I have been in town with my Dad today. It is the RAF Wings Appeal week, and each year the small band of collectors for the RAF Association seems to become smaller, and after last year I said that I’d join in this year, and was glad that I did because there were only five of us altogether.
It’s a bit hard on the feet, I must say! We were there from 9am until 3pm, in separate places, but met up for a break for coffee and biscuit at 11-ish.
And the whole day was very rewarding, you know. Not everybody stopped by all means, but a lot of people gave a donation and said how much they appreciated the ‘Brylcreem Boys’ and the work that they had done. Little children put in some pennies and were thrilled with the big stickers with the RAF badge and wings on, proclaiming them to be a “Future Pilot”, and proudly strutted off with them plonked in the middle of their chests! Some others accepted the usual-sized sticky “wings”, and others didn’t.
I gave some people the stickers still on the backing, because many collected them all. Some people stopped for a chat and told me where they were going and what they were looking for. One talked to me about a recent bereavement she had suffered and some lads donated, saying that they worked in the Marines “and will always give to the RAF”.
Later this year I am going to make some Christmas cards (ooh – don’t mention Christmas yet; it’s only September!) and look for a stall at a village hall ‘fayre’ and hope to sell them in aid of the funds.
It’s a busy weekend this weekend, because tomorrow we’re off toCanterburyto watch the cricket; the Kent Spitfires -v- the Gloucester Gladiators. We went in June as well to watch a County match, and I noticed that in the shop they are selling paperweights containing pieces of the famous Tree inside the boundary that was blown down a while ago (they planted a replacement). I shall have a little wander on my own during the proceedings tomorrow, and purchase one for H and one for Dad for his birthday later in the year.
There used to be cricket matches in our Park, which was our vast playground for school holiday after school holiday, in endless days of glorious summer and wet or snowy winters where if it was really thick and icy everyone could skate on the lake, (we just pretended to skate in our wellies) but only when it was frozen to the bottom – and then only about 2 feet from the edge just in case. Our lunches were always ‘cheese dreams’ – cheese sandwiches that were toasted both sides on top of the little coal and wood-fired stove in the Golf Hut until the bread was crisply brown and warm to hold and the cheese melted in our mouths. I do them now under the grill for H and me but they’re never quite the same. The hut has long gone but I shall never forget the wonderful smell inside it – I suppose it was the smell of hundreds of rubbery golf bat handle grips and golf balls. I loved that Golf Hut. The café is still there though; I remember that opening. The owners had little Pekinese dogs that yapped around our ankles and a big Rhodesian Ridgeback called Bruce. I have a photo of him somewhere. I was fascinated by the fact that he had a stripe of hair along his back that ran in the opposite direction to the rest of his coat. Bruce was huge and cuddly and the Pekinese were tiny and scary!