Damage further afield
Although the damage at Abbey End caused by the landmine is well known, not so often recorded is how far away its effect was felt. This gives an indicationof just how forceful the explosion was
Station Road, approximate distance from the explosion, 130 yards:
At the rear of the ‘Kings Arms’ in Station Road was a building best known as ‘The Vaults’. This had two floors, its upper being used as an assembly room and the town’s first cinema. The top floor was badly damaged by the landmine and was removed but oddly leaving the surviving part with a staggered roof line. The new roof was made from corrugated iron and survived until the Kings Arms site was rebuilt in the mid 1980s; it was thought to be the last ‘temporary’ war-time building repair to survive.
38 Station Road:
38 Station Road was the home of Frank Holmes and his wife Kate. They made one room available for evacuees from Coventry and at the time of the landmine falling were housing Vic and Win Lewis. The house lost most of its windows which, owing to glass shortages, were not repaired for some time.
This photograph shows the damaged windows of 38 Station Road, the house frontage is still very recognisable today, although the railings and gate have gone. Evacuee Win Lewis is on the left, Kate Holmes centre, and on the right her step daughter Joan, the mother of Douglas Robertson who supplied the photograph and details.
Borrowell Lane Nurseries, approximate distance from the explosion, 200 yards:
The Borrowell Lane nurseries were established in the later Victorian years and covered an area today occupied by Mercia Avenue and Greville Road. About 2 acres of greenhouses had virtually all the glass destroyed
Whateleys Drive Nurseries, approximate distance from the explosion, 500 yards:
Henry Whateley established his nurseries in the mid-Victorian years on the site now covered by Cherry Way and Offa Drive. Several acres of greenhouses had much of their glass destroyed.
1947 image of Whateley’s Nurseries and its distance from Abbey End. Whilst many greenhouse appeared to have been repaired, some still appear to have damage.
Spring Lane, approximate distance from the explosion, 500 yards:
Mr & Mrs Kelsey lived on the corner of Spring Lane and Henry Street, where Mrs Kelsey ran a small drapery business. The explosion smashed the windows and the draught sucked out the clothes on display. They were never recovered. The building survives but has been converted into flats and extended, the large display windows were where the white walls now are.
High Street, approximate distance from the explosion, 550 yards:
St Nicholas church windows were severely damaged. This particular window, with clear glass replacing the damaged stained glass, carries an inscription recording the event
The nearby Virgins & Castle public house is also reported to have lost most of its windows.