50 YRS AGO & TODAY | 1 YEAR AGO | LAST WEEK | IMAGE COLLECTION | EYEWITNESS@DS98 | MANCHESTER PEOPLE
BA ORDERS AIRBUS - THOUSANDS OF JOBS GUARANTEED
YESTERDAY BRITISH AIRWAYS announced they would be buying Airbus aircraft from the A320 series. Previously they bought mainly from Boeing but the decision to buy European was, they said, a purely commercial decision. The wings for the Airbus series are constructed in the North West, and flown to the Airbus Industrie assembly plant in Toulouse France. Many jobs in and around Manchester will be secured by the order, and there was jubilation at British Aerospace Chadderton, and at other plants around the region.
Delivery of the first planes should be some time next year. They'll be used on short-haul routes and will be based at Birmingham and Manchester, where BA recently opened a brand new terminal. Here are some pictures of Manchester Airport I took recently, two using the panoramic camera. See also 287 and 298. Manchester Airport's website is http://www.manairport.co.uk
Terminal 2 with a colourful variety of planes, including Virgin, Pakistan International, Singapore Airlines, Delta and Air 2000, a Manchester-based charter company. This is the view from the top level of the main multi-storey car park.
In this panorama we see the upper level of the newly extended Terminal 1. Visitors can get a superb view of the apron from the front of the terminal. I wish Terminal 2 had a view as good as this.
Skylink is an oval shaped tube equipped with moving walkways, allowing people to move quickly, well, fairly quickly, between Terminal 1 with Terminal 2. It's great for experimenting with unusual photographic effects, but I wish the walkways wouldn't keep breaking down!
Everything in this picture except the Control Tower and adjoining block centre left has been constructed this decade. On the left is the domestic terminal, and behind where I'm standing is the new British Airways Terminal.
BLANK PAKISTAN PASSPORTS GO ASTRAY
A CONSIGNMENT OF BLANK PASSPORTS arrived at Servisair Cargo, Manchester Airport last week. A man came to pick them up, signed for them and took them away. Two days later an official, presumably from the Pakistan Consulate, arrived, and it was discovered that he was genuine and the first man was bogus. Greater Manchester Police Inspector Ian Otto told BBC's Northwest Tonight that the scam had "been executed quite well". An investigation has been launched, but the passports are now missing, and may be sold on the black market. But what use is a Pakistani passport in Britain without a valid visa? Maybe those are on sale from another source.
WEATHER LOOKING PROMISING FOR THE WEEKEND
"WHERE'S THE SUNNY WEATHER GONE?" said an old man I was chatting to this afternoon. At the time it was cloudy, but by late afternoon, sunshine and blue skies had made an appearance. Let's hope they stay for the bank holiday weekend.
Yes, people complain about the rain hereabouts, and they've been doing so for longer than you might think. In my recently-purchased facsimile copy of the excellent 1840 Pigot & Co atlas "Counties of England" there's an interesting comment about the weather in the county of Lancashire:
"With regard also to the popular error, of the county being singular as a depository of excessive rains, this is capable of the most palpable refutation, by reference to the meteorological observations of the average quantity of rain fallen in many other districts of England".
I couldn't have put it better myself. Current EWM temperature 57/14.
PREVIOUS EYEWITNESS UPDATE MONDAY 24 AUGUST 1998