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Barry Countryman.

Erin (ON), Boston Mills Press, c1982.
128pp, cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-919822-36-3.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Alred F. Greenwood.

Volume 11 Number 1.
1983 January.

Barry Countryman has worked for the Toronto Star for the past fourteen years. His articles written for the Zeppelin Collectors Club and this book result from a long-time interest in lighter than air craft.

The first transatlantic return air flight began on July 2, 1919. Major G.H. Scott piloted the British airship R34 from East Fortune in Scotland to Roosevelt Field in the U.S.A. in 108 hours and 12 minutes. The return trip to Pulham, England, on July 13 took 75 hours and 3 minutes. Seven years later Britain's imperial airship scheme was taking place and mooring facilities were under way in Cardington, England, Ismalia in Egypt, and Karachi in India as the Imperial conference opened on October 19, 1926. Prime Minister Mackenzie King of Canada, present with his aides, was impressed. He pledged Canada's support of Britain's airship program.

R100 in Canada chronicles the airship's inception, design and construction, and particularly Canada's participation in the whole concept, which culminated in the airship's trip to this country. One happy result was the Dominion's first international airport at St. Hubert in Quebec, near Montreal, complete with the world's most modern mooring mast.

On August 1, 1930, the east-west crossing ended at St. Hubert amid a blast of publicity and patriotic fervour. A song was written and broadcast, special radio news facilities were set up, contests were run. The R100 was seen in advertisements, special postal covers, souvenirs, and buttons. Welcome signs, including one 150 x 30 feet on the Sun Life building, blossomed. Trains left downtown Montreal every fifteen minutes and cars flocked in from miles around. Seventy thousand people arrived at St. Hubert in one day. Local aviators made hay flying passengers at $5.00 for five minutes to see the R100 from the air. After thirteen days in Canada, she flew home and into oblivion and was eventually dismantled.

R100 in Canada is a complete book on the subject. Research is detailed and exhaustive; illustrations are numerous and of excellent quality. The text is lucid and crisp. This book can take place of pride among the histories of aircraft in Canada. To this then thirteen year old who was there and saw the R100 from the air, it is also pure misty-eyed nostalgia. Includes a recording of the original "R100 Song."

Alfred F. Greenwood, Victoria, BC.
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