Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Bermondsey Bomb: An expression of the Blitz spirit in Bermondsey

It's official: the Spirit of the Blitz is alive and well in 21st century Bermondsey.  Hundreds of residents were evacuated from their homes yesterday, due to the discovery on a building site in the Grange Road area of an unexploded World War Two 250kg German air dropped bomb (UXB).  A 200m radius around the bomb site has been cordoned off, from Jamaica Road to Abbey Street and Spa Road to Tower Bridge Road.
 Photo: Sgt Rupert Frere RLC/Crown Copyright
With lives at risk from the UXB, hundreds of residents have been forced to abandon their homes and stay with family or friends, in hotels and other local safe havens.  In fact, for over 36 hours the Seven Islands Leisure Centre and Canada Water Library have been home to hundreds of local people, with free hot meals and drinks reminiscent of the British Blitz Spirit - well done Southwark Council!
(Sgt Rupert Frere RLC/Crown Copyright)
The Police and Ministry of Defence have been working around the clock to put plans in place to remove the bomb safely.   Ordinary men, women and children have embodied the spirit of the Bermondsey Blitz in a new age, with neighbours and strangers talking to each other and providing help, compassion and support.

Predictably, Bermondsey families have pulled together and stayed strong.  Once again, our outstandingly professional British army have come up trumps - the disposal team plan to make the bomb safe to remove today.

As expected, our men and women in blue have kept our homes and streets safe, as the Metropolitan Police established quickly an exclusion zone and escorted older and vulnerable residents to safety.  

Emergency services on standby on Abbey Street
Our emergency services have been on hand, too, providing a sterling service to the community.  And then there's Southwark Council, who on this occasion have risen to the challenge and done the best for Bermondsey.

The Police cordon on the junction of Rouel Road and Spa Road
Thankfully, incidents like this are rare.  They bring out the best in all of us - people and services; they demonstrate the best of Bermondsey.  We can be proud of the this latest expression of the Bermondsey spirit - the evil of the Blitz didn't destroy us then and won't beat us now. 

No left turn from Jamaica Road onto Abbey Street