TALES FROM ABOVE: Author Libbie Escolme-Schmidt gave a speech on her book Glamour in the Skies, a feature on air hostesses, to the Gladstone Dimantina Book Club this week. Libbie (inset) during her early aviation years.
TALES FROM ABOVE: Author Libbie Escolme-Schmidt gave a speech on her book Glamour in the Skies, a feature on air hostesses, to the Gladstone Dimantina Book Club this week. Libbie (inset) during her early aviation years. Laura Mckee

Tales of an airline hostess in golden age

LIBBIE Escolme-Schmidt loved being in the aviation industry so much she compiled a book about it.

Mrs Escolme-Schmidt was this week invited by the Gladstone Diamantina Book Club to provide a speech on her book, Glamour in the Skies.

She worked as an air hostess at British Airlines in London for two and a half years. She then trained other hostesses.

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Her book is a compilation of stories and pictures told by hostesses who worked during the '40s and til the end of the golden era in 1980.

It includes illustrations, cartoons, anecdotes and a description of the different uniforms worn over the years.

Pulse caught up with the author before she headed back to Brisbane.

"I was 24 when I joined and I left after nine years," Mrs Escolme-Schmidt said.

"We had a tremendous amount of fun and it had been on my mind to write a book."

She said people filled out surveys and she collected the information over a period of two to three years. Captains submitted information about the particular aircraft, too.

Mrs Escolme-Schmidt sorted the information into chapters and the book was published in 2009.

The book was chosen by the Diamantina Book Club as the book of the month.

Member Colleen Sawatzki has been in the book club for 47 years and was delighted when she knew Mrs Escolme-Schmidt was visiting.

"I have two daughters who were involved in flying in a different period to when Libbie worked," she said.

"It is a complete change to what it is now days. I got to hear stories from my girls and it is completely different to the early days.

"Libbie put so much work into the book and it is something that is quite historical," she said.

Mrs Sawatzki's daughter Anna Ariens, who worked at Ansett International for five years, thoroughly enjoyed the talk.

"I was so excited to be invited to the book club and I could get an insight into what it was like to work back then," she said.

"Libbie just gave a picture of a beautiful flight attendant and not a glorified waitress."

Mrs Ariens got a job with Ansett when she was 20 years old.

"I loved the customer service and we were quite lucky because Ansett was a new branch and was like a little family," she said.

"We tried to do our best for the customer."



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