There was a very interesting programme on television the other evening expertly narrated by John Sergeant. He kept out of view all the while and allowed a number of survivors from Bomber Command to tell their stories, stories which were edited in such a way that the whole developed and built up to a climax.
I have long been aware that, during World War II, the Merchant Navy suffered greater casualties as a percentage of personnel than the navy, the army or the air force. What I had not known was that Bomber Command lost even more. Their losses ran at over 50%.
The programme included archive film of flack seen from a bomber and it made me wonder just how much courage it must have taken to go through that time after time. Then I heard that the bomber crews had to undertake 30 missions before being rested - but few managed to make more than 10 before being shot down.
At the end of the programme each of the survivors told how many missions he had flown. 34, 48, 60 - and one had completed as many as 84 missions. My admiration of those men and the courage they displayed knows no bounds.
Not far from the Town Hall is this building. But don't be fooled by the sign over the door: this was apparently never used as a "house of correction" (prison). Digital enhancement shows that the sign originally read "Antiques purchased" - not that that in itself would mean the building had not been a house of correction - but when it was built (or claimed to have been built) the Town Hall, with it's six cells in the police station, had just been built. It is thought that this sign was intended to entice people into the shop when it was a boutique selling bikinis etc.