Monday, 7 September 2009

Coloured London Blitz

Although coloured photographic film was available, the majority of visual records of wartime life, warfare and people remained captured in black and white with the rare exception coming from magazine publications, such again as Life magazine. Across TV and radio - most especially the BBC there has been a big recent screening of the outbreak of war with German 70 years ago. And I guess to some extent this has increased my interest in trying to hunt out and capture on my blog images regarding the more personal home and feminine side of the war.

Yet as most of the war time images are black and white in nature, it was a pleasant surprise to find these images taken in September 1940 of the carnage and fallout of Nazi bombs upon the streets, landmarks and homes of London by William Vandivert upon the website for Life magazine.

A small number of onlookers peer into the immense crater of the bomb causing a London double decker bus, we can only now assume, to drive into. The bus stop sign perches upright, the only normality in the sea of destruction of the shop fronts in the background.

Smoke from burning fires creates a hazy outlook towards St Paul's, a landscape of burnt out buildings, only the faded and greying cream fa├žades maintaining their domination of the scene. the greying skies matching and the tension and atmospheric scene of wartime London.

Busy flat cap and waistcoating wearing workers try and clear up the rumble from a strike on what seems to be a private dwelling. The sturdy houses either side maintain their upright positioning, seemingly unaware of the hit next door, only the patterned and yellow wallpaper of the fallen house remains attached to the dwelling on the left, the opened doorways. The new space allowing us to look through to what appears to be, yet another bombed out residential street behind the trees. We can only question if the occupiers survived.

1 comment:

  1. oh my, these pictures are so haunting. it looks like a movie set.
    ps - love your blog header!!