Station Name: ANGEL ROAD

[Source: Nick Catford]

1896 1:2,500 OS map.

The Railway Tavern pub on Water Lane (Angel Road), to the west of Angel Road station opened in 1841. It was opened a few months after the station was opened. The first licencee was William Bodinelle. In 1844 the Inn was owned by the Busk family who also owned The Stag & Hounds. Some time before 1863 it was renamed The Blue Anchor. The licencee at closure was Leslie A Hastings. The discontinuance of the licence was dated 18th October 1944. The road seen leading off on the right is Albany Road, which was not constructed until the early 20th century. Albany Road first appeared on a map of 1914 so this photograph will date from sometime thereafter and probably 1920s. The pub closed in 1937 and was destroyed by a German V1 Flying Bomb during WW2. Kathy Jones (born 1921) remembers the night "As war progressed, the doodlebugs started to come. One night we could see a doodlebug flying very close and knew it was about to drop and we called for dad to come down to the shelter but he called back “It’s alright I’m in the mint”. I don’t know what protection he thought that lying in a patch of mint in the garden was going give him. We laughed about it later. This was the Doodlebug that fell on the ‘Blue Anchor’ pub, in Angel Road. There were quite a few lives lost again that night". The term "Doodlebug" was one of several nicknames given to the V1 and is said to have been coined by a serviceman from New Zealand who was in Britain at the time. The incident occurred on 24 July 1944 and the V1 concerned is known to have been one of 35 launched from a total of 18 launch sites located to the south-west of Rouen, France. Oberst Max Wachtel, commander of Luftwaffe Flak Regiment 155 (W) recorded in his war diary that of those 35 V1s launched on that occasion four crashed during or immediately after launch. Of the remaining 31, not all would have crossed the coast and of those which did, not all would have struck London. The Blue Anchor incident is recorded as occurring at Montagu Road (behind the camera in the photograph), so it is likely the pub was destroyed by the powerful blast effect of the V1s 850kg warhead rather than a direct hit. The Angel Road area was witness to numerous V-weapon incidents. The railway immediately north of Angel Road station was wrecked by a V2 rocket shortly before the end of the campaign in March 1945. This damage was repaired and the railway reopened the following day. Montagu Road was also struck by a V2 rocket and the gasworks, south of Angel Road was also to suffer damage by a V1 and a V2 as well as bomb damage during the Blitz. In total for the entire V1 campaign, Flak Regiment 155 (W) launched 22,480 V1s - a very impressive performance. Of that total, 10,492 V1s were aimed at targets in Britain of which 10,279 were aimed at London. As Britain's defences improved, by the end of the V1 campaign only approximately one third of the total aimed at London made it through. There is twist to the V1 story which, it has to be said, is a rather nice one. Oberst Wachtel was a strict but decent man and not involved in any way with Nazi atrocities. During the war, in Belgium, he met and fell in love with a Belgian woman, one Isebella De Gor, irrespective of the Germans regarding Belgium as an enemy. After the war a British officer recognised Wachtel and brought him back to England. It was then arranged for Isabella De Gor to come to London. She and Wachtel were married at Hampstead Registry Office, under a veil of secrecy, on 9 December 1947. The couple returned to Germany in 1950 and Wactel became a director of Hamburg Airport, transforming it from the ramshackle affair it then was into a modern fit-for-purpose airport. He died on 18 June 1982 aged 85,

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