Motorway signs warned: "Heathrow Airport closed". Towns and villages for miles around Britain's busiest airport discovered tranquility and birdsong. And a clear sky was made even more radiant by the lack of aircraft vapour trails.
But the five day respite from the skies came at a price for travellers. The flying ban left hundreds of thousands stranded around the world.
It also changed my idea of news. On Tuesday evening, 'plane lands at Heathrow' was the dominant story on news bulletins. Reporters thronged the terminal to talk to passengers as if they were celebrities. Meanwhile, the media demanded the Government 'do something' - though they weren't sure what.
Opportunistic politicians such as the Conservatives' Theresa May criticised the Government and the aviation authorities for closing our skies. But you can imagine what they'd have said if our airspace hadn't been closed and an aircraft had been lost as a result.
Hounslow, Isleworth and Richmond are now getting used to having the planes back. Here's a time delay image of jets heading for Heathrow over Richmond Green one evening in 1990.