I’ve hung around small airfields, since I was just a lad,
A hangar rat, an air cadet, just aviation mad,
Sent solo in a sailplane, when I was just sixteen,
Soaring over English fields, a quilt of gold and green.
Sweeping out the hangars, polishing the props,
Cleaning all their windshields, hanging round in ops,
Topping up the tanks and tyres, mowing taxiway and strip,
Befriending all the pilots, to see if I could blag a trip.
I worked hard at my day job, slaving nine till’ five,
Then pumping gas, and cleaning, to keep the dream alive,
When I wasn’t working, I was studying my craft,
Funny how quickly, the months and years flash past
As I got older, I got bigger, and the airfields did the same,
And I was thrilled to hang around, much bigger aeroplanes,
Still in operations, briefing crews and planning flights
Working out performance, a blur of days and nights.
Then one day, the time arrived, when I had to say goodbye,
To the mighty ships that plied their trade, so high up in the sky,
I left the airport on that final day, without once looking back,
Already thinking of my former self, and could I get him back?
So I wandered up the airstrip as the sun climbed the clear blue sky,
Pulled my little airplane out, I prepared myself to fly,
Turning round, I saw him, overalls, broom and cap,
Young, fresh-faced, teenager, My replacement Hangar Rat
So I took him flying….