Throughout the war and until 1948, BOAC had 600 staff in Poole to support their various flight crews and the Flying Boat services. Up to 24 of its passenger Flying Boats were based in the Harbour.
Its Marine Department had 60 more staff operating 12 high speed launches used to convey flight crews, passengers, mail and freight from Poole Quay and the Marine Terminal to the Flying Boats.
There was another fleet of 14 fast launches used for Water Control – operated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and maintained by the British Power Boat Company with its Poole base in West Quay Rd. These marked out runways, and kept them clear of all obstructions.
Sometimes small, powerful boats called pinnaces were required to assist the Flying Boats between the runways and their moorings.
Speedbird Logo & Call Sign
Devised by graphic artist Theyre Lee-Elliot, the famous ‘Speedbird’ Logo first appeared for the Imperial Airways Limited (IAL) in 1938.
With the creation of BOAC as its successor the Logo and matching ‘Speedbird’ Call Sign became synonymous with all its operations.
The design was popular throughout its time at Poole, and even retained on camouflaged aircraft.