I lie here, still, beneath the hill,
Abandoned long to nature’s will,
My buildings down, my people gone,
My only sounds, the wild bird’s song.
But my mighty birds will rise no more,
No more I hear the Merlin’s roar,
And never now my bosom feels,
The pounding of their giant wheels.
From the ageless hill their voices cast,
Thunderous echoes of the past,
And still, in lonely reverie,
Their great, dark wings sweep down to me.
Laughter, sorrow, hope & pain,
I shall never know these things again,
Emotions that I came to know,
Of strange young men so long ago.
Who knows, as evening shadows meet,
Are they with me still, a phantom fleet?
And do my ghosts still stride unseen,
Across my face so wide & green?
And in the future, should structures tall,
Bury me beyond recall,
I shall still remember them,
My metal birds & long-dead men.
The shroud of growing shrubs & trees,
Can never fade old memories,
For I hear still, the distant drone,
Of absent friends returning home.
Now weeds grow high, obscure the sky,
O, remember me when you pass by,
For beneath this tangled, leafy screen,
I was your home, your friend, Silksheen.
Walt Scott 630 Squadron - Lancasters out of RAF East Kirby (Callsign Silksheen)
Images of our defences as Hitler's war machine rolled toward us. Airfields, coastal defences, the seemingly-randomly placed pillboxes and dragons' teeth... Orkney and Scapa Flow defences, many in surprisingly good condition, feature in a gallery here, from my four years on Orkney. Winter of 2015, I'm concentrating on my area of North Wales and out into West Wales; maybe Lincolnshire, too. In 2016, I'm hoping to venture further throughout Britain and Ireland.
I always feel drawn to capture the beauty and atmosphere of these buildings. I love that they are all different, yet immediately identifiable as military building.
Sad that so few have been protected.