Preston author charting the history of aviation in Lancashire is a high flyer

Posted on - 17th December, 2013 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - Grimsargh, History, Nostalgia, Preston News
Jim Longworth

Jim Longworth

An aviation historian’s book celebrating the achievements of pioneering Lancashire test pilots has been winging its way up the book charts.


Waterstones’ says the two volumes of Test Flying in Lancashire by Grimsargh based Jim Longworth are in their top 10 in the run up to Christmas.

The first book covers the period from the First World War to the 1960s and explains BAE systems heritage.

A second volume run up until the 1980s and covers the heyday of English Electric and its successors BAC and British Aerospace.

Jim said: ““We have been delighted by the demand for Volume 2 which is raising even more money for local charities.

“The first volume of the book has raised more than £3,000 since it launched a year ago and we are hopeful Volume 2 can match, if not surpass, this total.

“Work is now well underway for the final volume which we are hopeful of publishing at some point in 2014.”

Halifax bomber cockpits being constructed at English Electric on Strand Road  in 1942

Halifax bomber cockpits being constructed at English Electric on Strand Road in 1942

Jim is currently working on a third volume which looks at the period up to the present day, including the building of aircragy like Typhoon.

Ian Lawrenson, Manager of the BAE Systems Heritage Department which has published both volumes, said shops selling the books had been reported strong popularity for both books.

He said: “We even have people asking when Volume 3 is going to be out already and I know Jim is well underway with getting that one together.

“It is great to be able to celebrate the unique heritage we have here in Lancashire as aviation pioneers, and raise money for some fantastic local charities in the process.”

Phil Whitby, branch manager of Waterstones, Preston, said: “It is always wonderful to see local books doing so well, but particularly moving that the people of Preston seem to have taken BAE’s unsung heroes to their hearts.”

All profits from the sale of the books are going to local charities.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below

Halifax Bombers image credit to Preston Digital Archive

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