Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sometimes, Life's so 'Dam' Spooky!

I know you all like my humorous posts, but I hope you'll indulge me and read this post with interest.

Throughout our lives, we each experience strange coincidences that are completely inexplicable, if not downright spooky.

This is a true story, and it really happened to me.................

During World War Two, the county of Lincolnshire was known as "Bomber County" due to the large number of RAF airfields here.

"Operation Chastise", subsequently known as The Dambusters' raid was launched from RAF Scampton Lincoln and carried out by No. 617 Squadron.

On the 50th anniversary of the raid, 1993, I was working as a Promotions Co-ordinator for the Lincolnshire Echo.

All sorts of events were set to take place, and our department had a very busy year indeed.

Pete Reynolds, one of the Echo's sub-editors, produced an award winning publication, called "Dambusters". It was extremely well researched and written.

It was reprinted several times to keep up demand, and I personally, posted out more than 3,000 copies all over the world!

One of the commemorative events was a huge evening concert at the Lincoln Ritz Theatre.

Royal Air Force Senior Officers were invited along with the Mayor and Sheriff of Lincoln and other "chain wearing officials."

There were also members of the original 617 Squadron there too.

As well as the actor Richard Todd who had starred as Guy Gibson in the 1955 Dambusters movie.

As was usual at such events, our department was on hand to serve champagne and canapes to the VIPs during the interval.

We were also selling relevant merchandise in the foyer. This consisted of a documentary video, some "Bomber County" pewter tankards and the afore mentioned Dambusters publication.

It was a fantastic success, and I'm so pleased that I was there. I cannot possibly describe the atmosphere that night!

After encores of both "There'll Always be an England" and "Rule Brittannia", the concert over-ran, so our Boss told us to leave our merchandise secure and return the following morning to collect it. We put the cash we had we taken in the theatre's safe.

The Boss and I returned the next day. I handed the money to him.

BOSS: How much of this money is for publications?

ME: Oh no! In all the rush and confusion, I forgot to take note on which sales were tankards and videos and which was for the publications.

BOSS: You silly girl! (That's not quite what he said!)You should know by now that promotional sales and publication sales go into different accounts.

ME: Hang on, I've got an idea......................

BOSS: Well I hope it's a better idea than the one you had that ended up with the Echo's Santa losing the kids' presents off his sleigh on the A1!

(Oh, dear bloggeroos, that's a post in itself that I must write for you another time!)

ME: No, this one is a good idea! Right, I brought 1000 copies with me last night, so all I have to do is count the copies I have left, take that figure from a thousand, then I'll have the number sold!

BOSS: Big head! Go on then, count 'em.
(He whistled tunelessly whilst I counted.) How many then?

ME: Let's see that's 1000, take away 383, that's...........Oh my God - I don't believe it!
I sold 617 copies.

The Boss stared in disbelief!

Do you remember which squadron flew the Dambusters Raid?
Yes, that's right - Squadron 617.

fade to the tune of the Twilight Zone............doo doo, do do, doo doo, do do................

Have any of you had strange coincidences happen?


elegancemaison said...

Spooky indeed! But your post also also evoked related memories for me. When the Dambusters film opened in 1955 my RAF officer father was stationed just over the Lincs border near Newark. He took me to see the film at the local cinema which had a special RAF evening. After reading your post I looked up the local history of the long defunct airfield and the village where I briefly went to school. Felt quite sad for all those memories turned to dust.

Pink Feather Paradise said...

Wow... made the hair stand up on my neck... I love histories of this era... the British/English population actually stood proudly togther and worked as a team through those times... I fear we have lost that community spirit, there are still pockets of it in existance but an the whole everything is just too much of a bother.. I imagine it was a fantastic evening... I love being involved with events it so much more fun that just attending as a guest...

now about this Santa on the A1?

x Alex

Country Cottage Chic said...

Spooky indeed!My grandfather was in the RAF in the war & I'm told that he was a rear gunner in that raid! He survived the war without a scratch & then was killed in an accident when my dad was only 15.


bad penny said...

Great ending - I wasn't expecting that !
I have a real spooky ghost story - it's way back on my blog but I retell it sometimes for new blog friends

elegancemaison said...

Hi Sue - just left a reply to you on mine. A bit late as I have been abroad but back briefly to take my mother to hospital for a scan. Will be back to full blogging mode late next week as no connection in our French abode.Cx

edersternchen said...

I get a kick out of all these comments, mostly young people. I am a little older and was in fact in the raid of the dambusters in 1943. I was 11 years old and it was the second dam, the Eder. This was the most horrifying night of my life. And the distruction afterwards was nothing but death all around us. We children had to pull dozends of cows and horses to the river to be burned. Can you imagine the smell? We had no way to get out of town, all the bridges were gone.I can onlysay, I have seen HELL that night.