On this day: Coventry in Ruins

The English city of Coventry suffered numerous Nazi bombing attacks in the blitz of 1940, but the worst came in November.

The city was bombarded from the 14th to the 15th, killing hundreds of people and injuring many hundreds more.

Coventry_devastation_H_5601A street in Coventry, England, after the Coventry Blitz of 14–15 November 1940. In the background are the tower and spire of Holy Trinity parish church. 16th

Coventry_bomb_damage_H5600Broadgate in Coventry city centre following the Coventry Blitz of 14-15 November 1940. The burnt out shell of the Owen Owen department store (opened in 1937) 16

These photographs were taken on the 16th, showing many buildings ruined, and the recently built Owen Owen department store – the exterior still stands, but the inside was destroyed.

Coventry_Cathedral_after_the_air_raid_in_1940The ruined nave and chancel of Coventry Cathedral, England, seen from the west tower. It is in ruins after the German air raid of November 19

Coventry Cathedral was largely ruined, and still stands as a shell today. The new cathedral was built next door, and opened in 1962.

Hundreds more people were killed in German bombings the following year.

On this day: the Coventry Blitz

A wrecked bus is photographed amongst the destruction in Coventry, England after a German Luftwaffe air raid on the night of 14-15 November, 1940.

Coventry suffered heavy damage in the Second World War. The city’s famous cathedral was one of the casualties of the “Coventry Blitz”, which killed many hundreds and left thousands without homes.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

A wrecked bus stands among a scene of devastation in the centre of Coventry after the major Luftwaffe air raid on the night of 14-15 November 1940. Second World War Two England United Ki

On this day: Edwardian London from the air

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7th November 1909: English scientist Norman Lockyer photographed London from the air with a use of a helium balloon. This image shows Sloane Square, on the boundaries of the Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea districts.

Lockyer, who – along with French scientist Pierre Janssen – was credited with discovering helium, was seventy-three at the time the photograph was taken.

On this day: London on Fire

This photograph, showing smoke and fire drifting across Tower Bridge and the River Thames in London after a German bombing raid, was taken on the 7th of September, 1940.

This was the first major Nazi attack on the city in the Second World War.

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Second World War Two Picture taken during first mass air raid on London 7th September 1940 describes more than words ever could, the scene in London's dock area. Tower Bridge against a b

On this day…

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The church in Eyam, circa 1890.

Tomorrow the village of Eyam in Derbyshire, England recognises “Plague Sunday”.

The day remembers the decision of the village’s reverend and his wife – in 1665 – to convince the plague-stricken residents to barricade themselves in so that the disease wouldn’t spread to other villages in the area.

Hundreds of people died, but other communities survived.

Below is a picture from last year, when we visited the old well on a hilltop outside the village, which is where others would come to leave the people of Eyam food.

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On this day: the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra

Edward_VIIs_coronation_procession_London_9_August_1902Procession passing along a busy London thoroughfare during the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra (1841-1910) on 9 Au

The Procession in State through London’s streets.

The coronation of Britain’s King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra took place on the 9th of August, 1902, more than a year and a half after the death of Queen Victoria, Edward’s mother and predecessor.

The coronation, initially set for the 26th of June, was postponed because of the King’s ill health. This caused significant problems for many people. Numerous functions had been planned for the day, and foreign dignitaries were in London to celebrate. Additionally, rooms on the parade route across London had been rented for high prices, which resulted in landmark court cases when the customers missed out.

From his sickbed Edward insisted that the “Coronation Dinner for the Poor of London” go ahead as planned, and 500 000 meals were served.

The Procession in State – pictured above on revised August date – was supposed to include military units from a number of European countries, but they all had to return home before the coronation finally took place.

A second procession following the one on the day of the coronation was also postponed until the end of October, again because the King was in poor health.

Edward, overweight and a heavy smoker, died less than eight years after his coronation.

Alexandra lived another fifteen and a half years after her husband’s death.