• Paul Bingley

All good things come to those who wait.

Exactly 538 days ago, I received a publishing contract for a book about the aviation history of Essex. Its working title was Essex: A Forgotten Aviation History, and it was to be co-authored with my good friend, Richard Flagg - aviation enthusiast, photographer and web content creator of a wonderful resource cataloguing British airfields.

Just over eight months later, we submitted our 20,000 words, over 100 images and 162 geographical coordinates pinpointing Essex's historic aviation locations. Five months on, our re-titled book, Essex: A Hidden Aviation History was duly published.

Richard and I were very happy with its progress. The book quickly garnered several five-star reviews on Amazon. When Covid-19 reared its ugly head, we expected the book to fly off the shelves and the reviews to pour in. But then 'lockdown' intervened. Who needed a historical 'guidebook' when you couldn't go anywhere? People and planes were grounded.

Today, a few things moved on. Firstly, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak tried reinvigorating the economy by cutting VAT for restaurants and attractions. The British public can also expect to receive discounted meals at participating restaurants in August. Good news. Perhaps we can all go out and explore once again. Then, Richard and I received the first formal review of Essex: A Hidden Aviation History. It was an uplifting moment.

This month's Aviation News magazine carries a lengthy write-up, calling the book, 'well constructed', and one that 'will certainly attract a wide readership'. It's only taken a year, five months and 21 days, but who's counting? We've been waiting (indoors) rather patiently.

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