Bomb sites

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Bomb sites

Postby Ann » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:44 pm

Hi All,
Did anyone have a bomb site in their street.Back in the fifties I had one directly opposite my house.Use to think it was just wasteland, never thought that some poor souls had had a bomb dropped on them.It came in handy Guy Fawkes night we would have a massive fire with all the street contributing with their rubbish.It was guarded like the crown jewels before the 5th November as kids from the other areas would try and pinch the wood. A couple of dads would stay with the fire until it died out in the early hours the next day.
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby tabbynera » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:39 pm

Come to think of it, I grew up surrounded by bombsites. Norah Street in Bethnal Green seemed to be an untouched island in the middle of destruction. they were the best playgrounds I suppose. Later the houses still standing were evacuated and afterwards pulled down to make room for the new blocks of flats. They were interesting, as the gardens were just left to grow wild and there were many pretty flowers growing there. Going into the empty houses was forbidden by the mum regiment, but we did it all the same.
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby Grundle » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:39 pm

We had two at either end of our street and they were a great scource of adventure for us kids. As the street emptied (slum clearance) more and more empty houses became our playground and a scource of fuel for our bonfires. I remember there was only ever one private car parked in the street. :-)
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby jo » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:24 am

same here we made dens,generally had a great time ,it never entered our heads that these were once someone home.we were very young i dont think i was 5 years old when i played on them . cant imagine my grandchildren doing that .
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby Dalston Boy » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:20 pm

Bomb sites were our adventure playgrounds!

I had one opposite where I lived, one at the top of the street and at least another four in "the block" that was home. The one at the top was particularly good because once you had traversed the dangerous cavity where the house had once stood by way of upturned bricks, broken glass and other assorted debris there was a brick built shed that had survived the blast. Away from the prying eyes of adults we had our first encounters with girls there with games of doctors and nurses with much giggling and laughing! I got my first glimpse into the facts of life there!

Looking back it amazes me how much freedom we had back then - from about eight I could wander around from dawn to dusk wherever I wanted - as long as I promised to be careful how I crossed the road. I remember once ending up on the roof of a disused Collins Theatre in Stoke Newington High Road after we "found" a way in. I can still recall the cold fear I felt when I suddenly realised how high the building was and just how much danger I was in. I climbed down very carefully...

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Re: Bomb sites

Postby ladyDeWint » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:26 pm

there was a brick built shed that had survived the blast.


Could have been an air raid shelter, when growing up there was a whole street where the houses had gone but each had one of these in their garden.
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby pds » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:49 pm

My school, Manorfield, backed onto a massive 'debris', possibly a whole street which got bombed in the war, but most of the rubble had been removed. From what I can remember our teacher used to encourage us to play on it, searching for caterpillers, flowers, and other interesting bits and pieces for the nature table.

There was a debris along St. Leonards Street, fronted by corrogated iron, which you could climb into round the back. This was were I collected worms and grasshoppers for my pet frog.

I loved spending the day playing on the debris, if only me Mum and Dad had known what I was up to. :oops:
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby ladyDeWint » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:21 pm

I went to Manorfield for a short while when we moved here from Hackney, a few years back they celebrated their anniversary, 50 years I think, and Miss Anderson was there looking very frail, I don't know if she was the headmistress when you were there.

You might like to know that the school is getting a major face lift and it seems that it's going green with a real lawn roof. very fancy isn't it. :-)
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby Barryoneoff » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:59 am

There were quite a few bomb sites in my part of the manor. Ideal playgrounds.
http://www.barryoneoff.co.uk/html/1950s_kids.html scroll down halfway.
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby ladyDeWint » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:14 pm

My school, Manorfield, backed onto a massive 'debris', possibly a whole street which got bombed in the war


you're right pds that part of Poplar got hit on the first day of the blitz.
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby pds » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:03 pm

and Miss Anderson was there looking very frail, I don't know if she was the headmistress when you were there.

Yes, she was, but the only thing I remember about her is the tiny blue Austin A35 which she drove.

You might like to know that the school is getting a major face lift and it seems that it's going green with a real lawn roof. very fancy isn't it. :-)

Going really off topic now, but thinking back it seemed a very modern school, in both construction and outlook. Interesting that its getting a face lift, I'd always thought that it probably contained tons of asbestos. :o
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby ladyDeWint » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:48 am

I'd always thought that it probably contained tons of asbestos


You're right it did but that was cleared before the renovations began.
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby marilyn » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:09 pm

We had a huge debris in our street on all four corners of the crossroads between Darnley Road and Frampton Park Road, no sign of houses, just rubble and weeds, lilies and micklemas daisies growing through. Hackney Free and Parochial School was built there and our school went to watch Princess Margaret laying the foundation stone
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby king4acknee » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:28 pm

We spent most of our childhood on Bombsites, though to us they were castles, palaces or mountains according to what film we had seen that week. Like others we never thought of them as places of destruction. In Hackney we had lots of damaged houses and factories but when, at the age of 11, I went to school in Whitechapel I saw bombsites on a huge scale. Large areas of Whitechapel Road were flattened, the buildings were gone but a lot of the cellars remained mostly intact. They were spooky and many homeless people lived there, most had drink problems and scared us even more. In Valance Road was a synagogue with the office almost undamaged, we 'found' lots of paperwork all in Hebrew, some unknown feeling made us put them back tidily.
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Re: Bomb sites

Postby Barryoneoff » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:18 pm

Yeah, bombsites were what we grew up with. Maybe that's why our generation are not as sickly, because we were always playing in dirt! :-) Here's another plug for my website; scroll down this page for the bit about bombsites:http://www.barryoneoff.co.uk/html/1950s_kids.html
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