38 Incredible Photos Showing Life in London During the 1930s

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a 50-mile (80 km) estuary down to the North Sea, and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The City of London, its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the Romans as Londinium and retains boundaries close to its medieval ones. Since the 19th century, “London” has also referred to the metropolis around this core, historically split between the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent, and Hertfordshire, which largely comprises Greater London, governed by the Greater London Authority. The City of Westminster, to the west of the City of London, has for centuries held the national government and parliament.

London, as one of the world’s global cities, exerts strong influence on its arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, health care, media, tourism, and communications. Its GDP (€801.66 billion in 2017) makes it the biggest urban economy in Europe and one of the major financial centres in the world. In 2019 it had the second highest number of ultra high-net-worth individuals in Europe after Paris and the second-highest number of billionaires of any city in Europe after Moscow. With Europe’s largest concentration of higher education institutions, it includes Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, the London School of Economics in social sciences, and the comprehensive University College London. The city is home to the most 5-star hotels of any city in the world. In 2012, London became the first city to host three Summer Olympic Games.

London’s diverse cultures mean over 300 languages are spoken. The mid-2018 population of Greater London of about 9 million, made it Europe’s third-most populous city. It accounts for 13.4 per cent of the UK population. Greater London Built-up Area is the fourth-most populous in Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow and Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The London metropolitan area is the third-most populous in Europe after Istanbul’s and Moscow’s, with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016.

London has four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the Palace of Westminster, along with Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret’s Church; and the historic settlement in Greenwich, where the Royal Observatory, Greenwich defines the Prime Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. It has numerous museums, galleries, libraries and sporting venues, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest rapid transit system in the world. (Wikipedia)

A milk bar in Bear Street, central London, 1936
A trader on a horse and trap outside Long Acre in Covent Garden, 1930
A water cart man turns the water main on a group of boys to help them cool off in a street in Westminster, London during a heatwave, August 1930
A woman and her two daughters rooftopping Hillcott House, Haggerston, London 1938
Atmospheric London scene in the early 1930s
Boy at the Buckingham Palace, 1930
Camden Town in the 1930s
Camden Town in the 1930s
Central London, ca. late 1930s
Child staring into bakery window, London, 1935
Children on London streets, 1939
Children sailing pond yachts, London, 1930
Couple eating ice-cream, 1934
Evacuees from the East End of London during the Second World War, 1939
Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London, 1936
Girl riding on tricycle, London, 1934
Homeless man, London, 1931
J.P. Restaurants Ltd., London, 1930
2nd December 1931: A young exhibitor arrives with her kitten on a lead at the National Cat Club show at Crystal Palace, London.
Lockyer Street, Bermondsey, London, 1935
Lockyer Street, Bermondsey, London, 1935
London friends, 1935
London streets in the middle of 1930s
London’s Bond Street decorated for the wedding of the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece, 1934
London’s Lido, 1930
Lunch hour in the roof garden at Adelaide House, 1937
Milkman on Charing Cross Road, 1935
Miniature Southdown Leyland coach, ca. 1930s
Nannies looking after their charges beside the Serpentine in Hyde Park in 1938
Piccadilly Circus in the early 1930s
Piccadilly Circus, 1937
Regent street London, 1933-34
Sandwich board men parading outside the London Palladium, 1937
Shoeshine in London, 1936
Street scene in London, 1933
Street scene in London, ca. 1930s
Traffic signals on Oxford St, London, 1935
Victoria Bus Terminal, 1939

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