IT'S SAGA SATURDAY!! So happy to welcome author Vicki Beeby to my blog today...

The first two novels in my Women’s Auxiliary Air Force series were set mostly in the fictional town of Amberton. However, in the third and final book of the series, Victory for the Ops Room Girls, the action has moved to the real location of Bentley Priory in Stanmore, Middlesex. So to celebrate its release, I’d like to take you on a little tour of the area so you can see the locations that Jess and her friends, Evie and May, would have visited.

First of all, we come to Bentley Priory itself. Bentley Priory was the location of RAF Fighter Command during World War Two, and is where the Filter Room was located. It is now a museum, containing a mock-up of the Filter Room, and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in how Fighter Command operated during the war.

The Filter Room is where all the readings from the coastal radar stations were analysed before sending this filtered information to the Operations Room and on to the fighter squadrons around the country. Victory for the Ops Room Girls is set at the time when V2 bombs had started falling on London, and Jess, the heroine, has been promoted to Filterer Officer at Bentley Priory. When I visited the museum last September and stood in the Filter Room, listening to the recording of the men and women tracking all the reports from the radar stations, I could vividly picture what it must have been like to work there.

The WAAF officers working in the Filter Room had to sign the Official Secrets Act, and they were assigned to a separate mess from the other officers at Bentley Priory. Presumably because the powers that be feared they might let slip vital secrets under the influence of wine and a good meal. Rather than being in the grounds of Bentley Priory, No. 2 WAAF Officers’ Mess was in Bentley Manor, a large house a few hundred metres down the road. On my brief visit between lockdowns last autumn, I did take photos, but as it is a private house it doesn’t feel right to post them publicly.

The name ‘Stanmore’ derives from ‘Stone mere’. There are several spring-fed pools in the area, and according to ‘One Woman’s War’ by Eileen Younghusband – an account of her time as a Filterer Officer in World War Two – a local landowner allowed the officers from No 2 Mess to bathe in some pools on his land. During my visit I wasn’t able to pinpoint exactly which pools these were, but I imagine them like the ones I photographed. Evie, Jess and May spend quite a bit of their free time here.


Finally, several accounts of life at Bentley Priory mention the Abercorn Arms, a pub on Stanmore Hill frequented by the servicemen and women of Bentley Priory, so I had to write a few scenes there. The ideal place for meeting a certain handsome Czech pilot…


Victory for the Ops Room Girls 

The final instalment in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force series is here…

With Jess newly promoted to Filterer Officer at RAF Fighter Command HQ, she is delighted to be reunited with Evie and May. However, now that they can enjoy socialising in London, Jess fears her friends will discover the secret she keeps there.

When Jess bumps into Milan unexpectedly, sparks are reignited - did she make a mistake, finishing with him in Amberton? But matters are complicated when a film company arrives at Bentley Priory to make a morale-boosting movie about the RAF. The lead actor is none other than Leonard Steele, a man from Jess’s past who could ruin everything she has worked so hard to build…

Jess is about to fight her biggest battle just as the war nears its end. As her past and present collide, will she find the strength to fight for her future?

A gripping and emotional wartime saga ideal for fans of Daisy Styles, Kate Thompson and Rosie Clarke.

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Vicki Beeby writes historical fiction about the friendships and loves of service women brought together by the Second World War.

Her first job was as a civil engineer on a sewage treatment project, so things could only improve from there. Since then, she has worked as a maths teacher and education consultant before turning freelance to give herself more time to write.

In her free time, when she can drag herself away from reading, she enjoys walking and travelling to far-off places by train. She lives in Shropshire in a house that doesn’t contain nearly enough bookshelves.

Twitter: @VickiBeeby

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