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An exciting place for children
Woodingdean during WWII was an exciting place for the children of the area. I am still in touch with some of them. Perhaps some of you might remember the huge six-wheel go-cart that used to charge down Crescent Drive South at breakneck speed with up to eight kids on board? Over the hills from the village was Balsdean used by the Army for training purposes. This proved to be a great temptation for the local boys because live ammunition, mortar bombs and the like could be found and, sometimes ‘borrowed’.
An explosive mishap
One young lad and his pal brought home an explosive device of some kind. Putting it in a vice in their garden shed, they hit it with a hammer and it went off blowing the roof off the shed and taking the first finger and thumb off one of the lads. His mate received scrapnel in his stomach. I am pleased to say that both survived and are alive and well at the time of writing. This was just one of such incidents. I wonder how we would be judged in today’s climate?
VE day celebrations
On VE Day the lads of The Ridgway decided to hold a bonfire celebration with the street party. A huge bonfire was built around one of the street lights and put to the torch. The metal pole of the light consequently melted. Next morning when it had cooled down it was seen to have drooped so that the top of the pole reached halfway to the ground. Needless to say all hell broke loose next day but the culprits were never found.
Did you live in Woodingdean? Do you live there now? How has the place changed? Please share your memories with us by posting a comment below.