Fred Coppell, now living in Tettenhall, the war years were years
of pride. For his grandad, Fred Teague, was head park keeper in Dudley.
"They were immaculate
parks," recalls Mr Coppell, born in 1934. "I grew up in Grange Road,
opposite Grange Park.
Coppell pictured above with the picture of his grandfather, which
is reproduced here in detail.
"There was a
bandstand, two crown greens in wonderful condition, neat hedges
and everything cut to perfection. Everone in Dudley knew Fred Teague.
He was a great crown-green bowler. I was so proud of him.
"He took over
all the parks for the war years when the younger men went off to
fight and he stayed until 1947 when he retired.
"I moved away
but in 1998 went back to look at Grange Park. It was heartbreaking.
There's just a concrete stump where the bandstand was and the bowling
pavilion had been burned down. It was such a disgrace. I was just
glad he wasn't alive to see what had happened to his pride and joy."
Trades Council was told in July that buses were unable to go out
on their routes because conductresses were not turning up for work.
The women were
snitched on by a male bus driver who said that they were as unreliable
as it was possible to be.
decided to get more information on the problem of absenteeism by
makes good in US: It
was reported in July that a Willenhall man, once sacked for asking
for a five shillings a week rise at a Wolverhampton company, was
named as one of the seventh highest salaried people in America.
eldest son of the well known Midlands author, Herman Chilton, was
consulting engineer for the famous aeronautical firm, the Curtiss-Wright
Corporation in New Jersey.
He earned 268,59l
dollars, about £1,150 a week.
list of the big money earners was Louis B Mayer, of the MGM film
corporation, with 704,426 dollars. Six of the other ten people named
were either film executives or stars.
went to America in 1924 and was followed by his brother, Allan Chilton,
in 1932. He became a progress engineer.
parties' at work: Workers
at a Midlands Government factory were accused in July of "incredible
abuses" after allegedly holding ukelele parties during work time,
playing cards and, in the case of one worker, weighing a load of
sand three times because he was too lazy to tip it out and put another
came to the attention of Major R F P Monckton, a former master of
the Albrighton Hounds, who told a Stafford meeting his Home Guard
officers had informed on the workers.
The Major said
the workforce also left engines running on lorries while they had
their lunch breaks and a percentage of the younger men just were
not working at all.
He added that
when the foreman was asked why he didn't do something about the
situation, the answer was that he would get "such hell" if he tried
to do so.
The major felt
a Government inspector should be sent into the factory and if he
found men of military age not working, he should have the authority
to conscript them.
businessman Frank Sharpe - a British cycling pioneer who won many
championships on the penny farthing - collapsed and died in August
travelling on a bus. Mr Sharpe, from Tettenhall was heading for
his office in the town centre when he died.
learned to ride a bicycle at the age of eight and in later years
competed in all the leading meetings in the country - winning five
championships and 190 other prizes.
motorist since 1906, Mr Sharpe had wrestled and had been a keen
rugby player. Since the outbreak of war he had taken an interest
in local prisoners of war.
you know there's a war on!"The words of the air raid warden in TV's
Dad's Army brought a taste of the times to modern audiences, but
concerns were all-too real during the war years.
In April, the
Ministry of Supply ordered a "much stricter watch" to be kept on
an unidentified West Midlands factory after an Express & Star reporter
strolled around inside for 10 minutes without being challenged.
In May, members
of the Wolverhampton Home Guard were praised for their enthusiasm
and skill as they trained to take over an anti-aircraft battery.
Later that summer
Staffordshire County Council were ordered by the Regional Commissioner
to set up invasion committees "wherever they may be considered necessary"
in the county.
And in the same
month of June, Wolverhampton Aircraftman Harry Neals, back from
serving with the first RAF unit to go to the aid of the Russians,
reported that the eastern Europeans were "flat out in the war effort".
and doodle bug days in London:
(pictured) of Fordhouses recalls her wartime experiences
the war started my brother, John, and I were evacuated to a farm
in Wiltshire. I was 12 and he was only five.
"It sounds lovely
but it wasn't. We had to get up at 5.30 every morning to help with
"We hated it
and, after a couple of years my mother collected us. We went back
to London. When we arrived the bombing was going on and it was burning
all around us.
"At night we
used to sit out in the Anderson shelter in the garden. There were
six of us children, plus mum and grandad, so it was pretty tight.
Some of the bombs fell very close and the next street to our was
hit. My dad was an ARP (Air Raid Precautions) warden, out on the
streets at night.
"We didn't fancy
sheltering in the Tube. Anway, the nearest one was a fair way off,
so sometimes we sheltered in the house, four of us kids sharing
were absolutely pitch-black because of the blackout.
"Later we had
the V-l flying bombs. They were terrible. The sound of them coming
over was bad enough but the worst part was when the engine cut out.
You had no idea
where they were going to land. All we could do was scatter into
the nearets shelters. They made a huge bang.
we had the V-2 rockets. You had no warning.
quite close to us. You didn't really think about getting killed
because you had so much to do."