19th November 1940

19th November 2015 is the 75th anniversary of the first fatal bombings in the Solihull Urban District Council area. In 1995, local residents recalled the event and described how a German bomber, on its way to attack Coventry, had been hit by a British gun, and in order to lighten its load, had dropped high explosive and incendiary bombs on Solihull on the evening of Tuesday 19th November 1940.

Solihull High Street was hit by three bombs. The first bomb fell on Winfield’s Chemists, on the corner of Poplar Road and the High Street. The second bomb fell on Fitter’s jewellers halfway up the High Street, and the third on Duddy’s wool shop, on the corner of Drury Lane. The adjacent White Cat caf√© was also damaged, as was a classroom at Park Road C of E School (now St Alphege Infants School).

image of Duddy's wool shop
Duddy’s Wool Shop, Solihull High Street, before bomb damage (from the John Arnold Collection at Solihull Central Library)

Duddy’s Wool Shop was too badly damaged to reopen on the site, so subsequently moved to Poplar Road, Solihull, where it was still in business in the early 1980s.

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