Then and now. Oldham 13th October 1941.

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Then and now. Oldham 13th October 1941

These chaps have just dug this thing up from 28 feet under Lilac Lane in Oldham.

Peter J C Smith (2003) notes that during the two hour air raid on Oldham on the night of 12 October 1941, 27 people were killed including 4 children, and a further 47 were injured of which 16 were seriously injured. There were 5 unexploded bombs in Oldham to be dealt with the following morning.

Same scene, Lilac Lane, Oldham, as it is now.

Old photo © Greater Manchester Police Museum & Archives. Used with kind permission.

25 comments on “Then and now. Oldham 13th October 1941.
  1. steveandthedogs says:

    These are great records, and good to see the modern shots as well.

  2. redrocker_9 says:

    You should have been a history teacher Ian~

  3. Neal. says:

    Still standing thanks to those men, I had a girlfriend whose uncle did this, got an O.B.E. for it, ran a model shop in Southend.

  4. Ian D B says:

    They were a brave bunch. Heroic deeds were done thousands of times every day.

    Remember Danger UXB?


    yeah, I’d bore the living daylights out of the poor wee sods.

  5. Billy Currie says:

    Their expressions don’t look to happy, stunning historic image

  6. andyholmfirth says:

    Quite a photo that one.And there’s guys still out there doing this today !

  7. het broertje van.. says:

    Absolutely brilliant man!!!

  8. BillAnd says:

    bomb disposal crews didnt mind defusing these larger bombs, cos if it went off – they wouldnt know, it would simply be the end. Smaller devices however were a different matter – they just maimed or injured, thus more painful

    great piece of history and research as always Ian

    many thanks for sharing

  9. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    I wonder how much people living in this street are aware of what happened on their doorstep during the war and of the existence of this photograph! Amazing pics.

  10. Boston Harold says:

    Is that a 1,000 pounder? Lord a’ mercy!

  11. charles widdall says:

    The Cranberry pub on Cranberry St Glodwick. Hit by ‘Doodlebug’ rebuilt and reopened about Christmas 1965. Teddy and Annie Faulkner, Wilsons licensees first landlord and lady on reopening. Had my wedding reception upstairs 12 March 1966… 60 guests 3 course chicken roast plus evening buffet £34.17/6pence total, just about 60pence each!! but I think we drank the pub dry!

    • Ian D B says:

      Great memories there Charles. Good that you recall the details, you must have it written down somewhere? £34 wouldn’t buy a meal and an evening buffet for one now!

      March 66 though…. Couple of years before I was born.

      Take it you have seen the piece on the V1 at Glodwick?


    • Steven Corbett says:

      My Grandma Avis Corbett lived behind the Cranberry pub.I believe her house was miraculously spared major damage as did she.

    • Paul Wild says:

      I was born in Oldham and spent the first 12 years of my life in Glodwick. My Great Auntie, My Grandfather’s Sister lived on Cranberry street, during that raid and her family and house survived. The V1 raid was a huge attack on Manchester which went wrong, if successful it would have destroyed the city. My Great Auntie was called Fanny Lamb nee Shelmerdine which was my Mother’s maiden name. My Mother often talked about this raid. Very interesting piece. My friend at school lived in a house built in the gap on Abbeyhills Road, left by the raid.

  12. Ian Crickett says:

    I don’t think the Cranberry Street bomb was a V1 (doodlebug). That was the one that fell on Abbeyhills Road at Christmas 1944. (Nearly got me, that one). My dad lived on Roundthorn Road in 1941, and he always told me that when his mate’s house went up with the original Cranberry pub, they went round in the morning, and there was a light bulb hanging from one of the beams in the shattered house which was still switched on. We used to play in the cinders on the bomb site when we were kids in the 50s, and used bricks to make ‘streets’ to ride our bikes round.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Ian, thanks for your visit and comment. Please follow my link in the comment above regarding the V1 which fell at Abbey Hills Rd.

      I understood Abbeyhills is in Glodwick? That’s what I thought Charles was referring to, Cranberry St being just 500m from where the V1 came down. Given the blast damage from a V1 typically extended about one mile from the point of impact, I took it Charles was referring to the same?

      However it is interesting to read of a separate bomb falling on Cranberry Street?

      Next week I intend to start a trawl through the Oldham archives and do a complete piece about the bombing of the town, similar to the one I did regarding the bombing history of Bury (follow the link above to Air Raids & Bomb Sites). Cranberry Street will be as good a place to start as any. Watch this space!

      Thanks for sharing your memories.


    • Stewart Cole says:

      Bomb fell on house in Abbeyhills road on my mother in laws wedding night.Some people sadly were killed.Mother-in-law Ethel Molden.

  13. Christoher Coulthard says:

    Very brave men who were paid a pittance for doing that work. I couldnt imagine the British youth of today doing that.

    Chris in Huddersfield

  14. Alan Noden says:

    12th October 1941 Oldham bombed

    Sirens sounded at 11-06pm
    The raid lasted 112 minutes

    Bombs (H.E.) landed at :-

    Foxdenton Lane
    Behind the Elk mill – Broadway
    Hollinwood cemetry
    Oak Road, Hollins
    Lilac Lane, Hollins
    In the lodge of the Twist
    St. Margaret’s Institute, Incline Road
    Green Lane – Garden Suburbs
    The boys football ground – Fredrick Street
    Manley Road
    Mirfield Avenue
    Cranberry Street, Glodwick
    West Lea school
    Napier Street East
    Werneth Hall Road
    Breeze Hill Road
    Werneth Golf Course
    In the grounds of the “Coppice” – Windsor Road
    Chamber colliery bowling green

  15. ALAN WALKDEN says:

    WELL DONE ALAN. Thanks for the list of bomb sites,It brought back many memories I would visit and play on many of those bomb sites within days of them being bombed ,looking for shrapnel etc ,I was just a kid about 10 years old. By that time the sites ha been cleared and leveled.It is sad but at that age it was just another wartime adventure. Alan Walkden

  16. keith blyden says:

    I was born on Lilac Lane only 19 years after the war ended.
    I had often heard of a UXB & was told of 2 different paces where it had supposedly landed. I was told it landed in the centre of the lane, between number 13 & 10 & was also given a second location of the bottom of the lane near the the junction of Birch Ave.
    These photos seem to indicate the top of the lane near the junction of Poplar Ave. Great to now know the real location.
    Thanks ….

  17. marie slater says:

    I am a survivor of the night of 12/13 october 1941 when Hawksley St, was also bombed the bomb dropped in the mill lodge of the Old Bog mill ( Chamber mill ) known locally the Old Bog otherwise I wouldn`t be speaking to you now 4 house4s down my mum dad a nan lived at number 22 and so much damage it had to be knocked don ig my nan had still been in bed a large coping stone through the roof fe3ll on her bed that was a night to remember i was 4 years old and remember it welli have a scar on muy forehead now from that night, my dasd carried me into the air raid shelter quite low i banged my head on the low door , hence the scar , my next door nreighbour was killed that night and found 3 days later and not many people aware of the night Hawksley street was bombed my dad was blown of his feet nd if my mum hadn`t had got us out of bed , well that would have been 4 more casualties. look up the info at the social sdtudies place on Union street i did alot of my researches there. Marie Slater

  18. John McKune says:

    The information about Hawksley St is correct. The missing body started a scurrilous rumour that the deceased had been seen in the town with a serving soldier’s wife.another bomb in the same stick exploded below ground in the bowling green of the “Waggon “ pub on Oldham Rd (facing the Smut pub. The Waggon was demolished when the road was widened. Another bomb exploded in Hollinwood cemetery uncovering a number of buried bodies. How do I know this? Because my grandad lived at 47 Heron St (opposite the top of Hawksley St and my mother stayed there, and I was born there whilst my father was away in the war. The family name was Bate and my uncle John also of 47 was a paratrooper and captured at Arnhem and survived the infamous “Death March” at the end of the war.

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