Category Archives: St Johns

Leaving on a slow plane

I did actually mean to do this blog just over a week ago, on the anniversary, but various things got in the way, mainly my health. But anyway…

2019 seems to have been the centenary of a large number of events. I suspect its because of the end of WW1, and the freedom to use technology for beneficial reasons, and not just to kill as many of ‘the enemy’ as possible. In 1919, if you wanted to cross the Atlantic, you had one choice, you went by ship, and it took more than a week to do the crossing. Nowadays its possible to cross the Atlantic in a matter of 6 hours or less! Certainly, on a jet plane, I would guess (if possible) that St Johns, Newfoundland, to Clifden in the West of Ireland would probably be about 4 hours or so. Heck, I can fly from Manchester, to Los Angeles (against the jet stream) in just under 11 hours.

However, on 14th June, from St Johns, Newfoundland, 2 British RAF Officers, Alcock, and Brown, set off to do something that had never been done before, to cross the Atlantic by plane. 16 and a bit hours later, on June 15th, they crash landed into a bog, close to Clifden, in the North West corner of Ireland. There was a prize of £10,000 for doing this, which seemingly equates to about £450,000 today!

In case anyone is wondering, it took another 20 years before the first Transatlantic passenger flight happened, a matter of months before the start of WW2!

The sad thing for Alcock at least, was that 6 months later, he was dead, at 27. He crashed while trying to deliver a plane to France, and died shortly after, from his injuries. Brown, and his son both actually served in WW2, he as an instructor, his son as a pilot who tragically died in the war. Supposedly that led to his retirement, and a deterioration in his health, so much so that he died 5 years later, at age of 52.

Incredible to think that 50 years later, man landed on the Moon!

I wonder how, 100 years from now, people will travel between Earth, and probably places beyond this planet as well. One thing is for sure, I personally wont know, but I wonder if a reincarnation of myself will do so?

This song has been recorded more than a few times, but in truth, this is the group that are probably most famous for doing so