A Place in History
At 9.13pm on May 13, 73 years ago, a large crowd gathered around the Ainsdale and Birkdale foreshore, just to the south of Southport, to witness the take-off of a twin-engined monoplane destined for New York, the Lockheed Electra. The plane was stocked with 1,300 gallons of fuel in a specially modified cabin area. It took off to the sounds of applause and cheers from the crowd and arrived in New York 24 hours and 22 minutes later.
The "Daily Express" was the name given to the plane, classified as the first commercial trans-Atlantic flight from the UK to the USA.
The plane was specially commissioned to shuttle back newsreel footage and photographs of the May 12, 1937 coronation of King George VI in London, and because of this, it also became known as the "Coronation Flight". But unfortunately, the Coronation newsreel was delayed and did not arrive in Southport in time to catch the flight.
On June 4 a sculpture was installed on the Shore Road roundabout, marking Ainsdale's place in aviation history.
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