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The Great Prestwick Airport Robbery?

“Prestwick will be the greatest international airport in the world!” That’s a big claim to have made, but the two men said to be responsible for making it were no idle dreamers…
Tiger Moths at Prestwick, 1930s. Image courtesy of Mike Charlton @www.aviationpostcard.co.uk

For a few weeks earlier this summer, The Great Prestwick Airport Robbery! created a bit of an internet sensation when it was ‘serialised’ on Twitter by @TrulyScottishTV. The writer, author and activist Annie Harrower-Gray, “doesn’t do Twitter” and was blissfully unaware of the ‘Twitterstorm’ she had provoked! When iScot Magazine intrepidly tracked her down at her home in Anstruther she was only too happy to share her insight into the ‘scandal’ that has irritated her since she first stumbled across the story while researching for one of her many other projects. In her article she says, “Prestwick Airport offers not only uninterrupted access to the Western hemisphere, it sits where the cold air of the surrounding lowlying hills meets the warmer air of the sea, and the resulting uprising bores a hole through mist and fog. It’s Europe’s only all-year-round clear weather airport. Heathrow on the other hand, suffers constant delays and cancellations due to bad weather. These facts alone, beg the question – why is Prestwick not the UK’s second major international airport?” Why indeed!

What we now know as Prestwick Airport used to be simply ‘The Meadow’ in the village of Monkton. In Peter Brown’s recently published book, Prestwick Airport Through Time, he explains that pioneering Scottish aviators were attracted to the long, flat fields of Monkton in the early 1900s and that the first recorded aircraft activity from there was in 1913, a mere 10 years after the Wright brothers’ historic first powered flight. But it would take another 20 years or so for planned development of the site to commence, and this is where Annie takes up the story…

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issue 46 is now available to download. C’est la gemme !