The day's last talk was All modes of transport in Doodle-bug Alley: a wartime reminiscence by Bob McCloy
Bob McCloy spent much of the Second World War either south-east of London, or in Poole. He'd been evacuated early on, but hadn't liked it and so had returned to his family. In 1942, when Bob was 7, they moved from London to Eynsford, in an agricultural area on the route of the electric railway from London to Sevenoaks.
Bob didn't see many motorised vehicles where he was, but got to know all the tractors. He helped out on local farms and was put in charge of the horse-drawn water tank. In search of more varied vehicles, he would cycle to Farningham, where he got to know the No 21 bus, which was red rather than the green of the buses passing through his own village. The 401A bus from Bexleyheath to Sevenoaks stopped in Eynsford.
Bob remembered 1943 as the year of balloons and V1s, and also the year when he moved to Poole Harbour. His godfather was responsible for inspecting the landing craft being built all along the coast. These were taken out into the Solent to test their seaworthiness. Later in the year, Bob moved back to Eynsford. Although there had been no human casualties due to V1s, some livestock had been lost.
At the end of Bob's talk various audience members shared their recollections of the era. It was noted that Leslie Hore-Belisha lived in Eynsford during the war, and that north of the village was a ghost railway station close to the site of the proposed London Airport. One audience member commented that his main memory of the end of the war was seeing the blackout materials being stripped from vehicles outside Chorlton Tram Stop.
Full transcript of my notes available for anyone who's interested.
And to end the series, here are some more photos from the Museum's the War Effort exhibition
The RRTHA are a very friendly bunch, and I'll be going to various of their events next year if anyone else wants to tag along.