Southend Gliding Club

Operated from early 1947 to Jul 1948

Founders/Directors – Mr ‘Ladi’ Marmol and Mrs Olive Marmol

While Southend Municipal Airport may have officially opened on August 1st 1947, flying had already resumed prior to this date. Indeed, it was initially proposed that half of the airport’s open area would act as a landing ground for a gliding club and light aircraft, while the other half was designated for commercial operations. It goes without saying that local aviation celebrity and gliding champion ‘Ladi’ Marmol would be heavily involved in the proceedings and worked as a gliding instructor at the club, not to mention provided it with two Zlin Z-24 Krajanek gliders.

By the following year, SEN had witnessed increasing numbers of larger aircraft frequenting the airfield, thanks no doubt to its close proximity to London. With Yorks, Tudors, DC-3s/C-47s and Vikings flying in and out on a regular basis, the airport quickly became unsuitable for gliding and the club eventually closed its doors during July 1948. That said, Ladi would usually keep a small number of gliders at the airport, one of which (LET L-13 Blanik – G-ASVS) was occasionally flown for fun and would also regularly put in a number of appearances at Southend air shows until the early 1970s.

 

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