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The Second World War (continued)

He judged well at 3am on 16th October 1940 : one of the devastating parachute explosive devices put 2 out of the 8 acres of factory out of action, but the workers were safely in the shelters.  4 nights later a stick of 4 delayed action high explosive bombs fell across the site.  It was days before the Bomb Disposal Squad could make the area safe, and a group of volunteers removed valuable equipment from the dangerous zone at risk of their lives.  After 3 weeks production had returned to 60% of its previous level, and after 3 months to 75%.  After 6 months a new building was in partial production use.

Raids for 57 consecutive nights took their toll on the workforce with broken sleep in their home Anderson shelters.

To maintain crucial war supplies the Ministry of Aircraft Production required Lewco to transfer 30% of its fine wire production to a subsidiary works, and to have each process at the Leyton site carried out in 2 places.  This reorganisation took a year to achieve and increased the requirement for supervisory staff.

A few opposed war with Nazi Germany.  A 45 year old decorator was arrested for painting on a fence on Hainault Road “It’s a Jews’ War.  Mosley for Peace” 4.  In the summer of 1940 many local leaders in the British Union of Fascists were interned, including Leonard Fenn and Ernest Forge of the West Leyton branch. Forge was serving in the army as a corporal when he was arrested.  Elsa Sara Constance Orrin, a private language teacher of Woodville Road, Leytonstone was sentenced to 5 years in prison in 1941 for praising Hitler as a leader in preference to Churchill when talking with two soldiers at Little Easton, Hertfordshire.  >>

4  Walthamstow, Leyton and Chingford Guardian of 12th April 1940 p 2

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