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WW2 bomb on Knutsford Road


SusanW
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Hello,

 

With reference to the Cheshire Museum of Policing photos of WW2 bomb damage, I would like to add a little more information. Included in Dizzy's post was a link to an image of a lorry in a bomb crater on Knutsford Road and I know something of this incident.  The link below is another photo of the same event.

 

 

11th September 1940, Knutsford Road, Grappenhall

http://www.museumofpolicingincheshire.org.uk/Collections/bomb_image.aspx?photo=1S69.jpg

 

My Uncle Leslie told me the story a little while ago, but I hadn't realised that there was this evidence in police records! 

He was 10 years old and the family was living in one of the Bellhouse Cottages.  A bomb had fallen on Knutsford Road and the news spread around the village -  a notable event in a rural area not used to receiving the attention of German bombers. It was early in the morning and his Mum insisted on going down to see straight away, so he had to put his shoes on and his coat over his pyjamas (he objected to this, but to no avail) and hurry on down Bellhouse Lane to Knutsford Road. The bomb must have been dropped during the night causing a large hole in the road.  The lorry driver, making a journey in semi-darkness (no street lights, of course), hadn't seen the damage done and the lorry fell into the crater!  By the time Leslie and Grandmother got there, both driver and driver's mate had been rescued and stood by the side of the road enjoying the attention of the crowd.  The driver had hurt his arm in the accident and now had some sort of bandage applied.  Leslie thought he was rather enjoying telling everyone the tale and eliciting sympathy for his 'war wound'.  His mate, on the other hand, had a slightly downcast look - perhaps envious of all the attention his superior was receiving?

 

As more people arrived, details of the event were repeated over and over again.  Locals who had arrived early on heaped praise upon the rescuers who had "worked like Trugans" to extricate the two men from the wreck of their vehicle. Leslie never forgot the event, or the peculiar local pronunciation of the word 'Trogans'!

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A very interesting read, thanks SusanW.   Like Davy has just said it must have been a shock to everyone especially the occupants of the lorry and I wonder how many times they recalled that tale over their lifetimes.

When I first saw the photo and posted the link on the other topic I was a little confused as I couldn't understand how a bomb could fall and make such a large crater but not completely destroy the lorry.  It never occurred to me that the lorry just fell in it later.  Now I know :D Interesting to read that it fell not far from Bellhouse Lane too so Grappenhall area rather than closer to town along Knutsford Road where I presumed it must have been.  I always forget that Knutsford Road is so long.....

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Yes, I think it must have been fairly close to Bellhouse Lane for the news to have spread that far and for Grandmother to have considered it reasonable for them to go and take a look. Their house was at the village end of the Lane - virtually on the bank of the Bridgewater - and it would have taken them a few minutes to get down to the main road, particularly with Grandmother's bad legs!

 

I can't work out exactly where the lorry is. There's a bend in the road and you can see two buildings but I can't make those details match to old OS maps.

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Hello Davy51,

 

Yes, I had the same thought about the old road alignment so I looked at the 1938 edition of the OS six-inch series but still could not find the two buildings quite close together and close to the road and on a bend. I think the bottom of Bellhouse Lane would have been where Knutsford Road ended and Cliff Lane started - someone please correct me on this if I've got it wrong. When Uncle Leslie told me about this event, I got the impression it was definitely Knutsford Road and so I was thinking of it being near the Dog and Dart. I think if it had been further south he would probably have referred to Cliff Lane. He moved away from home about 60 years ago (he is 85 now) and would be more familiar with the old road layout rather than the new.

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You'd think that by now there would be online records that showed more detailed information about where bombs actually fell in Warrington during both wars and the damage that was caused.   I can't find any though.

Surely the local press at the time would have reported on them.  Next time I go to the library I will have a look for that date and see if there in any other info about this particular one.

The Policing website does have a map on their website (but dated and titled "24th December 1944, Map of locations of 5 ~V1/bombs dropped944") so not clear whether that is re: bombs dropped on that day or previously and unfortunately even when clicked to enlarged it is illegible...well for me any my eyes anyway.  Maybe it is clearer to others

Here's the link to it anyway

24th December 1944, Map of locations of 5 ~V1/bombs dropped

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I'd only looked on line Davy (thinking there may be some info available now) buy yes like you say it probably wouldn't have been a good idea at the time to report in the press for the reasons you gave.  That never occurred to me so I guess there's no point in me looking at the microfilms in the library.

They must have all been recorded somewhere though but maybe whatever records were kept are long gone now....ah well

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