This film is part of Free

Croydon and Gatwick Airport

Members of the Surrey Flying Club erect their clubhouse at Croydon aerodrome while a few miles to the south we see Gatwick's pre-war terminal

Amateur film 1955 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


Members of the Surrey Flying Club build a clubhouse at their new base at Croydon aerodrome. On completion, it's opened by the town's mayor, Basil Monk. Aircraft take to the skies flying past happy club members including C A Nepean Bishop, the Chief Flying Instructor, while ‘Joy Rides’ are advertised at 10 shillings (50p) per flight. Finally, there are views of Gatwick's old passenger terminal, known as the 'Beehive', with a Silver City Bristol Freighter posing on the apron.

When the Redhill Flying Club disbanded in 1954, seventy-five former members set up the Surrey Flying Club and based themselves at Croydon Aerodrome. This film records the construction of their clubhouse and its official opening by Croydon’s Mayor. This film also provides a rare glimpse of Gatwick’s original passenger terminal, as well as the mainline railway station which served it. Officially opened in June 1936, the circular building was the first to provide covered gangways for passengers boarding aircraft and to have its own integrated mainline railway station. Now dwarfed by the present-day airport, the ‘Beehive’ was given a grade II listing in 1996.