In Weston Skies


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I was delighted to attend the recent launch of Bob Montgomery’s latest book, In Weston Skies, at the Radisson Blu Hotel at Dublin Airport on the 13th of September. In contrast to Bob’s usual historic and highly informative titles on the life and times of Irish motoring, this book is an altogether more personal affair as it recounts his close connection with flying, based at Weston Aerodrome just outside Dublin, which had a hugely important role in the popularisation of private flying in Ireland. Bob grew up around aircraft thanks to the passion for flying of his father, David Montgomery, an accomplished pilot and instructor, and a leading light in the Aero Club of Ireland. David took Bob into the air for his first flight in 1949 when he was just two years old, and Bob continued to fl y regularly with his father in and out of Weston, until a fateful day in 1956 when he was tragically killed in a flying accident. Despite this harrowing event, Bob’s love of aviation continued practically unabated, and his knowledge of both Weston Airport and the many pilots and aircraft associated with it is brought to bear in this fascinating book, which is packed with excellent period photos including many taken by Bob’s father. Aircraft visiting in the early days of Dublin Airport, then known as Collinstown, are also extensively illustrated, as are the many personalities associated with the flying community in Ireland at the time, including, of course, Weston founder and the country’s best-known aviator, Darby Kennedy. A man that was also introduced to the skies in his boyhood by David Montgomery, before going onto a career in the aviation industry, Michael O’Brien both provided the foreword to the book and also spoke at the book launch, recounting his own memories of Weston, before Bob took to the podium under a slide show of images from the book, to thank everyone present for their support of the evening and to impart some of his insights into the process of bringing this book to publication. This is undoubtedly a book that’s been in Bob’s mind for many decades, and possibly right back to his youth, and I’m delighted to see it in print so that this story can be shared by us all. Even though it’s full of information, its large-photo format makes it an ideal coffee-table book to dip in and out of. For any classic aeroplane fan or enthusiast of flying in this country, it’s an absolute must-read. Review by Andrew Pollock 

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Ireland & N.Ireland ONLY, Rest of the World