My parents, my two sisters and myself, who was 10 years old at the time lived adjacent to RAF Pershore.
During the Cuban Crisis of 1962 we had a Vulcan on ‘Scramble readiness’ on the runway with the crew living in a lorry next to it. As soon as Dad heard her four engines roar into life and take off in under two minutes he would gather us all together. Day or night we would sit in the window waiting…..and at that time myself and my two younger sisters never knew why. We had to stay there until the Vulcan returned…thankfully it was always an exercise.
It was 1992 before we discussed it and I asked him why we had to sit at the window. He said it was because had it been ‘for real’ our airfield would have been vaporised by a nuclear weapon and, if we were going to die it would be together as a family. Thank God it never came to that.
From that day I have always treated the Vulcan with the utmost respect for keeping us safe. R.I.P. XH558, you have earned your retirement many times over.