrepreneur, Freddie Laker started his operation using his Carvairs, converted Douglas Dakotas, and developed his “no-frills” approach to passenger flights. Other planes in use in the 60s include a Vickers Viscount, seen landing, and a British Air Ferries Guppy is shown being loaded with cars and passengers.
The film presents an overall picture of cabin staff, passengers, baggage handling and air traffic control operations at work as well as other areas of the terminal. The film was entered into the Moviemaker amateur film competition. The production company Trio Film Unit won a four star award.

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