Tag Archives: 1940s

Past and Present

Holmes Plating Company War Workers Blackheath 1941 montage with present day
Here’s an interesting thing. In 1941 Reg Counsell worked for the Holmes Plating Company in Blackheath. He’s 85 now, and has sent in some photos of his time there. One in particular caught my eye – a group of the workers up on the heath. So I went to try and work out whereabouts it was taken. There are so many more trees on the heath now! And for some reason the three windows on the big white house are now blocked up. Maybe blacked out during the war? But if that was the case, surely they’d prefer to have a view of the heath now? Very odd… Anyway, I’ve made a montage above showing Reg’s photo, and some current images from the heath.

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Memories of Blackheath 1944-1958

Blackheath All Saints Church by flickr user littlestar19

Below is an amazing recollection of Blackheath at the end of, and just after World War 2. Please click on the post to read the full piece.

It was written by Bob Land, who now lives in The Netherlands, but found this site, and (luckily for all of us) was willing to share his memories.  I think it’s great, and I urge you all to read it, especially to visualise the antics of the milk carts.  It makes picking up half a pint of semi-skimmed in Shepherd Foods seem incredibly dull in comparison.  Now, if we could only reinstate the bakery and the toy shop…

Recollections/memories of Blackheath 1944-1958

By Bob Land

Wartime Blackheath

I was born in 1939, so my recollection of the war years are very limited.

One night looking out of the front bedroom window I saw a doodle bug passing overhead, on its way towards London, with its typical spluttering sound and flames coming out of the rear exhaust.

One day, around about midday, we were at school (All Saint’s), and there was a huge explosion, all the windows at the rear of the school fell out of their frames, I am led to believe, that this was the result of the flying bomb, which had a direct hit on the Weslyan Church in Blackheath Grove, although it is doubtful, that this was the cause.

On another occasion, towards the end of the war, there had been extensive damage to a few shops in Tranquil Vale, and having taken my Grandmother’s broom, I helped the Fire Brigade sweep up the glass which was lying on the pavement from all the shattered shop windows. I can still recall the smell of charred timbers, iodine and broken plaster board.

We spent many, many nights in the air-raid shelter in the garden, during the Blitz and later on with the V1 and V2 rockets

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