London in the 1950s was going through some massive social and economic changes.
The heyday for the baby boomers, this decade saw the emergence of coffee houses and rock n roll music; all perfectly suited to life in London's ever-exciting West End.
Familiar features that have stood the test of time, and can still be seen in the West End today include shops like Foyles (albeit having moved down the road) and Hamleys, and London's long-running theatre show, The Mousetrap.
A Pied Piper plays in Covent Garden, 1952. Source London Life The Mall, 1953 Source Flashbak Piccadilly bus stop, 1956. Source Stockholmtransportmuseum Commons Sunbathing on a Piccadilly rooftop, circa 1953. Source Historyphotographed A newsagent on Frith Street, 1956 Source Ibtimes Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, 5 November 1955. Source Allhails Hustle and bustle of Covent Garden Market, 1950s. Source Covent Garden Rupert Street Market, 1950. Source Discovering London Hamleys in the run-up to Christmas 1951, looking rather different to today. Source A London Inheritance Trafalgar Square, 1953. Source Flashbak Flamingo Jazz Club, Wardour Street, Soho, 1950s. The nightclub ran between 1952 and 1967; it played an important role in the development of British rhythm and blues and jazz. Source Jazz Izzin Pea Shellers at Covent Garden Source Rob Baker The Houses of Parliament, 1953. Source Flashbak A policeman at a police telephone box, 1953. Source Old London Regent Street looking east towards Piccadilly Circus, 9 November 1956. Source Rob Baker Charing Cross Road in 1951. Source Old London That famous Coke ad at Piccadilly Circus, 2 April 1956. Source Allhails A rainy night in Soho, 1955. Source Nika Garrett Rush hour, 1956. Source Buzzfeed Looking in the shop window of Hamleys, 1957 Source Old Pics Archive Corner of Old Compton Street and Greek Street, 1955 Source Cristina Dancers in Soho, 1950s. Source Aucharbon 1951, and a City of Westminster employee relaxes in the sun during his lunch break on the Embankment. Source Old London The making of the Coca-Cola neon sign for Piccadilly Circus, 1954. Source Adbranch Inside a Soho pub, 1955. Source Aucharbon Shop window in Soho, 1956. Source Rob Baker Moka Bar was the first coffee house in London to install a Gaggia espresso machine. It was a hugely popular place, serving more than 1,000 cups of coffee a day. Source Nika Garrett 88 Regent Street had been a showroom for Ford cars since the 1920s. Here it is at Christmas, 1951. Source Ford Uk Escalators at Piccadilly Circus Underground station, 1956. Source Buzzfeed Goodge Street deep-level shelter and dormitory Source Londonist Piccadilly Circus, 1956. Source Vikinga The Waiters' Race in Soho, 1959. Source Nika Garrett The opening of Agatha Christie's long-running play The Mousetrap at the Ambassadors Theatre, West End, 1952. Source Londonhistorian Dancing in a Soho car park, 1956. Source Old London Tube stop, 1956. Source Buzzfeed Buckingham Palace, 1953. Source Flashbak Have fun on a bike at the Soho fair, 1950s. Source Old London Corner of Dean Street and Old Compton Street, 1950s Source Nika Garrett Whitehall, 1950s. Source Flashbak Kettner's Wine Shop, 13 Old Compton Street, c.1950. Source Discovering London A welcome pop of colour at Rupert Street Market, 1956. Source Flashbak.Com Piccadilly Circus, 1952 Source Buzzfeed The Cinerama Casino, Soho, 1950s. Source Old London American troops and their girlfriends wait at Piccadilly Circus station, November 1955. Source Buzzfeed Leicester Square, 2 April 1956. Source Bowshrine Piccadilly Circus, 1950s. Source Old London Berwick Street Market, 1955. Source Nika Garrett
2i's Coffee Bar on Old Compton Street, 1959. Cliff Richard and The Drifters was its resident group for a while in 1958. Source Londonhistorian
Last Updated 14 March 2017