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Written Records

October 2002

September has been a most inactive month as regards website developments, for two main reasons. Firstly, the Autumn Term started as it always does with an overwhelming amount of paperwork and lesson preparation and secondly, my wife has popped two discs in her neck which means that she is in constant pain and doing something she doesn't like to do - rest and rely on me! Consequently I have barely been able to find the time to keep up with the emails let alone do any website development. However, some good news. Membership now stands at 140, not large but manageable and most definitely select.

The recent mild weather has been most kind to the various building projects going on in the village. The old Wilton Road Windmill site is now fully developed (photos to follow at some future date), the small terrace of three 'cottages' opposite the garage is into 'second fitting', and the extra security at the Base entrances is well underway. Work is due to begin shortly on the overflow car park at the Doctors' Surgery that should ease congestion along the Old Brandon and Wilton Roads.

As autumn approaches so the Quiz Night season beckons with the first being on the 12th of this month. Fortunately preparing quiz questions is something my wife can do for which I am most grateful. Autumn also marks the end of the cricket season and the start of the football one. Feltwell CC finished the season with 4 wins and one tied game out of 17. Perhaps not the greatest of results but all players had a thoroughly good time, which is what it's all about anyway.

New members this month include Linda Kerney, nee Butcher, who is a descendant of the Levatt family (1850s-60s), Alison Whistler whose Grandparent's wedding photograph is on the website and John Hitchen who attended course number 48P at Feltwell FTS in 1951. Emails of note include this one from Robert Neeson in New Zealand who writes, "My great uncle was the 2nd Pilot of a Wellington bomber that crashed over Cologne on the 15th of October 1941. I am undertaking huge research on his and his crew’s lives and their missions. I am researching with other crewmembers families, and we have found eyewitnesses still alive in Germany. We were wondering if anyone in Feltwell could take a few photographs for us, of the old runway/airbase, and old airbase sights. We just want to see where our relatives were in their last days. P.S. I hear that some airmen from the war, carved their names into a nearby pub's bar. I was wondering if anyone could tell us what names are carved into the bar."

I doubt that the bar is still standing but old photos of the airfield are on the website.

This second email refers, I am sure, to Mr Peter Cooper who deserves great credit for his long service to the village. It comes from David L. Anderson-Walmsley. "I arrived at Bomber Command Strategic Missile School, RAF Feltwell on the 16th of August 1961 to attend a missile propulsion course, the course being only the fourth ever held in the UK, as prior to that all training had been completed in the USA.

Although my stay in your friendly village was far too short, lasting only six months, I remember it with warm affection.

My trips to the local hostelry, the West End public house, with as many of my colleagues as humanly possible crammed into my BMW Isetta bubble car are legendary memories.

Yesterday, Wednesday the 28th of August 2002, I made the pilgrimage from my home in Lancaster back to Feltwell to see what had happened to the RAF camp and whilst driving through the village trying to remember, after forty years, exactly where it was, I met a local resident, who took me under-his-wing and gave me a guided tour.

Although we sat in my car and chatted for probably an hour, I never did get his name. He told me he had lived in Feltwell all his life: had completed his National Service in the RAF during the 1950's and was a member of the Parish Council. It was he who told me about your excellent website and after having explored it yesterday evening, decide to contact you. If you can recognise him from this sparse description please thank him for all his assistance.

With this email is included details of the Thor missile system and it's connection with Feltwell." David's article was printed in October's village magazine and will appear on the website in due course.