"The Home Of Eagle"
Eagle Aviation
Eagle Airways
Cunard Eagle
British Eagle
1948 to 1968

Terry Nicolson


I was interviewed for the vacancy of Air Steward by the Cabin Services Manager Mrs. Marjorie Taylor and was very pleased to be accepted.
Training took place in the fuselage of a Viking aircraft which was converted into a type of classroom but to all intents and purposes was an actual layout of a passenger cabin. The hull of the fuselage was situated by the 3 hangars in the maintenance area.

I remember Ken Ford teaching us at the time and also remember the "creed" on the wall:-


After training I went as supernumery (sny) crew on Britannia’s. We had sadly lost a Brit in Innsbruck a few months before and I believe the company wanted to prove that flying Brits into Innsbruck was essentially safe operation. I went on one of the first as sny with a senior stewardess Molly Gunn who was very helpful to me.
I then operated on the Viscount fleet now that I was 'checked out'. These were mainly Liverpool day stops.
(fly up the business pax in the morning then stay all day, a bit boring but made bearable by the terrific staff at LPL. Then fly back around 5pm with the return load)

There was one unusual schedule and that was the Chester/Liverpool in that when we got to Chester at the gate we would keep 2 starboard engines running whilst pax disembarked/embarked, then fire up port engines for the short hop over the Mersey to Liverpool. The views were terrific because the Viscount window was quite big compared to usual aircraft.

On incident worth relating was en-route to LHR on a particularly bad weather situation we were struck by lightning. It felt like it came down the cabin and passed between me and the other cabin crew member in the rear galley. Impossible I know, but it sure felt like it!

One day whilst boarding pax at LPLthe ground staff excitedly told me that amongst them was Paul McCartney and Jane Asher. When I gave my checks to the Captain (both doors closed, ships papers on board, 68 Pax Sir) and told him about the celebrities. Great he said, after takeoff ask him if he would like to come up to the flight deck then I can get his autograph for my kids. In my book to be asked up to the cockpit is a rare honor not usually extended. So I confidently said to him, excuse me sir, Captains compliments, would you care to visit the flight deck after takeoff? He just said "can’t you see I’m reading the paper" just thought he must be having/had a bad day, anyway I had to get moving nearly a full load and only 40 mins to do the service in. On disembarking at LHR we were saying good night and thank you flying BEIA, when Jane Asher went past she gave me a lovely smile, touched my arm and said "thank you for a lovely flight". Bless her.

Whilst still on the subject of Viscounts but some years later was the tragic loss of FN over Germany. One of the four crew was DI WALSH whom I still remember with affection.

There was a very nice Captain Jim Hazard and when I flew with him and I made the welcoming PA announcements we usually say the Captains name. On these occasions I just said Captain, and he never knew, for this I humbly apologise as its been bothering me for years.

The stewardesses jockey type hat came in for attention when we came back from intercontinental flights because some girls were not averse to putting an extra 20 Rothmans under it. When customs came on board to seal the bars etc they might playfully tap a girl on the head and say "nice hat". I’m sure they knew......it’s just that they wanted to see her face go the color of her uniform!!!!!!!!!!