Nancy Bird Walton
A YOUNG PIONEER
Once a girl has obtained her flying licence …
she has won her wings, and no piece of paper, current or expired, can take that away from her.
A newspaper article promised ‘crazy flying and aeronautics’ at the Wingham Air Pageant and Nancy Bird wanted a slice of it. The refreshment tent ladies were so flat out serving tea and scones to the hungry masses they wouldn’t have had time to notice young Nancy’s unruly auburn curls bob through the crowd and approach the well-known air show and endurance pilot Reg Annabel. Excitedly, Nancy handed over a week’s wages – £1 – to pay for her first ever joy ride, and it was in Reg’s sleek new open cockpit Gipsy Moth biplane. The beautiful timber and canvas craft was the sport plane of its day. Reg had just circumnavigated Australia and was now flying the Moth around on the airshow circuit.
This was September 1930 and teenage Nancy already knew she wanted to fly.