Play / pause Flying the bed

Flying the bed

  • Candida Adkins
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


My memories are in the mornings,

I'd get into bed, and just before school.

And she'd say, "Come on,

"let's pretend we're flying a Spitfire.

"And the duvet can be the clouds."

And she said, "We've got to pretend.

"We've got to hold the joystick."

Now she said, "It's very, very, very sensitive.

"It's a very noisy plane, and you feel the whoosh

"of the engine and the thrust as you go up."

And then, she said, "If you want to turn right,

"you just think you want,

"Don't move, just think it and imperceptibly,

"you will turn right.

"And if you want to go left,

"just think it and it will go left.

"And you've got to level the plane up with the horizon,

"and keep it level with the horizon,

"the nose with horizon."

So she taught me all this.

Later on, when my mother died,

I thought it would be nice to put her ashes

over an aerodrome

So I rang Carolyn Grace and said,

"Look do you know a pilot

"who could possibly do this for me.

"Just over Dunkeswell."

our local aerodrome

"And it will be,

"it will be me and the Grace," she said.

"We'll come and do it."

I was absolutely amazed,

and so when she came,

to do that wonderful thing,

she brought the Spitfire down,

and she let me go up in it.

She said when we got up,

"Alright Candy, okay.

"You can take over now."

So I took over and I thought,

I know what I've got to do,

line it up, line up with the horizon.

Keep it steady.

She said, "Oh that's good, now turn right."

I thought I know what to do.

Just think and I honestly, I just thought,

I didn't move, I just thought.

I tell you, it goes beautifully to the right.

And she went, "Oh my goodness,

"you are your mother's daughter."

And I thought,

"Well I've never flown a plane in my life."

But those lessons in that bed worked.

  • Candida Adkins

    © RAF Museum

  • Jackie Moggridge with a Spitfire

    © RAF Museum

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