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Prestwick Airport book set for take off

IT’S held a special place in the hearts of Ayrshire folk for generations.

So it’s little wonder that the tale of Prestwick Airport’s dramatic rescue from near oblivion almost two decades ago has been turned into a book.

Journalist turned South Ayrshire councillor Ann Galbraith recounts the airport’s battle for survival when Prestwick lost its transatlantic monopoly in the late 1980s in The Dream That Wouldn’t Die.

She records the historic events surrounding the airport’s battle to defeat the powerful British Airports Authority.

And she was thrilled to see all her hard work finally pay off following the book’s launch this week.

She said: “It’s been worth all the hard work and it’s great to see the book finally in print.”

Ann, who is a councillor for Maybole, Carrick North and Coylton embarked on the two year long project after a being approached by Bill Miller, the founder of Prestwick Circuits and a former chairman of the airport consultative committee.

She explained: “I was a working journalist at the time that BA pulled out of Prestwick and rumours were rife that BAA planned to sell off Prestwick.

“It was a very dramatic and controversial time in the airport’s history and as a journalist it was intriguing stuff.

“Bill and I thought that it would be good to record that time in the airport’s history in a book.

“I’d just stopped working and I wasn’t involved with the council at the time. The timing was ideal.”

Ann interviewed key players from the time, including Canadian entrepreneur Matthew Hudson.

She added: “He masterminded the take over from BAA and ran the airport until 1998 when the board decided to sell it off.

“If it hadn’t been for Matthew Hudson the airport wouldn’t be here today.

“He came along at the right time to save it.”

Ann has also set up a website for the book www.thedreamthatwouldntdie.com

She hopes to collect enough stories and memories of the airport to put together a second installment of the story.

She added: “The airport has gone through many years of growth until recently. Time are difficult just now but I’m sure it will be there for a long time to come.

“Although there are lessons to be learned from the people who saved it in the past for those responsible for it today.”

Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Carrick Centre in Maybole.

It is available to buy from good book shops and from the website priced £12.99.