Saturday, 14 July 2012

Woodley Airfield

On Tuesday September 26th 1933, Lowry, Jan Gabrial and Elizabeth Cheyne flew from Heston Aerodrome to an airfield near Reading in a plane flown by Tom Forman, a friend of Lowry's from his Cambridge University days; "But because today was glorious, we flew instead to Reading, stopping at several airports for cocktails and for brandy." and "Though the plane was very tiny, flying is a marvelous sensation, especially the takeoffs and since we were all quite tight I have no clear memories of our return." (Jan Gabrial Inside The Volcano Pg. 24)

The airfield which Lowry flew to was most likely Woodley near Reading which had once called Reading Aerodrome. Charles Powis opened the airfield in 1928 on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) field belonging to Sandford Farm. In 1932, F.G. Miles came to Woodley and joined forces with the firm Philips & Powis in the production of the Miles Hawk aeroplane, leading to the foundation of Miles Aircraft Ltd which continued producing aircraft in Woodley until after World War II.

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