Good Flying Weather’
By Caroline Smith and Graham King
Doors to Manual Theatre Company
Tom loved sausages. He stood drooling over the tantalising display in the Scunthorpe butchers. He didn’t notice his mother slip quietly away from the shop.
He never saw her again.
This was just one of the incredible incidents in Tom’s life brought dramatically to the stage by Doors to Manual Theatre Company in a new play, ‘Good Flying Weather’.
Taken from the butchers shop by his eccentric grandmother Tom found himself on board a boat to Bolivia – he was 8 years old and on his own. In 1939 Tom joined the RAF as a fighter pilot serving in North Africa. He was shot down in 1942 and became a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft III and assisted in the Wooden Horse escape.
Post War Tom returned to South America and in a hectic life played cards with Juan Peron the exiled Argentinian Dictator and found time to star in an advertisement for a Mexican Beefburger chain. A move to Africa saw Tom mixing with Haile Selassie, the last Emperor of Ethiopia.
Returning to UK in 1984 Tom became the Vicar of St Margaret’s Church in Lowestoft and Chaplain to HMP Blundeston.
Flight Lieutenant Reverend Thomas Russell Hawthorn RAF, MBE, BSc – 16 December 1918 to 15 December 2014.
‘Good Flying Weather’ is a true story based on Tom’s memoirs and personal letters to his daughter. An entertaining, moving and poignant account of one man’s extraordinary life.