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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wartime Tube - Wheels Under Fire Talk

On Tuesday 15th February 2011, Oliver Green will be giving an illustrated talk about London's transport during the Blitz. For those who missed or enjoyed the excellent
Aldwych Blitz Tube tour, this will be an interesting evening.

During the main Blitz from September 1940 to May 1941, London was bombed nearly every night, yet trains and buses still ran every day. The deep London Underground stations became overnight air raid shelters for thousands of Londoners, but were always ready the next morning to carry commuters who were determined to get to work.

Air raid shelterers on a platform at Piccadilly Circus Underground station - September 1940 - London Transport Museum
Air raid shelterers on a platform at Piccadilly Circus Underground station - September 1940 - London Transport Museum
Using photographs & film extracts, Green will show how ordinary Londoners lived and worked. You'll learn how London Transport's workshops built bombers instead of buses, and how staff struggled to maintain and operate a badly damaged system in difficult and dangerous conditions.

Oliver said "I’ll be showing one of the most famous examples of wartime propaganda film with my talk. It’s a brilliant ten minute documentary called London Can Take It made in October 1940 at the height of the Blitz by the GPO Film Unit,  directed by Humphrey Jennings and Harry Watt. It was shown in cinemas all over the country before the main feature and also in US cinemas as part of the drive to get America into the war against Nazi Germany. The voiceover is by an American journalist, Quentin Reynolds, and takes the form of a news report."

 Oliver's an extremely entertaining & knowledgeable speaker (I've been to a number of his talks before - see below)

Air raid precautions (A.R.P) exercises at Neasden Depot during the Second World War

The talk starts at 6.30pm at London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. Tickets are £8 for Adults; £6 for senior citizens and £4 for students £4.00. Telephone 020 7565 7298 to book your tickets.

Previous Oliver Green Talks
Transformed by Tube
Frank Pick & Ambrose Heal
Stations of London's Metropolis

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