"Aviation in Warwickshire Between the Wars" by Alfred Jenks - website www.warwickshireaviation.co.uk

A large format, beautifully produced devotion to the heady inter-war years in a county of great aviation variety. Alf has produced an airfield-by-airfield guide from airstrips to Birmingham Airport. The level of detail is spell-binding and the illustrations both varied and charming. The 1920s and 1930s were a time of such hope and invention and the atmosphere comes out of every page. A fantastic addition to the history of the Midlands.

Ken Ellis in FlyPast December 2006

Air-Britain member Alf Jenks provides a highly comprehensive coverage to his local area and shows what can be done by diligent research. This is a very professional production, with Don Burgoyne’s Pou du Ciel G-AECN on the cover. A preview sample may be seen at http://warwickshireaviation.co.uk . The first half of the book details every aerodrome and landing ground (some 45 in all) with its location, map, history and based aircraft and follows this with full details of every club and other operator, whether of powered aircraft or gliders and including Austin Motors, Armstrong Whitworth and 605 Sqn. The later sections contain details of anything and everything else aviation-related that ever seemed to have happened in the county in the 1920s and 1930s. There are some seriously rare photos included and much new information in the book which is well worth the cover price of £11.95.

Malcolm Fillmore in Air-Britain ARCHIVE Winter 2006

One of our long serving members, Alf Jenks, has finally achieved his lifelong ambition to collate into a book, his knowledge of twenties and thirties aviation in Warwickshire and the Birmingham area.
Not only does he study closely the airfields and landing grounds of Warwickshire from Ansty to Withybrook, he also features the aeroplane and gliding clubs and all the visits of the various ‘flying circuses’ from Alan Cobham to the British Hospital Air Pageants.
This is a lovely book (A4 sized and softback) and is well researched and superbly presented. It comprises 184 pages with many photographs of the period and is really good value at £11-95.

Colin Cooper (Committee Member) in WAG News

For those of you who have an interest in what is generally termed the Golden Age of Light Aviation or GA as we now call it this book is a must. For anybody else it is a fascinating history of aviation. Although it concerns the area in which the author resides it has a wealth of information within its pages. The text is accompanied by an extremely good number of photographs some of which are from private collections. The book is divided up into six chapters dealing with various aspects of aviation in the period. The content of the chapters are such that I will only detail a brief outline of each one.

Chapter 1, gives a chronological listing of airfields, landing grounds with accompanying OS Maps from the period showing the position of the field, runways where appropriate and a history of the site. Where the site still exists today its location and any identifying features are also given. Similarly where based or visiting aircraft are known from old log books these are also listed. At those locations where the Kings Cup was held the lists of participating aircraft are also shown.

Chapter 2, Provides details of flying clubs that were in existence during this period, their history and the aircraft that they flew or used. There are a number of interesting photographs in this section showing the sort of mishaps occasioned by these aeroplanes.

Chapter 3, This gives details of gliding clubs and their sites and gives an insight into the number of non-flying organizations, such as the Banbury Motor Cycle Club, that also had gliding sections.

Chapter 4, This section entitled ‘Around and About’ describes various aviation related events during this time ranging from the sighting of the R.33 airship over Rugby in 1919, through allegations of low flying, to the mock attack on Birmingham by aircraft of the French Air Force in 1939.

Chapter 5, Covers the ‘Joyriding and Flying Circuses’ that were known to have visited the county, this being the era of the National Air Days with organizations such as that run by Sir Alan Cobham and the British Hospital Air Pageant.

Chapter 6, Rounds off the book with items on Aero Hire, Armstrong Whitwoth and 605 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

There has obviously been a great deal of research by the author and the results justify this. I found it to be well worth its most reasonable price and can recommend it as a useful addition to anyone's library.

Paul Loveday (Vice Chairman Vintage Aircraft Club) in Vintage and Classic Winter 2006

This entertaining self-published book is the result of the author delving in the archives of 13 local newspapers and contacting local aviation worthies of the inter-war years. As he says, his haul would have been far richer if he had started 20 years earlier, but he has nonetheless assembled a fascinating verbal and visual record of that exiting era. The bulk of the book, Chapter 1, comprises maps, potted histories and illustrations relating to no fewer than 45 Warwickshire airfields and landing grounds, ranging from little-used farmers’ fields to fully-fledged airports, arranged in alphabetical order. The following five shorter chapters cover aeroplane and gliding clubs, relevant incidental aeronautical events, joyriding outfits and flying circuses that visited the county and finally, brief coverage of other "miscellaneous" items. There is an index of personalities. Many hitherto unseen photographs embellish the informative text, which provides enlightenment on such little-known groups as the Flea- building Midland Amateur Aviation Club.

I just hope that the author still has the bit between his teeth, as I am sure a companion volume covering the pioneer and First World War eras would be every bit as fascinating.

Philip Jarrett in Aeroplane April 2007

This splendid volume by Alf Jenks in 182 A4-size pages covers the history of airfields in the county of Warwickshire during the years 1919 to 1939. Each of the 45 sites has a good site plan, and a write-up of variable length, dependent on the importance of the site concerned. While some minor landing grounds deserve only a single page, important airfields have much greater coverage (for example Castle Bromwich has twelve pages, including a number of interesting photographs). Chapter Two of the book goes on to provide histories of the twelve Warwickshire-based Aero Clubs and Chapter Three similarly deals with ten Gliding Clubs. The relative locations of all the sites (which include three just outside the county boundary) are shown at the start of Chapter One.

Chapter Four features a Chronology of aviation-related items from local newspapers over the period, with details of aircraft accidents, air races, overflights by airships, balloon ascents and other events. Chapter Five details visits to the area by Flying Circuses and barn-storming Avro 504s, while Chapter Six (‘Miscellaneous’) contains sections on Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft, the Austin Motor Company, the home-built Darley Monoplane, and the activities of No.605 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force. All the Chapters are illustrated with well-chosen, interesting, photographs of aircraft, people and relevant posters, timetables and other memorabilia. There are approximately 130 illustrations in addition to the site plans. The book is rounded off by a bibliography and an index of pilots and other personalities. The volume has been well researched and professionally produced.

I very much enjoyed the book and heartily recommend it to readers of Airfield Review.

Phil Butler (Airfield Research Group) in Airfield Review September 2007