The Hunt Begins
Updated: Apr 29, 2019
I'm sat on the floor next to my gran's chest of memories, surrounded by photographs, newspaper articles, census records, maps and plenty of books on history and folklore. Somehow my grandmother has managed to collect centuries of stories and photographs of what seems to be everyone in the village, even keeping whole newspapers for one tiny snippet of a story. This is perhaps not the way I should tackle the task of finding inspiration as I am very much overwhelmed by all of the information piled around me. I put a few of the artefacts back in the chest and start with what I already know and decide to dig deeper around these tales.
Next to my village lies a RAF airfield, of which I've heard many stories, including the demolition of the village pub, ran by my great-grandmother, to make way for a runway extension. My family have previously told me stories of the B-1 bombers leaving the airfield during the Gulf War and returning in the night after causing destruction and devastation, and of the time Concord flew from the airbase - a few relatives lucky enough to take a trip even. The airfield shapes the landscape surrounding my village and has been ever present in recent local history, and being the 100th anniversary of the RAF this year, it seems appropriate that a contemporary folk song must mention its existence.
I will slowly make my way through the mountain of local history my gran has accumulated but for now I'm relying on the generosity of family members and villagers to share their stories with me...