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How every picture tells a story

My sister read your article on Handley's Brickworks. She copied the article and mailed it off to all my family (six of us).

I received my copy on Friday and a s soon as I saw the view of Mr Gower's back yard, I was transported in time back to the days I spent as a kid at number 73 Meadvale Road, swinging on the swing my dad made from the indoor shelter I had been born on, In June 1944.

I used to swing myself high enough to see over the brickwork's wall (we had a wall of red brick at the end of our garden).

Reading of the doodle-bug raid is making me feel very linked to the people I grew up with, who went through the war-years and post-war years on Meadvale Road.

Those chimneys were right at the end of our garden and were always a "signpost" as kids.

My mother told me that the day I was born a doodle-bug cut off overhead, but thanks to the back wall only our windows were shattered.

I was placed on the shelter in a dressing table drawer, my elder sister would throw herself ( all three year old weight) over the little baby in the drawer, and tell me she would save me !

Our dad was a London Fireman and lived through the nightmare of the London Blitz, He was stationed at Bishopsgate and saw all the horrors of the blitz on London. He spent most of his time away fighting the fires.

My mum and my sister and I were evacuated to Redditch, in Birmingham. My mum however could not bear the idea of my dad alone in London. We soon returned to dear old Woodside and the Brickworks.

We all attended Woodside School and one of our dares was to run home from school, along Beckford Road and into the Brickworks to play.

Thanks for featuring the Brickworks in your paper, I used to read the Croydon Avertiser, I guess it is re-named ?

I have lived in Tampa, Florida since 1990, where I teach kids with special needs.

I attended Grammer School, my brothers and sisters all went to Ashburton School. Iwould love to hear from residents of old Meadvale Road.

From June Young (nee King), Tampa, Florida.

My Nephew, Mr V. Letts, sent me the cutting of Hadleys Brickworks with my two brothers, Dick and Bob Letts.

My brothers had worked at the Brickworks until 1930 until the works closed down.

My brother Dick worked in the kilns, He is the one holding the clock for Stanley Burr and Bob is the second on the right at the end, with the black overcoat. I can remember them coming home from work very dirty and they had to put rags around their feet to stop the hot floor of the kilns burning the soles of their shoes off.

I also had two brothers who worked in the brickworks when it re-opened at the end of the war. I am sorry to say all of my brothers are dead now.

My niece still has the clock that was given to her father (Dick) when he retired in 1970.

I want to thank Mr Burr for the write up and also the photo. I live in Australia but it is nice to read about your own family.

From Mrs K. Gilbert (Letts), Barlow Way, Balga, Western Australia.

I have just received a couple of cuttings from your paper about Handleys Brickworks and it really took me back.

I started my life in Anthony Road. My grandfather, Jack Perry, was a well-known character who worked for Mr Handley, as did my dad Charles Wilkinson and also my uncle, Bill Gant, who was a lorry driver for 15 years.

My mother, Winnie Wilkinsin, my aunt Elsie Gant and Rose Collingwood all worked in the canteen. During the War I was evacuated, and when I came home at the age of 14 I worked in the local post office. We then lived in Meadvale Road, opposite the Gower family, who we knew. Thank you so much for bringing back so many happy memories. Through working in the post office I got to know Mr Handley and his son Edward.

From June Coulthard, Halley Road, East Sussex.

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