3 October 

From GDP/30 WK

WK (born 1932) was a reporter on the ‘Times’ in the 1950s. He was on the proving flight of the De Haviland Comet 4 airliner, which marked the first regular jet-powered trans-Atlantic passenger air service. Here, he gives his impressions of New York the day after his flight.

3 October 1958

Visited very briefly UN bldg., and met EB, our N.Y. corr. Heard a few words of a debate. Then we (i.e. Comet party) were entertained to lunch in Overseas Press Club.

P.M. 2 of us (who hadn’t seen NY) were taken round on a sightseeing tour by taxi.

Then in evening a reception at BOAC h.q. (Speedbird Club) to hear announcement by Basil Smallpiece that commercial flights are to start tomorrow with simultaneous departures from London and N.Y.

Phoned a story, and then we were taken to Hawaian Rm of Lexington Hotel where we ate a fabulous dinner amid extraordinary Hawaian evolutions. Food, as always, aseptic, tasteless and too plentiful.

After dinner (at about 1am) 3 of us were invited to the “apartment” of a BOAC girl (an American) for a drink.

Taxi back to hotel, and bed at 3a.m.

Even at this hour, man in next room to mine was looking at television, though what I’ve seen of it – all 8 or 9 channels – it’s all even more puerile and putrid than at home.