RAF Duxford – a tribute.

RAF Duxford is an old RAF aerodrome just outside of London which I urge all Queen Mary Students to visit at some point during their time at university. It has had a long and vulnerable history of RAF activity, and is now a brilliant museum dedicated to that augustinian institution. The spring print edition of CUB Magazine (access an online version of it here: https://issuu.com/cubmagazine/docs/cub_issue_570_digital), near and dear to all of our hearts, covers a period full of significant dates for the RAF, a service served by so many heroes, which has achieved so many memorable and praiseworthy things in its time. While visiting RAF Duxford, it is impossible not to avoid feeling the weight of many generations of heroes overwhelming you; this feeling is especially amplified by, and reflected in, the series of prominent aircrafts on display. They have a Spitfire, a Hurricane, a Lancashire, and a Eurofighter Typhoon. This museum is also home to the first jet fighter ever invented, the Gloucestershire Meatier, which was the idea of genius Britain Frank Whittle, who was further responsible for the invention of rockets. This is even more inspiring given the fact he was working during the Second World War, fighting the Germans.

The spirit of British pluck and ingenuity is continued throughout the museum, with each generations of planes showing off new ideas and designs. This is especially evident in the present day section, where there are the ideas of HMS Queen Elizabeth II, our fantastic aircraft carrier launched in 2016 which is using state-of-the-art American planes, and which will be ready soon. The latest idea for planes is even more imaginative – PM Theresa May has announced that we will be designing a plane as a joint research project with Turkey, the first time Turkey has ever made such a deal! I personally cannot wait to see the many advanced results emerging from this inspired and inspiring development, surely carrying the RAF’s torch of success and heroism onwards into the future. To attempt to manifest some of the many emotions I feel towards planes and especially the RAF, I wrote this poem about my experiences:

In the Battle of Britain, Germany tried to put us down,

They bombed our cities, causing many to frown,

In Anderson shelters people hid from the bombs,

They couldn’t hear patriotic radio, like the proms,

But they refused to submit and our pilots went on the attack,

There were lots of British aces, like in a card pack,

In Spitfires and Hurricanes they flew around,

Watched eagerly by children on the ground,

London has lots of holes because of the shrapnel,

They look like they have not been cleaned up well,

But the government chose to keep them in place,

To show off our courage, and to leave a big trace,

When we walk around the streets we should bear this in mind,

And remember to others to always be kind,

Otherwise the fascists will win once again,

And on all of our souls would be a huge stain.


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