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Rocky Lane bombings

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
I am hoping to find photo's of Rocky Lane shortly after it was bombed during the war. My Father lived at number 1 Rocky Lane.

Luckily they had vsited a relative in Woeley Castle and stayed overnight. When they returned home the bext day, they where faced with a pile of rubble. Their home had been bombed and the neighbours in the adjoining houses where killed.

If anyone does have photographs, I would appreciate seeing them, please.


Vee Dub 71

Colin B

gone but not forgotten
Nick, I've had a look on a number of sites can only find one injury for Rocky Lane and that was Norman Willis, 216 Rocky Lane 09/04/1941 it only states injured though with no date of death, and his name doesn't appear in any of the casualty lists.



gone but not forgotten
Hi nic
Just been doing my research from my records of the bombing of Aston and I cannot find any one killed either on t
Rocky lane the very nearest I can find was Aston was bombed but as serious ass other places
When you said no l rocky lane which end is number 1 rocky lane as what I have is 233 park lane and my grand fathers was 236/7 park lane which was very close
Indeed to his house and my mothers house and also I have it and if I am correct you are at the Aston cross house number 1 which would be next to the jelfs coffee house on the corner of rocky lane and facing the Hercules factory in those days and it as the bombs was dropped on Aston rd. North
So I imagined it would have damaged your
Property then as well Aston red north began at Aston cross I think my family of Aston cross and on the corner of Aston cross and rocky lane with the houses ajoinging would have been number rocky lane I will have to recheck it
It had been damaged very bad by highly. Explosive bomb to a shop of messets winbush limited and other property's that's why I think your number 1 is correct would have taken the hit as bad special police constable Snape was on hand and he inspected the property as it was in a dangerous state
And he found an elderly couple in a upper floor of the building and inspite of the conti uous bombing and gun fire and danger of collapsing building
And he entered the upper floors for a child but only found a cat whose crys whom had no doubts been mistaken for a child
He brought the cat to safety
The building whom he also attended at 233 park lane was Messrs Chaplin bros bed stead manufacture incenderies had been dropped and he was joined by another constable and they got the stirrup pumps to tackle the fire this case was on Friday 25/10/1940
The previous date for Aston red north and Aston cross was Friday 18/10/1940
As col said there was severe damages in Aston and the surrounding street but no death was recorded
Here is some statisties. / Birmingham , Birmingham was the third most heavily bombed city of of Britain
August 1940 /April 1941 Birmingham suffered a series of severe raids
High explosive bombs 5129.
Parachute land mines 48;
In century bombs numerous ,
H e bombs per 10 acres of city ,
Persons killed 2241;
Seriously injured 3010;
Slightly injured 3682
Factories destroyed 99 ,
Factories demolished 184;
Houses damaged 100:000
Houses demolished 4500:
Numb of air raids 63;
Numerous air raids.
Tonnage of bombs dropped on Birmingham 1800:
After one raid four first of the city was with out water the longest raid was 13 hours

Best wishes astonian

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
Hi Colin,
Please accept my apologies for my late reply, I've had a couple of days of feeling unwell and this is the first day at my computer.

I'm seeing my Dad, this weekend and will find out more of what he remembers. It could be that he presumed the neighbours where killed as he was a child at the time.
I've written a long reply in the forum in reply to the official records, I hope it is of interest to you and welcome any thoughts you have.

I will update you over the weekend.

Thanks again, really appreciated.

Vee Dub 71

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
Hi Astonian,
Please accept my apologies for my late reply, I've had a couple of days of feeling unwell and this is the first day at my computer.

This information is fantastic, thank you for taking the time to write it.

I'm seeing my Dad, this weekend and will find out more of what he remembers and where in Rocky Lane the house was situated. From the accurate information you have kindly provided, it appears that the family presumed the neighbours where killed.

He remembers the roof of the properties being flat and twisted on the ground with smoke and flames so it was an easy assumption to make, that nobody would have survived. I suppose on hindsight that the residence would have been in shelters.
Seeing the houses as nothing more than rubble, they returned back to Weoley Castle to my Aunties address and where eventually rehomed in Weoley Castle Road.

I have posted requests on other forums about my family name of Pardoe and had replies and photo's sent of my family for which I am extreemly grateful. The Rocky Lane forum was an old one so I had no reply but this is fantastic, thank you.

Below 'in itallics' is a copy of my first posting on this website. It is about discovering information about my family but it tells the story of Rocky Lane as I know it.
There is a link to a video of WW2 that shows out troops defending our country from Hitler's planes and flying bombs. The coastal gunner is the role my Granddad had during the war, shooting at the planes and bombs. If the link does not work as I'm new to the forum, please cut and paste. It is well worth viewing and shows the bravery of our servicemen and women in what must have been terrifying times.

The V1 bombs would fly and when they ran out of fuel, they would drop from the sky, wreaking havoc on land. I was told that the Spitfire's would fly amongst hundreds of flying V1 bombs and gently 'tip' the bomb to divert in another direction with the wing of the Spitfire, keeping our lands safe.

Below is the copy of my first listing, I hope it is of interest to others. Thank you again to all that has posted replies, it will enable me to know more accurate information about Rocky Lane. The posting makes refference Tommy Pardoe. To make the story clear to those who do not know the name, Tommy Pardoe represented Great Britain in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

I’m new to the Forum but very interested in my family history.

I realise this part of the forum is not current in terms of recent posts, but I hope to find old photographs of my family. If anyone has any old photographs of the Pardoe family, I would appreciate seeing them please. Hopefully this is of some interest to others.

I am the Grandson of Fred Pardoe, one of Herbert and Martha’s 15 Children.
Fred was one of the elder Brother's of Tommy Pardoe, the Boxer.

Fred was born in Cleobury Mortimer, Ludlow in 1900. This was before the family moved to Ward End, Birmingham, a journey of about 40 to 50 miles.
I wonder how long the journey took, bearing in mind that the family had young children and would have been travelled entirely by horse and waggon, pesumably a two or three day journey sleeping under a makeshift tent against the waggon or I believe is known as a Vardo in Gypsy language. I am led to believe from information from an elderley family member that the Pardoe family have Gypsy connections dating back in time.

Fred was Tommy’s ‘corner man’ in most of Tommy’s fights. The corner man is also referred to as the boxers ‘second’. He would shout advice to Tommy and assisted him between rounds.

I am also hoping to find information on the WW2 bombings in Rocky Lane, Neechalls which are relevant to this side of the Pardoe family. I have posted a separate thread in the hope that someone has photographs of the bombed houses.

In adult life, Fred married and lived at number 1, Rocky lane, with my Grandmother, Two sons (one of whom is my Father), and two sisters. There was an elder third sister, who had married and moved to Weoley Castle.

During the second world war my Grandfather (Fred Pardoe) was stationed on the South East coastline. His role was to operate the large anti-aircraft guns that would shoot down Nazi planes and the V1 flying bombs as they flew towards our coastline.

While Fred was away defending our country, my Grandmother took her children to visit her eldest daughter in Weoley Castle who had married and thankfully left home.
My Auntie was obviously worried about her Mother and younger family members going back home to Rocky Lane and insisted that the family stayed the night in Weoley Castle.

Thankfully they took her advice and stayed the night. The next morning they went home to Rocky Lane. When they arrived home their home had been bombed during the night. The house was flattened, with smoke and flames coming from the rubble. All people in neighbouring properties had been killed during the nights bombings.
If it wasn’t for the fact that my auntie had insisted the family stay in Weoley Castle that particular night, this side of the Pardoe family would not exist.

If anyone has any pictures of Rocky Lane during this time, I would very much appreciate seeing them, hopefully some of the bombed houses.

I have many good memories of my Grandfather and our regular fishing trips. Fred sadly passed away in or around 1984.

Would love to see some family photo’s if you please have any to post ?.

Below is an interesting link to a wartime news feature. It shows the role Fred played during WW2 with fellow servicemen and women desperatley shooting at the flying V1 bombs and enemy aircraft.



Vee Dub 71

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
I've been browsing Google Earth and 'Staples Superstore' appears to be at number 1 Rocky Lane which was my Dads old address during wartime.
I can see a tall clock on a roundabout if this is of help as to which end of the Rocky Lane number one is / was situated at. The other end of the lane meets Walter Street.

I don't know this area of Birmingham at all, sorry. I presume there is only one Rocky Lane and the number 1 is the same end of Rocky Lane as number 1 was during the war years.

I would love to see photo's of pre and post war, if anyone can please help.

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
Thanks Postie for the interest and your information, I hadn't realised there where two Rocky Lanes. Just spoke to my Dad briefly on the phone and from memory he remembers a gasworks and a small island / roundabout and is sure it was in the Aston / Nechalls area.

He was led to believe people where killed but he was aged about 5 and can only remember the houses being flattened and his mom and older siblings being distressed at the scene. He was led to believe the neighbours were killed but it could be just the asumptions at the scene of what was left of their home.

Later that day, they returned to Swinford Lane and lived with his elder sister. He apparently started school at Pagnel Road and eventually a new home was found in Weoley Castle Road, next to the Square.

I'm new to the forum but enjoying it so far. Thank you again and to all that has answered.


gone but not forgotten
Just asked him about the house he lived in how close was it to the aston cross corner some one said they could she the big clock from the house so that would have been the big clock on the Aston cross as I go back from the very corner of the shop there was some very smart houses being kept very immaculately
With well painted windows and doors and frames right next to the house there was a building with a flat roof and ajoing another but brick building which was ajoingthe the flat roof one and skiing that was the residential property of the big area rooms that was on the corner of rocky lane
But the bus drivers used to stop and get there tea jugs filled up at the cross I am pretty sure its where I said if I can get number I rocky lane at the jelfs tea room
It would betheajoing houses where your dad lived but also in the next breath the family member of my mothers family whom owned it was named farther held
And if he could she the gas works it would have been the other way down to Walter street where there other tea room was across from the pub called the hen and chickens farther wasa little stout guy that was farther this is the 30 years and durigthe war best wishes astonian

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
Thanks Carolina,
I did live at Weoley Castle Road but left when I was aged 2 so obviously I know little about the area myself, apart from visiting my Grandparents and other relatives.

I spoke to my Dad on the phone and wrote the school name from memory. Thanks for the correct name of the school.

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
Thanks again Astonian,
I'll get my dad to describe in more detail when I see him the weekend.

To be honest we are grateful for you piecing the jigsaw together.
My Dad was too young to remember much about the property other than it being demolished and presumably the trauma of how upset his mother and elder siblings would have been.
Dad mentioned seeing the clock but said he thought there was a gas works. He didn't say if it was in the same area of Rocky Lane so we are unsure which part of Rocky Lane they where.

I would have thought that the house was rented rather than owned so that could tie in with the property you speak off.

Thanks again for this, really appreciated.

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
Thanks for this Postie. I have seen this in the book but it is appreciated all the same. Would love to have seen a photo of the Benny Lynch fight. My Granddad and an elderly uncle would always talk of the fights Tommy had and his fearless nature in the ring.


gone but not forgotten
Hi nick
Yes its me againjust scruitin your thread again about your dad saying you could see the big clock on the island
And it comes to me may be our other members have not realized that the big clock was on a type of s all island if they think about
As the traffic could pas both sides of it and even turn around on it by going around on the square and there was two public toilets on each end of the island where you go down the steps below ground to used the public toilets and they both had a big red weighing machine at the bottom of the steps you go down and they
Was tall red weigh machines and you inverted a penny and the face of the scales was hughe
And I have previously said you would see the clock from the house and I truly believe it was the house next door was bombed flat
And I am sure as god made apples mom told us of the story and when I went down in the first time of the. Ross to them shops
The blank building with that wooden flat roof would have been the one that was never built ajoi king the main building which would have been the tea rooms kitchens and quarters there as been a large picture of jelfs tea rooms recently put on the forum a couple of weeks ago and you can see just big the premises was
I think it came under Aston cross or topic on the number eight song best of luck and I hope your dad can in,lighten you more astonian

Vee Dub 71

Black Country
Thanks again. Ever grateful for your help. Dad did say it was different back then to the island that is there now.
It does sound like this is the house that was bombed flat. He said he remembers looking at the roof on the floor. This has to be the same house. I hope to have more to tell of his memories after I've seen him this weekend.
If you can shed any more evidence of this I would be very grateful. Your knowledge is fantastic and truly appreciated. Thank you.