Here's What London Looked Like In 1931

By Londonist Staff Last edited 15 months ago
Here's What London Looked Like In 1931

London in 1931 was on the cusp of change.

The Roaring 20s were over; the Hungry 30 were about to begin. The era of the Bright Young Things officially came to an end with the infamous Red-and-White Party, given by Arthur Jeffress in Maud Allan's Regent's Park townhouse.

Meanwhile Mahatma Gandhi was in town, drawing crowds of a very different kind. This was also the year Sadler's Wells opened, as well as London's Abbey Road Studios. A political crisis led to a National Government taking its seats in Westminster... there were turbulent times ahead.

Crews brave freezing temperatures at Butlers Wharf
Source London Fire Brigade
Caledonian Market
Source Sailor
London underground map. Good old Beck
Source Buzzfeed
Crowds witnessing the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in Canning Town
Source Indianhistorypics
Cornelia Sorabji, the first woman to study law at Oxford, makes a radio broadcast in London
Source Indianhistorypics
Councillor Tom Brooks was Mayor of Bethnal Green - whilst continuing his trade as a chimney sweep
Source London Life
Dog obviously had more money in 1931
Source Okan
The Royal Exchange
Source Old London
Harry Selfridge at his Oxford Street site, 1931
Source Old London
Broadcasting House under construction
Source Old London
London map
Source Jessicaesquires
Feltham tram on route for Shepherd's Bush seen here on service in Ealing Broadway
Source Old London
Washing day, Croydon
Source History in Pictures
Londoners flock to a mobile screen showing the latest Mickey Mouse film
Source History Pics
Father Christmas delivering presents to the Childrens' Aid and Adoption Society, Leytonstone
Source Jean Philippede Tonnac
Caledonian Market
Source Sailor
Rainy Westminster
Source Old London
James Joyce and Nora Barnacle finally marry in a London Registry Office, having met 27 years previously
Source Bibliophilia
Watching 1930s London go by
Source History in Pictures
Trafalgar Square in the snow
Source History in Pictures
Young exhibitor walks her kitten on a leash at the National Cat Club Show at Crystal Palace
Source Lost in History
Gandhi planting a tree outside Kingsley Hall, East End, 1931
Source Lost in History
Men scrubbing the roof of Cannon Street station
Source Sir William Davenant
A burning cigarette dispenser
Source Buzzfeed
A (thin) London Transport staff member dressed in Father Christmas outfit, loads toys into an Underground delivery van
Source Old London
Gary Cooper buys an ice-cream at Waterloo station in 1931
Source Rob Baker
A London Transport poster. Now THAT'S how to advertise
Source Ian Visits
Met Police officer herding sheep in Hyde Park
Source Old London
A bugle-playing cyclist on Lambeth Bridge
Source Old London
London Zoo. Note the chains
Source Zsl London Zoo
Sainsbury's in Peckham. Slightly smarter than the Morrisons they've got now
Source London Life
Piccadilly Circus
Source Londonhistorian
Charlie Chaplin meeting Mahatma Gandhi, London
Source Old Pics Archive

Last Updated 07 February 2017