'Raids altered the future landscape of WGC'
PUBLISHED: 10:30 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:37 26 October 2009
Chris Brunning from Nutfield, WGC, had just started at the newly-built Stanborough school, which was then known as the WGC grammar school. He described the bombing of houses near Guessens Road, WGC, in October 1940 as quite pivotal for the future landsc
Chris Brunning from Nutfield, WGC, had just started at the newly-built Stanborough school, which was then known as the WGC grammar school.
He described the bombing of houses near Guessens Road, WGC, in October 1940 as "quite pivotal" for the future landscape of WGC.
He said: "Letters have reminded me of a bombing raid which was probably responsible for altering the landscape of the north-west area of WGC.
"On that fateful night a German bomber dropped bombs which damaged houses in Guessens Road, Handside Lane, Mandeville Rise and Coneydale.
"Rumour at the time was that these bombs were intended for the viaduct.
"The bad marksmanship of the German bomb aimers enabled the planners to extend Digswell Road to meet the new Bessemer Road."
According to Mr Brunning, this inadvertently saved Sherrardspark Wood from being built upon as planned before the bombing.
The 80-year-old, who used to live in Ludwick Way, WGC, at the time, also recalled the bombing of the de Havilland Aircraft Company at Hatfield on October 3, 1940.
The raid killed 21 workers and injured a further 70.
He told the WHT: "I was in a geography lesson at the time and we saw this plane flying very low and, God knows why, we all rushed over to the window.
"Then we could tell it was a German bomber. We watched him soar over in the direction of de Havilland when we heard a big boom.
"We then watched the plane come back past us and saw it come down.
"We then saw it shot down by anti-aircraft fire from around where the WGC police station is.
"It was quite a sight."
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