This snapshot showing the entrance to the Italianate Chapel made from 2 Nissen huts was taken in squally weather on our Orkney Islands holiday in autumn 2009. Begun in 1943, it was built by Italian prisoners of war brought into a camp to build eastern barriers to attacks on naval vessels in Scapa Flow.
Led by artist, Domenico Chiochetti, the interior is a tribute to the Italians' artistry, craftsmanship and ingenuity. It is reminiscent, though on a grander scale, of the trench art of WWI. They used a huge range of scrap material on the islands much of it donated by the islanders, transcending the barriers of creed and nationality and forging friendships with the islanders that would last throughout their lives. Paul remembers an Italian POW on a nearby farm making him a wooden whistle which sadly didn't survive his Northumbrian childhood.
The snapshot of the interior was taken by Paul. I am not the person standing in the sanctuary.
It's almost two years since I published In Our Fathers' Footsteps (see under BOOKS). My latest book, One Dog and His Cop, about my cousin's police dog,was published 30 November this year (see under BOOKS).