THE footage of a Chinook gently delivering a retired Hawk jet to our airfield was not only strangely moving to watch, but particularly timely for us.

Our best man, a former RAF officer who now lives in New Zealand, had paid us a flying visit just a couple of days earlier.

Following a stint on the iconic Vulcan bomber he became an instructor, and there was much reminiscing during his stay.

Hawks were what he flew then, and he was really pleased when I forwarded the video of the helicopter drop-off from the Save Old Sarum Facebook page. “That’s one of the exact batch of Hawks that I did my training on,” he emailed.

The Hawk was joining the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, based in one of the hangars at Old Sarum – fortunately not the one that’s crumbling through lack of maintenance!

Curiously, the folk in charge of the collection seem to have taken a vow of silence about that one, and indeed throughout the shenanigans over the airfield owners’ ill-fated housing development plans.

Even when they invited me up there a few years ago to a presentation about the airfield’s history, it was on condition that I wouldn’t ask them to discuss the scheme.

It’s always surprised me that such an active and knowledgeable band of aircraft enthusiasts haven’t expressed an opinion, and I can’t help wondering why. After all, they’d carry some real clout.

Incidentally, I asked Wiltshire Council what it plans to do about that listed hangar and whether it will consider compulsory purchase to ensure its repair, given that it’s now in such a state that some people have suggested putting it on the national register of historic buildings at risk.

Cabinet member Toby Sturgis replied: “We are investigating if there are options open to us as the local planning authority to ensure the maintenance of the listed buildings on site.”

I also asked whether they’d review the policy that allows for unspecified development at the airfield.

The reply: “As we review the Local Plan we will be taking into account the planning inspector’s recent decision and I would encourage people to engage in this review.”

Wow, you can really sense the urgency, can’t you? I hope there’s more going on behind the scenes than that.

Anyway, back to our pilot pal.

The Neighbourhood Plan team who are discussing ways to encourage tourists to linger longer in our city may wish to mull over the following incident …

Our guest dropped in to Sainsbury’s to buy a bottle of wine to give us. To his utter astonishment, the checkout assistant asked him for ID to prove his age.

He is 64.

Fortunately, his New Zealand driver’s licence was in his wallet.

When he asked what would have happened if he hadn’t had it with him, he was told: “Then we wouldn’t have served you, sir.”

Welcome to Salisbury.

Now I’m just longing for someone to refuse to believe I’m over 18. Some hope!