The letter from Dean Wright and Warrant Officer Ted Peck last year brought back a clear memory from 70 years ago.
I was nine years old and it was 11 pm, I believe, when I heard this very loud engine roar. From my bedroom window on Crompton Street I saw this big plane with one engine on fire. It was coming from the Trowell direction.
It was so low when it came over our house I thought it would hit the coke ovens. I heard a crash shortly after.
The next day a small group of us lads off the street went up to the crash site in the fields near the Grove Farm, Stanton-by-Dale. It was roped off and I believe guarded by the RAF and police.
A young cadet told us to clear off as there were many unpleasant things scattered around the fields.
I am sure a photograph exists somewhere and I am sure a propeller was fixed to the wall of Grove Farm many years ago.
It seems quite a concidence that the plane was a Short Stirling aircraft as Oswald Short, one of the founders of the Short Brithers Aircraft Co., was born on Lows Lane near the old works as his father was chief engineer at the Stanton Ironworks during the 1880s.
Crompton Street and Kingston Avenue/Hexham Avenue lay in the shadows of the coke overs.
There were many hundreds of people living there.
Just think of the devastation and loss of life if the aircraft had hit the ovens.
Did the pilot, who I believe may have been a hero, deliberately steer his aircraft to miss the works?
I’m lookingforward to the well-deserved memorial,
Trowell Grove, Trowell