The picture in Memory Lane (Middy 04/06/15) recalled many childhood memories.
As regards the bomb in Brook Street, Cuckfield my grandmother took me to see this large hole in the road, being only four years old it was quite frightening. I recall the pair of houses had no windows or doors but no one was hurt. The explosion shook the row of houses known as Halleighs but were not damaged.
My grandmother took me to view the isolated bombed cottage on the Borde Hill Estate, it was still smoking. We learnt later most of the damage was caused by German planes returning home from bombing London and getting rid of surplus bombs etc.
My grandparents lived between Brook Street and Hanlye Lane.
Another frightening thing was the night that one of the doodlebugs dropped near Bowrings Farm, Cleavers Lane, Cuckfield. Soldiers could be heard stamping round my grandparents house. My mother said “Be quiet it is Germans”, then my grandmother opened her window and said “What are you doing making such a noise and keeping people awake” back came the answer “It’s alright just look up and stay indoors a German plane has crashed nearby”. It was one of the first doodlebugs to arrive in England which had no pilot or crew. A book in the War Library in Croydon confirms this in great detail. There were many more of these unmanned planes that flew over our own house, once the engine stopped we counted to ten then it hit the ground and exploded.
Yes it was frightening to be a child in the Second World War but everyone supported each other. A friend of mine has a copy of “The War in East Sussex” it can also be viewed in an exhibition during February when West Hoathly Historical Society have an enormous amount of items on display in the local hall, well worth a visit as the whole village gets involved showing their own collections of items from 1940 onwards.
I have a large collection of photos of family, celebrations and school events after the war. Unfortunately taken on an old camera so much too small to reproduce for your newspaper.
When we were East Sussex our library had a lot of copies of The Sussex Express papers which disappeared once the boundary changed. They are now in the newly located Lewes Museum.
America Lane, Haywards Heath
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