Street sign, Mornington Road

I can’t be sure that this is the original street sign, dating from the 1930s, but it has certainly been here a long time, judging by its state. These signs are a kind of memorial to the people who were born, lived and died in the streets they identify, silent witnesses to their comings and goings. This street particularly deserves a memorial because it was one of those affected by an air raid that took place in September 1940 and the place where one of the truly innocent lost his life, a story that never fails to move me. A little boy called Keith was playing outside, in front of his home in Mornington Road, when enemy aircraft launched an attack on the area. They may have missed their target, the RAF base at Northolt, but they dropped their bombs on Greenford, killing and injuring residents, and causing considerable damage. Keith was not in fact killed by the impact of the bombs, he was shot as the ground was strafed by a gunner in one of the aircraft. It is difficult to imagine a scene of such extreme violence in a quiet street like this one but it was probably repeated many times across the UK during the war.

Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2012. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.

This entry was published on September 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm. It’s filed under People, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Street sign, Mornington Road

    • His mother continued to live in that house until her death in the 1980s even though she had wanted to move away. I’m not sure if this raid was the one that took place on 30th September or a separate one, I aven’t been able to pin down the date. My partner thinks a rear gunner in a Dornier may have been responsible. I’ve heard stories of people running for their lives on these occasions, terrifying.

      • These signs are cast aluminium – made to last! few of them survive now. Probably original 1930s, so this has seen some history. they must have been quite expensive to make, as the moulds would have to be set up individually and then the aluminium cast. there was probably a trick that they had standard length “housings” and temporarily fitted the letters into a former, made the mould (in sand) and then cast the sign. the housing and letters would then be reused.

        I found the letters “DENS” from one of the signs, it had been buried in some rubble in Holy Cross Churchyard. It was a;most certainly a remnant of the original “Ferrymead Gardens” street sign. I gave it to a neighbour, Dennis (“Den”) – a keen modelmaker, who was chuffed to bits, cleaned and repainted it.

      • That’s fascinating, it hadn’t occurred to me to wonder how they were made. It’s interesting that they’re often retained even when a modern street sign goes up. I’ve seen them painted over where they are on house walls, occasionally with the lettering picked out in black.

      • william spackman on said:

        it is true, I was born in 65 Mornington road and we were bombed out 30th September 1940, the site was later used as a PoW camp for Italian prisoners. The houses were rebuilt in the early 50 s

      • That’s fascinating, it’s difficult to find out about specific raids on these locations although more information is becoming available. In some cases it’s hard to tell that anything happened. Thank you for leaving your comment.

  1. Alan Harley on said:

    Alan Harley. I grew up in No 63, next door to William Spackman (above). My first memories are in Mornington Road, so I must have been 3 years old. I think my father must have bought the house after it was rebuilt after the war. I don’t know who lived there previously.

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