“By now we had discovered that ten of the twenty-two pilots at Prestwick had failed the course; the twelve of us left from Prestwick stuck together, but three of us became particularly firm friends—myself, Jimmy Ward and a Geordie, Tommy Hunter. We used to call him the ‘Chinese Ambassador’ because we thought he looked a bit Chinese, but he assured us he was English.
“On the night of December 15th, the three of us met a small man in Moose Jaw in a large fur coat. He stopped us as we came out of a café and in a Yorkshire accent asked us if anyone came from the land of the White Rose. I told him I was born in Sheffield. That was good enough for him! He introduced himself as Mr Baxter, a Post Office worker, and said that he and his wife would be pleased to look after us during our stay in Moose Jaw. Before the evening was out we had been invited back to his cedar-wood bungalow and been introduced to his wife, his daughter Edna, her husband, Ed, and several other relations. There was a particularly pretty girl with whom Ward, at ease with any girl, had formed a firm friendship. On the other hand, I was a bit wary of the opposite sex, mainly because over the last few years I had not had much opportunity to socialise. And Wills was positively shy when confronted by some of the attractive girls who turned up at the Baxter’s home during our regular visits to the bungalow. These kind people entertained us royally for the rest of the tour. They escorted us to local shops and cafes and generally took us under their wing. No one could possibly meet nicer people than the Baxters and Co. Many a night we spent in their house, singing songs round the piano, and alwaysfinishing up with an excellent meal. And Mrs Baxter couldmake Yorkshire pudding!”