I always thought that I didn’t have a geographical connection to Amelia like the other Stratus members do; Colin from Belfast just 80 miles from the famous Derry landing, Gary from California where Earhart lived, Bryce from Canada the starting point of both transatlantic flights. But just last week I made an exciting discovery… Amelia was in Blackpool in Lancashire, my home county!
After landing in Londonderry on May 21st 1932, plans were made for Earhart to travel on to London the following day. I had always presumed that she had flown straight to London but during a trip to the newspaper archives I discovered that when she left Derry she flew first to Blackpool where she changed planes before continuing down to the capital. She landed at Blackpool Municipal Aerodrome, which is now the location of Blackpool Zoo and apparently some of the old airport buildings remain. I think I shall be taking a visit next time I’m back in England.
I know that Earhart being in Blackpool for a short length of time does not provide a particularly strong link to Amelia, after all she landed in a great many places throughout her life! But it is poignant to think that she was on Lancashire soil, not only that but she flew into Blackpool, where I actually took flying lessons as a teenager. For me it was a welcome discovery.