Time Travellers

I am privileged to live in an ancient market town by a winding river and its water meadows. It is the kind of place of which English exiles across the world will have dreamt in the past two centuries. Soon it will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. There is to be a 1940s-style party , with a swing band and 1940s dress.

As I was driving back from town today I saw an old man perched on a window ledge outside a picturesque little pub. He was smoking a cigarette.

There are many airfields and former airfields in our county. If any 1939-45 time travellers from those bases should visit the town for a few pints of mild and bitter during its Battle of Britain celebrations of 2010, they will be surprised, maybe saddened, to find themselves asked to leave if they light a cigarette anywhere indoors.

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