We practiced at âThe Decontamââ clumsy name for an ugly placeâbare concrete rooms buried beneath a protective pyramid mound of soil, turf, and God knows what, designated sanctuary nonetheless for any unlucky enough âin the event of nuclear attackâ to survive the initial blast and burn to reach this subterranean space of hollow refuge. TheâStation Decontamination Centreâto rhyme the place in full, anâas yetâunfrequented location (praises be . . .) where, Tuesday nights, an ill-assorted crew of horns and woodwindsâsackbuts, cornets, clarinets, even the occasional bassoonâwould fumble-stumble along through âColonel Bogey,â âThe RAF March Past,â old favorites from Gilbert and Sullivan, âChu Chin Chow,â and Noel Coward, rehearsing for the COâs garden party, full-dress dinner evenings at the Mess. They echoed so, those naked rooms and sounding corridors, as if our music might drown outâyes, decontaminateâthe cold, blind fury cradled tight beneath the wings of our sleek avenging bombers; full squadrons perched above in laden readiness, paying no heed to our hapless melodies and marches.