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Kent's Doodlebug Summer: Brian Goodhew interview

In 1944, at the age of six and not being an evacuee, Brian Goodhew got used to watching the doodlebugs coming over Brisbane Road, Chatham, at all times of the day.

He remembered: "One day a horrible roar made me look up and there on this lovely summer day was a low flying doodlebug heading towards London.

"This time it was being followed by a Spitfire. You could hear the rat-a-tat-tat as the Spitfire was trying to blow it up.

KMG GROUP USE ONLYConditions of Use: kmgSlug: BRIAN MM 110716Caption: Brian Goodhew on board the Medway Queen Location: MedwayCategory: Heritage & HistoryByline: UnknownContact Name: Peter Cook Contact Email: Contact Phone: 01795 536915Uploaded By: Sarah CLARKECopyright: Peter Cook Original Caption: FM4420746 (6603521)
KMG GROUP USE ONLYConditions of Use: kmgSlug: BRIAN MM 110716Caption: Brian Goodhew on board the Medway Queen Location: MedwayCategory: Heritage & HistoryByline: UnknownContact Name: Peter Cook Contact Email: Contact Phone: 01795 536915Uploaded By: Sarah CLARKECopyright: Peter Cook Original Caption: FM4420746 (6603521)

"As the two passed over, the spent cases from the fighter fell to the ground.

"Myself and my friends picked up as many cases as we could carry and went along Hartington Street knocking on the doors of dockyard workers who took them to work and made them into cigarette lighters.

"Air raids always used to be timed at 10.45pm when you were lying in bed listening to bombs falling and then the sound of a doodlebug getting nearer.

"You would pray for it to keep going before that silence when you realised that bomb was on its way down to the ground. Some unlucky family would fall victim to the war.

"Next day, you got up early to go to school and search for bombed buildings and pick up shrapnel.

Publicity officer Brian Goodhew, left, and volunteer Mark Bathurst with a showing of old Medway Queen news footage. Regular open day for the Medway Queen paddle steamer, at Gillingham Pier, Gillingham. It's also the Dunkirk evacuation anniversary and as a veteran ship the Dunkirk pennant is being flown.Picture: Andy Payton (2333248)
Publicity officer Brian Goodhew, left, and volunteer Mark Bathurst with a showing of old Medway Queen news footage. Regular open day for the Medway Queen paddle steamer, at Gillingham Pier, Gillingham. It's also the Dunkirk evacuation anniversary and as a veteran ship the Dunkirk pennant is being flown.Picture: Andy Payton (2333248)

"I was taken to school, All Saints' Chatham, just the once when I was four and then made my own way including home for lunch.

"On hearing the raid signal at school, we would make our way into the playground and into the air raid shelter.

"On one occasion, the signal did not sound and I looked up and saw two German planes swooping past the class window.

"The young lady teacher ordered us to dive under the desks while she nervously read Wind in the Willows.

Children joined in Doodlebug spotting duty.
Gordon Spendley and Alan Chapman, did lessons while keeping an eye open outside Otham School.
undated file pic.used in "Recalling the Battle of Britain" book by HRPB page 39.
Negative Reference: no details(10436227)
Children joined in Doodlebug spotting duty. Gordon Spendley and Alan Chapman, did lessons while keeping an eye open outside Otham School. undated file pic.used in "Recalling the Battle of Britain" book by HRPB page 39. Negative Reference: no details(10436227)

"The Goodhew family like everyone else were getting fed up with the nightly raids.

We had a routine to have the kettle at the ready and near the boil, milk, sugar, biscuits at the ready to grab while heading towards the dug out at the end of the garden."


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