Saturday, 11 September 2010


Beryl Markham arriving at Abingdon Airfield
Below is a letter that Beryl wrote to the Editor of the Daily Express before her epic flight across the Atlantic:

Saturday September 5 1936

Letter to the Editor

As I am now on the eve of what I believe a rather hazardous flight. I would ask the usual courtesy extended to the condemned to state some of my views.

I notice that I have been frequently captioned in the press as “Society Mother”, “Flying Mother”, “Bird Woman” etc.

The phrase “society” is repugnant to me. I have no pretensions, and fail to see that bearing an accident of birth has had to do with flying the ocean.

I may be “just another blonde” but as a professional pilot accustomed to working for my living , and as this flight could not even in my wildest dreams be described as pleasure. I look on it as merely another job of work.
When I am asked my reasons for going. I give varying explanations every time. As adequate a reason as any other is that, whatever the result of my efforts. I shall not have laboured in vain, as it will give a very real friend – no other than the bold , bad Jim Mollison – an exellent excuse for celebration or the reverse.

In describing my, as yet, unaccomplished but no doubt amazing exploit, please give me the credit of being and ordinary human being without to many of the conventional virtues.

I can laugh,love, hate, and occassionally fall in at the local off-licence to hear the views of my fellow beings.

I am neither an innocent girl from thecountry or a city slicker, but an ocean flier in embryo. If I can dispense with the last to words I am more than satisfied.

Beryl Markham

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