Residents from a small village in the Cotswolds have officially complained about the noise made by the SAS CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters flying in and out of their training center.

With local properties changing hands for £1.2m or more, life is not exactly hard for the villagers of Tidenham in Gloucestershire. But they are having a massive moan-up as the people who make it possible for them to continue with their privileged lifestyle train in the nearby national training centre. Noise from the large double-bladed helicopters known as Chinooks flying the troops around is upsetting them. These poor darlings, who probably only use their large estates as weekend retreats, are having to be reminded that there are people out there who actually deploy to the ends of the earth, to the most despicable hellholes, to defend their liberty.

A local independent councillor named Gethyn Davies cried like a baby that “the SAS arrive from their base in Hereford by helicopter. The Rifles come from Beachley in smaller helicopters.” Who actually cares what size the helicopter is and does it actually make much difference noise-wise? No, I think this guy is just tying to get a story in the national press. He claimed the choppers were flying so close to his lovely little house on the River Wye, he could see the pilot’s face. A slight exaggeration there, I think. He went on to say, “These Chinooks are massive, and if you are in your garden having a BBQ or a glass of wine, the noise and vibrations from them can be terrific.”

Davies claims to have gathered a little team of moaners, and they are going to revive their residents’ association to have an “official” moan. He said he had at least 30 people who were all sick of listening to the noise. Well I’m sure the Regiment and the Rifles are very sorry about this, what with their having to undertake dangerous training so they can deploy around the world to make it a safer place. The residents actually suggested that the troops land somewhere else and get a bus to the site.

One resident who, humorously enough, didn’t want to be named, was whinging that the crystal glasses in her house shake when the men fly over. What an absolute shocker that must be. Can you imagine? Jean Walmsley, a local resident, was complaining that her dog doesn’t like the noise too much, but an older resident wasn’t too bothered as he was hard of hearing. Just about the whole village tried to get in the national papers and get a claim to fame on the back of this story, which is only news because it’s about the SAS.

Supporters of the dive centre said the opposite. The fact the military had chosen to train on the local military sites was actually creating local jobs, something that the ones living in their cozy little pads don’t have to worry about. Jake Tunnicliff, also a local, said, “Oh dear, the snobs have been disturbed.” Leah Parker totally got the picture when he said, “You wouldn’t be living in your posh house if it wasn’t for our armed forces.”

The site also has a zip wire, which is the attention of the snobs’ anger too. They claim that people actually whoop and holler as they use it. Obviously they are not used to the sound of people enjoying themselves. What it does show is that these people will complain no matter what you do. One woman, who wrote to the Forest of Dean District Council, said, “Women, particularly, love to scream hysterically.” I’m sure the Forest of Dean District Council must cringe every time these people storm into their offices. Supporters were out in force to the contrary, saying that the zip wire made hardly any noise at all.

A message to the people of Tidenham from me:

War is a nasty business, and fortunately for you, a few brave men are prepared to meet danger head-on to protect everyone. They do not complain that your houses are getting in the way of their training; they work around you. Wind your necks in and feel privileged that you got close enough to actually witness firsthand a small piece of the sacrifice these brave warriors make on your sorry behalf. Go back to Dorris and shut your windows; feel thankful it is the SAS and not our enemies disturbing your peace.

If these people who are making your life a misery were not prepared to risk all for the sake of so many, you soon wouldn’t even have anyone to complain to. Embrace the fact that the military is training in your area, acknowledge the prosperity they bring to those less fortunate than yourselves. Shut the fuck up, and if you don’t like it, take your millions and move away.

I am sure it is the minority who are complaining, but unfortunately, the pecking order is always the wrong way ’round nowadays. Those who strive to protect our shores should be afforded every effort and assistance that can be bestowed upon them. Troops need to train and train hard; they should not be hindered in their efforts. A minute of your day being disturbed is a small price to pay for your freedom.

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