LETTER: Spitfire concerts in the war years, solitary walks and waves amid COVID


I was born in Scotland during the war years, a time of great fear and great loss. One of the things that kept the neighborhoods throughout Britain going were the ‘Spitfire Concerts.’ These were backyard concerts held often, by different houses, inviting the same neighbours each time and charging pennies for the privilege of hearing the same children or adults sing, recite poetry, play the mouth organ, or basically anything else that could bring a laugh or a tear.

The pennies went to the country for the war effort, but the result of such gatherings was a feeling of camaraderie, of being part of a whole and knowing that everyone was ‘in this together.’

Now this world is facing our own ‘war’ and the hard part is we cannot gather together to share our fears or console someone for the loss of a friend or neighbour with a hug, but the camaraderie is still there. The love is still around us and we will get through this in time if we stay strong and take each day as a gift.

Each morning I think of those ‘backyard concerts.’ And when I am on my solitary walk, I wave to as many people as I can (from a distance), hoping that they ‘feel the love!’

Carol Chaulk


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