PortCities London

Docklands and the Blitz

Aftermath of destruction

Basic necessities

Mobile laundry service in East Surrey Grove.
View full size imageMobile laundry service in East Surrey Grove. © NMM

As well as repairing damaged houses, the authorities had to provide various services for bombed-out families who found themselves without the basic necessities to live.

This photograph shows a mobile laundry service at East Surrey Grove in Southwark.

King George VI visiting the Surrey Docks.
View full size imageKing George VI at the Surrey Docks in 1940. © NMM

The press and government launched a propaganda campaign that portrayed the tough resistance of Londoners.

But as the bombing continued there were signs that in dockside areas the population was showing visible signs of psychological trauma. In order to raise morale, members of the government and Royal family visited the devastated areas.

Celebrity visitors

Spa Road.
View full size imageThornton Wilder inspecting bomb damage in Spa Road, 1941. © NMM
Celebrities also travelled to the East End to show their support. This image shows the American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder visiting Spa Road in Bermondsey in early 1941. 

Second World War bomb damage on Cundy Road.
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