005 - Southampton to Cape Town

Debatable Question:

Which interconnected network could be viewed as the 'best' to take holiday makers in the 1930s from Southampton to Cape Town?

Activity One - To fly from Southampton to Cape Town

In 1923 the British government set up a committee to develop a viable form of air transport to develop British external air services. In practice this meant the merger of existing fleets of planes to develop the Imperial Airways Limited in 1924. With the merger Imperial Airways Limited inherited 1760 miles of air space but more was need to link Britain with her Empire.

  1. Your first task is to develop a historical account of the development of Imperial Airways. You will need to consider the following things:

                • What is Imperial Airways?
                • Why was it developed?
                • What services did the airline provide?
                • How did the airline change?


      • 500 word limit
      • Extended piece of writing
      • Bibliography is needed

How will I be assessed?

Criterion A: Knowing and Understanding

Activity Two - Devising a Route from Southampton to Cape Town

The year is 1937 and you are a route planner for Imperial Airlines. You have been asked to devise a route between Southampton, UK and Cape Town, South Africa.

Points to Consider

      • The flying boats can travel no more than 1200km before it needs to refuel.
      • They have a speed of about 300kmph.
      • The flying boats did not have a radar and therefore can not fly at night.
      • 5 crew and 17 passengers could fit in the aeroplane.
      • The first month you will fly is October.
      • You are linking the British Empire - which countries are 'friendly'?


Before you start this activity there are a few things that you should think about e.g. what question are you trying to answer? Where are you going to get your information from? What maps should you use? Complete a paper copy of the 'Investigation' sheet below.

Investigation - Southampton to Cape Town - Developed in collaboration with www.geographyalltheway.com

Southampton to Cape Town - Investigating

ArcGIS - Online Mapping Tool

What to use

      • We will be using ArcGIS as it has a measurement tool.
      • Details of how to sign in and use ArcGIS can be found in the googledoc below. (firstname.surname and then the password is Nations2016) If you change the password, change it to your school one so that you will remember it.
      • The worksheet also runs you through the basics of how to use ArcGIS as this may be the first time you have used it. Make sure you complete all the tasks before you start planning your route.
An Introduction to ArcGIS Online

What to submit

      • Your 'Investigating' double sided A3 sheet.
      • You will submit the arcGIS storymap link with the route in order of where you stop.
      • A route card on arcGIS storymap journal that includes:
          • the start and end point of each leg of the journey,
          • the distance travelled,
          • the time it takes to travel
          • the times you land
          • what is being done at each stop
          • justification for stopping at each point
      • As you will have to stop at different places on route to refuel or to stay overnight, you will also need to prepare an itinerary of what you would do at each stopping point. Remember in 1937 the journey was part of the holiday! Think about the presentation of this - images are good to encourage people to travel and to illustrate your thoughts.

How will I be assessed?

Criterion A: Knowing and Understanding

Criterion B: Investigating

Criterion C: Communicating