The ORIGINAL Leather
& Embossed VIP/GUEST Book of
THE EAST MIDLANDS AIRPORT,
Donnington, West Midlands.
East Midlands Airport, 1946-1964-present, was both a military and a commercial airport and has now grown to be the second largest cargo airport in the UK after Heathrow. Airparks offer a range of great East Midlands Airport parking options at the airport.
The Beginning of East Midlands Airport
Situated in North West Leicestershire, the East Midlands Airport is the main airport used by the passengers of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire, as well as its surrounding counties including North Yorkshire and Staffordshire. With over 20 different airlines based there, East Midlands is now counted as one of the biggest airports in the UK.
Military Heritage of East Midlands Airport
The Airport was originally an RAF base, RAF Castle Donington, used during the Second World War. In 1946 it was decommissioned and purchased by the Local Government Authorities. It wasn’t until 1964, however, when plans were put in place to start building a new runway and to turn the airbase into an airport.
They were able to open up to the public the following year in 1965, now renamed East Midlands Airport.
The Airport facilities were inspected by Princess Margaret, on 11 July 1965, and the formal Opening of the Airport was undertaken by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on 21st July 1965.
East Midlands Ownership
The local authorities who had purchased the airport continued to hold on to it until 1993 when, despite growing cargo and passenger traffic, the funds were not raised for extra expansion, and so East Midlands Airport became privatised. The National Express Group bought the airport for £24.3m, and so was able to begin investing into the airport’s expansion. However, in 2000 National Express decided to concentrate their business on bus and rail provision and sold the airport to Manchester Airports Group in March 2001.
The VIP/Visitor GUEST Book, opens with the signature of HRH Princess Margaret and the Formal Opening signature by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on 21 July 1965.. it then continues with many signatures of the Great and Good, including HRH The Queen Mother, various Prime ministers and visiting Dignatories, such as the Chairman of China, and essentially finishes with the visit by HRH Princess Diana March 22 1984 and Anne 5.12 1986 (HRH Princess Anne Opening of New Terminal).
The last and final entry being the President of the Phillipines President Ramos, who passed through the Airport 15th March 1995 –who signed ‘Long Life’.
It is clear that the Visitors book became largely redundant post 84..with the slow run-down of the Airport in its Local Authority ownership, pending its new investment in 1993 by the National Express Group.
The signatories in the book are as follows,
Margaret – July 11th 1965 (HRH The Princess Margaret)
Philip Formal Opening 21 July 1965 (HRH The Duke of Edinburgh).
Fred Mulley 4th February 199 (Minister of Aviation)
Edward Heath 19/3/1966 (Leader of the Opposition – Conservative)
R.A.Martin 29 4.1966 (Lord Lieutenant)
Hughes High Sheriff 29.4.66
Taylor Mayoress & 8 others 29.4.66
Twinning Castle Donnington with Orly 8.7.1966
17th April 1967 (Minister Defence – Army)
Mayor of Derby & 4 others – un-dated
W & P Case 24 Sept 1968 (Mayor & Mayoress Nottingham)
Terence ONeill & Wife 7th Oct 1968 (Prime Minister of Northern Ireland)
HRH The Dutchess of Kent 14th Oct 1970.
Anthony Wedgewood Benn & Wife 23rd March 1970 (Minister of Technology)
Alexandra 24/3/1970 (HRH The Princess Alexandra)
Douglas Bader 4 May 1970 (Grp.Captain.Opening of Runway & Terminal extensions)
Anne 23.6.1970 (HRH Princess Anne)
Charles 23/2/1971 (HRH Prince Charles)
WG 14.8.1972 (Prince William of Gloucester)
Michael Heseltine 25/1.1974 (Minister of Trade)
Edward 20.4.1974 (HRH Duke of Kent.)
Richard & Brigitte Mar 1975 (The Royal Highnesses Duke and Dutchess of Gloucester
Philip 16.7.75 (HRH The Duke of Edinburgh) Anniversary opening of Airport.
Margaret/Armstrong Jones/Lindley 4.11 1976 (HRH Princess Margaret, Sarah Armstrong Jones and Viscount Linley)
Elizabeth R. Nov 9 1977 (HRH Elizabeth the Queen Mother)
Jim Callaghan (Prime Minister)
Margaret Thatcher 18.4. 1979 (Prime Minister)
Chairman HUA 30.10.1979 (Chairman Republic of China)**
Chinese Foreign Minister 31/10/79 (Republic of China)**
Peter Hilton 31.10.1979 (Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire)
Norman Fowler 31.10.79 (Minister of Transport)
Alice 10.3.1981 (HRH Princess Alice Duchess of Gloucester)
Diana 22.3.1984 (HRH The Princess of Wales)
Anne 5.12 1986 (HRH Princess Anne Opening of New Terminal)
Ramos – Long Life 15.3.95 (Ramos – President of Philippines.)
** Very rare..