I have just put a fundraising page online for the RAF Benevolent Fund, with a link in the sidebar here.
Fundraising for the RAFBF is a way of paying back the wonderful help and support they gave my family in my father’s last years. He had become increasingly immobile through Parkinson’s disease, and cognitively was not able any more to manage the household finances – my mother had to take over everything as well as look after him. The RAF Benevolent Fund put in a stairlift for Dad so he could stay at home, helped my mother sort out paperwork, bills and benefits and put her in touch with other ways of getting help and valuable advice. It really was a lifeline in difficult times. My brother was in America and I lived 3 hours away, and it was difficult to support our parents as much as we wanted, but the RAF Benevolent Fund proved to be Dad’s extended RAF ‘family’ when he really needed it.
The ‘Where They Served’ tour has many roots and one is the extended RAF family that meant so much to Dad during the war, and continued in the background throughout his life. Having written up his memoirs for publication in August this year (‘Flying Blind: the story of a night-fighter pilot’, Fonthill Media), I now feel in myself that sense of connection with the RAF. It has come home to nest – very unexpectedly and to my surprised delight – in me. Strange how connections are made in life without us seeking them, and bear such unlooked-for fruits!
My commemorative tour of RAF airfields will (hopefully) raise money for the RAF Benevolent fund – see my RAF Benevolent Fund page or go direct to the RAF Benevolent Fund website to find out more.
My father (Flt Lt Bryan Wild) learned to fly at Prestwick in 1940, on Tiger Moths. Amazingly, and thanks to some legwork by Ian Grace of Prewar Prescott, he has traced one of the Tiger Moths which my father flew back in those days, and it is still flying. Perhaps you can imagine how wonderful a connection that is for me. Moreover, its owner has kindly agreed to fly it overhead at Prewar Prescott, where Chattie will be on show. If only my Dad could see this! While working on his memoirs ‘Flying Blind: the story of a night-fighter pilot’ (to be published in August this year by Fonthill Media), I have discovered the networked world of aviation enthusiasts to be highly knowledgeable and helpful, and here is another case in point.
Ian Grace’s is from a family that worked for the De Havilland factory during the war, and he himself is restoring a Tiger Moth of his own. If you’re interested in Tiger Moths, visit http://www.n5490.org/.
Chattie’s first outing in public is now announced. We have been kindly invited to Prewar Prescott, a hill-climb event for pre-war cars in the glorious setting of the Bugatti Club’s Prescott hill climb. Saturday 19th July is the day for a garden party and hill climb, and the chance to see spectacular vintage cars in action.