Memories of Walter Boyle

‘Reworked picture of 1944. Gas mask boxes carried by children. Air raid shelters on the right. I am standing at the classroom entrance left.’

Sundridge Primary school playground and air raid shelters

Memories of Margaret Crompton

Memories of Frances Fletcher talking about Twickenham School

‘When my sister and brother were there it was war time and there was an airaid shelter they used to have to run too if the bomb’s were coming . I have just spoken to my older sister who lives in Cananda , she told me they used to sleep in the shelter in the garden when the bomb’s were coming and my dad made them all straw beds , they had their gas masks but my baby brother had an oxegen box that looked liked mickey mouse and my dad had to pump the oxegen inside by hand . they all used to sleep in the front room as our mom said they are nearer to the outside shelter if the bombs came.’

A wartime grey painted 1930 Vulcan body AEC Regent OG 421. The last without the platform cutaway and opening upstairs rear window. It is pulling a producer gas trailer in 1943.

VE DAY PARTY IN TWICKENHAM ROAD 1945. Copyright Frances Fletcher

Memories of Alan Hitchman

I remember as a kid during the summer we used to ride our bikes to the Kingstanding pub which was not very far from home and scrounge chewing gum and candy (as they called sweets) from the American soldiers that used to sit on the grass in-front of the pub having a drink, we were always more successful if they had a girl friend with them.

Rob Andrews

I still just about remember the end of the war, My Dad got me out of bed to watch the buses driving down Bandywood road festooned with light, He held me on his shoulders, I didn’t really know what was happening at the time.

Memories of John Payne



  1. […] WW2 Posted by: Voices of Kingstanding | January 1, 2011 […]

    • In !939 I was with my parents on holiday,staying with my uncle and aunt in Liverpool.I remember waving to my father as the train pulled out of the station. The next time I saw my father he was in uniform.
      I learned after the war that there had been a radio broadcast for all servicemen to rejoin their units, my dad was a member of the TA.
      He reported to his unit which was camped in Swanhurst park.
      He was detailed to stand guard over the local telephone box and wait for an important call and to stop civilians using the box.
      Soon the phone rang, it was an irate Postmaster wanting to know what was going on, my father referred him to his C.O.
      Soon after there was another phone message which my father took, this time more serious, we were at war with Germany .
      My father was in an heavy ack ack regiment and was posted to several gunsites around the midlands including Penns Lane, Sutton Coldfied and Binley woods, Coventry where he was at the time of the blitz attack on the City
      Occasionally he would come home but always in uniform, there was an occasion when he brought his rifle which he stood in a corner and I remember trying to lift it but is was too heavy.
      Soon after the Coventry blitz he was posted to India, the next time I would see him I was eight years old and he was back in civvies, his demob suit.

  2. In January 1941, a document has my 20year old Grandmother working as a Metal Works Machinist at 952 Kingstanding Rd. Does anybody recall such a factory?
    She was living in a hostel on Monument Rd Ladywood after arriving from Scotland – how would she have got to work?

    • I don’t recall a metal Works on Kingstanding Road but, to get there she would have taken the Inner Circle 8 bus to Hockley and then caught the 29 bus to Kingstanding Circle and walked the remainder!

  3. My father often tells me anecdotes of growing up on Kingstanding Road during the War. Their garden was completely turned over to growing vegetables, which thrived “we never went hungry, we grew more than we could eat and bartered what we didn’t need. Our mam and dad even kept chickens”.
    His elder brother George served in the Birmingham Volunteer Reserve as an ambulance driver during the 1940-41 blitz. One day George came home deathly pale and was physically sick because of the terrible scenes he’d witnessed. Their father took him into the garden and “gave him a good talking to, persuading him to drop the job and think about his own safety. Around the same time one night George stood outside the family air-raid shelter during a raid and was blown right through the door and into the shelter by the blast of a bomb”. Fortunately George escaped serious injury.


  5. […] WW2 Posted by: Voices of Kingstanding | August 7, 2012 […]

  6. This tale is what I was told many years later, I was just too young at the time.

    It was a Sunday night when brothers and sisters ( if able to ) gathered at gran and grandads house.
    I was put into my Grandads bed out of the way I suppose, when the air raid sirens went off, they all rushed into the back garden and into Grandads air raid shelter, that he had made very comfortable, as they all sat there listening to the explosions in the distance, someone asked where is Allan, still in bed someone else said, my father said I will go and get him, out into the darkness he ran and into the darkened house,( black out ), up the stairs he ran into my Grandparents darkend bedroom, he picked me up as I lay on the bed still
    wrapped in blankets, and rushed back into the shelter, he then gave the bad news, Allans been cut into by the bombs there was a silence,
    and then, a laugh you are holding him upside down.
    There was two little legs dangling by his head.

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