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.
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.
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.