Sunday, 29 July 2012

Pioneers

2003 "Extreme Endeavours" series
The untimely death of astronaut Sally Ride this week made me think of other women pioneers so here is the record breaking aviator Amy Johnson (1903-41).  With only 50 hours of flying experience she made the first woman's solo flight from England to Australia, taking 17 days. Further record-breaking flights acorss Siberia, the Atlantic and solo to Cape Town followed. Amy Johnson disappeared over the Thames estuary in January 1941 ferrying an aeroplane for the Air Ministry in World War Two.  In bad weather and running out of fuel she drowned after bailing out. There is a mystery of her death, was she on a secret mission for the air ministry or was she shot down by coastal defence guns after giving the wrong identification code of the day?
Here she is with her Gypsy Moth waiting to take off from Croydon airport in 1930 which was where international  flights came in and out of London. The airport closed in 1959, it had no room to expand, and all that remains are the terminal buildings, the control tower  (which houses the visitors centre) and the Aerodrome Hotel.  I wonder if business travellers or tourists stay there now, there are no aeroplanes


or rocket launchers. A  'smiler' stamp and cancel celebrates the 40th anniversary of the moon landing and a cancel for the first commercial supersonic flight from Heathrow (the airport which replaced Croydon) is on the Charles Babbage stamp. The latter was a 1991 commemoration of his birth centenary.  Babbage (1791-1871) and his Difference Engine which he later called an Analytical Engine is considered a computer pioneer in his quest to store data and then reuse the information to add more.

I like the whimsy of the cover, the Mars 'postage stamp' at the bottom and on the back there are stamps for a Mars Tourist visa, the moon station and the International Space Station and if you have enough money to go into space the $5000 Earth Tax mentioned there would be a snip.

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps


8 comments:

viridian said...

Space tourism! Sign me up please. I'll have to save a lot of money. Is that earth tax is dollars or pounds? Dollars is a bit more manageable.

thanks for participating!!!

Lisa B said...

Lovely covers, especially the Amy Johnson one.

Bob Scotney said...

Fascinating post Joy with stamps that I had not seen before.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I wonder what 10 Bahz are worth?

Willa @ Postage Journal said...

What a great way to honor women who maed history.

VioletSky said...

and the Mars Curiosity is set to land on Mars next Sunday..... we are getting closer.

Postcardy said...

I like the Amy Johnson stamp. Her story is interesting and intriguing.

bardamu1964 said...

"Tranquility Station - Mars - 15 Jan 2015". Wow.