The Parade that Nearly Didn’t Happen

Cheryl Griffin’s latest story in CBD News has hit the streets. To tie in with our current exhibition, Tales from the MacRobertson International Air Races, Cheryl has looked at the adulation piled high on these daring young men in their flying machines (only one woman made it from England to Australia and despite being a pilot herself she travelled as a passenger, knitting all the way). Her story focuses on marvellous photo of the winners being mobbed as their vehicles move from Bourke Street into Swanston Street. Eat your heart out Beatles.

The full story can be read here (scroll down to P21):

“Twenty entrants left England in October 1934, destined for the finish line at Flemington, a distance of 18,200 kilometres, with compulsory stops at Baghdad, Allahabad, Singapore, Darwin and Charleville. Only 12 aircraft made it, the winning British team of Charles Scott and Tom Campbell Black arriving in just under
three days.
Up to 100,000 excited Melburnians flocked to Flemington Racecourse mid-afternoon on Tuesday, October 23 to watch the winners cross the finish line in their specially designed racing aircraft, a crimson De Havilland Comet. The newspapers of the day described the plane “flashing out of the sky like a fiery particle”
as the ecstatic crowds whistled, cooeed and cheered.”