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                      SNIPPETTS FROM THE WARTIME PAPERS  

         Balloon Barrage Sheds Spoil The View

    We often hear of cases where new developments cause the occupants of homes to claim that their home has been devalued. I was surprised 

    to learn that in July 1939, Mr. A. Jowett, of 15, The Chase, Stanmore, made a claim to the Central Middlesex Assessment Committee against 

    the assessment of £45 gross and rateable on his house, garden and garage. He complained his property had depreciated in value owing to the 

    Air Ministry having established a balloon barrage directly opposite the house. He wrote stating that the balloon centre bad been built directly 

    in front his property and had caused the value to depreciate.

    In response Mr J. O'Sullivan, the valuer-clerk, contended that was very difficult to see balloon sheds from the appellants house. Those houses 

    numbered 1 -11 had had their assessments reduced because they were houses from which the sheds could be seen. Shrubs hid the sheds from 

    the view Mr Jowett’s property. Mr. H. C. Stilt field (Chairman) explained that a sliding scale of reductions had been agreed to, but it stopped 

    at the house next to that occupied by Mr Jowett. Mr. J. Roe (rating officer) said there was a good screen of trees in front of Mr Jowett’s house.

    It was decided to adjourn the case to give the Committee an opportunity of viewing the property to see if the balloon sheds were in fact 

   visible from the property.

    Sadly, I have failed to find out what the final outcome was!                               Peter Garwood April 2021

            Better Late than Never!

    S.36490 Private Stanley L. Nichols of Abbeydale Road, Sheffield served in the Rifle Brigade and later as L. 13031 In the Royal West Kent 

    regiments through the Great War and was demobbed in 1919. In Summer 1939 he had decided to join the Auxiliary Air Force and served in

     No.939 Squadron Balloon Barrage, the Sheffield. He was surprised to be awoken by the postman one morning in November 1939 with a 

    registered packet containing the General Service and Victory medals which ought to have been awarded to him soon after his demobilisation

     from the army in September 1919. With the medals was a letter dated November 24th, 1939 from the Under-Secretary of State, War Office

     (A.G.4 Medals): stating “The undermentioned decorations have been issued to you this day”.  Airman Nichols wondered if the 22-year and 

    10 month delay was some form of record. Quite a number of men also received their Great War medals in 1939. Basically, on re-joining the 

    services their Great War record was pulled out of the archives to check their bona fides. The War Office then realised that there was no record 

    of the men receiving their medals and set about ensuring that these were dispatched as quickly as possible. Such men who had previously

     served could wear their medal ribbons on their air force uniform.    Peter Garwood April 2021

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        Not The Easter Bunny

    On 24th September 1942 people navigating the gloomy blackout in Piccadilly Circus were bemused when a large black and white rabbit 

    was found forlornly hopping about on the steps of the Eros statue. Eventually a member of the public was able to catch the rabbit and

     handed it over to the R.S.P.C.A. They began investigating and soon tracked it down as the missing mascot of a local Balloon Barrage crew. 

     It did not take long to reunite the rabbit with the crew. The newspaper reports of it being returned to the crew resulted in many parcels

     of food for both the rabbit and the crew from an interested public.

                                                                                                                    Peter Garwood April 2021

 

 

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