Piccadilly, Manchester. 23rd December 1940

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Piccadilly, Manchester. 23rd December 1940

Over the nights of the 22nd and 23rd December 1940, 441 Luftwaffe bombers appeared over Manchester. They were mostly Heinkel 1-11s and Junkers 88s with a few Dornier 17s as well. Bombs fell across Manchester and Salford and the surrounding towns. 654 people were killed over the two nights, and 2279 injured.

Original image, without the added colour, from Wikipedia commons.

18 comments on “Piccadilly, Manchester. 23rd December 1940
  1. Ian D B says:

    Then & Now composite

  2. andyholmfirth says:

    Must have been an horrific night.Tha’s a grim death count.

  3. P.A.B. says:

    Agreed, I’d never really heard of it either. They’re interesting shots Ian thanks! I’ve seen some done of european cities where old and new photos taken from the exact same spots are blended, I wonder if Manchester would be good for that?!

  4. **Hazel** says:

    Wow, how frightening, what a night!

    An amazing transformation Ian!

  5. Ian D B says:

    thanks guys.
    Aye, but would have to be 100% certain I had the right spot of course…. Arrived at this location after putting one or two clues together, but there’s a possibility I got the spot wrong. Don’t think so tho.

  6. pasujoba says:

    Great work Ian . was this instead of an aeroplane wreck then this weekend ?

  7. Ian D B says:

    Yeah, I’d had these 2 old photos sat around doing nothing for ages, but wasn’t sure of the precise locations. Decided to return to Piccadilly armed with a couple more clues, try pin em down.

  8. Reflective Kiwi %-) says:

    Great to see these ones too Ian! Well done to put these together! %-)

  9. C J Paul (chris) says:

    again ian great work my friend.

  10. redrocker_9 says:

    Great detective work Ian

  11. SolarScot. says:

    well done Ian

  12. het broertje van.. says:

    Wow Ian,……………………..simply splendid man!!!!


  13. mick cooke says:

    nice series of photos and stories ian

  14. Boston Harold says:

    I thought of this exact night when I personally saw the World Trade Center burning from a mountaintop in NJ. My country had just been attacked by evil murderous fiends and I was witnessing a funeral pyre.

  15. rachren68 says:

    The night this photo was taken, my Mum was ‘celebrating’ her first birthday in the air raid shelter in her back garden not far away in Rusholme. Her Dad, who was a fireman was probably on duty that night, what a terrible job they had, heroes in my opinion.

  16. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/92101283@N06] rachren68

    Thanks rachren. My mother’s father was also fireman in Manchester and Liverpool. She was the same age as your Mum, a couple of months difference maybe.

    Agree they were heroes. You read about some of the situations they were in; buildings falling on them, becoming trapped as entire streets caught fire, high explosives and incendiaries raining down on them. There are even acounts of fire crews being machine guned by low flying bombers. They were something else that generation.

  17. stickotopia says:

    Showed the photos to my mum and step dad over the Easter weekend. My mum piped up that she remembered seeing this the next day. After losing cousins in the Christmas raids my nan decided it was safer for her and my mum to evacuate again.

    My mum remembers being carried to the railway station by her grandad – she would only be two and a half. She remembers that she had to be carried because they had to climb over all the rubble and debris to get to the station.

    They were evacuated a few times, the first time they went with my nan’s friend and her baby – when they got to their destination nothing was ready for them and the four of them had to spend the night in a cold empty shop! Two women with two babies, nothing to eat and no furniture. They came back the next day.

    My step dad (aged 9 at the time) knew an ARP messenger boy – he’s often talked about him but this weekend we looked him up. Dennis Tingle only 15, my step dad said he was caught up in the raid while delivering urgent messages on his bike and was caught in a blast but also machine gunned. He was taken to Hope Hospital but didn’t make it.

    We found him on the CWGC site and on a BBC recollection page (a lady who was also with the ARP but she seemed to think Dennis was never found but says it happened on Langworthy Road) however my step dad knew he had got to the hospital like the CWGC site says. He must have really made an impression on my step father as a 9 year old and as he got older and Dennis didn’t – the ‘big’ boy he looked up to must have suddenly seemed much too young. He’s always sad when he talks about him.


  18. Ian D B says:

    Thank you for that link. What a sad story, and what a brave lad. Thanks for your comment too. These accounts from the people who lived through the Blitz add so much colour to and understanding of these events. Amazing that your Mum saw these scenes in Manchester that Christmas. As I walk through town I try to imagine it, the bombers overhead, the buildings erupting in flame, the air sirens and fire bells… Really I can’t. The best I can do is these photos and add words. Thank you and your Mum and step Dad very much for contrbuting, always appreciate your comments.

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