WESSEX

Broadwell under Hercules *

[Broadwell]

"Broadwell Church. The first time I saw this, it rang a bell. When a huge military airplane flew over it towards Brize Norton, it clicked; this was an image straight from wartime movies - Lancasters roaring off to defend a kind of Englishness which only seemed to exist on celluloid, a village dominated by its parish church.

In Broadway churchyard, a passing KC135* creates a moment of silence, as the cacophony of birdsong mutes ("Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Either way, I'm keeping my head down")."

*I'd thought this was a Hercules (C130), but reader Hal James corrects me. I was never much good at aircraft identification.

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