On the night of 3/4 May 1942, just after midnight, 20 bombers arrived over the town centre, and in 70 minutes devastated the town centre and Newtown area. Bombs fell in High St, Sidwell St and Fore St, starting fires in the houses and shops there, which were soon out of control. Fire brigade and emergency services struggled to tame the fires, under the threat of unexploded ordnance and despite strafing by German bombers. Reinforcements from the fire services at Torquay and Plymouth arrived to help; eventually 195 appliances and 1,080 personnel were employed to bring the fires under control, which was largely achieved by 5 May, though sporadic outbreaks continued until mid-day of 7 May. 30 acres of the city were devastated, 156 people were killed and 583 injured.
Cornforth, David (10 March 2014). “The Exeter Blitz – April and May 1942”. Exeter Memories. Wikipedia.
Fifty years later,
Time passes, things change and people heal.
It’s day eleven of Becky’s #timesquare challenge for December, and there’s still time to join in
This photo was going to be my Wordless Wednesday, but I realised how it marked the passing of time.
When I was in my teens, I remember the archaeological dig in front of the cathedral, but I didn’t realise the significance of the Roman baths they exposed and then covered over. Now I wish I’d taken more notice. A few years ago, the city made a bid for lottery funding to open up the baths, but it failed, so I don’t suppose I’ll get to see them.
Becky has glowing square sunsets today!
I live in a very old city, the Romans arrived around 55 AD, and scared off the local Celtic tribe. They built a wall around the city they had named Isca Dumnoniorum and left a couple hundred years later. The wall, or about seventy per cent of it is still here. Impressive builders those Romans.
One of the good things about Facebook is all the local groups, one of the ones I follow, Exeter Memories is great for photos of Exeter in the past, it always provokes a lot of ooohs and aaahs and I remember that, but a couple of days ago there was a real treat.
The really talented Jerry Bird posted this photo in the group, and kindly gave me permission to post it here. He’s scanned a drawing of the ancient South Gate, from an old book on Exeter, and superimposed it onto a photo he took. The location, a not very appealing road into the city, was rebuilt quickly after the blitz and sadly looks nothing like this, except for the road markings and the car.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it did?
Jerry has plans to create some more of these images and i can’t wait to see them.
Thank you Jerry for bringing history to life.
Our resident Super Woman is back this month with her December Square Challenge of ‘Time’. As always we are free to interpret the theme in any way we want as long as the photo is square.
I had such a surprise walking through town the other day, apparently it’s that time again,
Where has 2018 gone. time flies doesn’t it? But it’s all relative according to Becky!
Wandering through Cathedral Close last night with friends, I showed the Californian One the outer door to the Bishops Palace. As it was closed, I put my nose up to the ancient wood and this is what I saw through the gap.
Of course, I had to add it as a last minute entry to Tina’s Lens-Artist challenge, doors and doorways.
The sky as I left work this afternoon.
Moving office, worth it for the view.
On the High Street and the Exeter Riddle sculpture.