We’re looking at Ocean View in Whitley Bay on three separate dates.
Two photographs taken from the same spot 60 years apart show scenes of typical suburban tranquillity.
The third was taken as the Second World War descended on the region in devastating fashion.
It’s all quiet today, as it was in 1957, but 16 years earlier all hell was let loose here.
In April 1941, the Germans launched heavy air raids targeting the newly commissioned aircraft carrier HMS Victorious which was due to steam out of the Tyne.
During the Luftwaffe attack, landmines rained down, several of which brought utter destruction to Charles Avenue, Oxford Street and, as we can see, Ocean View in Whitley Bay. A local newspaper reported after the raid: “Two streets in a coastal town suffered severely and casualties were fairly heavy.”
Wartime press stories of attacks such as this were deliberately circumspect with the details so as not to damage local morale, and not to give information and encouragement to the enemy.
In the event, 16 people were killed in the attack and many were injured and left homeless.
1941 saw Tyneside take a heavy beating from German bombers.
There were deadly and damaging raids on Newcastle, North Shields, South Shields, Jarrow, Hebburn and elsewhere as Hitler’s aircrews targeted the important shipyards and industry of the River Tyne.
Today the physical reminders of the war here in Whitley Bay and elsewhere are long-gone.
Source : Chroniclelive