The bombing of West End, Leicester.

    On 14th November 1940 a bomb dropped in Bolton Road. It was one of a line which ended up at the Cattle Market. I was told the plane off-loaded it on return from Coventry, I was 7 years old. Standing in Wentworth Road the red glow from Coventry lit up the sky over Fosse Recreation Ground. Mum and Dad watched from the corner of St. Dunstan’s Road. They were on fire watch. The damage to property in the streets between Fosse Road South and Narborough Road still causes house owners problems.

    New Parks Estate was in preparation in 1938-9. The concrete roads made ideal parking space for military lorries. I used to climb Sandhurst Road Hill to look at them draped in camouflage. The houses were built after the war. Apart from the roads it was still fields. I never went to Braunstone Park to see the U.S. Airborne Division H.Q. – I was told there had been a bomb on Fosse Road Junction, but never saw it. My world ended at Fosse Road North/Central and Glenfield Road/King Richard’s Road.

    King Richard’s Road was a good shopping centre during 1939-44: Goodall’s grocers, Co-op, Home & Colonial grocers, Dewhurst’s butchers, Kinton’s bakers, Kirk’s bakers, Lane’s Pork butchers (a family firm, still on King Richard’s Road today), Tingle’s bakers (who made hot meat pies baked on the premises - delicious mince steak), Post Office and many more. We ate a good balanced diet – even leg of lamb each week with Yorkshire pud and roast potatoes, cabbage, carrot, flowering broccoli, and many other vegetables grown locally (not rationed - very fresh). Cold rice pudding was sliced like blocks of ice cream and scrambled eggs were made with egg powder – lovely. Grated carrot and apple instead of sweets and one Foxes Glacier mint daily, to suck on the way to school. There was an Anderson Shelter out the back, but we slept under the stairs or under a heavy oak table in the back room.

By J. Wood

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