An Aluminium Ticket

28th October 2017 — 13 Comments

Steven Halward

Resurrection time again. In 2013 Detectorist Steve Halward sent me pictures of a most unusual find unearthed on a site that used to be an RAF rubbish dump. Although it isn’t all that old, the artefact is fascinating, especially with its history gleaned from the September 1946 edition of Flight magazine – the ‘official organ’ of the Royal Aero Club.

A contributor to the Correspondence columns tells us that aluminium souvenir ‘tickets’ made were from gliders and distributed for the premiere of Theirs is the Glory, a British film about the Battle of Arnhem. The programmes for the 1946 production were made from parachute silk on which particulars about the premiere were printed. Steve says, “Not everything needs to be centuries old to be of interest!”

© steve Halward

© Steve Halward

The film, a Rank production was a resounding success at the box office and the Earl Mountbatten subsequently received a cheque for £50,000 for the Airborne Services Security Fund. The film was the “Help for Heroes’ of its day. The premier was held on the second anniversary of the original battle and attended by the Prime Minister, Clement Atlee.

If you happen to find one of these aluminium tickets on your next dig, don’t assume that it is similar to the one found by Steve, because in 2006 the film was re-released on DVD and aluminium tickets were once again produced, only this time they weren’t recycled from old gliders!

The letter below is courtesy of Flight magazine, September 1946.

Courtesy of the Flight Magazine Archive



Did You Know?

A variety of countries, including France, Italy, Poland, Finland, Romania, Israel, and the former Yugoslavia, have issued coins struck in aluminium or aluminium-copper alloys. Here’s one example from Italy.

I0 Lira coin issued 1946-1950



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13 responses to An Aluminium Ticket

  1. A fascinating story John.. made even more so by the fact that my father was one of those who parachuted into Arnhem, a fact that I did not know until after his death.

    What an unusual and , well, fantastic find.


  2. I won’t use the word fascinating again but it was an educational and interesting post John. Thanks….

  3. Thank you John,

    This is a story of which I was not aware. it’s incredible that somebody could come up with the idea of making tickets from the aluminium of the Gliders. The whole story and idea was fantastic.



  4. I thought the single use gliders were wooden. Maybe the body spars were aluminium struts.
    An interesting find anyway.

  5. Love it! That’s a cracking find! Never heard about the aluminium tickets and I love things aviation.) The Horsa assault gliders were superb bits of engineering, using such things as paper honeycomb laminate which is amazingly strong for its weight. Made by the interesting Airspeed company of Nevil Shute fame. You can see a couple of examples at museums in Middle Wallop and London Colney. Aluminium coins float on water and are great for amazing children! Great article John; sorry for wittering… Cheers!

  6. On the contrary.
    Your comment is interesting and very welcome.

  7. How wonderful that is. Anyone finding something like that would feel nothing but pride.

    Thank you for bringing yet another gem to our attention John.

  8. My stepfather was also parachuted into Arnhem. He was shot in the leg before landing. So proud of our armed forces … Eddie Penn .

  9. John from Ontario (AKA Geobound) 6th November 2017 at 5:23 AM

    What a brilliant idea to garner attention to such a worthy cause.

    John I have learned an awful lot by subscribing to your blog, thanks for this!

  10. I have one of these, discovered in my late cousin’s possessions. The 2006 version is easy enough to spot as it has the date over the engraving of Bellerophon riding the flying horse Pegasus. There was also another version, without the World Premier script or the heading of “Theirs is the Glory”. I’ve just listed mine on ebay, as I’m sure there are collectors out there who would appreciate more than I!

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