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116 Union Lane

History of 116 Union Lane


This was the home of the Cooper family in the 1930s. Harold had served in the army during WWI and had then become kitchen manager of Peterhouse College. In his autobiography Hubert also describes the holiday home they had on the California Cliffs, seven miles north of Great Yarmouth. It was a bungalow named Cockle Hut after the lightship of the same name.

Hubert attended a private a private school known as Miss Hodder’s next to the river in Chesterton at 90 Kimberley Road.


Harold Cooper, b 1891, head chef and college kitchen manager (ARP service at Peterhouse College)

Poppie S, b 1890

Hubert A, b 1933

World War Two started when Hubert was 6. His father arranged for a substantial shelter for three families about 100 yards down their garden. It had two entrances and a timber lining with wooden seats. The whole was covered with a thick layer of earth.

He recalls seeing the glow in the sky the night that the docks in London were bombed. On another occasion a Dornier 17 crashed on its belly on the allotments near the church of St George. The plane had flown on autopilot after the crew bailed out. On another occasion the hedgerows in Arbury Road were littered with burnt out incendiary bombs.

Their holiday home on the coast had its seaward facing windows painted black. It was used for a short time by evacuees. The Cooper family returned to the bungalow in 1944. Hubert recalls the noise of the battles between German E Boats and British MGB and MTBs.

In 1941 Hubert started to go to the Perse Preparatory School in Bateman Street. In 1944 he went to the Upper school after it had recovered from the fire caused by the incendiary bomb attack that did other damage in the Hills Road area.



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