I was born in 1937 in one of the bungalows at the fruit store by Flitcham House - my father Mark, was a gamekeeper on the estate. During the war there was an anti-aircraft gun there and as a young boy, the soldiers used to let me use their binoculars to look at the aircraft and check them against the charts they had. I was quite good at aircraft recognition. One afternoon I remember mother (Adelaide née Crowe) was taking me to see her parents at West Newton when we saw a Flying Fortress in flames passing low over head. Another time I saw a Boston* - that was a twin engine job - crashing: it went down beyond Abbey Farm in that field just before the main road. Tu'penny Harper said he saw a fighter - I don't know whether it was a Spitfire or a Hurricane - crash to the north of the village and the pilot got out but all his backside was on fire. I don't know whether he survived or not. Sculthorpe wasn't built until the end of the war - I remember all the grreat big tipper lorries travelling along the Sandringham Road and into Hillington carrying shingle from Snettisham beach to build the runways. They had Mosquitoes there for a while.
(A Boston or a Blenheim? The Bristol Blenheim saw service at nearby West Raynham, Great Massingham and Bircham Newton. The Blenheim was effectively obsolete soon after the Second World War had commenced and was superseded from 1941 in many squadrons by the Douglas Boston, which served at Swanton Morley and Great Massingham. Both 'planes were twin engined and aluminium clad. Click here to see pieces of the crashed 'plane recovered from the field east of Abbey Farm)