Completely off thread but did your friend David Gray have a younger brother, John, if so, he started the same dayas I did in Mapledene infants in the late 50s. Our first teacher was Mrs CadmanWhat a fascinating thread. Lots of subjects that have jogged my memories. I moved into Greenvale Avenue with my parents in 1952 and lived there until I married in 1970.
I have no recollection of anyone talking about bombs being dropped in Parkdale Rd or Silvermere Rd but as children we played in the "Conker Dell" a large depression at the top of King George V playing fields which was reputedly caused by bombing during the war.
Silvermere School was then a senior school and I went to Mapledene Rd infants and juniors but the teachers mentioned, Mr Barlow, Mrs Onions (pronounced OhNyons and not onions!) were still teaching at Mapledene when I left.
I can remember the shops at both ends of Cranes Park Rd. At the 60 bus terminus end were the newsagents, Adams and then Goodes, a wool shop/haberdashers, a grocery shop, a butcher (later taken over by Frank FitzMaurice who was in the same year as me at Mapledene) and Peters fish and chip shop later to become an ironmongers run by Wally Goode from the newsagents. At the other end, near to Church Rd was a shoe repairers, Savages I seem to remember, Hodriens the Greengrocers, Woodroffes, an ironmongers and sweetshop combined, a wool/baby shop, and a chemists. There may also have been a hairdressers shop but I can't be sure.
I remember one of the contributers to this thread, Neville Phillpot. He lived in the flats just up from my best friend, David Gray in Silvermere Rd.
Wonderful memories of a wonderful childhood.