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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th October 1987 175-kph winds cause blackout in London, much of southern England
16th October 1959 Born today: Gary Kemp, London, rock guitarist (Spandau Ballet-True)
16th October 1958 The first episode of children's TV show Blue Peter is aired on Television.
16th October 1951 Born today: Daniel Gerroll, London, actor (Big Business)
16th October 1936 Actor Peter Bowles was born in London.
16th October 1927 Born today: Lee Montague, London England, actor (Uncle Sasha-Holocaust)
16th October 1925 Murder She Wrote actress Angela Lansbury was born in London.
16th October 1922 Happy birthday to entertainer Max Bygraves, born in Rotherhithe, East London.
16th October 1834 London parliament catches fire historic documents burn
Heathrow the Hamlet
The hamlet formerly known as Heath Row, is now something larger.
Location: Croydon Road, Hillingdon
Description: Heathrow (or in the olden days it was called La Hetherewe) was once a tiny hamlet, an isolated row of mere cottages. This was on the North Western edge of the historic highwaymen's lair of Hounslow Heath, and roughly where Terminal 3 is today.
In 1925 RAF officer Norman MacMillan made a forced landing and take-off on a piece of very flat and open land. He noted the flatness of the land and its suitability for an airfield.
Norman became chief test pilot for Fairey Aviation who had been kicked out of nearby Northolt in 1928. He recommended the suitability of the area for an aerodrome and flew aerial surveys of the site.
Fairey Aviation then started buying 148 acres (60 hectares) of farmland in four adjoining plots near southeast of the hamlet of Heathrow from four local landowners, for about 1500, at the typical 1929 market rate of 10 per acre.
In June 1930 the airfield was opened and called Harmondsworth Aerodrome, The Great West Aerodrome, and later the Heathrow Aerodrome.
After the war on 31 May 1946 the newly-named London Airport was officially opened for commercial operations.