I was born in Southwark, London just over a month after the start of the Second World War and at the age of one our house in the New Kent Road received a direct bomb hit during the London Blitz (hence my name). I was evacuated to Essex and returned to live in our flats in about August 1944. This building was in a direct line of the German unmanned V1 rockets which were targeted on the Projectile Engineering Company and Battersea Power Station. I live in the memory of a London almost destroyed by German bombs.
blitzkid39: The Stewarts’ Road Cannon
This was a stupid weapon we Wandsworth Roaders made to frighten off the Stewarts’ Road gang during gang stone-fights Wandsworth, London, in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
To make the Stewarts’ Road cannon we needed: a one foot long piece of old metal half inch electric cable conduit; some 7/16” metal rivets; a couple of small pebbles; some wetted mud and an old two-penny banger firework.
To make the cannon:-
• Make a bend in the conduit to make a handle and a barrel part.
• Ram a couple of small pebbles into the handle part end for stopping the soil wadding from coming out.
• Pour some sloppy mud made from soil and water down the barrel end so it slops into the handle. Leave the thing for a couple of days till the mud is as hard and solid as concrete.
• Get the banger firework ready and light the fuse…drop it flat end first into the barrel and quickly drop one of the rivets- shank down- into the barrel on top of the firework.
• Quickly point your cannon at your target and wait for the massive explosion and to hear the rivet hit.
• Check to see whether the barrel is cracked before you reload!
Have fun but be careful.
blitzkid39: The paddling pool behind the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, London, where my mother used to take us just after the 2nd World war....most of the East End of London used to treat it as a sort of holiday resort...like an inner city seaside! Beautiful times!
blitzkid39: The four-engined Hastings transport aircraft similar to the one which crashed. These aircraft were used in the Berlin Airlift by the Allies to take in desperately needed supplies to the West Berliners who had been isolated by the Soviet Union blocking all road and rail access to the city between 1948-49.
blitzkid39: Me arrowed, aged 17 and a half, having been pulled back from trying to rescue an imaginary trapped crew member at the Hastings aircraft crash at RAF Colerne 21st October 1957.
blitzkid39: “When we age we shed many skins: ego, arrognace, dominance, self-opionated, unreliable, pessimism, rudeness, selfish, uncaring ... Wow, it's good to be old!”
― Stephen Richards
blitzkid39: “If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”
― Mae West
blitzkid39: 26th Entry Graduation September 1956 RAF St. Athans. "Shortarse Sgt. Woods" left square and me right hand circle.
blitzkid39: The Britannia about 300 yards along Wandsworth Road and just a few doors away from the old Pie & Mash shop. Sid James used to bring Barbara Windsor in when he was knocking her off.Some of the pubs within a half mile of my flat which no longer exist to sell beer etc.....so sad! What the bombs of the Second World War couldn't destroy...modern living had killed off.
blitzkid39: The old Wandsworth Road Cinema now sadly turned into a club. "They've turned our local palais..Into a bowling alley and fings ain't wot they used to be!" sang Max Bygraves...how true...we used to go to Saturday Morning flicks here in the 1940s
blitzkid39: Wandsworth Road, London October 1944. German V1 rockets have devastated many of the terraced houses down Stewarts Lane and Thessaly Road (to the left and the right of the flats in which we live). The basic targets for the V1s were The Projectile Engineering Factory (middle arrow) and Battersea Power Station. Neither were ever hit nor were my block of flats thankfully. goodness. About 450 people were killed during the raids on our area.