Thursday, 18 November 2010

The headline that never made the papers

On 19 November 1940, a German bomber dropped two bombs on the Birmingham Small Arms factory in Armoury Road, Small Heath.

At the time, BSA was Birmingham’s largest employer and was a vital part of the war effort, supplying more than half the guns used during World War 2. The air raid was devastating and 52 workers were crushed to death as the building collapsed on top of them.

It was the headline that never made the papers.

Wartime reporting restrictions meant a news blackout, and for many years this event was forgotten. But a small group of people have been trying to keep the memory of Birmingham’s remarkable industrial history alive. They have more fascinating information on their website, http://madeinbirmingham.org

I think it is important that we all remember the sacrifices made by so many in the fight against fascism during World War Two. 

Tomorrow, on the anniversary of the air raid, I will be attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the old factory. The ceremony takes place at 2pm on the corner of Armoury Road and Golden Hillock Road.

Earlier in the morning I will be live on BBC Radio WM, 95.6FM, speaking about this event and encouraging local people to attend. If you are free tomorrow, please come along.