VE Day celebrations 8 May 1945
Alfred Chapman now 80 years old and lived at 29 Angles Road for 60 years shares his photos. His mother organised the party which was outside 38/40 Angles Road
Can anyone fill in the gaps of the missing names?
World War Two started in September 1939, I was born in the upstairs flat at 29 Angles Road in December 1939, I don’t remember ever seeing my father until after the War, he had been in the army fighting in Europe.
I lived with my mother and two sisters, who were older than me. My sisters were evacuated to Devon, and must have stayed there for most of the rest of the War.
My mother and me were evacuated to Leeds.
I can vaguely remember going to Leeds, and living with the family, one of the girls worked on the trams, and I remember travelling with her, and jumping off the tram in the centre of Leeds, when she was holding me in her arms.
My first day at school was in Leeds, I was told that when my mother left me I screamed the place down, and could be heard way up the road.
When I went back to Angles Road, and started schooling at the nearby Sunnyhill Road School, it must have been the first day at school for the rest of the class, I just sat back and watched them all screaming.
Before my mother and I were evacuated, I remember her having to decide where we were going stay the night. There were air raid shelters in the back gardens, sunk down into the ground, and covered over with soil, sometimes we would share with neighbours, but these shelters were small and damp, and often filled with water. There were deep under ground shelters off Streatham High Road, but you had to get to them early, or they filled up, and they would not let any more people in. I also remember staying the nights in the cellars below the Streatham Odeon Cinema.
Some times we would take a chance, and stay the night under the main staircase in our house, there you could hear the air raid sirens telling you a raid was coming and when there was an all clear. You could hear the buzz bombs coming, listen for the noise of the buzz bomb to stop, then listened for the explosion, when the buzz bomb crashed, and were then glad it did not crash on you.
I must have been frightened to death.
I remember going to see the damage a recently reported V1 rocket had caused to houses in Oakdale Road Streatham, a few streets away from us. You could see all the insides of houses and people’s furniture, where they had been living the day before.
There was a lot of bomb damage in the area. After the War there were lots of areas for children to play, and make camps. These areas can now be seen at the bottom of Angles Road, Farm Avenue, and Sunnyhill Road, where all the new Council Houses were built in 1953.
After all of this, my mother organised a VE Day Street Party 1945, and my father came home.
With thanks to Alfred for sharing his memories with us. ( Published by Wandsworth Heritage Services)