London In Pictures: 1940s West End

Eleana Overett
By Eleana Overett Last edited 17 months ago
London In Pictures: 1940s West End

Even at the height of the Blitz, performances in the West End carried on. A ban on using electricity for outdoor advertising affected Piccadilly Circus for 10 years, which went dark in order to comply with second world war blackout rules. On 2 April 1949 the ban was finally lifted to huge crowds of celebrating Londoners.

West End book business basement shelter, Bloomsbury.
Source Flashbak
Diners in a busy restaurant at Aldwych
Source Rob Baker
Piccadilly Circus before blackout, 1940
Source Old Pics Archive
A restaurant owner removes the word "Italian" from his business in Soho after anti-Italian riots, 1940
Source Disappearing London
Drinking tea at the Lyons Corner House in Tottenham Court Road
Source Davenant
Woodstock Street restaurant, 1940
Source Old London
Windmill Theatre girls sleeping in their dressing room, 1940
Source Asketchofthepast
Lyric Theatre, 1943
Source Old London
Piccadilly Circus, 1940
Source Old Pics Archive
Dancers at the Windmill Theatre
Source Old London
Police officer on the Strand
Source Old London
Oxford Street, 1940
Source Old London
Londoners seek shelter in Aldwych tube station, 1941
Source History in Pictures
Queen's Hall in Langham Place during the Blitz
Source Londonhistorian
Shaftesbury Avenue, 1949
Source Retro Mark
People outside the Ritz in Leicester Square which was showing Gone With The Wind, 1941
Source Old London
Soho, 1947
Four young women enjoy a stroll in the spring sunshine along a shopping street in the West End, 1941
Source Iwm
Warner West End, now Vue Leicester Square, 1946
Source Bfi
A wide view of the bomb-damaged shell of the John Lewis department store on London's Oxford Street.
Source Old Pics Archive
The West End from above, 1945
Source Buzzfeed
Wally's Barber, St. Martin Street, 21 November 1940
Source Smartchickscommune
The Windmill Theatre, 1940 - 'We Never Close'
Source Old London
Source Madalyn Morgan
West End, 1948
Source Paolo
Audrey Hepburn sits backstage during auditions for the musical High Button Shoes, 1948
Source Vintage Photos
Crowds greet the lights coming back on in the West End, 2 April 1949
Source Rob Baker
'Milk Bar' in New Coventry St, 1941
Source George Skeggs
The Eros News Theatre, Piccadilly
Source Old London

Last Updated 12 July 2017