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Seventy Years Ago

It’s interesting how a series of events and places can trigger the imagination.
Our son Andrew got married in August last year and as is the custom of today the family gathered at the venue days before the event to celebrate. The venue was near the town of Mayfield, south-east of London.

It also so happened that we passed near the wartime airfield of Biggin Hill to get there, and that there were celebrations that week honouring the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

I could not help being transported back in time, hearing and seeing the bombers coming from Continental airfields, flying over Kent to sow destruction on London. To add to the illusion a single engine plane practised aerobatics over the farm we were staying on one afternoon, the engine note alternating between a howl and a whisper.

This poem came out of the experience;

Seventy Years Ago.
I saw a plane in the sky, tumbling
High above an old grass airstrip.

That night I heard the wail of the Stukas
In the newsreel of my mind.

And I wondered,
I wondered where all the dead planes were
In those green English woods.

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