Marjorie Joan Meakin

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b. 7 Jan 1910

6 April 1934, Derby Daily Telegraph: "DERBY PRIDE IN WOMAN'S GLIDING FEAT REPTON ESCAPADE RECALLED Miss Joan Meakin, the 24-years old airwoman, who yesterday completed a record flight in a towed glider from Cologne, Germany, to Heston Aerodrome, lived for several years at Repton.

She was nursed from birth until she was nearly 10 years old by Mrs. C. Williams, of Wolfa-street, Derby, who is well known locally as an enthusiastic hospital worker and flag-day organiser. Mrs. Williams told a "Telegraph" representative that she was with Miss Meakin's family as nurse for more than years, during which time she had complete charge the children.

UNCLE AT MARSTON Miss Meakin, she said, was born at Elford, near Tamworth, but when she was two years old her family removed to Bower Hill, Repton, where they lived for several years before going to London. Miss Meakin is a niece of Mr. J. M. Spurrier, of Marston-on-Dove, said Mrs. Williams. Her mother, Mrs. J. H. Thurston, occasionally stays at Marston and visits Mrs. Williams at Derby.

As a child, Miss Meakin was exceedingly mischievous and daring. When she was about five years old she ran down the hill from her Repton home and climbed to the top of a tall copper beech tree, and then challenged her nurse to find her. "Although she was such a tom-boy. she had a very sweet disposition," said Mrs. Williams. " I am extremely proud to know that she has achieved such fame."

BROTHER KILLED Among the other children Mrs. Williams nursed was the eldest boy, Peter, who, as an R.A.F. cadet, was killed some years ago in a 'plane crash. Peter Meakin attended the preparatory school at Repton. When Miss Meakin insisted upon taking up flying, her step-father, Mr. J. H. Thurston, tried to dissuade her for her mother's sake. When she persisted, however, he promised to buy her a glider if she was the first woman to glide over the Channel.

During her daring glide, Miss Meakin was towed by a German Klemm machine. She experienced good weather except for one patch, where she was thrown from her seat several times by the " bumpy " air.

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TO JOIN AIR CIRCUS She intends to join Sir Alan Cobham's air circus in a short time, and to make gliding her career.

Miss Meakin's father is Mr. Henry M. Meakin, of The Soho, Burton. Mr. Meakin is a representative for the firm of Messrs. Strauss, the London barley and hop merchants. Mr. Meakin's father was the owner of large maltings in Burton several years ago, known as Meakin's Maltings, now occupied by Messrs. R. Peach and Co., Ltd., Burton Maltings."

 

She wrote to Sir Alan Cobham in the early 70s: "It was the excitement, and freedom, and comradeship, and the sheer fun of it all that I adored, living the life of a gypsy, moving off each day to a different town - everyone keen and happy.... Now, forty years later, were it possible, I would join the Display again tomorrow to experience the thrills of seeing Geoffrey Tyson flying upside down so low that the top of his rudder parted the long grass, or Jock Mackay crazy-flying..."


Joan married Ronald Price, and eventually they retired to the Isle of Wight. She died there in November 1977. "A calm and intrepid spirit lay behind the warm personality of a really charming girl who was loved and respected by all who knew her".

 

 

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