The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Lenton Memories
Wartime Memories of Lenton

from Glenys Randle

During the war, when Londoners were evacuated, quite a lot of families came to Nottingham. Betty Sumner and her daughters, Maureen and June, from East Ham stayed with my Grandma, Mrs Eliza Wesley (nee Flint) at 11 Friar Street, Old Lenton husband Eric was in the army. Living at 33 Gregory Street just down from Grandma's, Maureen and June became good friends with me and my brother, Wesley, and Betty spent her time with mum and dad (Ada and Albert Marriott) and friends and grandma. Mum took many photographs of the family. After the war, Betty, Maureen and June went back to Eric in London. Mum used to keep in touch with them and they had another daughter called Erica.

My grandma was born in Sheffield, married Grandad from Nottingham and lived here at Old Lenton. Aunt Lizzie and children Thelma, Wilson, Rita and Roy often used to visit us from Sheffield to stay with us during the war years while husband Wilson Greenwood was in the Army. Sheffield was bombed more than Nottingham. On one of his short visits home from the war, Wilson went home to Sheffield and found no-one there. In Nottingham, Aunt Lizzie was in the bath when the message came to say that Wilson was coming here. There was much excitement. When Wilson arrived at ours, we could not understand why we were all suddenly taken to Grandmas. We all got on very well with our cousins and Betty, Maureen and June the evacuees from London. Mum, Dad and Grandmas home was a happy place to be.

Photograph courtesy of Picture the Past.
A photo of the recently completed Abbey Bridge

Below Abbey Bridge was stored German incendiary bombs. The other ends of Grove Road on the other side of the railway in the grounds of The Poplars were Ack Ack guns disguised by the trees. One day one of the soldiers picked up the tricycle of Barry Caulton, which was far too small for him, and rode from Grove Road down the leen side just for a bit of fun and coming out onto Gregory Street where he was killed by a lorry.

About 1950, when in his teens, my future husband, Patrick Randle, and his friend, Christopher Hearnden, went to see the staff car belonging to Marshall Goring which was being kept in a garage just past the Midland station. It had thick heavy armoured plated windows and bullet marks where 303 bullets had been fired at the car point blank. The car was on exhibition. During the war, Patrick and his friends saw a minature submarine on the Forest - also a Lancaster bomber, which they were able to look around.

When Patrick and his family moved to Player Street from Grove Road, they were having a party at Christmas when the fire brigade came and banged on the door to tell them there was a chink of light showing through the curtains. At his Grandma's on Mitchell Street, Radford, they had shutters on the outside of the windows to close every night.

Patrick and Brian's Dad, Stanley Randle, used to entertain the Americans with his dance band when they were at Wollaton Park. One of the American soldiers, was courting the next door's daughter to Patrick's at Player Street but he was killed in France.

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