Vintage: Everyday Life in London during the 1920s

Vintage: Everyday Life in London during the 1920s


The early 20th century, especially during the interwar years of the 1920s and 1930s, saw the geographical extent of London’s urban area grew faster than at any point before or since. Most of the development was of suburban expansion into the neighbouring counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey. A preference for lower density suburban housing, typically semi-detached, by Londoners seeking a more “rural” lifestyle, superseded Londoners’ old predilection for terraced houses. The rapid expansion of London during this period swallowed up large swathes of countryside. Fears over the loss of countryside led eventually to the introduction of the Metropolitan Green Belt, restricting urban growth.

This meant that London outgrew the boundaries of the County of London, which led to calls by the London County Council for the creation of a single Greater London authority covering the entire urban area, although this was rejected by the Royal Commission on London Government in 1921.

The lights of Piccadilly Circus, just around the corner, London, 1928.

The lights of Piccadilly Circus, just around the corner, London, 1928.

Wembley, 1923, West Ham fans at the turnstiles.

Wembley, 1923, West Ham fans at the turnstiles.

Boys boxing barefoot while their friends look on, London, 1920.

Boys boxing barefoot while their friends look on, London, 1920.

Fog encases workers at Ludgate Circus, London, November 1922. It was reported that Londoners compared the effects of winter fogs to being blind as they could often only see a few yards ahead.

Fog encases workers at Ludgate Circus, London, November 1922. It was reported that Londoners compared the effects of winter fogs to being blind as they could often only see a few yards ahead.

Street traffic on London Bridge, 1927.

Street traffic on London Bridge, 1927.

Seven Sisters Road, 1922.

Seven Sisters Road, 1922.

Tower Bridge, c.1920s.

Tower Bridge, c.1920s.

An underground train being transported on wheels through the streets of London, 1926.

An underground train being transported on wheels through the streets of London, 1926.

Thames and Tower Bridge in London, c.1920s.

Thames and Tower Bridge in London, c.1920s.

Twenties glamour, London, 1925.

Twenties glamour, London, 1925.

In 1921, early suffragettes often donned a bathing suit and ate pizza in large groups to annoy men.

In 1921, early suffragettes often donned a bathing suit and ate pizza in large groups to annoy men.

Customer complaint, 1922.

Customer complaint, 1922.

Taylor's Pie House, c.1920s.

Taylor’s Pie House, c.1920s.

King's Cross Station, 1927.

King’s Cross Station, 1927.

Construction workers taking lunch break on the edges of the building they're working on, London, 1929.

Construction workers taking lunch break on the edges of the building they’re working on, London, 1929.


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