Sunday, December 18, 2011

London Marathon 2012 Training Wk 8: West Ham Ward

I pulled a muscle in my back last week so was a bit tender but managed to keep to the training programme. While out running I was shocked to see that there had been a serious fire in the tower block Fred Wigg House, which overlooks Wanstead Flats. Thankfully no-one was hurt, but as a housing bod, I shudder every time I look at the damage (not picture above). 

I finally took back the useless "Ironman" running watch to Sweatshop and got my money refunded. The sales assistant was very good and almost sold me a £249 all singing, all dancing GPS, heart monitor, "Motoactv" Walkman. Luckily I managed to keep my sanity and escape.  By co-incidence I have managed to work out how to download music to my Blackberry and was amazed at the sound quality.  I'm trying to see if there is a decent running "apt" I can download.

Run of the week was on Saturday. After my Council Sugary in the Community Centre, Rokeby Street, E15 (taken up with repairs and OAP internal decs) I went home but ran back to the ward for my 75 minute long run of the week.  I did a circuit of the ward.  Not really a good idea since I kept stopping to check things out and take photos of a few problems and issues.  There was a small fly-tip at the green lawn roundabout in Marriott Road.  This roundabout was the site of the bomb crater caused by this:-

"In the early hours of 1st February 1945 at 3:03 am, Hitler’s last weapon of terror, a V-2 Rocket, left a trail of death and destruction on the sleeping street. An unmanned, guided, ballistic missile that had a maximum speed of 3440 mph, flying at an altitude of 52-60 miles, and carrying a warhead of 2150lbs of high explosives dropped without warning onto the sleeping Barnby Street, at up to four times the speed of sound. The ultra-high-speed descent meant that no sound was heard by those about to be hit. The effects of the resulting explosion were catastrophic, the explosion and subsequent sonic boom were heard all over London.

On that cold winters night, in just a few short seconds 29 people lost their lives and 15 others were seriously injured. Houses were totally destroyed and the surrounding streets were severely bomb blasted"

Check out Newham Stories.  Barnby Street (now Marriott Road) had already suffered damage from 7 previous German air raid bombings.  Newham alone suffered 40 V2 ballistic missile attacks in 1944 and 1945. The picture above was taken only a few hours after the attack. I will speak to my ward fellow ward Councillors Ron and Freda about getting some sort of memorial on this spot.

On the way back I went around Stratford Park and said a brief "hello" to one of my fellow school governors in Aileen Walk .

When I got home I felt okay and even a little smug that I had no aches and pains.  "I'm getting really fit" I thought.  Then despite stretches and resting I began to slowly stiffen up, limp and suffer.....Only another 4 months of this to go!

(I am running the London marathon next year using the official advanced training programme and will be raising funds for Homeless Youth charity "Alone in London". Click here to sponsor me).


bob smith said...


Outside the main door of All Saints Stratford is a small mound where a V1 landed. Some say it is still buried there.

The devastation caused by the V weapons in West Ham/East Ham pales when compared with the bomb damage during the Blitz.

Records are hard to find as they were mainly compiled by ARP wardens and stored at local police stations. Hopefully the records are somewhere but during a research project I carried out some years ago I was advised by the Imperial War museum that most records were missing.

Rather than a memorial to one tragic V2 incident, how about a memorial to all those civilians in West Ham/East Ham who lost their lives in WW2 which could perhaps be a focus for rememberance. There are already a number of individual memorials but I am not aware of anything that collectively reconises the sacrifice on the home front in East London.

John Gray said...

Hi Bob

Good idea. There is a East London memorial to Blitz victims in Wapping. However, I think that we should be able to plant something (possibly by local children?) in the green space which was the impact zone.