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Photo of visit by Lord Mayor to Endymion Road Brixton after V1 bomb

by Robert V Bullen

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Archive List > V-1s and V-2s

Contributed by 
Robert V Bullen
People in story: 
Rosie Bullen, Ethel Veal, Henrietta Veal, Sir Frank Newsom-Smith
Location of story: 
Brixton, South London
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
21 January 2005

Lord Mayor of London Sir Frank Newsom-Smith visiting Endymion Road Brixton, June 1944

In the photograph from left to right are Alderman Lockyer, my mother Rosie Bullen, grandmother Henrietta Veal, aunt Ethel Veal, next door neighbour Mrs Lotter and the Lord Mayor of London Sir Frank Newsom-Smith. On 23rd June 1944 a V1 flying bomb had fallen on Beechdale road in Brixton which backed onto Endymion Road where my family lived. As it was one of the earliest V1's it warrented a visit from local dignitaries!

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - beechdale rd Brixton

Posted on: 11 March 2005 by josephineking

I was just 6yrs old and was with my 7yr old sister Paula staying with our grandparents in Beechdale Road.Brixton whilst our mother was giving birth to our our younger brother in Warlingham Surrey when the doddle bomb fell killing many people. Earlier in the day we had watched the chimney-sweep push his brushes out the top of the chimney. I was rather badly injured and finished up in Gt Ormond St hospital. The houses were all three storeys high and collapsed like a pack of cards. Nothing was saved from grandparents house.


Message 2 - beechdale rd Brixton

Posted on: 01 May 2005 by Robert V Bullen

Dear Josephine King, Thank you for your comment on my Peoples' War entry. I was very interested to hear from you but sorry to hear that you were badly injured, i hope that you made a full recovery. We had lived in Endymion road for 10 years prior to the bombing and knew many people in Beechdale road. What was your grandparents' name and do you remember the house number? My grandmother and aunt had a small shop in the back door of their house on the corner of Endymion and Beechdale road, perhaps you bought sweets there? The photograph of my Grandmother and the Lord mayor is in my story. Have you ever returned to that area since? I have frequently and will look for a recent photo showing Beechdale road as it is now, and try to put it on the site.
Best wishes Robert Bullen


Message 3 - beechdale rd Brixton

Posted on: 03 June 2005 by josephineking

Dear Robert Bullen-your entry reminded me that I used to go to your relatives shop and buy cigarettes for my grandmother. I can't remember the number of grandparents house-possibly 77 but interestingly their surname was VOLK(my grandfather was german!! and was interned during both wars) Although married in England with 4 Children he was interned during WW1 on Isle of Mann and WW2 in Alexandra Palace(for a short while) and was in the house with us when bomb fell!! After I was discharged from hospital my sister and I were evacuated from Warlingham Surrey to a fireman and his wife(who didn't have children) down in Plymouth,Devon from August 1944 until May 1945 when I would then have been nearly 7yrs.So yes I most definately remember the 'bombing'!! I now live in Biggin Hill,Kent and have only driven down Beechdale Road Brixton once since then.


Message 4 - beechdale rd Brixton

Posted on: 06 July 2005 by Robert V Bullen

Dear Josephine King, Pleased to receive your reply of some 3 weeks ago - my delays in replying are due to the fact that I dont have a computer and my entries are made by my nephew. Yes we did know your Grandmother Mrs Volk and knew that your Grandfather had been interned on the Isle Of Man. My Grandmother let rooms in her house and in June 1940 one was let to an Austrian refugee - he was detained by the police and sent to the Isle of Man and later Canada where I think that we had one letter from him. I am glad that you went to my Grandmothers shop which is shown in the picture with my story, perhaps you saw my sister there as after May 1944 I was away in the Navy. I remember one family who lived in the house just behind ours in Beechdale road, their name was Harris and their youngest child was Bertie who was then about 12. I see that we have settled in a similar part of the world as I live in Beckenham as does my sister and her daughter and family live in Orpington. Regards RVB


Message 5 - beechdale rd Brixton

Posted on: 07 July 2005 by grambeaux

Dear Robert,
I'm too young to remember the war (it's nice to too young for something at age 58!), however I'll share this with you anyway.

I lived from birth (1946) until approx 12 years of age at 53 Endymion Road, my grandfather's (C.W. James) house. My grandparents had lived in the house since the turn of the century and raised 8 children there, including my mother (the youngest b. 1920), Betty.

I remember the little shop at the back (or the side?) of your aunt's house very well. It was referred to (by our family anyway) as 'The Kiosk' I often purchased sweets there, and I recall walking across Endymion, then standing on tip-toe, peering over the (wooden?) counter and salivating over the aroma's of chocolate and liqourice wafting from the dark interior.

I also remember the greengrocer's down the street where I worked on chilly Saturdays one winter pouring parrafin into carry-tanks for home parrafin-heaters.

The family's name next door to us on one side (towards Beechdale Rd) was Allbrow (sp?), on the other side (towards Brixton Hill) dwelt the Middletons.

Somewhere tucked away I have a photo of my grandparents taken in the 1930's (I think) in the back garden of 53 Endymion.

I live now in Vancouver, Canada, having departed the UK in 1967, but I retain many great memories of life there including standing at the bus-stop around the corner from Endymion on Brixton Hill begging for "a penny for the guy" prior to Novenber 5th! Also, standing in the same location watching the 'old crocks' chugging by for the yearly (in the fall?) London to Brighton Vintage car race.
Graham James Walmsley


Message 6 - beechdale rd Brixton

Posted on: 25 July 2005 by Robert V Bullen

Dear Graham,
Pleased and interested to hear from you, particularly from so many miles away. I remember your Grandfather, I think that we knew him as Councillor or Alderman James as he was on the Lambeth Borough council. My sister was a friend of his granddaughter Mavis Pearson who would be a cousin of yours. I remember that her father had a motorbike and sidecar before the war, quite a thing in those days. They moved away sometime to Chatham I think. I remember Mavis coming to visit my sister just after the war and I happened to be on leave as I was still in the 'wartime' navy. Perhaps she came up to see her new cousin in 1946? If she is still around she would be in her mid or late 70's.
I am glad that you have happy memories of the 'kiosk' as we also knew it, the photograph after the V1 bomb is on the website. After repairs my aunt ran it until her death in 1958. It was at first thought that the house could not be repaired so my parents moved out and rented no. 37 Endymion Road where we lived until 1957 when we moved to Herne hill. the house and kiosk were repaired and my aunt and her husband continued living there until her death.
The greengrocers in Beechdale road was Fred Martin who also ran vans for furniture removals. My sister remembers the Allbrow family and the wedding of their daughter, whose dress was made from wartime parachute silk!
I share your memories ( despite an age gap of 20 years! ) of collecting 'pennies for the guy' and asking for cigarette cards from people at the bus stop on Brixton Hill, also watching the 'Old crocks' race in November which still goes on, but watched by me now on TV.
I have distant ( in both senses of the word ) relations who live in Moscow Idaho. I have visited them many times and on one ocasion we made a trip to Victoria crossing the Tsawwassen ferry and returning via Port Angeles and the Olympian peninsula. A branch of that family moved to Seattle and I have visited them there.
I do not have a computer so all my entries are made by my nephew, who lives in Norwich, hence any delays in replying.
Again, pleased to hear from you, Best wishes Robert Bullen

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