POOLE is to put a plaque on its museum to mark the building’s role in the glamorous heyday of flying boats.

The Poole Museum building was the first operational headquarters for British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) flying boats, which flew to the US and the British Empire.

BOAC, the Royal Australian Air Force, the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm’s seaplane training division all flew out of Poole Harbour in the late 1930s and 1940s.

The mayor of Poole, Cllr Lindsay Wilson, will unveil the plaque on Friday, October 27.

She said: Cllr Wilson said: “This wonderful commemoration of Poole’s history has a very personal connection for me, as my own grandfather was an engineer for Poole’s Flying Boats. I am truly excited to unveil such a significant plaque, and would encourage everyone to come and learn more about this important part of our town’s history.”

The blue plaque, which will feature an image of an Empire Class flying boat, is being gifted by local heritage charity Poole Flying Boats Celebration (PFBC), supported by sponsors.

PFBC researches the role of the flying boat and seaplane services based in Poole during and after the Second World War, raising public awareness and keeping the memory of Poole’s civil and military Flying Boat and Seaplane history alive.

Poole’s association with flying boats began in 1939, when the Imperial Airways seaplane service moved out of Southampton – whose Spitfire factory put it at a greater risk of air raids.

BOAC was created the following year by the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways.

Operating the only regular civilian flights throughout the war and for three years afterwards, the airline connected Britain with its colonies around the world, including South Africa, India, and Australia.

During the war, the VIPs using the service included foreign secretary Anthony Eden, press baron Lord Beaverbrook, President Roosevelt’s representative Harry Hopkins, film stars Gracie Fields, George Formby, Jean Simmons and Stewart Grnager and singer Vera Lynn.

The era of flying boats in Poole lasted until Easter 1948, when the service returned to a new marine air terminal in Southampton. In eight-and-a-half years, 34,000 passengers had flown into Poole on seaplanes.

More information about Poole Flying Boats Celebration is at pooleflyingboats.com

For more about Poole’s flying boats, watch the Daily Echo’s Echoes nostalgia section on Wednesdays.