Back Alley Bomb

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Back Alley Bomb, Oldham

Not a scene from the Coronation Street Christmas Disaster Special, this is a German parachute mine which fell on Oldham during the height of the Manchester Blitz, December 23rd 1940 and thankfully didn’t explode. Had it done so, everything in this view would have been completely destroyed.

The location is the back alley between Castleford Street and Wakefield Street looking towards Lime Street. It is very close to Oldham Athletic Football Club and Royal Oldham Hospital.

This link takes you to Google Maps Street View.,-2.132447&a…

Image ยฉ Greater Manchester Police Museum & Archives. Used with kind permission.

Original image and my first visit

41 comments on “Back Alley Bomb
  1. Gizzardtreedude says:

    Oh wow, really impressive work Ian. Awesome ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. pasujoba says:

    Nice one Ian , you said you were gonna do this t,other day . Makes you think doesnt it , seeing that huge bomb just sitting there …..the photographer here really was taking his life in his hands.

  3. cgullz says:

    good grief ,that really is an eye for detail! you must have an architects eye when it comes to finding perspectives! … the blend pic also makes ‘one’ feel grateful that these sorts of things don’t fall about the place [locally] any more.

  4. crusader752 says:

    Strewth Ian – thats brilliant! Great work ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. rob of rochdale says:

    That really is bloody superb Ian!

    My jaw dropped when I saw this shot

  6. Ian D B says:

    [] [] [] [] []

    Many thanks guys, too kind. If not seeking out places where planes crashed during the war, I look for places like this. My Uncle Amos was bombed out of his home in Oldham….

    V1 Flying Bomb site, Oldham.

  7. Keartona says:

    I marvel at how you manage to get such an accurate pov for these shots!

  8. **Hazel** says:

    This really is awesome processing Ian, it really puts the situation and area into perspective!! I am sure most of us can’t imagine what it must have been like in the war. We have areas in Leicester where bombs destroyed houses and I know of a man that was saved by a dustbin lid! My husband was a lad and saw some terrible sights and remembers the planes dropping the incendary bombs on a local park on their way home and the lads used to pick them up the next day! Thanks for showing and telling the stories of your area!!!!!

  9. Mark McKie says:

    Wow!!!!! Excellent work here mate.

  10. Ian D B says:

    Hi Hazel, thanks for adding that. I love those stories of individual who lived through it all. The bloke saved by a dustbn lid! My granddad was a fireman in Manchester and Liverpool, glad I spoke with my Mum about him. We can’t imagine that people lived with so much horror and loss, at the same time and for so long and emerge with dignity and pride. They were something else, that generation.

    It’s also the focal length of the lens as well as the position, so getting a matching image is really down taking lots of photos and hoping for best!

  11. Far & Away (On Assigment in Angola, mostly Off) says:

    Beautiful Job !!

  12. Far & Away (On Assigment in Angola, mostly Off) says:

    Beautiful Job !!

  13. nondesigner59 says:

    Excellent and very creative work Ian.. My compliments.

  14. Nick J Stone says:

    nice work mate.

  15. Ian D B says:

    [] []
    Many thanks.
    Cheers Nick, it was seeing your Norwich photos that encouraged me to go back and do this one properly.

  16. Ray~Watson says:

    Brilliant work!

  17. Nick J Stone says:

    The UXB ones are probably some of my favourites. Spefically this one.

    Blitz Ghost - Theatre Street, same bomb, different view.Blitz Ghost - UXB in Theatre Street, Norwich.

    which I walk past quite often, knowing little glance to one side as I do it. I can see it, most people walk round it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Stezzer says:

    brilliant work on this, they merge together perfectly. that bomb is shocking. thank goodness it didn’t explode in their back alley…. or anywhere for that matter.

  19. Mustang Koji says:

    Ian, you leave people totally stunned with your determination, research ability and attention to details. Truly amazing… But a question: did you knock on a door and show them the photo from World War II? I wonder what they would say….or how they would react!

    Excellent, my friend.

  20. redrocker_9 says:

    Excellent work Ian!

  21. P_H_I_L_L says:

    Brilliant Ian, like many others, I’m amazed at how you get these. Very striking image.

  22. stopherjones says:

    Great work, these ‘then-and-now’ photos have such powerful impact, and you create them expertly

  23. gastephen says:

    Nicely merged, Ian. That must have been a hell of a thing. Hard to imagine what times must have been like back then.

  24. amyrey says:

    That’d be a shock to find amongst the washing…… don’t mean to be flippant, as the possibility of these things dropping on your house must have been terrifying.

    Your pic is very thought provoking…..

  25. GaryJS รขโ€žยข says:

    Great! Nice idea and well executed ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. bill_fawcett says:

    Amazing work Ian – superbly done!

  27. Ian D B says:

    Many thanks everyone.


    Not on this occasion though I wish people would ask me more what I am up to. One couple did as I was lurking about their garden with my camera. They were very surprised to hear a flying club member crashed his aircraft just at what is now the edge of their back garden. Was able to give them a copy of the newspaper report from 1930.
    Crash site of Cirrus II Moth G-EBMQ, Summerseat, Lancashire, then and now.

  28. mick cooke says:

    brilliant work ian ,great story

  29. SolarScot. says:

    i think when i was a teenager my bedroom must have looked a bit like this as my Mother used to say" John this room looks like a bomb hit it !"

  30. Lazenby43 says:

    These composite shots are very interesting.

  31. Benoit Foisy says:

    A masterpiece… again.

  32. IANLAYZELLUK says:

    Very Impressive.

  33. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Very very impressive work Ian – very thought provoking :-))

  34. Neal. says:

    Blimey, my Dad has his Grans’ diary from her time during the blitz in London, never read it but I must search it out.

  35. light_arted says:


  36. steiner2009 "AKA Dr Dust " says:

    great blending technique , and wonderfull information , great work ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Ian D B says:

    Thanks again everyone. I love doing stuff like this. Bloody infuriating when it doesn’t come together, but a great feeling when you see it all line up!

    Got to dig that out Neal, what a gem of a find that would be!

  38. sixty8panther says:

    Wow awesome work. Instant favorite.

  39. Testchamber says:

    Impressive, well done.

  40. bandman12 says:

    these combined shots are really interesting.. this in particular, with one of those "what if" thoughts that could have changed this place and the people anywhere near it.

  41. BenZaniline says:

    Handy that it landed with the fuses on show but I still wouldn’t have fancied defusing it though. They were very brave men…

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