During World War Two Hazelwood Road was in Group E35 in the Acocks Green Sub-Division of the ARP. This is a transcription of a report by Mr A.G. Whild, the Group Warden, kindly supplied by John Purser of the Birmingham Air Raids Remembrance Association:


The following incidents occurred on this Group E35 during the Air Raid of 24 - 25 Aug [1940]


Three unexploded bombs were discovered in Hazlewood Road (two on Tennis Court adjoining House no 61 Hazlewood Rd and one at the side of House no 61 and next to 59). These were reported to Report Centre and action taken. After Raiders Passed Signal was sounded I proceeded to the scene of the incident and found the police upon the job. Upon instruction from the senior police officer I gave order to Wardens to evacuate the occupants of houses for a distance of one hundred yards in each direction and at 0635 dismissed wardens on duty upon the Instruction of the Incident Officer. At approx 1100 the first bomb exploded and I was informed that the Military Officer was injured in the course of examining this bomb.


At approx 1435 the bomb which was between houses no 61 - 59 exploded and demolished these two houses and left house no 57 in a state of collapse. I proceeded to the incident and after a brief survey sent a messenger to report the fact to Report Centre and called for Gas and Water Services as gas and water mains were suspected fractured. After this the scene was visited by the Divisional Warden and later by the Chairman of the A.R.P. Committee Mr Tiptaft.

The third bomb has up to the present failed to explode (Time 1830 - 27/8/40)


According to Mr Robbins of number 6, recorded in 1977 for a Charles Parker project on the history of Acocks Green, all that was left of number 59 was the bath and a downpipe. The third bomb mentioned above did not explode, but it kept sinking into the soft ground, and houses a hundred yards either side were evacuated for about a month until it had been dealt with.


A planning application was filed on December 3rd 1946 to rebuild number 61. Interestingly further applications were filed in 1950 and the spring of 1952 by the prewar owner. All of the house apart from the double garages on the left needed rebuilding, and the 1952 amended plan allowed for a pitched roof over the left side of the house. The rear was also extended outwards a bit and the back room and small kitchen were rebuilt as one, with a new kitchen nearby.


J.W. Gethin, who owned a Rover dealership on the Warwick Road, and his wife Irene, who were listed at number 51 from 1947, moved into the rebuilt number 61 by 1953. An unexploded bomb was found under the drive around 1960, when work was being done, and the Bomb Disposal squad had to be called in. Mr Gethin died in January 1968, shortly before the Green Acres redevelopment.

A planning application to rebuild number 59 was submitted on 21st August 1950. The house had to be totally rebuilt. The result is not an exact mirror image of number 57, which was only damaged. The photograph below shows the difference in appearance of the half-timbering of 59 on the left and 57 on the right.


There were worse raids in November 1940 and the ARP Warden's log is patchy.

More houses were hit during the raids. A bomb landed near number 54, destroyed nearly all of the house, and part of the first floor and all of the second floor of number 52. The roofs of numbers 48 and 50 were damaged. The original rebuilding plans of June 12th 1945 allowed for complete reconstruction of the second floor, with dormer windows to match numbers 44 -50, but amended plans from January 1947 involved a lower rebuild without dormers. The cellars below the kitchens and back halls of both houses were filled in, and the outhouses at the back were altered, with back porches provided for. Number 56 was damaged at the front, and the chimney stack broke in half. A plan to repair is dated June 4th 1946. Stairs were moved in the rebuild of the front, and the front bedroom was enlarged at the expense of the stairs and a boxroom. Windows at front and back were repaired, but the gable over the upstairs window at the side was not replaced.


Numbers 52 and 54 today, with their original roof line shown on number 50



On 19th November 1940 Mr William Dalgetty of number 83, a Special Constable, was killed. His daughter Margaret has kindly told us what happened:


I was a young girl of 8 at the time. The blitz had begun early evening and my father, mother and I were sheltering in the lounge at the back of the house.  Our Anderson shelter in the back garden was partly filled with water as my father had not been able to pump it out due to a minor sickness attack earlier.   Both bombs and incendiaries were dropping and at approximately 8.00 p.m. my father said "I will just go round the house to make sure that no incendiaries have dropped in the other rooms."  That was the last we saw of him.  Suddenly there was a roar, and dust and debris showered down on my mother and me (she had thrown herself over me to protect me).  For a moment we did nothing and then she called out "Bill, Bill, where are you?" whilst I called out "Daddy, Daddy".  The door of the lounge had been blown down and we could see flames reflected on it.  My mother said "We must try and get out" and we scrambled over the rubble to the hall.  Looking back into the kitchen we could see that the scullery beyond was on fire (probably from the gas main to the cooker).  A coat of mine in the hall looked as though a giant knife had been repeatedly used on it and it hung in ribbons.
Running out through the front door in our stocking feet we met my uncle (who lived opposite at No. 84) and neighbours coming with stirrup pumps to put out the fire.  The rest of the night was spent in my uncle's shelter.   I can remember my mother's frequent questions to my uncle as he reported back to us in the shelter as he and neighbours searched for my father: "Have they found him yet?"

After my mother's death many years later I found that she had kept the ticket issued in respect of my father when his body was brought in at 4.15 a.m. November 20th to F.A. Post No. 30, which I believe was in part of the Acocks Green council school. My father was a special constable and he is commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. No. 85 Hazelwood Road may have had a bomb also but I can remember the crater immediately in front of the garage of No. 83, our home, which killed my father.  I can confirm that the bombing map held at the Central Library does not show the bomb, or bombs which landed on No. 83 and 85.


Number 85 was rebuilt after the War (planning application dated July 16th 1945). The front of number 83 was damaged. The planned roof line of number 85 was balanced, with a central apex, but a gable end now follows the central apex to the boundary line with number 87.


The bombing map held in the Central Library shows that a High Explosive bomb landed further east in the road, which damaged houses nearby. John Trigwell recalls the crater from this, full of water and smelling of gas, near the entrance to the Hazelwood Tennis Club. Curiously, the map does not appear to show the bomb that severely damaged number 85. He also recalls being told that a man living across the road from there brought his car out of the drive one day, and it was promptly machine-gunned.


Towards the end of the war, Kath Huckfield could hear a sewing machine going day and night in the house next door. Later she discovered that the owner had been frantically producing bunting. Clearly, a market opportunity had been spotted.


Hazelwood Road

The nineteenth century

The early twentieth century

Between the wars


After 1945

The Bradley family

Memories of Eileen Staley née Bradley


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