Merseyside Airport

Many people often refer to Liverpool John Lennon Airport as the Merseyside Airport, but it’s a name that’s never been used formally.

Serving Liverpool, Merseyside and North Wales the Liverpool John Lennon Airport is situated on the banks of the Mersey estuary some 6.5 miles from the city centre.

Although sometimes called the Merseyside Airport this hasn’t ever been used as it’s official name.  The airport started life back in 1930 when the original Airport was built in part of the grounds of Speke Hall, initially flights were operated by Imperial Airways.  By the late 1930’s flights to destinations in Ireland had started to become popular and the airport built an array of new buildings including a traffic control tower, 2 hangars and a passenger terminal.

During the World War II the airport was renamed RAF Speke (still no reference to Merseyside Airport) and was used by the Royal Air Force for many missions including the distribution of aircraft all across the county.  Many factories and aircraft construction facilities were in operation around Speke at the time including the Rootes shadow factory building Bristol Blenheims and 1,070 Handley Page Halifax bombers.

The Merseyside Airport WWII Record

Legend has it that the fastest air-to-air combat “kill” in the Battle of Britain took place at Speke.  On the 8th October 1940 Flight Commander of 312 (Czech) Squadron Denys Gillam took off in his Hawker Hurricane from Speke to be confronted by a Junkers 88 passing across him.   With the undercarriage of his Hurricane still retracting he engaged with the Junkers and shot it down.  The whole attack from take off to landing took little more than 12 minutes but stopped the Junkers dropping it’s deadly load right on the Rootes shadow factory.

Interestingly this significant event at Speke Airport took place on the day before John Lennon himself was born only a few miles up the road.

After the war Liverpool Airport became the North West’s busiest Airport until Manchester Airport over took it in 1949.   With the name of the only Merseyside airport back to Speke Airport it’s fortunes waned through the post wars years, until in the late 1960’s.  1966 saw the building of a new 7,500 ft (2,286 m) runway and in 1986 a modern passenger terminal was opened.  The old 1930’s passenger terminal was left derelict for many years until in 2001 its Grade II listed Art Deco style was preserved when it was converted into a hotel, now operated by Crowne Plaza.
2001 also was the year that our beloved Merseyside Airport was renamed from Speke Airport in honour of John Lennon, a founding member of The Beatles, 21 years after Lennon’s death. Today the name remains the same Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

No matter what you call the regions airports PJ Chauffeur Service provide executive level transport for one or more travelers, too and from all the North West Airports including Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester International Airport.