EGGP Liverpool (Speke) Terminal and Tower


GP0 the earliest photo we’ve seen of the tower before the terminal and hotel were built



liverpool terminal and towerGP1

looking through the memoires of Eric Matthews he mentions that in 1936 Speke had what he believes was the only location at which there was a Marconi Beam Approach System with Marker Beacons all operating on Medium Frequencies.


Mr George Pickup the duty  “Key Thumper” taken through the hatch by the duty ATCO in 1947 during a break on Grand National day. Note the Direction Finding Receiver (Bellina-tosi array on the tower)

Bellini Tosi D/F

George Pickup

GP2a   George Pickup

Steve Balfour has provided some welcome additions to the EGGP post.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 16.06.07GP3


(and GP3a via Barry Davidson)

These Mustangs come from three units of the USAAF, one Eighth Airforce and two Ninth Airforce. QL is the  22nd Reconnaissance Squadron, 69th Reconnaissance Group; YC is the 16th  Reconnaissance Squadron also from the 69th RG  and CY is the 343rd Fighter Squadron from the 55th Fighter Group. Near Liverpool both Haydock Park and Burtonwood were major USAAF bases, maybe they had diverted in due weather at Burtonwood or there was a USAAF staff meeting at Speke. Its taken in the first half of 1945, possibly just after the end of the war in Europe.


(and GP3b Taken on 23 February 1965 – Les Tranter)




and GP3d from Barry Davidson. there are a lot of spectators on the roof; were the Beatles or another merseybeat group or Liverpool FC or Everton FC due?

eggp g-amoy or g-amox


eggp g-amoa



Percival Prince G-AMLZ of Shell Oils outside the art deco splendour of the former Liverpool Speke Airport terminal now the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Liverpool John Lennon Airport July 2013

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 17.22.33GP5



Crowne Plaza Liverpool John Lennon Airport Hotel Airside


Jon Wornham added these three of the tower in the winter of 1981/82

Speke Tower 1981_82 (2)

GP8a US NAVY 22255

Speke Tower 1981-82 (1)

GP8b Jon is the bearded cadet on the left

Speke Tower 1981-82 (3)


our thanks to Alastair Meikle for the following photos

Runway control, touchdown end rwy 27. ATC Avenger Estate

GP9  Runway control, touchdown end rwy 27. ATC Avenger Estate

Interior of Runway Control Van (touchdown Rwy 27)

GP9a   Interior of Runway Control Van (touchdown Rwy 27)

First Boeing 747 to land at Liverpool with tower and terminal behind.

GP10   First Boeing 747 to land at Liverpool with tower and terminal behind.

Liverpool tower Al Heys on left

GP11  Liverpool tower Al Heys (?) on left

Inside the old Liverpool Airport terminal.

GP12 Inside the old Liverpool Airport terminal. Flight briefing room on right

Liverpool Airport 'Remote Met’,

GP13   Liverpool Airport ‘Remote Met’, when ATCA’s took over met observations the runway control van was closed and the runway control ATCA combined both jobs from ‘Remote Met’

Observers desk ‘Remote Met'

GP14   Observers desk ‘Remote Met’

Cloudbase recorder in remote met

GP15   Cloudbase recorder in remote met

Merseyside Fire Brigade ‘Pathfinder’

GP16  Merseyside Fire Brigade ‘Pathfinder’

two more photos from Ray Draper

liverpool K C Wliams plus 1

GP17 both feature Keith Williams – extreme left below.

liverpool KC Williams plus 3


and now another 7 photos from Paul Funnell

EGGP Tower 1967

GP19 EGGP Tower 1967

EGGP bd 11 19

GP19a via Barry Davidson British Eagle BAC1-11 G-ATPJ named “Stalwart”.



EGGP New Rwy 28 caravan

GP21 EGGP New Rwy 28 caravan

EGGP Apc lighting

GP22 EGGP App lighting

EGGP Apc lighting in Mersey

GP23 EGGP App lighting in Mersey

EGGP BEA fleet div to EGGP fog at EGCC 1967

GP24 EGGP BEA fleet div to EGGP fog at EGCC 1967

EGGP RWY 28 RAF Belfast Training 1967

GP25 EGGP RWY 28 RAF Short Belfast Training 1967

EGGP 1_1

GP26 from Barry Davidson.Autair Airspeed Ambassador at Speke


GP26a Invicta Viking G-AHPL at Speke

and three more from Barry


GP27 Chrisair G-ADDI. Barry tells me the white hangar is diagnostic of this being Liverpool “as it was built in the 1930s to accommodate Railway Air Service companies and also appears in several reference works about the RAS companies”.


GP28 Chrisair G-ADDI



and now for six photos from Norman Henderson dated 1973/74

Ian McDonnel, Liverpool

GP30 Ian McDonnel 1974


GP31  Vince Lawson (L), Ian McDonnel (R)


GP32 tower assistants desk

My beautiful picture

GP33 From G-ARMP


GP34  Rwy 27 from G-ARMP



and now for

22 thoughts on “EGGP Liverpool (Speke) Terminal and Tower”

  1. More nostalgia….
    photo GP32 (ATCA desk) shows the kettle lead hung over the window latch. Everyone will remember how fickle the lift was and if it was u/s the only way up to the tower was through the terminal, out onto the first floor viewing balcony then up the fire escape with spectators watching! Brewing up was an art. The kitchen was 2 (?) floors down so all the brew stuff, kettle, milk, cups & saucers had to be placed in a galvanised bucket, the emergency trap doors opened, then lowered on a rope. If you got a swing on – stop! If the bucket caught the side it could up-end and all the brew stuff would tip out! Folk might be wondering what purpose the clock on the tower building served – since it couldn’t be seen by anyone in the terminal or viewing balcony. One only has to look at Croydon’s Art Deco building. The clocks faced the active airfield. The clock was synchronised with the ATC clocks and accurately checked with GMT (UTC) for aircrew time checks. All control was procedural for many of the early years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some very random memories – The trips down to the terminal bar soon after arriving for a night duty – the code word for “landings” to broadcast if we were needed sharpish! As the “back desk” ATCA, your most important job on a morning duty was watching out for the Hales bakery van coming down Speke Boulevard, lest we didn’t get our JD’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great update! I was there twice, once on detachment from PATCC in 1974 and then posted in in summer 1977. I was trained 1st time by Jean and second by Nancy – legends. I can hear Harry Seekts now “Alright Der, Nance”. When I first saw him he’d only come in to deliver Nancy’s regular home brew and a bag of spuds! He must have been doing some DIY at home the way he was dressed. When he’d left I said to Nancy “who was that, one of the maintenance guys?” She said ” No – he’s the training officer”!!! More reminiscences to come!


  4. Sadly, recent news is that the replica Rapide (see GP5) has been broken up; the victim of lack of maintenance. The cockpit and some smaller items may be saved.


  5. It was G-AMOE which ran into the gate at the terminal building. G-AMOX was a helicopter and G-AMOY was an Auster!
    I don’t think the B&W photo of G-ADDI was taken at Liverpool. I can’t recall any white (or light-coloured building) which looked like that and I worked there for seven years! The building which Railway Air Services used was attached to hangar 50, which would just about fit a Rapide, or maybe a DH89. I know because I worked there and opened the pale green hangar doors many times!


  6. I was posted to Liverpool at the end of my cadet course in 1975. The day before I received my licence they wanted to change my posting to JATCRU Lindholme where I had trained. I spent a month at Liverpool before making the move. – Perhaps the shortest posting in ATC history?
    I recall passing the Triumph factory on the way in. The latest model TR7 was in production and would be driven to a holding compound along the road. Many didn’t make it and could be seen parked along the way.


  7. Wonder if any of these pics are of use?

    Many are of poor quality alas.

    After 6 years on A side & radar boards at Southern ATCC and LATCC I joined 102 Aerodrome course (but can find no pics) and was posted to GP. Later joined 22 course for APC & radar.
    Both seem to be missing from your excellent site.

    Deep joy, Martyn Pawson.


    1. These are brilliant pictures Martyn. I am surprised they dont appear to be on the main site or maybe I just don’t see them. I was at Liverpool in late 75 to summer 76. My 3rd ATC posting and my first outside Scotland as an ATCO Cadet doing Approach / Approach radar on the old radar in the cupboard. Harry bloody Seekts was one of my main mentors and I loved the guy. He was so unconventional and a really great people person. I learned so much from Harry. An then there was Janet ,,,,,, the picture there captures her brilliantly. I was 21 and married at the time but wow what a girl. I met up with her lots of times in our ATC careers and she was a great person on the Watch at ScATCC. Very happy memories of Liverpool and growing up while training


      1. Cheers Doug. I remember you “passing through “.
        It was a happy unit….
        Harry’s favourite question, “what is an occulting light?”


  8. Gp11 shows Graham Williams on the RHS. I”be never been to Liverpool, but worked with Graham at Prestwick in the 80’s. I seem to remember that he was posted there after CAA/NATS lost the contract at Liverpool?
    Mark Howell (EGNX).


    1. Graham was obviously a jinx Mark. He was posted to Glasgow after NATS lost the Prestwick contract. As far as I know he never moved house from Prestwick and was still heard moaning about “bloody Scotland” years after 🙂


      1. You mean he bought a house!!! When I was there until end of 89, he was still living in the Towans hotel!


  9. What memories of the back of beyond Met Office observing hut! GP13 & 14. I was an ASO met office observer on detachment from Abbotsinch EGPF for about 6 weeks during the summer of 1977. The office had a great view of the runway but the terminal building was on another planet. My abiding memory of Speke was of the stench of the Mersey, the sulphur of the Swan Vestas factory and the plague of corn flies that greeted me on the long drive en route around the airfied on my motorcycle and during observations. They were everywhere and the controllers used to have a laugh at me stuck out in the field being bitten alive. Happy happy days. A Met Observer’s view. Alan Laird.


    1. Steve – I think not; that is Ken Pratt, watch sup at the time. In GP18 he is seated furthest from camera with Frank Leeming gazing into distance. Keith W is mentoring Dave Smith IIRC.
      Great to see the ATCA desk again !
      Were the tower fittings dumped when service moved to south airfield ?


  10. GP9 The avenger looks like the one I managed to have a prang in when I hit the Airfield Police vehicle at S3 fire station Harry Seekts was watch manager His reply to being told is unprintable !!!!!

    Sandy Sandford Sept 73 to Nov 76 @ Liverpool then an ATSA 2


      1. Brilliant
        what a laugh it was I still remember his comment!!!!!!!!! and him

        He passed away last year




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