1953 London to Christchurch Air Race

DCA established a press and radio Information Centre, shown in this photo, in the basement of its HQ at Henty House, Melbourne, for the October 1953 London-Christchurch Air Race.

The map shows the routes planned by various competitors, and flanking it on either side were tally boards showing the progress of competitors in the Speed and Handicap Sections. Click here to see enlarged views of the tally boards.

In meetings leading up to the race, DCA agreed to arrange for the installation of telephones for the press, but the press were to pay the associated costs. A departmental navigation officer worked with representatives of the competing organisations to obtain the latest information quickly and accurately. The Australian Broadcasting Commission provided a direct line to their Mont Park short wave station and fed race broadcasts from other parts of the world to the Melbourne Information Centre.

(Photo: CAHS collection)

The Air Race was big news in 1953. The October 1953 issue of Qantas Empire Airways, Qantas' house journal, was entirely given over to coverage of the forthcoming race although QEA did not have an entry (and it's arch-rival KLM did!).

(Magazine: Qantas/CAHS collection - 27.2 x 20 cm, 16pp.)


Click here to see a photo of Viscount G-AMAV at Essendon after the Air Race

Read Fifty Years Ago - 1953

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