Regarding the recent commemorative flypast of the Lancaster bomber over Ladybower dams, I wonder if many people are aware that in the early 1940s the Luftwaffe carried out on a similar raid on Dam Flask.
The first 1000lb land mine dropped in the dam and the second land mine fell about 300 yards away in a field below Padley farm creating a crater about 40ft across and a similar depth.
Had they succeeded the entire Loxley and Don Valleys would have been submerged, knocking out the rolling mills in Loxley and the armament factories down the east end, including Firth Browns, Hadfields and a load of other smaller firms.
Thankfully, they didn’t succeed in doing this.
We lived behind the Admiral Rodney pub and had a good view of the anti-aircraft guns firing at the planes from what is now the Marchwood Estate.
Searchlights were positioned up Worrall Lane, later named Long Lane at Loxley.
We even witnessed a German plane machine-gunning the site of the guns.
A friend of mine has a piece of the parachute from one of the land mines.
After this incident pylons were erected at each side of the dams with a cable stretching across all the dams with cables hanging down with a weight at the bottom.