Iron railings were removed for war effort

MBTC Bushmead Avenue
MBTC Bushmead Avenue

Last week’s story about bombs unearthed in Bushmead Avenue, Bedford, prompted the former owners of the property to get in touch.

Heather Maggs says she and her partner lived at the property for 21 years.

She said: “We sold the house to the current owners last year and I still Iive in the vicinity.

“We didn’t know they were there either. But according to the Bedford War Diary the missiles were probably dropped at 1.40am on July 30, 1942, as part of the 
heaviest raid on Bedford during 
the war, which left 11 dead, 10 others seriously injured, and 100 slightly wounded.

“Four high-explosive bombs fell in the town but it’s highly likely that the ones found in our old garden were probably from the showers of incendiary bombs – with explosive noses – that reportedly fell on the Castle Road area.

“As well as the fatalities and casualties, the whole raid caused considerable damage.

“My father, grandfather and great-grandfather all came from the Castle Road 
area, so I now have a mental image of Dad – who would have been about 14 years old – and his mother sheltering under their kitchen table at 133 Castle Road (now Papillon Coffee House) during this raid.”

She added that this raid came seven days after 
another, less destructive one in which four other high 
explosive bombs were dropped in the Midland/Ashburnham Road area and witnessed by her father who told her he had to throw himself off his bicycle and take cover.

Heather also explained that another coincidence with the house in Bushmead Avenue and the Second World War, was that it was the first household in Bedford to rise to the Mayor’s challenge of 
donating any spare metal for the war effort.

She said: “No 30 donated their railings (even though they probably ended up in the North Sea) but definitely had a number of links to the 
Second World War – although others in the area had windows 
blown out and apparently 
suffered more damage.”