These words were spoken on Pink Floyd’s The Wall album, and the remind me of the time when I was a small child, in the 1950s, when the sight of any aircraft was a cause of excitement. Today, if I look up on a clear day I can see a dozen or more airliners making vapour trails in the sky. But in the 1950s there was almost nothing. That all changed when we went to live in Singapore in 1961. Because of the presence of British military bases on the island, as well as a busy civil airport, Singapore’s skies were amongst the busiest in the world.
On a couple of occasions in the early 1960s, my father took us along to an RAF air display. This was a big thrill for a youngster like me, brought up on war comics. I can’t be 100% sure, but I think the display was at Changi, although something at the back of my mind says Seletar. In retrospect I think it was very generous of the RAF to open their doors to the public, at a place that most governments would have regarded as most secret. Anyway, I remember that there was always a big crowd at these events.
Related Post: Plane-spotting in Singapore, by Brian Mitchell