This crazy, vibrant London in black and white photographs from the 1930s
The 30s were a time of great change for the British capital: the city finally switched from gas lighting to electric lighting, horse-drawn carts were replaced by cars. The city authorities tried to make London cleaner, more modern and more efficient. At a time when fascism was flourishing and growing in Europe, there were severe skirmishes on the streets of London between supporters of the brown plague and their opponents. By the end of the decade, it was clear that war with Germany was inevitable. German Jews who had fled the horrors of the Nazi regime were arriving en masse in Britain, and preparations were being made in London for the evacuation of children. Ahead of the Londoners were waiting for the war and the massive bombing of the British capital, which lasted 57 consecutive nights.
But in the photos collected in this issue, people do not suspect either about the upcoming war with Nazi Germany, or about the horrors of the bombing. Pre-war London lives its normal life, with a special atmosphere on the streets.
A little girl with her fluffy pet goes to the cat show at Crystal Palace, 1931.
Girls eat ice cream at the Roehampton pool, 1936.
The rooftop pool at the Piccadilly Hotel in London in August 1932.
A water truck driver waters boys on a street in central London during the terrible heat of August 1930.
Bathers on the shores of Lake Serpentine in Hyde Park during the August heat wave of 1930.
A little girl drinks from the lion-headed fountain at Finchley Pool, 1937. The opening of swimming pools in the 30s was very popular.
School children play in Hyde Park, 1935.
A crowd watches as the Queen Victoria Jubilee Clock is removed. They will be moved to another location. 1938.
Nannies with children on a walk along Rotten Row in Hyde Park, 1936.
French pub owner Victor Berlemont at his establishment in London's Soho, 1939.
Bathers with gas masks in boxes walk along the shore of Lake Serpentine in Hyde Park.
Girls going on vacation entertain themselves by riding on a porter's cart while waiting for a train. Euston Station in London, 1939.
Tuberculosis patients at St Thomas ' Hospital relax in open-air beds by the Thames, in the background of the Houses of Parliament, 1936.
After the metro train accident, additional buses took to the streets of London. May 1938.
A cleaner dusts a dinosaur skeleton at the Natural History Museum in London, 1936.
Boys run out of school in the port area of London Silvertown. The Rajputana liner is visible in the background. January 15, 1932.
Londoners in Hyde Park sunbathe during the hot summer of 1933.
A typical morning scene. London Bridge at rush hour, 1933.
Children play cricket on Millwall Street. In the background is a liner on the Thames, 1938.
American silent film star Phyllis Gordon on a shopping trip in Earls Court with her 4-year-old cheetah. The animal was brought to the UK from Kenya.
Keywords: London | Europe | History | Archive | B / w | 30s