A lucky escape at Sandhills – what do you know?

A quick one for now while I sort out another post, but this remarkable image came to light a couple of weeks ago, posted on Facebook by Gill Brown. It shows Gill’s grandfather, Henry Penton standing in the crater caused by a wartime bomb dropping near his house during the war.

Henry lived at Spinney Cottage, near Home Farm (Lanes, or Brawn’s Farm, Sandhills).

We’ve been aware that a bomb fell on the farmland here for a while, but scant and conflicting detail existed. It’s believed a horse was killed by the explosion, the unfortunate creature belonging to Mr. Pelari, one of Brownhills’ two ice cream men. The horse pulled Mr Pelari’s ice cream cart.

Whilst there were raids when incendiary devices fell oil the town, actual bombs were few and far between in Brownhills, so this must have been quite a spectacle, and it’s by pure chance that nobody was hurt. There was, apparently, significant damage to nearby houses.

The bomb that caused this crater will not have been a huge one in the scale of these things: Farm soil like this is loose, and will have piled around the void. But it’s a huge crater and must have taken a lot of work to fill. Odd there seems no sign of it today. Image kindly supplied by Gill Brown.

Gill said of the image:

My great grandfather Henry Penton born in 1877. 1940’s in bomb crater, adjacent to Spinney cottage. Sandhills. Brownhills. This is where Henry Penton Lived.

I’d like to thank Gill for this remarkable image, and ask readers what the know about this incident? One of the oddest things about this is there seems to be no trace of the crater in the current landscape, and we’re wondering if anyone knows the approximate spot where the bomb fell.

Both myself and David Evans have scoured maps and aerial imagery and we can’t really find any trace: So we’d love to hear what readers recall – not just of this incident but of any others locally.

Home Farm, Sandhills in current Google Earth aerial imagery. Where did this bomb-blast happen? There really is no discernible trace in the current landscape we can see. Click for a larger version.

This really is another incidence that local history continually throws up new material and I’m really pleased and amazed to see this picture. It just goes to show the danger that the country faced in wartime.

If you have anything to say, please do contribute: You can email me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com,, comment on this post or pull me to one side on social media.


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5 Responses to A lucky escape at Sandhills – what do you know?

  1. Aer Reg says:

    trying to get laptop to work, sorry about this guys

  2. aer reg says:

    just testing had problems with my facebook

  3. Helen says:

    I do not know anything about this but I believe Henry Penton was myGreat Grand father too, my grandmother was Nellie (Penton) Cooper I believe a daughter of Henry and Ellen Penton of Spinney Cottage Sandhills. Is there any way to be put in contact with the original poster Gill Brown?

    • Sue Battisson says:

      I’m also a great granddaughter of Henty Penton. (Gill is my cousin, we’re not in touch.) My Grandfather was Jack Penton, Nellie’s brother. I live down Sandhills. My brother has the original photo.

  4. Helen says:

    From my Dad, who is also a grandchild of the pictured Henry Penton: I know where the bomb landed. The crater was still there when I was young but filled in later. It was in a farmers field the other side of the canal to my grandfathers house (Spinney Cottage)
    Not sure if that helps you pinpoint the location or not. We are no longer in the area

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