'There is one factor about Ors which is not obvious to the casual visitor, but which helps to underline French attitudes to the two world wars. The assistant mayor, who has been particularly helpful to us, had a brother who was shot as a hostage in 1942 at the age of 16. Their father was captured and tortured for his work in helping escaping British aircrew.
'It is impossible for British visitors to put themselves into the same frame of mind as families who have lived through this sort of experience, but it is salutary to be reminded of it - perhaps particularly in the setting of such an ordinary place.'
Weekend Travel Update: Concorde by firelight
MY FOND reminiscence of my one and only Concorde flight (Independent Traveller, 20 November) stirred the memory of John Moore of London SW12. 'During the late Seventies I worked for Ladbrokes in its casino division. It had been awarded a contract to operate the casinos that were to be part of a luxury development on the Iranian-owned island of Kish in the Persian Gulf - the whole scheme was one of the ideas of the Shah.'
On Boxing Day Mr Moore and about 40 colleagues were jetted out to the casino to serve the high rollers who were being flown out on specially chartered Concordes. 'Along with a few others I was due to return to London at the end of January. A Concorde arrived with a dozen or so guests and we were due to depart on it. However, the airport was somewhat lacking in facilities and the only tanker needed three trips back to the fuel dump before the plane was ready.'
By this time night had fallen but, even though the air strip was not equipped with landing lights, the pilot refused to stay. 'They improvised by lighting oil-filled barrels along the runway and we took off in the light of huge flames from these containers. Needless to say, the juxtaposition of a state of the art plane taking off by 'technology' that went back to man's earliest time, was a factor that made the flight even more memorable.'
My complaint about the whiff that blighted a visit to the Concorde exhibition at the Fleet Air Museum in Yeovilton, Somerset, has brought a swift response.
Roy Johnson of the museum explains: 'The new pounds 2m Carrier Exhibition toilet block, now under construction, is currently being connected to the septic tank. The smell you experienced was due to the fact that the gulleys involved in the drainage had not been washed with water and filled. Consequently, the gulleys were acting as a channel from the tank, allowing the pungent aroma to circulate around Concorde 002. The engineer concerned has assured me that the problem will not re-occur.'Reuse content