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Can you name this village on the A435?


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Hi All,

Please could you give me a hand?

Can you tell me where the WW2 photo below was taken?

I've tried to locate it, mainly through looking at likely candidates on Google Earth, but I admit defeat.

1606837148077.png

Detail from Getty Image: https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detai...seater-cycle-news-photo/3432934?adppopup=true


The photo was taken on 19th May 1944, the five servicemen are from the US Army Service Corps. They have cut up a 1942 or 43 US Army Military Bicycle (G519) to make the tandem.

It is mainly a Columbia model (below) with a couple of parts from the Huffman manufactured version (dual supply like Willys and Ford jeeps). They have also used British style 1/2 inch chainrings and chain.

1313324


I know the A435 is a road in the English Midlands, south of Birmingham, north of Evesham. I come from that way, and used to drive down it often, but don't recognise the village. I think it likely it's been by-passed, and/ or the distinctive war memorial moved in a traffic scheme. 

On reflection, the signpost surprises me a little, as most were taken down early in the war as part of the anti invasion measures. I guess by mid 1944 this was considered less of a problem?

Here's another image of the same bike from a different source, but I think taken the same day, in the same area.

1606844983377.png

Detail from Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images: https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detai...he-problem-news-photo/646314404?adppopup=true

The original caption read:

Americans at a West Country depot have solved the problem of after duty transport to the nearest town and country tours in the manner shown in the picture. The five seater cycle was made by two of the men in their spare time from an ordinary "G.I" cycle. The five seater is by no means a freak and handles extremely well on corners or in traffic, and owing to the high man power, has a remarkable performance on hills.

Thanks for your help.

Best Regards,

Adrian

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Nice picture! sorry, am not too familiar with the area.

Is it possible to find out where there was a US base or airfield in the vincinity?

Cheers,

Lex

Edited by welbike
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I found this snippet of information, "Cheltenham - Wikipedia In the Second World War, the United States Army Service of Supply, European Theatre of Operations established its primary headquarters at Cheltenham under the direction of Lt. Gen. John C. H. Lee, with the flats of the Cheltenham Racecourse becoming a giant storage depot for countless trucks, jeeps, tanks and artillery pieces. Most of this materiel was reshipped to the continent for and after the D-Day invasion." 

So I would think it was near the racecourse.

Cheers,

Lex

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Good show! I looked at that one, but it's so different!

But the date they state, 1940, cannot be right, so could it be a different monument after all?

OK, I see now, it was damaged in the 80's and now restored to original height! 

Why a war memorial has suddenly doubled in height - Gloucestershire Live

Lex

Edited by welbike
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9 minutes ago, welbike said:

I looked at that one, but it's so different

The reason that it looks different from the 1940s photo:-

Ornate cross mounted on an octagonal plinth with the date 1914-19 in raised stonework.8 inscribed panels & one base panel. The memorial was moved, in 1980, from its original site at the junction of Church Road and Cheltenham Road to protect it from risk of damage from traffic. During this process the memorial's stone shaft was damaged and reduced in height.The shaft was reinstated in 2018 and restoration works also took place. 

Edited by MatchFuzee
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Hi All,

Excellent, thanks to all for your help.

So the photo was taken about here on the junction of Church Road and Cheltenham Road, with The King's Head pub on the right:

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.9476099,-2.0623714,3a,32.8y,177.99h,90.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPwnqHioH4DsRWKnHqrXSOg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

image.thumb.png.a6f40a0e1dc77a185331d334ad7b50fa.png

I thought it very possible the the memorial had been moved, and the road renumbered, but all the other changes in that time too are incredible. That's one I would have been very unlikely to find.

Yes, the 1940 date on the same image on the link is not possible, since the style ofG519 bicycle that this was based on didn't come into production until September 1942.

I did wonder if the bike still existed, propping up a barn roof in Gloucestershire somewhere.

With the photo being taken on May 19th 1944 (A Friday, incidentally), I imagine that this was practically their last free time to go cycling. As Army Service Corps, they would very shortly be preparing for D-Day, if not actually taking part in the invasion themselves. You can see the bike being put to one side, not shipped to France or the US because it's too big to casually sneak into a corner of some transport.

I'm slightly surprised they were allowed to cut up a bike to do this, the Army can be funny about that sort of thing, especially items with serial numbers, which imply you should keep track of them. Being ASC they would have been responsible for the delivery of bikes, perhaps it arrived damaged and was written off?

Anyway, thanks again for solving this question for me.

Best regards,

Adrian

 

 

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Yes, it could have been a crate with bikes, that got damaged during shipment, and in their free time they made this tandem with the left overs, to go to the pub with!

Now to find 4 more bikes to replicate it!  (honly joking, not gonna cut mine up!)

Good to know the date of the pictures!

Cheers,

Lex

KIMG1732.JPG

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On 3/6/2021 at 5:03 PM, Le Prof said:

 

Hi All,

Excellent, thanks to all for your help.

So the photo was taken about here on the junction of Church Road and Cheltenham Road, with The King's Head pub on the right:

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.9476099,-2.0623714,3a,32.8y,177.99h,90.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPwnqHioH4DsRWKnHqrXSOg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

image.thumb.png.a6f40a0e1dc77a185331d334ad7b50fa.png

I am sure you are correct about the location but, it can’t be the King’s Head in the original photo; if it was then the signpost would have been pointing down a road that didn’t exist in 1944.

I think the photo was taken from outside the pub, looking away from it to the North with Church road on the right. If you look at the signpost, the visible part of the first letter is a vertical element, which cannot possibly be part of a “C” for Cheltenham, the next town in a Southerly direction. More likely, it is an “E” for Evesham, the next significant place heading North.

Sadly, the scene has changed beyond all recognition...

 

107A2D2E-4308-46B3-90B0-0AE03B6718BE.png

500B4CA8-2E7D-481C-9A75-EF5BF885A884.jpeg

Edited by mtskull
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If you do a Google image search (for "Bishops Cleeve" war memorial including the quotes for best results) there are several old images which make it very clear that the King's Head was indeed to the right of the photographer out of shot, and the cottages in right centre stood on the site of the shops in the photo immediately above.

The other thing that is immediately apparent is that Bishop's Cleeve hasn't improved with the passage of time, and the picturesque charm of the old photos has been entirely eliminated in the name of progress.

 

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Hi All,

@welbike thanks, this was a very informative picture, and proves that I was looking in the wrong direction, and @mtskull was correct..

004.png.267586dc8063ee5eb3adc00c535fdb6b.png

I agree that the image below is about as close as you can get within the confines of Googlr Earth. Thanks for resolving it.

1606837148077.png

107A2D2E-4308-46B3-90B0-0AE03B6718BE.png

The change is so great, that you get the impression the local town planners regretted that the Luftwaffe didn't do the job for them. (-:

Best Regards,

Adrian

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