15 August 2021

Photo sleuthing...

Overnight a friend of mine sent me a photo saying, This picture found daylight this week. It’s my Mum and Dad and an unknown woman looking like they were flying out probably to races somewhere. Thought you’d like to see the plane...

So my first response was that it was a Cook Strait Airways de Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide. "Dad" was Paddy Blanchfield, long time Member of Parliament for the West Coast... 

A quick search on Papers Past found this from the Christchurch Press of 24th December 1938 so the photo was taken on the 23rd of December 1938. 

Presumably the other woman was Mrs Faulkner and the photo was taken by Mr Faulkner... and Mrs Blanchfield, she was nee Faulkner.

As to the where I was fairly convinced it was Greymouth... The photo of the NAC Fox Moth at Greymouth post-War shows the base of the fuel pump

Fox Moth ZK-AGM about to depart Greymouth for Westport. Photo : D Walker

This is my post on the Cook Strait Airways service to Greymouth... 

With the photo resolution I was unable to read the name of the Dragon Rapide under the cockpit or the registration under the right wing.

Nonetheless a lovely little piece of photo sleuthing and I love the way they dressed for the occasion.

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