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“At the time I was acting as a runner for the local Fire Brigade: my job was to go and turn out the local firemen should anything happen.
It was late in the evening of the 4th, and we heard a low rumble. A small part of the ceiling fell in and it was decided that the Fire Brigade should be turned out, with the possibility of something had happened quite local, quite near. I left here to go round the corner into Maidstone Road to call out a fireman who lived a little further down Maidstone Road.
On turning the corner I ran into a pile of bricks. It was the chimney of Cornerways had fallen into the road. And seeing a large crater in Maidstone Road, of course, it was impossible to get past it at the time. So I turned and went back towards the Church where another fireman lived, and in due course the fireman turned up. The rescue started to take place in the ruins of the houses. There was one or two completely demolished. The Fire Brigade supplied water there because there was a fire.
And the rescue continued all night locating the bodies that were under the debris”
Bill Peen passed away on 14th October 2008. He is sadly missed by his many friends in the Marden History Group.