A NOVEL based in Ludlow has sold more than 10,000 copies.
‘Wings over Summer’ follows the fortunes of a young Spitfire pilot from Ludlow, Alex Lowe, over a two-week period at the height of the Battle of Britain.
“The scenes of aerial combat have received special praise in the book’s many reviews and this may be because I spent much of my career teaching young men and women to fly manoeuvres similar to those used in combat,” said author Ron Powell.
“My career also gave me an insight into how the young pilots of the Battle of Britain may have faced their fears, and this is another aspect that has received praise."
Both ‘Wings over Summer’ and the first volume of memoir, Shropshire Blue, are available from Ludlow’s Castle Bookshop where ‘Wings over Summer’ was launched, or as e-books or paperbacks from Amazon.co.uk.
Ron Powell, 59, was born and brought up in Ludlow, attended Ludlow Grammar School and was a member of 333 Ludlow Squadron.
He left the town to join the RAF and spent the next 32 years in the service, retiring in 2005 as a group captain running the first stage of flying training for the Army, Navy and RAF.
Although the father of two now lives with his wife, Geraldine, on Barry Island in south Wales, he remains a regular visitor to Ludlow. His brother, Brian, and Geraldine’s parents, Joy and Arthur Johnson, still live in the town.
Since retirement, Ron has published two books: a Battle of Britain novel, Wings Over Summer; and a memoir, Shropshire Blue, which tells the story of him growing up in Ludlow, and his early years in the RAF.
‘Wings over Summer’ was partly inspired by a Battle of Britain pilot whose grave he used to pass in Henley Road cemetery. Pilot Officer Laurie Whitbread was also an Old Ludlovian.
During the Battle of Britain, he flew from RAF Duxford, the same base as Douglas Bader.
He was shot down and killed on September 20, 1940. Ron still pays his respects to Laurie when he visits the graves of his parents in the same cemetery.