Day 11 – Thursday, 15 May, 1930. The Shirt Off Their Backs. Insein

Amy with members of the Government Training Institute, Insein

Day 11 – Thursday, 15 May, 1930. The Shirt Off Their Backs. Insein

Jimmy Martin has cabled me to tell me of the interest of the papers. Word has spread and my flight is big news at home. Who would have thought that a girl born in a simple house down St George’s Road in Hull would ever be newsworthy? I am delighted that my big dreams have captured the imagination of the press. Jimmy says that he will put me on show in order to secure a splendid sum of money and will not simply take the first offer. They are bidding for my story, imagine!

When I looked at Jason’s damaged wing this morning I was overcome with sadness. He looks so very unwell, his wing naked without a covering of fabric. The man from the forestry was true to his word and returned with new ribs, as close to identical to those that were broken.

As for the new fabric, a very novel innovation has transpired. The women here stockpiled fabric from aeroplanes sold by the RAF after the Great War and went on to make very itchy shirts for their gentlemen. These fine men were, I’m sure, relieved at the suggestion that the shirts from their backs could be put into more suitable use in the air and a magnificent team of seamstresses has taken to sewing the torn shirts into one suitable length of material. Those gentlemen will benefit from an improvement to their shirts and I thank them for it and hope they appreciate my accident prone nature in relieving them of their source of irritation. The Dunlop Rubber Company has also been of great help, adding new raw rubber to Jason’s damaged tyre to create a repair suitable for the rest of our journey.

The tyre vulcanised, we moved Jason the necessary 12 miles to the racecourse, where I will attempt to take-off tomorrow. My serious mood was lifted by the ridiculous nature of us all carrying Jason there via the nearest road, his tail balancing on the local fire engine as we moved at the less than rapid speed of three miles an hour. We amassed a band of followers and, my, how we all laughed as we moved along in this goofy procession.

The reliable man in my life has been secured now for the night at the racecourse and I write this from Insein, in the home of C.W. Scott, where I have returned to rest and sleep before the busy day in store tomorrow. The speediness of this repair work has amazed me and, along with the news from home, given me renewed strength.

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Hosted by Hull Is This, Twenty Days is our daily podcast charting Amy Johnson’s solo flight from England to Australia. Written by Dave Windass, performed by Rachel Harris, with music by Jessica Dannheisser as part of her Orchestral Portraits | Seven Pioneering Women album released on Audio Network.