The media launch of the new book Attagirls and also the Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship took place on Wednesday 21st July 2021 in the Churchill Suite at The RAF Club in London. The event was attended by several journalists and radio presenters as well as those involved in the Attagirls project during the past three years. Film producer and author Paul Olavesen-Stabb hosted the evening and made a speech (link below) highlighting what inspired him to write the novel about heroine aviatrix pilot Molly Rose of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA).
The theme of the evening was one of ‘inspiration’ following on from comments from critics and journalists who have read an advance copy the book, and noting particularly how Molly’s character sets an example to young girls everywhere.
Paul elaborated: “This is a story about a person who experiences extreme personal tragedy but still ‘carries on’ in a way that sets an example to us all and it will hopefully inspire young women everywhere who may at some point need to find courage under pressure. Hopefully they’ll take a leaf out of Molly’s book, so to speak… embrace every opportunity and not take ‘no’ for an answer if it’s something that they really want, because that’s exactly what Molly did”.
He continued: “Molly’s daily objective was to get from A to B and she perfected the art. That’s in a way synonymous with every young girl’s plan for their future… they need to get from A to B too. Molly had a goal and nothing was going to get in her way, which sets a good example when considering the obstacles that young girls have to face in today’s world. Molly was brought down to earth with a thud on more than one occasion, but she would always get back up, dust herself off, re-evaluate, re-focus and carry on. I’ve been saying this to my daughters for many years… you have to believe in yourself, and most importantly, never feel that a woman can’t do anything as well as a man”.
The evening also saw the launch of the Attagirls Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship, an initiative to encourage young women to consider a career in aviation and particularly as a pilot. The scholarship, in association with Marshall of Cambridge and Cambridge Aero Club, awards a full Private Pilot’s Licence (‘PPL’) to an individual who has demonstrated an interest in flying as a career. Terry Holloway, the Chief Instructor at Cambridge Aero Club, and to whom we are extremely grateful, was also in attendance. Terry will be instructing the person who is awarded the scholarship.
Said Paul: “We hope to develop the scholarship in the coming years to embrace opportunities within the commercial sector and with support from additional companies in the world of aviation”.
Paul also announced the appointment of Zoe Cameron as the scholarship’s Ambassador. Zoe is one of the few female pilots for Virgin Atlantic, and flies some of the largest aircraft in their fleet.
Minnie Churchill, grand-daughter-in-law of Winstone Churchill and writer of the book’s foreword, was also in attendance. Minnie’s father Baron Gerard John Regis Leo d’Erlanger conceived the idea of the ATA, and was thereafter its Commanding Officer until the organisation was disbanded.
Graham Rose, the son of Molly Rose, attended and kindly brought along some of his mother’s memorabilia.
Attagirls will be published on 1st August 2021 and available from bookshops everywhere.