Old Images of Bermondsey, London

Categorised as Greater London
Bermondsey Priory 1825
Bermondsey Priory, monograph on page 571 of "London; being an accurate history and description of the British metropolis. Circuit of London. (London. Westminster and Southwark.) With maps and plates" by David Hughson, published by James Robins in 1825, British Library archives

Glimpse history through fascinating old images of Bermondsey, in the London Borough of Southwark in South East London.

Bermondsey Fire 1936

Hundreds of firefighters came out to tackle the blaze at a rice warehouse at St George’s Wharf in Bermondsey, which had started just before 5am.

The cameraman even crouched on a rooftop next to the blazing inferno to capture the largest fire seen in London “since Wapping”.

Warehouse ablaze in Bermondsey (1936) – British Pathé on YouTube

War Time Political Visit 1943

As Irene Ward (the longest serving female Conservative MP in history) and Mme. Kno toured Bermondsey in 1943, Britain was four years into World War II.

They visit a bombed site, where workers are clearing the debris but full of smiles for their important visitors.

the two women then visit a hospital, followed by a day nursery for children. At the end they eat a meal at a canteen.

POLITICS: Irene Ward visits Bermondsey (1943) – British Pathé on YouTube

New Playing Field 1951

An astonishing number of people turned out to watch the official opening of a new playing field in Bermondsey in 1951, which had been donated by the Variety Club.

The Mayor of Bermondsey, councillor AJ Kemp, pushed open the gates.

Celebrities Diane Hart, Simone Silvri, Sandra Dorne and Ronald Shiner carry on looking cheerful as they tackle crying children and being struck by vigorously high swings.

Playing Field For Bermondsey (1951) – British Pathé on YouTube

Wages Snatch! 1964

Traditionally, employers paid their workers at the end of each week, in cash. That meant moving a lot of cash from the bank to the workplace every seven days.

By the 1960s, with many people now having access to motor vehicles, robberies of the wages van had become commonplace. In fact, this news item says more than 5,000 wages van robberies were happening each year.

New bulletproof and gas attack vans were being designed, but here in Bermondsey a smaller scale – yet ludicrous – solution was being demonstrated.

Ignore the boring thumbnail image – this video is hilarious!

Oh, and you’ll see some of the local industrial buildings nearby, and some flats further beyond.

Motor Ways Thief Proof Car (1964) – British Pathé on YouTube

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