Now that Christmas and the New Year celebrations are over, it’s time to take stock and consider where we go next with the blog.
Since starting this site last April, the blog has grown and developed in ways I never thought possible. I’ve visited over 40 different airfields and written trails about each one. As each trail has been written, I’ve found some amazing stories of heroism, bravery and heartache. The more I delve, the more I find, to the point where it has now become quite factual in its basis but the original idea of a nostalgic trip is still strong and evident in each and every article.
I have now of course, had a great deal of help from Marcella, whom I met on ‘Twitter’, spent Christmas 2013 with and have developed an amazing long distance relationship with. With her living in the United States and me in England, we have learnt to live with 3,500 miles and a time difference of 5 hours. Not easy at times!
She has an incredible eye for detail and a determination to find and check every detail, researching many of the additional facts and pieces of information that I wouldn’t necessarily have the time to do. She has also brought new ideas to the blog and has played a large part in its overall development.
As a result of this partnership, the blog has diversified from a range of trails around Britain’s old disused airfields, themselves a record of historical events, to include poetry and personal tales of bravery and heroism. It has also given me the chance to talk at length with my father, to learn about his time in the RAF, to know some of the stories behind his photos. We have learned about the structure of the USAAF, individual squadrons of the RAF and the ‘friendly invasion’ that affected so many lives both here in Britain and in the United States.
The blog following has grown too. Traffic to the site has grown steadily, readership is on the increase and a ‘family’ of friends has developed through a shared interest. I met in person, people through the blog who have shared their own pictures and stories. I personally have learned so much from others. It has truly been a terrific year.
So what now, where do we go? Certainly more trails, they are the backbone of the blog and tell the tale of events in World War Two. More heroic tales too, to highlight the sacrifices these young men (boys in many cases) made in the name of freedom and democracy. Perhaps too a new look, a revamp of the style. More factual information to back up the trails, and perhaps some revisits to old sites to update them and see what has happened since I was last there.
We would also like to share our trails with more people, raise the awareness of the state of these sites, and maybe encourage others to follow the trails around Britain’s disused airfields. Now is a fantastic time (if you are brave enough to withstand a little wintry weather), to go out and have a look round. The winter provides excellent views of buildings and other remnants of history that remain on these airfields, that in the summer, are obscured by trees and other greenery.
We welcome guest posts too, encouraging readers to add and share their own trails or stories. The more trails, the better the record we have! These posts need not necessarily be about a trail. We would love to share stories of those who served during this tumultuous time in history.
Finally, as always, we greatly appreciate your feedback and thoughts in the comments sections.
With a readership that is growing world-wide, ‘Aviation Trails‘ has truly taken off and is climbing. Here’s to 2015, new trails and new friends!
Andy and Marcella