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1930, south east London. My mother, Margaret (then 5), was expected to look after her little brother Stan (3). The R100 airship passed over their street, and Stan fell over, badly cutting his knee. 88 years later (atow), he still has the scar. Many of my mother's friends died in childhood from diseases like diptheria and TB. The R100 made a successful maiden flight to Canada, but was later scrapped after the crash of another British airship, the R101.

R100: Stan & Margaret

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse22 Jan 2018

Colour was too scarce
To squander on children
playing in tight-packed

streets, stalked by killers
that took their friends,
but only flirted with them.

Summer was shadowed
by a sudden silver airship,
the biggest thing

in their small lives, forever:
they felt it knocked him
off his feet.

Rich rare red blood ran
from his knees as the monster
passed to obsolescence,

watched in wonder
by everyone who should
have comforted a little boy.