Commercial flying in Britain began after the First World War, but Croydon Aerodome had been in use since December 1915 when it was established as part of London's air defences; aircraft from Croydon attacked Zeppelins in 1916. The aerodrome was west of Plough Lane and the site was used from 1920 when Croydon replaced Hounslow as London's Customs airport. The original RFC buildings were used, but in 1926 construction began on a new terminal which opened in 1928; the extended area was required for new airliners coming into operation.
The new terminal and buildings were to become famous throughout the world as air transport developed during the 1930s. With much larger airliners required after 1945 and the need for long, paved runaways, Croydon closed in 1959, by which time London's new Heathrow Airport was well into its stride.
Many famous people passsed through Croydon in its heyday and many aircraft types were to be seen there. It is impossible in a book of this size to illustrate everything, but encapsulated here is the spirit of those bygone days when flying was more of an adventure and so much less bureaucratic than it is today. If your favourite aircraft or personality is not included in this fascinating collection of over 220 photographs - apologies! The selection is a personal choice, so sit back and reminisce!