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SNIPPETTS FROM THE WARTIME PAPERS
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
Better Late than Never!
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
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
food for both the rabbit and the crew from an interested public.
Garwood April 2021
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