Jackie loved to jot down a poem
I have found a font which is just like Jackie's writing.
My wings rise high
To join the race
Of scudding clouds across the blue
Exhilarating sky and space
That’s filled with heavenly peace and grace.
Earth why should I return to you?
The sky is such a lovely blue
Oh Earth must I return to you?
copies from www.alisonhillpoetry.com
See further below Alison Hill's poem
"6000 miles South on a mountain side. The birth of my impossible dream nurtured my desire to fly."
"Above its wings flew an Angel tall,
With flowing robes and hands in prayer"
My wife's really clever boys!
Now my wife’s really clever boys!
Not only has she looks
She cleans and scrubs and polishes
And charms me when she cooks.
Looking out of the window during a storm she always said that she and her cousin both aged seven saw a vision she drew a sketch of the vision, Jackie appeared on Kilroy Silk's programme “I saw an Angel,”
We have the recording of the programme.
Although I knew it not at the time
At seven years old a vision’s no crime
The viscous storm of clouds and rain
Pelted down like a devil insane,
Lightening whitening up the grey,
Of the Drakensburg peaks which above us lay.
As the storm abated out of the blue,
I saw an aircraft flying through,
And the most astonishing thing of all,
As we could only stand and stare.
Enchanted then and enchanted now,
As I wonder if that vision afar,
Was a sign of my future which came to pass,
As for 48 years I ‘ve traversed the sky,
And never lost that desire to fly.
A sweet soprano is her voice,
Her crooning too is magic.
Her dancing feet make me rejoice,
To lose her would be tragic.
Her many talents don’t end there,
She sews and knits and drives a car,
And as a mother she can’t bear
To love her children from afar.
My mother was very kind to everyone, she was never snobbish or prejudice in any way. We would often come home to the local Tramp having a cup of tea, Mummy will have seen him on the road and given him a lift which she offered to any woman she found walking down Trull Road into town. She felt the old tramp needed some food and once gave him my father’s old clothes. On returning from work my Father furious because she had given away his best Cricket Whites! (They had been under the old sui she had given the Tramp). She always reminded me of Laurie Lee’s mother in Cider with Rosie the part where she is taking him to the school bus, late as usual. I was always late for school and in the end my parents had to write a special letter to allow me to be late so that I wouldn’t get a de-merit every time. She was always late to pick me up too and the nuns would come out as I sat all alone in the playground very concerned that my mother wasn’t coming. “Oh she’s coming I would say she’s probably met someone shopping and forgotten the time.”
I’ve told you about the house being full of music and singing it was amazing that she could be so spiritual and forgetful and artistic and disorganised in life, but when she climbed into a plane she didn’t even smile, she was so focused and calm and ordered, a completely different person (not my mother at all).
The Aviation Engineers
Enchanted by the glamour of a Pilot’s Wings,
The public seldom realise it will take them by surprise
To find that there are many things towards the Pilot’s rise.
It is the man who builds or mends the plane,
Who studied hard, spent years to train,
And if that man had not been there
That gallant , striving Engineer.
“Perfection’s my motto.” He’d insist.
A Pilot’s life would not exist.
18th August 1995
By Jackie Moggridge Flying Officer/Pilot 1940 to 1986.
Air Marshal Sue Gray read out Jackie's poem at the Secret Spitfires film launch. 2020 how thrilled Jackie would have been to think those amazing engineers had had at last had some well earned recognition and her thanks to them broadcast on TV.
She was always so grateful to the clever engineers and was always writing them poems of thanks
On jumping into bed with her in the mornings we would sit beneath the billowing duvet (the clouds) and play flying a spitfire. I always remember as we held the pretend joystick she would say “just think you want to go right don’t actually move it and you will move right, the spitfire is so sensitive that’s why it should be flown by a lady.” I remembered those words when Carolyn took me up in the Grace and when Carolyn said “have a go turn right.” I found that my mother was indeed correct.
The poem My Wife's Really Clever Boys was written in irony, Jackie always hated housework she said when I was young that I wasn’t to do any housework to help her because once I was married, I would be doing nothing else for the rest of my life!! I think she wrote this because she always believed that this was what men admired most in women and this is what they would say to each other and she never felt she made a good housewife she felt she could not clean or cook well. She never felt good enough in the housewife department. But what she omitted to do in the house she made up with shed loads of love and caring. She would make us food any time of the day or night. When I was little she would make me a new dress and leave it on the bed so I would find it the next morning where the fairies had left it for me. She could also tell the most fantastic bedtime stories with fairies in the chandeliers and witches in the garden.
She always made even the simple things in life an adventure she had time to teach me to crochet or sew or dance with me in the garden or take me to the Opera and the Ballet or to Morelli’s Italian Café in Taunton for a Banana Split - her favourite treat.
The poem below is still true today, speaking to Captain Marnie of Easyjet last weekend she is valiantly trying to recruit girls into flying as she says even today aviatrix has not caught up with equal jobs even though Women have entered medicine and law successfully. She talks in Schools to inspire girls to fly.
I’m an Ordinary Housewife Now and Then
I’m an ordinary housewife now and then,
And in between - a job I love to do,
Where I’m the only girl among the men.
This job where women’s place is very new.
Instead of Captaining a kitchen every morn
I captain aeroplanes and travel the skies,
Instead of darning clothes when they are worn
I sigh contented as o’er hills I rise.
The passengers on landing like to see,
The crew climb down, from the cockpit door,
When no one else comes out but little me.
They drop around me, fainting on the floor!
Although a women Doctor is accepted
A women Lawyer usually allowed
A women Pilot is instead neglected
Of her vocation she cannot be proud.
If tentatively she may mention flying
The men will say “that’s only a line to shoot.”
Frustrated by them all she goes on trying
Until the day she wears a Captain’s suit.
Sold in support of the British Women Pilots’ Association – copies from www.alisonhillpoetry.com
Jackie was fascinated by Concorde
Proud to watch our Concorde fly
As it shoots across the sky
Silver arrow from a bow
Streamlined body all aglow
British science at its best
So sad Concorde is now at rest.
I found The Last Flight written on the back of an ATA SNAG REPORT chit. Which was quite apt.
I should have read it at her funeral 2004 but I only found it in 2014!
The Last Flight
When I must set the compass for my flight –
the last and all alone.
Which bearing is the best all through the night
to reach the great unknown?
Will wind allowance matter in the void
through which I have to go?
Or navigation error be allowed with faults?
I do not know.
How can I tell the distance and the time
or weather on the way?
Or estimate the height I have to climb
until I land some day?
Pray that the Master Pilot of us all will
check my course to steer
And not allow my wavering wings to stall
when I take off from here.
Published in Fifty Ways to Fly (Rhythm & Muse, 2017), ed by Alison Hill
Sold in support of the British Women Pilots’ Association – copies from www.alisonhillpoetry.com
Jackie's daughter Veronica found this on a faded piece of paper we don’t know when she wrote it
but I think it sums up her love of the skies and her lament when she was too old to fly.
I sit and sigh!
No longer from this dreary round of worldly work can I escape,
I cannot fly!
It seems this day just had to come and gloom wraps round me like a cape.
If mem’ry stands me in good stead,
I take myself unto my bed,
Where dreams will help to fill my heart.
My life unfolding from the start,
Will let me see how full it was.
So why I sigh? I sigh because,
I miss the beauty of that world.
Above the earth where winds have curled
The tops of cloud and tossed them into frilly forms,
The sunlight sweeping o’er them warms,
My very soul! And I behold
A vision there of silver wings
Swift cutting through the cumulous mass
And listen to my heart it sings,
Until with pain I see, alas!
It is not I that feels that thrill,
Though yet the memory lingers still.
It is a younger one today,
Who’s flying now, o’er my skyway!
This was sent to her written on the back of an Engineer’s business card.
To Jackie our Pilot a real grand lass,
Who likes to taxi, but not on the grass,
From Blackpool to Bognor without Bogging down
She takes us with safety without a frown.
So please take this gift and heartfelt wishes
From all the boys with best love and kisses.
From H W Naylor Limited, registered electrical engineers and contractors 46 Friargate, Preston
In Honour of the Engineer
A glorious life is the Pilots’ one,
They enjoy it too when all’s said and done,
They swoop through the sky both far and near,
Yet the real Hero’s the Engineer.
Without his knowledge the crafts won’t fly,
With his negligence the Pilot’s die.
By Captain Jackie Moggridge
? ! ???
Jackie wrote the following on a long drive back from an aerodrome. It was dark so she stopped by a lamppost and scribbled it down before she forgot it. She sang it in many a Red Cross Concert dressed as a housewife in overall which she whipped off at the end to reveal a sparkling, gold sequined dress which I still have.
I’m Longing to Be a Pinup!
I’m longing to be a pinup,
A pinup for my hubby,
With an elongated leg and a nose just like a peg
And an undulating lithe body.
Oh I’m longing to be a pinup just you wait and see
I shall dance from night ‘til morn, I shall never sleep ‘til dawn,
Bouquets of flowers, will arrive for me.
Now to cook will spoil my hands
So we’ll have to eat from cans
And in the house a maid the work will do oo oo oo.
Oh I’m longing to be a pinup
And its red I’ll paint the town
The day my apron changes for that glamour gown!
Written about her feelings as she came down in the parachute jump sung to the song “There’s a Song in the Air”
There’s a song in the air but the birds all around me, they don’t seem to care for the song in the air.
So, I’ll sing to the clouds as I’m swinging up high in the blue serenading the sky.
I can’t feel that I’m descending but I find it is no use pretending I am alone up here.
But try as I may to be happy and gay. It still seems to be like a dream.
There’s the earth down below, Now I feel I’m moving slow.
It will take some time to come down with this chute of mine.
VE Day a woman’s Lament
I think all Governments are inhuman,
Just because I am a woman,
No more fast aircraft may I fly,” Give the jobs to the men” they cry.
Remember the time when the Suffragette,
Fought for the things, some, we still can’t get?
Back we are where we began,
Must we always give way to man?
“Equality for all!” they shriek,
“But not the fair sex, they’re too weak.”
We proved our prowess in the air,
But just because we have long hair –
“You’re out” they say when war is won!
“We know of all the work you’ve done,
But men must work, and women must weep
And the women say “yes” like a lot of sheep.
About the end of the war when the girls were kicked out of the ATA and told to keep quiet about it all.
Alison Hill wrote the following poem dedicated to Jackie in her book 'Sisters in Spitfires.' She included Jackie's own Poem The Last Flight in 'Fifty Ways to Fly."
Look out for Alison's book on Pauline Gower due to be published 2022.
"Remembering Jackie" From Sisters in Spitfires (Indigo Dreams, 2015) by Alison Hill
Click link to see Alison's Website
Jackie danced with the wind – she flew by the seat
of her skirt, raised on a cushion, head in the clouds.
She loved to watch the sun appear, craved peace
and solitude, the sheer delight of soaring free.
Jackie showed her daughters petals unfurling, dew
glistening on grass, rain-splash on yellow roses.
They billowed under duvets, learning how to fly.
She wrote poems by streetlight, caught in the glow,
embraced her family, lived for fun and flight.
Jackie relaxed into headstands at Hamble, or turned
her morning somersaults, dark eyes shining.
She pushed boundaries with a tilt of her chin, longed
to break the sound barrier, flew Spitfires to Burma.
Captain Jackie was proud of her post-war wings –
paving the way for women with a blazing Spitfire trail.
From Sisters in Spitfires (Indigo Dreams, 2015)
Since Pontious was a pilot it has always been the same
Academic idiots by guile and subtle game
Deludes experienced practitioners (who really know what’s best)
And drives then to distraction by test after test after test.
Ego is destroyed, wonderment is acute
‘Tis like holding back the tide by dear old King Canute.
Despair turns to desperation as funds and jobs recede,
But still official bumbledom pays no special heed.
Perhaps there is a moral to learn, a lesson to apply
Let’s help the poor old pilots and keep them in the sky.
It’s frustrating, demoralising, enough to make one scream!
Let’s keep the pilot’s flying despite the academic machine.
Frustration at the air ministry.
A Housewife’s Work is Never Done
Procrastination is my vice
I lie in bed each morning
Thinking up how in a thrice,
I’ll do the housework, mend his clothes and
Never find life boring!
In my mind, my work gets done,
And I find time to enjoy the sun,
Paint my toenails red for fun!
I Read a book do a face pack,
Won’t he be shocked when he gets back?
Reality must now I face
So freezing, from my bed I crawl
My corset hastily I lace
As the wash into the tub I haul.
All day I scrubbed and cleaned and cooked
No time for any dreaming
My husband has not even looked or noticed what I’m wearing
So why have toe nails gleaming?
Not going out to dance or eat
No need for pretty feet!
Jackie wrote this when she couldn't find any flying jobs.
I said she hated housework with a vengeance and at times the dull routine of being a housewife would get her down and she would rant and rave about how bad her life was with all the washing and cleaning she had to do, (I tried to point out that everyone had to do this in life) but once it was all over she was always saying “Don’t worry about me dear, I have to let it all out, then I feel much better, I really am the luckiest person in the world to have two beautiful daughters and a gorgeous husband just look at that sunset.” And all the ranting would be forgotten Nature gave her a lot of pleasure. She taught me to look at the shapes of the clouds, the moonlight on the lawn, the sunsets, the dew drops on the flowers, the sunshine on the mountains and not just to rush about and not notice what nature is giving us.
An Ode to British (C.I.) Airways
On a distant airfield of Guernsey’s misty Isle
Are three young traffic Office Staff,
Who greet all with a smile.
With all the charm of Galahads
They help in many ways,
To brighten up the Pilots’ stay
Though brief, it makes their day.
Now Phil will rush to clear the decks,
While Hilary the Pax,
The luggage will be hauled around,
Whilst the Pilots stop for snacks.
Whithin minutes all is done!
And blocks are waved away.
The boys of Guernsey, Bless their hearts,
Have cheered the Pilots’ day.
The poem above was written when Jackie worked for Channel Airways.
8 RFS reply on receiving Jackies farewell poem.
We don’t resent you, Jackie dear,
In fact we like to have you here;
It Cheers us up to have you round
And it keeps the instructors on the ground!
The R/T sets our hearts a whirl,
With your solo from “The Quaker Girl”
(“The Circuit’s clear, Oh lover mine
My regional pressure is 999”)
And we all too surely cross the tracks,
Of WAAF VR’s who look nice in slacks.
There is just one thing we’d like to know,
Before you pack your bags and go,
Like Annie with her little pistol,
Back to the Wild, West of Bristol
How did you know when to change formation
With your essential means of communication
Taking such a fearful battering
From your triple simultaneous continual nattering?
A song dedicated to Customs
You’ll get used to it You’ll get used to it!
The first time is the worst time,
But you’ll get used to it!
They take all your luggage out,
And then they leave it all about,
And after, when you’ve packed again,
You find some contents still remain.
It’s terrible, it’s horrible!
The passport man takes hours. Its unbearable!
But no matter what you do
There’s always customs to go through.
So just relax, don’t get annoyed,
Pretend you’re really overjoyed,
It’s wonderful and glorious,
No matter how the fight goes - they’re victorious.
If you can’t pay the Duty
They just keep all the booty,
Whichever way you just can’t win!
So, stop your hair from going thin,
By letting them take all your stuff
And never sink to getting rough.
Get used to it - or go insane,
Or you’ll never buy a thing abroad again!
You are my love
And my delight
You are the thrill
I find so sweet
Wrapped in your arms
I am complete
In the darkness of the night.
To carry Britain’s Banner High
The pride of British heritage
Lay deep in me when born
Like Drake and all in bygone age
Inspired to greet the dawn.
Though frightened to the very core
Yet who should say I cannot try
To follow all who’ve gone before
To carry Britain’s banner high.
My heart soon fills with ecstasy,
Ambition opens wide the road
My eyes can see eternity
To fly for Britain is my code
I study hard to reach my goal.
But find it’s really not enough.
The help of V.I.P.‘s I’m told
Is needed to make things less tough.
No V.I.P. can I acquire
They’re much too busy to help me
Although my efforts they admire
It’s NO, the answer to my plea.
Too much Red Tape they can’t untie
Especially as I female be
Yet all I want to do is fly
A super-sonic Jet you see.
The poem above is about My mother’s crusade to be the first woman to fly through the sound barrier was thwarted by prejudice from the men above.
“I prayed on the way up and sang a flying song which I had made up to the tune of ”The little flower song” which Bobby Breen sang in the film “Rainbow on the river”
The poem below was written and signed all neat, I wonder if she never sent it. Not sure what 8 R.F.S is but it speaks for itself.
In Gratitude to 8 R.F.S.
Goodbye, Goodluck and carry on,
Thanks for all that you have done
One more female must have been
A nuisance to fit in between,
But now that you have taught me how,
To fly formate, I take a bow
And leave you to your Pilots men!
Who hope I’ll n’er come back again.
Love from Jackie Moggridge
Jackie wrote the following whilst flying in SA
Let’s go flying, be happy and gay,
The skies are clear the clouds have rolled away.
Watch your compass to see where we go
You plot the course, then let me know.
Climb her steeply but don’t let her stall,
Else she’ll spin and then we’re gonna fall,
Let’s go flying, right into the blue,
Oh how I love flying, don’t you?
What a question I’m sure you do?
T H Moggridge and Sons in East Reach, Taunton, had an Xmas newsletter Jackie drew a picture of Reg and wrote the Moggridge Update when they were partnered with Pearce in 1976 this was in the Xmas News booklet here is the poem about the Office Staff which we all knew so well.
The Office Staff
Avril’s the only girl we own,
And she is never left alone,
As many just passing through
Might pick her up and take her too,
Because she really is so pretty,
Efficient too and very witty.
Tom writes the office ledgers neat,
Keeps everyone upon their feet.
Maintains the gangs, he keeps supplied,
With ordered gods from every side.
With a ready smile and loads of charm,
We’ll never know how he keeps so calm.
Ken (the pen) keeps accounts in trim,
He’s tall, blue eyed and rather thin.
We’ve yet to know what he can do,
As he, of course, is very new.
He says he met us years before,
Which means he knows about us more.
Bob (just the job) loves to dance,
And if he comes your way by chance,
To supervise the outside work
Don’t think he’s there just to lurk,
But tell him all the things you need,
To finish off the job with speed.
That’s all the office staff we’ve got,
So how about the other “lot”.
Our foremen three Bill, John and Mike,
They make sure that the men don’t strike,
They always know what they’re about,
So, rule without a curse or shout!!!
A special mention is our Vick
In forty years he’s had his pick
Of plumbing jobs, and quick he’s there,
If the lady has blond hair.
But most important is of course.
The great men of our working force,
They are the ones who proudly bear.
The weight of all the buildings here.
From all of us at Moggridge’s
For Christmas wish you happiness.
I’ll go up there in the sky in a plane where no one can see me. I’ll show them.
I’m a little mouse and I live in a house,
But I don’t grouse when anyone comes to tea,
Because when they leave, they leave behind many crumbs for me,
There’s a large cat here and I watch out wherever he rests or sleeps,
Because when he’s about, after me he will scout, and chew me up for keeps.
When we are very young
The grownups talk as though we cannot hear.
“Poor Jackie!” Mother says aloud,
With poor me standing near.
Jackie always said her mother spoke to her friends as if her daughter couldn’t hear and was not there. She heard them talking one day about how unattractive she was and that was when she looked up and saw a plane and thought ......