Barbara Halbert made a special trip from her home in Guernsey to be aboard her beloved Comet 4 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first jet passenger service on 4 October 1958.
Sixty years ago, Barbara was on board our Comet 4 at Idlewild in New York, preparing to take off on the flight that set a new non-stop trans-Atlantic record and beat Pan Am by making the inaugural flight of the first non-stop jet passenger service.
Barbara, now 92, described to Stuart Leithes of ITV how moved she was to see her old aircraft once again. On board she described the life of a stewardess in the late fifties and how exclusive and luxurious flying was for the passengers. Excellent food and wine were a major part of the experience and ‘silver service’ was standard.
It was a challenging role with few breaks, but Barbara clearly enjoyed every minute of it. We were delighted to welcome her to Duxford and have recorded her experiences for our Personal Histories archive.
The Comet anniversary was reported on the 6pm slot on Anglia news and featured not only Barbara but also a contribution by David Norman, explaining just how important this first flight was in establishing jet passenger transport as we know it today. Our Comet 4 was dressed for the occasion and the broadcast showed some wonderful shots of a much-loved aircraft.