<< Previous - Next >>


Journal by itellya

Civil Aviation Historical Society President Roger Meyer OAM has announced the appointment of Dr Arun Chandu BDSc, MBBS(Hons), MDSc, FDSRCS(Eng), FRACDS(OMS) as the inaugural Research Fellow at the CAHS & Airways Museum. Mr Meyer said, The CAHS archives are a collection of national importance and the position of Research Fellow has been created to recognise individuals conducting research into a specific topic in the history of civil aviation using the Societys archives as a principal reference source. Dr Chandu is currently working on a PhD thesis on the Planning History of the Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne Airport), 1920 to 1970.
(Aviation Business: The Week in Brief 14 February 2013.)

I have been helping Arun with his thesis for what seems like a decade although it's probably only two years. Arun will be speaking at the next meeting of the Aviation Historical Society,to be held at Melbourne Airport.

Civil Aviation Historical Society/Airways Museum contacts:
Telephone: (03) 9374 3905 or +61 3 9374 3905 (international)
Email: [email protected]
Postal address: Box 6, 20 English St, Essendon Airport, Victoria 3041
President: Roger Meyer. Ph: (03) 9818 4950 (h)
'Webmaster': Phil Vabre or (03) 9432 9287 (h)

Much of the material raising Aaron's queries concern anecdotes I compiled in 1989 and almost all of my informants are now dead.

Anecdotes such as these.
Wally Mansfield, whose father, Walter, built a house due north of David Mansfields 1870 house in Mansfield Rd, just Metres north of the Western end of the E-W runway, recalls his fathers prophetic words upon seeing the first plane land on Gowrie Park, Theres an omen for the future, son, therell be an aerodrome there one day. Lets hope that the beautiful forest within the airport grounds, preserved by the Mansfields of Allas and the Clarks of Glenara is not decimated by airport expansion: as well as providing a home for a huge herd of Kangaroos, it is living proof that not every European settler found it necessary to denude the landscape.

An aeroplane race from the Essendon Airport to the Inverness Hotel in the 1930s resulted in a huge fire when a plane crashed, bringing down power lines. Wild Johnny Gilligan, who was renowned for riding his horse up the stairs of the Inverness Hotel, died on 4th December, 1936 when jumping his horse over a fence in which the top rail had been replaced without his knowledge. His more sedate brother, Jim, was offered a joy flight on 15th August, 1938 but not being a daring young man he refused the offer and was tragically killed in a jinker accident on the way home from the Inverness.
It was Harry Heaps who told me about the plane crash and fire.

Q.Got another one for you.

Do you remember where you got this from?

'An aeroplane race from the Essendon Airport to the Inverness Hotel in the 1930s resulted in a huge fire when a plane crashed, bringing down power lines." Cant find anything about it on trove. I am assuming it was the aero club's race.

A.(I found several articles about plane crashes at Tulla in the 30's, but no fire. Details included in case they might be useful.)

POSTSCRIPT- Harry Heaps told me about the plane crash and fire and although his memory was in better condition than his health, he may have associated the fire with the wrong crash; perhaps it was a car crash that caused the fire.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 9 November 1936 p 11 Article
... CAR OVERTURNS AND BURSTS INTO FLAMES Seven Persons Injured Seven occupants of a motor-car were injured Jiucd when the car overturned as its driver swerved Mvctved to avoid a collision ollision on the Bulla road at Tullamarine last even- ing I hey note liri belt Jackson aged 11 years of Lennox ...

(Just in case,I tried the 1940's but in vain. Refusing to give up, I tried the 1920's. By the way,FIRE, AEROPLANE/AIRCRAFT, CRASH, TULLAMARINE hadn't worked so I was searching CRASH, TULLAMARINE.)

The majority of the report is on page 7 and a photo and caption on page 8. Remembering the St John's airfield was near the northern boundary of Essendon Aerodrome (16 C/D7) a description of the south east corner of "Dalkeith"(west cnr of Broady and Sharps Rds as in map) as west of the airport is fairly close to correct. Harry was only about a year out re the "1930's".

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 27 December 1928 p 8 Article Illustrated
... Queensland, to begin H. Ward, of Collins street, North Essendon, and (right) H. Olden, of Tullamarine, who witnessed the crash from an adjoining field where they were working. They were unable to approach

(Harry Heaps came to Tullamarine in 1923 as a twelve year old,his family settling as pig farmers on Wallis Wright's old Sunny- side in Wright St near the Moonee Ponds Creek and east of Harry Nash's Fairview. Young Harry,a nuggety rover, helped to plant the pines around Noah Holland's old 6 acres south of Handlen's house,which The Tullamarine Progress Association acquired and donated to the Broadmeadows Shire at the suggestion of Alec Rasmussen, and is now the Tullamarine Reserve. When he married he moved to a block now occupied by Strathconnan Square where he changed to poultry farming.

It's just as well that I had a video camera when I interviewed Harry because he had a story a minute. When a juicy one came up,he'd preface it with, "I shouldn't say this, but..." I remember giving the family a copy of the interview.They'd still be chuckling at the bit when Olive walked in and announced to the camera,"Would you like a cup of tea?" Good old Harry and Olive!

Olive Alice Emily Heaps (nee Robinson) 1918 - 2006
Date of Death:Monday August 28, 2006
Funeral Date:Friday September 1, 2006
Location:Cordell Chapel
Fawkner Crematorium
1187 Sydney Road
Other Information
No flowers by request, if desired, donations may be made to the Anti- Cancer Council in Olive's Memory- Envelopes available..

Final Resting Place
Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park, 1187 Sydney Road, Fawkner, Victoria, Australia.
Family Shrub 28, in the R. J. Cooper Gardens, on New Lawn Bvd, with her husband Harry Heaps.

A Life Well Lived
Heaps (nee Robinson)
12. 6. 1918- 28. 8. 2006
late of Murchison, Victoria, formerly of Tullamarine, Melbourne, peacefully at Murchison Community Care.
Loving wife, Mum and Grandma, dearly loved by her husband Harry (dec), her children and partners Glenda, and John and Jenny; her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Vale, Harry and Olive!

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-10-12 11:20:46

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.