Guest post from Philip Grant
Although lockdown restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic are beginning to ease, normal services at facilities like our local libraries are still something for the future. In the meantime, a small team from Brent Libraries is still working hard to provide free online events for residents of all ages. You can find the details and sign up for free tickets, by “clicking” here.
Events in the programme include “Storytime & Rhyme” sessions every Tuesday morning for under 5s and their parents, “coffee morning" sessions for adults at home and a number of evening talks. Within the next fortnight there are three 6.30pm evening sessions on books and authors (including an “adults only” story presentation, “Death and the Warrior Maiden”, for World Book Night on 23 April!).
The next “coffee morning” event, on Tuesday 20 April at 11am, is a session hosted by Brent Museum and Archives, “Talking Brent’s Heritage”, where residents are welcome to share pictures and stories from our borough’s past. And while I am still not able to give local history talks, planned for 2020, at Kingsbury, Wembley and Willesden Green Libraries, I have been able to offer an online one.
Originally given at a Kingsbury Library “coffee morning” in 2016, I hope that this updated version of “Amy Johnson – From Kingsbury to Australia” will appeal to a wider audience. It concentrates on a year in her life, aged just 26, which saw an unknown secretary from Hull transformed into a world-famous aviator. And most of that year was spent living and working in Kingsbury!
It’s the story of a young woman who decided that she wanted to fly, and how she overcame prejudice to fulfil her dream, through hard work and determination. The rules said that women were not allowed in the London Aeroplane Club’s maintenance hangers at Stag Lane Aerodrome, in case they distracted the aircraft mechanics. How did you get round that, if you were a woman who wanted to become one?
Amy Johnson, working at Stag Lane Aerodrome.
Going solo to Australia was not what she originally had in mind, when she began her flying lessons. But that is what she set off to do on 5 May 1930, and what a journey it was!
My online “coffee morning” talk, on Wednesday 5 May 2021, from 11am to 12noon, is (by pure chance) on the 91st anniversary of the day she took off for Australia from Croydon Aerodrome. The details, and free tickets for the talk, can be found here.
On her way to Australia, Croydon Aerodrome, 5 May 1930.
Like all of my library talks, and articles, this one has plenty of illustrations. If you think it may be of interest to you, please check out the details, and sign up for this free Brent Libraries online event. I look forward to sharing my talk with you on Wednesday 5 May!