Blitz and Battle of Britain events

London museums, galleries and civic buildings are hosting a number of events and exhibitions throughout September to mark the 70th anniversary of both the Blitz and the Battle of Britain.

Highlights include:

Under London: Blitz experience tours of Aldwych Underground station
Friday 24 to Sunday 26 September 2010
Paid tours (tickets must be pre-booked) led by actors portraying 1940s characters – including a spiv and an ARP warden – will offer a glimpse into what life was like for people travelling and sheltering on the Tube during the Blitz. The station will be dressed to give a wartime feel and atmosphere and outside, at street level, a pre-war RT8 bus will be parked near Aldwych station in Surrey Street.
More info: www.ltmuseum.co.uk


The London Blitz 70th Anniversary Exhibition
City Hall, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA
1 September – 27 September 2010
A free event dedicated to those working in London’s emergency, volunteer, transport and specialist services, who kept London going during the darkest days of the war, this exhibition tells the story behind the struggle to keep London working during the intensive aerial bombing campaign on London during the Second World War.
More info: www.london.gov.uk/blitz


Under Attack: London, Coventry and Dresden Exhibition
7 September 2010 – 31 March 2011
London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC1E 7BB
Through raging fires, devastation and the destruction of air bombing campaigns, the men and women who worked on public transport throughout Europe became front line war workers in the battle to keep cities moving. The exhibition explores the role of transport workers in helping to boost public morale and create a sense of normality for three cities that experienced the terrible effects of the Second World War.
More info: www.ltmuseum.co.uk


The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality – Churchill War Rooms
28 September 2010
Professor Overy, Professor of History at Exeter University, will speak on The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality. In his lecture he will look at the accretion over 70 years of images, fables and fallacies to the history of the Battle and separate out the stories from the history, analyse the comparative strengths and weakness of the opposing forces and clarify the relative importance of the Battle in Britain’s survival in 1940.
More info: cwr.iwm.org.uk


Blitz Weekends – Churchill War Rooms
11, 18, 25 September, 2010 (Clore Learning Centre)
Commemorating the 70 Year Anniversary of the Blitz with WCRAG (Westminster Community Reminiscence and Archive Group) discussing subjects such as the Blitz, being a woman in the war and remembering Churchill.
More info: cwr.iwm.org.uk


Croydon’s Battle of Britain – Local Studies Library & Archives, Level 3, Croydon Clocktower
18 September – 31 December 2010
Discover Croydon’s vital strategic role in this historic battle. Using archive material and oral history, the exhibition looks at what daily life would have been like for Croydon residents, as well as the enduring legacy of the Battle for the borough.
More info: www.museumofcroydon.com


Croydon’s Blitz – Museum of Croydon, level 1, Croydon Clocktower
18 September – 31 December 2010
A collaboration between the Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation, local people who lived through the Blitz and the Museum of Croydon, this exhibition explores experiences of childhood for Croydon residents during the Blitz.
More info: www.museumofcroydon.com


Docks in wartime – Museum of London Docklands
Tue 21 Sep, 16 Nov, 14 Dec & 11Jan, 3-3.40pm
Guided tour about the drama and devastation of the docks during wartime, covering the impact of the Blitz and ‘Black Saturday’ and how the docks helped prepare for the D-day landings.
More info: www.museumindocklands.org.uk