Nearly-Midnight The genealogy website relating to the family. A tangled web of people all related to one another, explore!
Robert Clark The Father of Henry Martyn-Clark - A missionary out in the North-West Frontier of India. One of the first Europeans to set foot in Afganistan
Affetside Census
A small village north of Bury, Lancashire, I can trace many of my immediate ancestors from there. On the Roman Road, Watling Street
Andrew Martyn-Clark My Father and his part in my World. Also my mother and his parents too.
Henry Martyn-Clark My Great Grandfather, his roots and his achievements. Discusses malaria but also his confrontations with Islam.

Update!


Many photographs have been added! LazylikeSunday.net home page lists them Please copy and reuse them - a link to LazylikeSunday will be much appreciated!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tottington Again-Whitehead gardens.


Whitehead Gardens,
the plaque is to the left
The road is on the right and
curls round to the left as
it heads to Brookhouse and
then Greenmount



The Plaque
The gardens in Tottington that lie beneath the church of St Ann on the Greenmount road used to be houses. On Christmas Eve 1944 a flying bomb landed and exploded there, killing 7 people. My Grandmother was always distressed when visiting. Although I used to walk through the park with my mother, I never recall my grandmother (Jane Dunn) ever walking through the park. I believe that the two GreenHalgh's were distant relatives. My grandmother served in the civil defence during wartime. Here is a couple of pix of Whitehead Gardens. Incidentally Mrs Whitehead lived not 200 yards from where the bomb fell. I recall going to several of her RNLI lifeboat fundraising do's that she had in her gardens in the 1950's She was considered "high society" by my parents. I was frightened by my first Morris Dancers in those days. The picture is taken from just to the left of the plaque and looks towards the church. The inscription on the memorial says...

THE WHITEHEAD GARDEN
THIS GARDEN WAS GIVEN BY
MR & MRS SD. WHITEHEAD
OF STORMER HILL,
TO THE PEOPLE OF TOTTINGTON
TO BE ENJOYED BY THEM FOR ALL TIME
IN MEMORY OF THOSE NAMED BELOW
WHO WERE KILLED HERE BY A FLYING BOMB ON
24TH DECEMBER 1944.
NICHOLAS CONWAY
MARY ANN CONWAY
ELIZABETH DRAPER
JAMES DYSON
TERESA DYSON
ANN GREENHALGH
BERTHA GREENHALGH

According to the UK Memorials people this plaque was not the original. This is the record on their site. 
 "DATE UNKNOWN: ORIGINAL DEDICATORY BRONZE PLAQUE WAS STOLEN. IT WAS LATER FOUND IN A SCRAP MERCHANT'S YARD BUT IT WAS DAMAGED BEYONE REPAIR SO A NEW STONE TABLET WAS PLACED IN THE GARDEN INSTEAD."

Tottington village is to the right. The Restaurant on the corner was known as the "Printers Arms". I spent many happy years playing in these gardens. I really did not understand why my mother and Grandmother were reasonably OK about it. It does not seem a sad place - more a timeless place.

Found some more information the BBC website is here but I have Copied and Pasted too.

Doodlebug bomb attack remembered
Scene of doodlebug attack on Chapel Street, Tottington
Six people died in the V1 rocket attack 60 years ago
The survivors of a flying bomb attack on a village during World War Two were due to take part in a service on Christmas Eve to remember those killed.

Six people died when the V1 rocket - also known as a doodlebug - landed on Chapel Street, in Tottington, near Bury, Greater Manchester, 60 years ago.
The German rocket destroyed a row of cottages and was one of 15 bombs to fall near Manchester on that day.
The service will be held at memorial gardens built where the bomb landed.
30ft deep crater
Colin MacDonald, who was aged 14 at the time, said he felt lucky to be alive.
He said: "I just woke up with a tremendous bang and the ceiling coming in on top of the bed. There was a mad scramble to get out.
"We didn't know what happened. We thought it might be a gas explosion. None of us thought it would be a bomb or a flying bomb.
"Then we got out and all the backs of the houses were down and there was a crater, 30ft deep, and all the windows were out. There was glass from kerb to kerb."
The attack was the second worst of the day. The worst was in Abbey Hills Road, in Oldham, where a V1 landed on a row of cottages, killing 27 people and seriously injuring 49.
In total, 45 rockets were launched by the Nazis on that day, 31 of which reached the UK. 
This is the link to the Flickr site.
I did not have this supplementary information either.
Again a copy and paste from DB's flickr page

V1 flying bomb site, Chapel Street, Tottington near Bury.

At just before 6 o'clock on the morning of Christmas Eve 1944, 6 people in the village of Tottington were killed when a V1 flying bomb dived into a row of terraced houses. A further 9 people were injured, one of whom died later of injuries.
This photo was taken across the road from the bomb site, upon which there is now this memorial plaque and garden.
British civilians in the Summer of 1944 probably thought that following the Normandy invasion, the horrors of war on the home front (apart from the fear of a telegram) were nearly over. But 3 years after the Blitz, cruise missiles and rockets appeared in the skies, bringing terror without warning. V1's were pulsejet propelled missiles, usually launched from ramps in Northern France and Holland against London and the South East.
However, on Christmas Eve 1944, 45 Doodlebugs were launched from underneath adapted Heinkel He111 bombers flying over the North Sea, because the launch sites in Europe had been overrun by the Allies. The bombers released the V1s aimed at Manchester, then turned back to base. Many of the missiles landed harmlessly; the worst was at Abbey Hills Road in Oldham, where 32 people were killed.
An unintentional feature of the bomb was that as the timer counted down to the designated moment, the engine would cut and the thing would dive to the ground. People learned to listen to the engine, and knew that when it cut they had just a few seconds to take cover. The Nazis overcame this flaw so that later models went into a powered dive giving no warning at all. But then shortly after that, V2 rockets came tearing out of the stratosphere at 4 times the speed of sound... As newly arriving American servicemen were reminded, Great Britain was a war zone.

People killed;
Mr Nicholas Conway (50) and Mrs Mary Ann Conway (48). They were at number 19 Chapel Street.
Miss Annie Greenhalgh (75 ). 21 Chapel Street.
Elizabeth Hodgkinson Draper, (about 55). 31 Chapel Street.
Mr James Dyson (52) and Mrs Teresa Dyson, visiting from Bulwell, Nottingham, at 33 Chapel Street.
People injured;
Miss Mary Conway
Mrs Bertha Greenalgh. (died February 20th 1945)
Mr Dewhurst Greenhalgh
Mrs Midgley
Miss Ethel Riley
Mrs Hodges
Mr Herbert Young
Miss N Hamer
Miss Ellen Barnes
details from
Bolton Evening News December 27th 1944
Chapel Street Tottington

Chapel Street Tottington


I am also including the 2 photos from the Bolton Evening News.I am indebted to Lancsman who clearly has done much spadework here Here is a link back to his site.

Here is a link to the pictures of Tottington Dungeon. The dungeon is only 100 yards from the Whitehead Gardens.

1 comment:

  1. when were the gardens put there? my mum showed me the ruins of those cottages in the 1980s

    ReplyDelete