Post-war Playtime in Pillboxes

Gillian Bowmer, Stroud

From 1949 to 1951 we were stationed at RAF Aston Down near Stroud, where my father was Station Engineer. My sister and I and two friends used to play in the disused pill boxes on the airfield and beyond, which were damp and smelly. The remains of one is still by the roadside outside the airfield. We also played in one of the air raid shelters. Above ground this was a grassed over mound but down below was a haven for frogs, toads and other creepy crawlies - very dark and scary for a five year old. The aircraft hangars were still grassed over from wartime camouflage days and were great for sliding down on trays. In those days it was still a working airfield and planes were sometimes parked beside the hangars. Our sledging stopped when Richard landed on a plane's wing and broke his arm - the adults weren't too happy about the broken plane wing either.