In the absence
of any definite information, it had been deduced that "Adastra
Green" made its debut on the Hudson fleet around 1959. However,
Joe Tidey recalls that the colour was first used as early as 1957
and that its initial application was on the Prince VH-AGF. Ted
McKenzie's log book shows that he test flew the Prince in January
1958, so it is possible that the aeroplane could have been out
of service for an overhaul and repaint in the preceding months.
Joe takes up the story:
as G-AMLW, and painted an unobtrusive silver colour, this rather
utilitarian smallish aircraft began to take on something of the
elegance of a peacock. The snow-white of the upper fuselage and
fin, highlighted with stripes and flashes of blood-red, complimented
by further touches of red and white on the engine nacelles, was
accepted as bright, attractive, and unremarkable! It was only
when the tint being used on the wings and lower fuselage was unveiled
that there was a great surge of interest and speculation among
those working (or just hanging around) in the hangar at the time.
What colour might we call this strange shade? Blue-green, greeny-blue,
teal and others were suggested and discarded. It was finally decided
(if not unanimously, then at least by a number of us) that it
had to be turquoise. A faintly exotic name for what we regarded
as a fairly exotic colour to paint a working aeroplane. Our curiosity
next turned to the mystery of how such a colour came to be selected.
To the complete satisfaction of some of us, this was solved when
Bunny Hammond's immaculate MG Magnette saloon was driven into
the hangar and parked next to the Prince, to have its original
showroom paint job over-sprayed TURQUOISE! Whether this was Bunny's
choice or that of Mrs Hammond, I don't think was ever established.
It is reported that when the Prince was returned to Huntings base
at Elstree in February 1959, their hangar chief pronounced the
colour to be 'horrible' and immediately expressed his intention
to return it to plain silver."
The Prince was still green in April 1962!