Photos from the Bank of England's vaults

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Ramiles, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Photos from the Bank of England's vaults

    From an extraordinary expansion, to the preparations for World War Two gas attacks, a new exhibition offers a fascinating look back at life at the Bank of England.

    Capturing the City - at the Bank of England Museum - takes a dip into the 40,000 photographs amassed by the bank since the 1840s.

    Although there is plenty there also about the rest of the history of the Bank of England, looking at BBC magazine article I get the impression quite a number of the photos there relate to WW2.
    CL1 likes this.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD
    Photos from the Bank of England's vaults By Paul Kerley
    BBC News Magazine 28 January 2016


    a bullion vault used as the staff canteen during WW2


    In January 1941 - at the height of the Blitz in London - 111 people were killed in the bomb blast that made this giant crater outside the Bank of England.

    The bomb struck the ticket hall of London Underground's Bank Station.


    Bank staff had to be prepared.

    Many female employees signed up to be volunteer fire guards - while the Auxiliary Fire Brigade used the roof for hose drills.



    In the sub-vault a temporary hospital was set up - in collaboration with nearby St Bartholomew's Hospital.


    But many staff members were also evacuated to the country for the entire duration of WW2.

    A plan - codenamed "Zero" - saw the bank take over a country mansion at Hurstbourne Priors, near Whitchurch in Hampshire.

    Some women were billeted to the mansion house, while others stayed in temporary camps - like the one above, at Foxdown.


    The men stayed in basic dormitories.


    That part of Hampshire was chosen as a base because it was close to the village of Overton - where banknote paper was produced by Portals Ltd.


    They may not have had the comforts of home, but museum curator Anna Spender says many staff embraced country life.

    Allotments were made available to grow vegetables - and chickens and bees were kept.

    At harvest time, they queued to buy surplus fruit.


    Some would also help local farmers in the fields.


    And back in London at the end of the war, the roof of Threadneedle St was a great place to watch the VE Day celebrations outside Mansion House
    papiermache and brithm like this.
  3. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  4. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The beds look rather hard, and I can't see a stove in the middle of the dormitory. I like the cardboard boxes feeding seemingly endless paper to the typewriters, with no Tippex in sight. Long stalks on the wheat being stooked.
  5. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    Great photos. What immediately got my attention was how slim the people were especially the young people.
  6. Over Here

    Over Here Junior Member

    People had more self-respect and lower calorie diets. Rates of disease dropped greatly during rationing when people couldn't eat as much rubbish as they wanted and were encouraged to grow and eat their own food.

    Some healthy looking young chaps in that bank vault. Exempted perhaps?
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD
    Catalogue number: HU 640
    The Bank of England and Royal Exhange after the raid during the night of 11 January 1941. The bomb exploded in the booking-hall of the Bank Underground Station. The crater, 1,800 sq ft in area, was the largest in London.
  8. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    I have several war-time cookbooks and things like lard, suet puddings, corned beef and spam were used a lot. It therefore makes you wonder about today's '5 a day' and 'low fat' regimes. However, they had 3 filling meals a day and a 'snack' for kids was bread and jam with water from the tap or milk. i think that sugar is the main culprit for obesity - it is in most processed foods.
    dbf likes this.
  9. Over Here

    Over Here Junior Member

    They also walked and biked a great deal more than people today, and did a lot more physically demanding domestic and paid work as well. The lower disease rates have been noted by medical historians. You're right about the sugar, "white death" it should be called. Fats are essential, starving people become absolutely desperate for them.

    One could say the proof is in the photos.
  10. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Lots of home cooking, allotment veg,and use of public transport plus walking or cycling and a lack of ready meals, no washing machines etc.My mother recalled always being hungry and in need of sleep because of air raids, bombs etc.

Share This Page