By Mark McConville
STUNNING retro pictures have revealed the rebuilding of London five years after the Blitz of World War Two.
The incredible images show gaping cellars and foundations of many blitzed sites which had not yet been cleared away, beautiful churches that were being restored with the help of stone salvaged from the rubble of other churches and a refreshing flower garden that had been transformed from the rubble.
Other striking shots show a group of children playing in the foundations of a demolished building, an unconventional cricket match taking place in the cellar of a bombed out building during lunchtime and workmen salvaging rubble of a blitzed church masonry in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The remarkable photographs offer an insight into just how long the rebuilding process took with these images shot in London in 1950, five years after the end of World War Two.
The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against Britain in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and is the German word for ‘lightning’.
During the Blitz 32,000 civilians were killed and 87,000 were seriously injured. Two million houses, of which 60 per cent were in London, were destroyed in the Blitz.
In one 6-month period, 750,000 tons of bombsite rubble from London were transported by railway on 1,700 freight trains to make runways on Bomber Command airfields in East Anglia. Bombsite rubble from Birmingham was used to make runways on US Air Force bases in Kent and Essex in southeast England.
Many sites of bombed buildings, when cleared of rubble, were cultivated to grow vegetables to ease wartime food shortages and were known as victory gardens.