Amy Johnson Room
Amy Johnson was born in Hull on 1st July 1903. The family's business in the fishing industry had been founded by her grandfather, a Dane called Anders Jorgensen who changed his name to Andrew Johnson when he took British nationality. He ran the business until 1914, when his eldest son, John William Johnson, Amy's father, took over.
In 1922 Amy went to Sheffield University and studied for a B.A. degree. She then had a number of jobs in the Hull area before moving to London early in 1927 where she took a job in the legal profession.
The following year she joined the London Flying Club at Stag Lane Aerodrome. Her first solo flight was made after less than 16 hours tuition; she gained her pilots 'A' licence in July 1929. In December 1929, she obtained her ground engineers licence, one of the first women to do so in Britain.
In 1930 Amy announced her intention to undertake a flight to Australia. Lord Wakefield (of the oil company of that time) agreed to share the cost of an aeroplane with the Johnson family, and to arrange fuel supplies along the route to Australia.
The aircraft, a two year old Gypsy Moth already fitted with long range tanks, was purchased for the sum of £600 a mere two weeks before the flight. Amy set off at 7.45am on the 5th of May 1930, touching down at Darwin on 24th May having covered approximately 10,000 miles. This was followed by a six-week tour of Australia before returning home, first by sea to Port Said, then to Croydon by Imperial Airways.
Over the next few years Amy completed several other record-breaking flights. She married fellow aviator Jim Mollison in 1932, the year after she broke the record he had previously held for flying solo to Cape Town. Her last solo record-breaking flight was to Cape Town again in 1936, when she reclaimed the record.
During World War Two Amy joined the newly formed women's section of the Air Transport Auxiliary, and it was whilst serving in the A.T.A that she met her death in January 1941. The aircraft she was piloting crashed into the Thames estuary and her body was never recovered.
In 1958 the 'Amy Johnson Collection' of souvenirs and mementoes was presented by Amy's father to Sewerby Hall Museum and Art Gallery, and the Amy Johnson Room was opened in 1959. Since then the collection has grown, as additional material has been received from other sources.
Books are available from the souvenir shop about Amy's life and her adventures.