Bernard Hall Cuddington
By Haddenham Webteam - 28th March 2022 6:00pm
Haddenham resident David Lindsey is well known to many as the creator of the Tyrefighters weight loss group which ran for several years at the Medical Centre
In 1966 , as an RAF transport aircraft captain, David was given a one-year unaccompanied ground tour in Aden as an Air Staff Officer in charge of tasking the short and medium range aircraft fleet. It was the practice in those days for the family of someone on a short ground tour to have to leave RAF accommodation within a month to find and rent expensive alternative housing in a local village. The result of this was that when David arrived in Aden he had very little left over from his salary to fund his existence.
Fortunately, he had taken his trusty portable typewriter with him and, having had limited experience of article writing for newspapers in the past, he decided to contact the editor of the Dhow newspaper which serviced the large military family population there to see if he could get a part-time job.
The editor pointed out that the paper didn't have a children's page and would he like to take it on? This was gratefully accepted and, using his considerable experience in aviation, he decided to write a series of stories about a boy and his magic aeroplane, Swifty. For this, David was paid the princely sum of £2 per issue! In those days it was enough to keep David in pipe tobacco and beer, so he was quite happy.
In the next twelve months, David wrote a total of 50 stories under the pseudonym of "Uncle David" which proved to be very popular with the service children and he still treasures the letters he received from his junior fan club at the time.
David's son Christopher was clearing out the loft in their old house earlier this year when he came across three very old binders filled with faint typing. He telephoned his father to see if they could be thrown into the skip and, fortunately, David asked to see them. They turned out to be the manuscripts for the original stories, which had been sitting there for decades!
On looking through them, David realised that, with slight modifications, they would still be relevant today and so he typed them all out and sent the first twenty stories off to a publisher with the result that they were accepted, an illustrator was found, and the book "Swifty the Magic Aeroplane" now exists and can be obtained through Amazon. It is available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the USA as a paperback and hardback version and in addition can be found in e-book formats worldwide.
The second book of Swifty stories is now in production and David was so pleased with the project that he has written a third, brand new Swifty book which should be ready for the coming Christmas season.
Paperback copies can be obtained by e-mail from www.shieldcrest.co.uk and selecting books. The paperback book costs £7.50 plus post and packing.