London In The 1950s

By Londonist Staff Last edited 30 months ago
London In The 1950s

Markets, railways and Piccadilly Circus: this is London in the 1950s. Some elements (not least the overcrowding at rush hour) look familiar to the modern Londoner while other aspects seem quite outdated. Take a look:

The Mall, 1953
Source Flashbak
Two members of Bertram Mills Circus walk head-to-head at Hammersmith Broadway, 1953
Source Sarah Chavez
Looking in the shop window of Hamleys, 1957
Source Old Pics Archive
Waiting for a train at Liverpool Street station during a 1950s smog
Source Davenant
Hustle and bustle of Covent Garden Market, 1950s.
Source Covent Garden
A zookeeper weighs Prince, the baby king penguin at London Zoo
Source History in Pictures
Outside the Bank of England during thick fog, 1952.
Source Old Pics Archive
The public viewing area at London Airport at Heathrow, 1955
Source Rob Baker
A keeper at London Zoo gives his penguins a shower
Source Old Pics Archive
A retro BFI Southbank (formerly NFT) presenting Swedish films, 1952
Source Bfi
Guy the Gorilla at London Zoo, circa 1958
Source Davenant
King's Cross, 1950s
Source Londonhistorian
Above the Daily Mirror offices in Fetter Lane, 1950s
Source He Archive
Stamford Bridge, 1950s
Source Old London
Rag and Bone man, Notting Hill, 1950s
Source Old London
Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth (both age 30 at the time) meeting at a film premiere in London, 1956
Source History Pics
The Valley, home to Charlton FC. This terrace held 30,000 standing
Source Old London
London Zoo, 1958
Source Old Pics Archive
Battersea, 1958
Source Rob Baker
King's Cross station, 1950s
Source Old London
Whitehall, 1950s
Source Flashbak
Source Old London
Underground life for King's Cross workers, 1955
Source Old London
1953 flypast tribute to the pilots and ground crews during the Battle of Britain
Source Old London
Hammersmith Bridge, 1950s
Source Old London
Rush hour at London Bridge station, 1956
Source Old London
A Pied Piper plays in Covent Garden, 1952.
Source London Life
1950s
Source Old London
Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, 5 November 1955.
Source Allhails
Billingsgate fish market
Source He Archive
A London sewer worker, known as Flushers, 1950s
Source Old London
Lambeth Pier, 1953
Source Flashbak
A policeman at a police telephone box, 1953.
Source Old London
Portobello Road Market
Source Flashbak
Prams on Portobello Road, 1950s
Source Pinterest
Live geese in a shop on Brick Lane, 1955
Source Davenant
A London commuter
Source Londonhistorian
Portobello Road in the 1950s
Source Rbkclocalstudies
Circus strongman Paul Remos and his six and seven year old sons feeding a giraffe at London Zoo
Source History Pics
88 football pitches in one place; Hackney Marshes 1951
Source Historical Pics
London bus being guided through thick fog with a flaming torch, 1952.
Source Yesteryear
An aerial view of Arsenal's Highbury Stadium
Source Vintage Footy
Piccadilly Circus, 1950s.
Source Old London
Sunbathing on a Piccadilly rooftop, circa 1953.
Source Historyphotographed
Smoggy scene in the Square Mile
Source Davenant
The packed terraces of Highbury, 1950s
Source Terrace Images
The Houses of Parliament, 1953.
Source Flashbak
Portobello Road, 1950s
Source Flashbak
Battersea Fun Fair, 1953
Source Rob Baker
Cutty Sark, 1958
Source Old London
Tower Bridge, 1953
Source Flashbak
Southbank, 1958
Source South Bank London
Portobello Road, 1950
Source Flashbak
Shopping for dresses in Portobello Road, 1950s
Source Pinterest
Shoes for sale on Portobello Road in the 1950s
Source Pinterest
Queen Mary with her grandsons, Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent, South Bank, 1951
Source Londonhistorian
Portobello Road Market
Source Flashbak
Trafalgar Square, 1953
Source Flashbak
The making of the Coca-Cola neon sign for Piccadilly Circus, 1954.
Source Adbranch
Underground carriage from 1955
Source Rob Baker
The Fruit Box on Portobello Road in the 1950s
Source Rbkclocalstudies
Shoreditch, 1952
Source The Ripper
Dilapidated warehouses, bomb sites and hollow shells of buildings. London
Source Rob Baker
Pea Shellers at Covent Garden
Source Rob Baker
Rush hour in Oxford Street, 1958
Source Londonhistorian
Westminster Bridge, 1953
Source Flashbak
York Way, King's Cross, 1950s
Source Old London
Buckingham Palace, 1953.
Source Flashbak
Aerial view of Battersea Park during the Festival of Britain
Source Old London
London's first computer, the fastest in the world at 1MHz
Source Classic Pics
The Rio cinema in Dalston, 1950s
Source Pinterest
Regent's Canal in Shoreditch, 1955
Source Londonhistorian
Hundreds queue at a bus stop in Farringdon as a result of train strikes in London, 31 May 1955
Source Old Pics Archive
Royal Festival Hall, 1953
Source Chris Romer Lee

Last Updated 10 March 2017