Powering the City
Smog and 'pea-soupers'
By then, the dirty, smelly, smoke-filled 'pea-soupers' were familiar to everyone in London. Sometimes, the entire Beckton area was enveloped in its own private fog from the local works. This 1920s photograph demonstrates just how thick the smog could get.
'White and damp in the early morning, it became smoky later, the particles coated with soot being dry and pungent to inhale. There was a complete block of street traffic at some crossings.
Omnibuses were abandoned, and several goods trains were taken off. From the summit of St Paul's Cathedral for instance the average limit of visibility was only one-half mile [800 m].'
The Clean Air Act
It was the beginning of serious air pollution control in England and meant the beginning of the end for coal-fired power stations.
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