Ann Davison

Ann Davison was, at the age of 39, the first woman to single-handedly sail the Atlantic Ocean. She departed Plymouth, England on 18 May 1952 in a little 23 foot, wooden-hulled sloop, built in Cornwall and named Felicity Ann.

Margaret Ann Longstaff was born on the 5th of June 1914; Ann had a passion for horses and a desire for travel. In 1934 Ann got her first taste of flying and she was hooked, from then on horses took second place to her love of aeroplanes. Ann gained her aviation certificate on 5th February 1935 at Hanworth, she was one of only a handful of women in the UK to hold a commercial pilot’s licence at that time. Over the next few years Ann made a living as a professional pilot delivering mail around the UK, however her life was to change when in 1937 she answered an advert for a joy-ride pilot at Hooton airfield. There she met Frank Davison, whom she married in 1939.

Ann and Frank lived happily in a house on Rivacre Road in Eastham, until the start of World War II when the airfield had to be closed and their home was requisitioned to the RAF. The house still exists today on the perimeter of the old Hooton Aerodrome now mostly covered by Vauxhall Car Plant. 

Ann and Frank moved to a five-acre smallholding named Mere Brook House on Thornton Common Road, which Ann described as “an uninspired stucco villa, the outside belying an interior of pleasantly proportioned rooms, with an adequate range of outbuildings and a stable-yard”

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