Photos from London June 1946

Martin Geddes from Twitter inspired me for this post as he tweets his London art photos that ignite my old love for London.

 My mother Ruth, (1923-2008) went to London among the first tourists from Denmark after WWII.

I am glad I have her album, and as a child, I enjoyed to look at the photos from this album as well as other more family-like photo albums.

The Danish tourists didn’t have much money, and they travelled by bicycles when out of central London. My mother has told me that without a supply of  Danish food they would have had difficulties getting enough food during the trip. The white jackets and shorts on the young Danish men were made of bed sheets and stood out among the Londoners.

When I visited London in my youth in the 1970s buildings were still black from pollution, and here and there you could see ruins from the war-time. But not like what my mother witnessed in 1946.

EngBomb

Ruins are seen from street view

View from St Paul's Cathedral or the Monument

View from St Paul’s Cathedral or the Monument

View from St Paul's Cathedral

View from St Paul’s Cathedral

View from St Paul's Cathedral

View from St Paul’s Cathedral

 

View from Sankt Pauls Cathedral

View from Sankt Pauls Cathedral

The entrance Sankt Pauls Cathedral

The entrance Sankt Pauls Cathedral. It’s my mom with the sunglasses


Trafalgar Square on D-Day 1946 seen from National Gallery

Trafalgar Square on the second D-Day Celebration 1946, seen from National Gallery

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace 1946. My mom is third from the right


 

Victoria Station 1946

Salvation Army performing at Victoria Station 1946

 

The columns at The National Gallery viewing Trafalgar Square

The columns at The National Gallery viewing Trafalgar Square on the second D-Day celebration in 1946 D-Day 1946

The columns at The National Gallery viewing Trafalgar Square on D-Day 1946

The columns at The National Gallery seeing Trafalgar Square on the second D-Day celebration in 1946


I was 15 years old when I came to London for the first time. My parents took my twin brother and me to these same sights, and when I go to London nowadays, I still visit these same places. I inherited my mother’s love for London.

16 Comments »

  1. These are fascinating, Maria. I started my first permanent job in 1975, just down the road from St Paul’s, and it is shocking to see how badly damaged the area was by the war, compared with my recollection of how it was after 30 years of redevelopment. Thank you for sharing these.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t really imagine how awful it must have been. I was born in Dover in 1953. I still remember my Mum showing me a ration book that, I think, hadn’t long before still been in use. And I grew up in a town which had been as damaged as the London of your photos, with constant reminders of the war all around us. The day they found an unexploded bomb was quite lively!

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  2. After surviving Dunkirk, my dad as a Coldstream Guardsman was based in London. The devastation across the next 4 years was more than anyone can imagine today. D Day 1946? …….. 1

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  3. It must have been very unusual to go sightseeing so soon after the end of WW2. Many of those images are familiar to me from my youth, especially the area around St Paul’s. My mother was living just south of Tower Bridge, seen in the third photo. She lived close to the river and docks, so that district was targeted every time by the bombers.
    This is that same area, when I was at school.
    https://beetleypete.com/2019/06/19/bermondsey-the-london-of-my-youth/
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    • It’s a miracle that she survived and even when I visited the first time in 1966, ruins could be seen. I am happy to have her album with the original pictures.
      I once attended a wedding in the seventies and sat beside an old Londoner. He said: ”My home was bombed twice” just like that

      Liked by 1 person

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