vintage, nostalgia and memories


May 26, 2017

24 Fascinating Black and White Photos That Show a Vibrant London in the 1930s

London in the 1930s tried to be cleaner, more modern and efficient. It was increasingly a city of electric lighting and motor vechicles, rather than gas lighting and horse-drawn vehicles. The Capital's old problems were being tackled by new public bodies. The London Passenger Transport Board was created in 1933 as a way of bringing all the capital's transport providers together. The General Post Office completed the automation of London's telephone exchanges.

The decade was dominated by the growing threat of fascism in Europe. Bitter clashes between English supporters of fascism and their opponents took place in central London and the East End. German Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution, began to arrive, many settling in Hampstead. War with Germany began to look inevitable and the decade ended with preparations to evacuate London's children.

These fascinating images below from the 1930s show the ever-evolving city going through a period of exciting change and new beginnings.

Children playing cricket in a street in Millwall, east London on August 15, 1938, with a large liner in the background.

Early morning rush hour traffic crossing London Bridge in 1933.

Londoners in bathing suits taking advantage of a heat wave at Hyde Park lido in 1933.

Children pour out of their School in Drew Street, Silvertown, in the east end of London, with the liner, Rajputana in the background on January 15, 1932.

American silent film actress Phyllis Gordon window-shopping in Earls Court, London with her four-year-old cheetah who was flown to Britain from Kenya, 1939.

A cleaner dusts a cast of a dinosaur skeleton at the Natural History Museum in London, 12th November 1936, which was presented to the museum in 1905 from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh.

Emergency buses leaving Victoria station, London, following an underground train crash on the District Line in May 1938.

Tuberculosis patients from St. Thomas’ Hospital rest in their beds in the open air by the River Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament in May 1936.

Two holidaymakers amuse themselves with a porter’s trolley whilst waiting for their train at Euston Station in 1939.

Three women pictured going for a swim in the Serpentine, Hyde Park, London, complete with their gas masks.

Victor Berlemont, a French publican working in an establishment of London’s Soho in 1939.

Finchfs wine bar in Oxford Street, London, next to John Lewis & Co. in 1936.

Two divers jumping off the Embankment into the River Thames in London, near Westminster Bridge.

Nannies push prams in Hyde Park, London alongside Rotten Row in 1936.

The Queen Victoria Jubilee Clock being removed for traffic improvement in London on August 1938.

School children play in Hyde Park in 1935.

A photograph of a little girl drinking from a fountain with a lion’s head at Finchley Swimming Pool, London in 1937.

A crowd of people wearing swimwear bathing in the Serpentine during the high temperatures in London’s Hyde Park in August 1930.

A water cart man turns the water main on a group of boys to help them cool off in a street in Westminster during a heatwave in August 1930.

Four swimmers enjoy an ice-cream at the water’s edge in Roehampton swimming pool in 1936.

Two young men out for a walk wearing shorts because of a heatwave in 1932.

Swimming pool on the roof of Piccadilly London hotel in August 1932.

A young exhibitor arrives with her kitten on a lead at the National Cat Club show at Crystal Palace in 1931.

A Black & White milk bar on the corner of Whitefriars Street and Fleet Street in 1935.

(Images: Getty Images)

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