">Glenn Miller Alive and Well In The UK

 

 

 

 

 

One day during an air raid in 1944, I was standing outside our Anderson Shelter, which was situated at the bottom of our garden. We lived just a mile from RAF Northolt, and our house was in a direct line with the runway. We would see every day the many aircraft that took off and landed on their way to and from defending the skies from approaching German aircraft. All very exciting when you're a kid of just seven years old.

 

But this particular night I had to go and relieve myself, and my father allowed me outside the shelter if I hurried. As I looked up into the night sky I suddenly saw a red light heading toward us and shortly afterwards heard the pulsating throbbing of the engine as it grew ever closer. I called to Dad to take a look, no sooner had he popped his head out of the shelter he called me in and pushed me to the floor. At that precise moment the noise of the engine stopped and there was a deadly silence…fear now was rushing through us, my mother, father, sister and three brothers all packed in a 6ft by 4ft corrugated iron shelter. We thought we were safe from such things as flying bombs and it was only after the war that I realised that the 'tin box' may have protected us from shrapnel and debris but not from a direct hit of a bomb. The bang came thirty seconds after as we crouched huddled together. Luckily for us the momentum of the flying bomb was such that although the engine had cut out, it dropped about a mile from us. We were lucky, but someone that night was not.

The memories and the sounds of the war have stayed with me all my life and years later when lying in my bed at night and perhaps a four piston engine aircraft flew over at high altitude I would hear the rhythmic throbbing and droning of the engines and I would be whisked back to those days of the war. This sound still sends shivers down my back.

We did not have much fear during those days but for my parents; having to protect five children it must have been a terrible nightmare.

Anderson Shelter

V1 Buzz Bomb

 

During those dark days of the war our radios were our only medium to becoming lost in unreality with the nightly variety shows, the music halls, the plays, which would occupy all of our leisure time. Music and big bands in particular were heard every day and night and as a very young listener it was the music and some of the songs that have stayed with me all these years.

We had a crystal set given to us one Christmas and with a pair of earphone plugged in to the set and a slight adjustment on the cats whisker on to the crystal we were able to tune into the BBC and AFN and we'd hear the music that was to indelibly impregnate my memory for ever.

When I began to collect records, it was Glenn Miller's that were on top of my list and since the early fifties these have been forever appearing in the stores in ever increasing numbers, and there does not seem to be any let up even today as they are issued now on CD.

Glenn Miller is remembered in this country by so many people, and annually there are Glenn Miller tribute concerts up and down the country, played by two of the top bands here.
The Syd Lawrence Orchestra being the finest this country has been since the days of Ted Heath, and the official Glenn Miller orchestra directed by Ray McVay. Other bands too are playing his music and many thousands of Britain's still flock to see and hear Glenn's music played.

 

The people of England never forget their heroes,and one in particular Major Glenn Miller who has now at long last been honoured by the preservation of the Control Tower at Twinwood Farm in Bedford, where Glenn on December 15th took off in a C64 Noresman Aircraft never to be seen again.

 

   
  I was privileged along with Chris Nash, our wives and Band Leader Bill Baker from Holland, to attend the opening ceremony dedicating the building as a museum for
Glenn Miller and the Royal Air Force........
..Click on button which will take you to The Twinwood Glenn Miller Museum Story
 
     

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