1970 - A new decade
With the acquisition of the Air Gregory group by Bristol Street Motors, a number of changes had begun to be apparent in the Denham based fleet and in the numbers of aircraft moving through the company as the sales side of the group continued to expand. The helicopter arm of the business was particularly successful with Hughes helicopter types, purchasing several 269 and 500 models in the course of the year. To give an idea of the speed of turnover achieved by the sales team, one of these was a Hughes 269C, G-AYLX, bought and registered by Air Gregory on 28 October, assembled and air tested in the company colours, then sold to its new Rickmansworth based owner on 30 November, barely enough time for the paint to dry! The helicopter team were to begin to develop and explore new uses for helicopters over the next few years and were to become a major success story in their own right.
As has already been mentioned, Air Gregory had become a Piper dealer and licenced maintenance provider to support their own fleet and those aircraft they had sold to customers. From 1968 onwards, the company also began to operated more Cessna types, mostly Reims Cessnas built in France, particularly the 150 and 172 models. In 1970 the company purchased several new aircraft and the fleet underwent a change of ownership with the aircraft registrations being gradually transferred from Air Gregory to the Bristol Street Motors Group.
Given the success of the earlier Air Displays at Denham Aerodrome, Myles allowed it to be used to hold an Air Pageant on the 6 June 1970. The event was intended to commemorate the history of aviation and particularly the history of Denham, as well as to entertain and inform the general public and the aerodrome's neighbours. The event was a great success, and included a number of star turns in the programme, including the round-the-world lady pilot Sheila Scott in her Piper Commanche named "Myth Too" (mis-spelled in the programme!) and a host of historic and aerobatic aircraft. The programme is reproduced below as are a number of photographs from the display day itself.
An important event occurred this year. On 11 December 1970, the first meeting of the Denham Aerodrome Consultative Committee was held. During the 1960s, although increasing numbers of people were using aeroplanes for business and holidays, there was also an increasing intolerance of other people flying. Complaints by telephone and letter were common. These were made to aerodromes, the local councils and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Something had to be done to prevent the CAA from being overwhelmed. So, the Secretary of State issued an order, which, to be brief, required certain aerodromes "to provide facilities for consultation with local interests". In the case of Denham, it was decide to comply with this by holding meetings with all the Councils under the Denham Air Traffic Zone. Initially this promised to be an ordeal but over the years a lot of local councillors came to these meetings and saw for themselves that the aerodrome was playing a useful part in the community. The meetings are still held and provide a useful opportunity for the exchange of information.