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We'll Meet Again

We’ll Meet Again: Shelters

As part of the exhibition We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front in Photographs (1939-45), we look at the various ways in which people from the borough were protecting themselves during air-raids in the Second World War.

From 1 September 1939, mass evacuations from cities were followed by nightly blackouts, with those left behind facing sirens, bombing, fires, and for many, death. British homes were now the front line, with ruins being left where family homes, schools and businesses once stood.

Preparations for air bombardment began prior to the Second World War, with the British government providing air-raid shelters to families for free or for a small fee, depending on their income. Over the course of the war, shelters would take a number of forms and provide security for the people of Islington and Finsbury, and throughout Britain.

Islington received the very first of the Anderson air-raid shelters in Britain, prior to the outbreak of war. These shelters were open and below ground level, and as a result they were often cold, damp and noisy, but did help protect those inside to a degree. In response to the installation of the shelters in 1939, Islington’s Mayor Douglas assured the Minister for Civil Defence that, “Islington Council would do their utmost to carry through their duties in connection with the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) loyally and efficiently.”

1.5 million Anderson shelters were distributed in the months immediately leading up to the outbreak of war. Mrs Treadwell of Tiber Street was one of the first to receive a shelter, but felt dubious about its protective qualities. She told The Times newspaper, “If trouble does come, I’ll feel safer than in the house. In any case, we can always use it as a summer house!” When production ended 3.6 million Anderson shelters had been produced.  

Throughout the war other locations, such as underground stations, were used to bunker down, and a variety of shelters were developed. By 1944, Islington’s communal shelters had private rooms, each with three adult bunks and three children’s bunks. The rooms also featured electric lighting and each had an electric heater – a vast world apart from the simplicity of Anderson shelters.

Islington’s Shelters

Air-raid trenches, Islington Green, 24 January 1939

Sir John Anderson (centre), Minister for Civil Defence inspects new air-raid trenches on Islington Green. During the visit he formally handed over the trenches to Islington Mayor Douglas Jackson (right). Also present was Lord Wolmar (right), topped by members of Islington Council.

The previous year, serious civil defence efforts began. Cellars and basements were taken over as shelters, and trenches, such as these on Islington Green, were dug in the parks and residential open spaces. Buildings were also sandbagged and barrage balloons tethered over London.


Anderson Shelter, Carlsbad Street, Islington, February 1939

Cllr Douglas Jackson, the Mayor of Islington, visits the location of London’s first steel air-raid or ‘Anderson’ shelter. Resident Mrs Spong of 3 Carlsbad Street (now York Way Court) is seen here with her son Ernest. Named after Minister for Civil Defence, Sir John Anderson, and issued free to anyone earning less than £250-per-year, the shelters were made from corrugated steel sections.

Their bases were buried three feet in the ground and the tops covered with earth. These shelters gave good protection, except in the case of a direct hit. This photograph appeared on the front page of the Daily Sketch on 2 March 1939.


Hugh Myddelton School, Finsbury, 4 September 1940

Pupils of Hugh Myddleton School in Corporation Row, Clerkenwell, reading comics and playing cards in the school shelter during an air-raid drill.

Many children were evacuated from London to rural areas, and overseas evacuation was introduced in June 1940. Over 2,500 children were sent to Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and thousands more were fostered privately in Canada and the USA. Those children who remained in Islington quickly became familiar with the various shelters that were available, especially in their schools.


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Public air-raid shelter, Islington, 1940/41

An ARP (Air Raid Precautions) warden, wearing Pattern No.41 overalls, sits with three young women in an unidentified public shelter in Islington during the London Blitz.

This ‘moral-boosting’ photograph was taken by Bill Brandt, the Ministry of Information’s official photographer. It would appear in ministry publications and popular magazines, such as the Picture Post.


Air-raid shelter, Islington, 1 November 1940

Islington residents displaying ‘Blitz spirit’, sharing drinks with neighbours while sheltering in an unidentified underground location.

Many Londoners used tube stations and underground tunnels as air-raid shelters. They preferred to use the tunnels and platforms because they felt safest deep underground. Stations were fitted with bunks, supplied with first-aid facilities and equipped with chemical toilets. An estimated 170,000 people sheltered in the tunnels and stations during the war.


Communal air-raid shelters, Islington, 8 April 1944

This photograph shows new communal shelters constructed in an Islington street in 1944.

These contained private quarters and were built in areas where there were three and four-storey houses that could not be provided with either Anderson or Morrison shelters; the latter form of shelter were steel cages with mesh sides.


Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing more images from the exhibition We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front in Photographs (1939-45). Next week we’ll be exploring the bomb damage to Islington and Finsbury during the Second World War.

Categories
We'll Meet Again

We’ll Meet Again: Evacuations

As part of the exhibition We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front in Photographs (1939-45), we look at those who were evacuated from Islington to rural locations during this time.

Throughout the Second World War, many of London’s children were evacuated to country towns, such as Cambridge, Kettering, Sheringham and Huntindon. The separation was often highly painful for both the parents and children; However, the press encouraged an unsentimental attitude towards evacuation, stating that, “Mother must use her head as well as her heart and be really sensible.”

Evacuees wore labels indicating their destination and were allowed to take one favourite toy. Parents were issued with a list of items that their children would require whilst away, including clothes and wash items, but many struggled to afford everything.

Foster families were advised to treat evacuees like members of their own family. Some children were probably happier, and many healthier, in the country, but most, naturally, missed their homes and families.

Evacuations from London began on 1 September 1939, however, many of these early evacuees returned to city within a few months. With relatively little military action occurring in the early period of the Second World War, people began calling it the ‘Phoney War’; this encouraged half of Islington’s children who went to Cambridge in 1939 to return to the city by March 1940. A second wave of evacuations took place during the Blitz, which started in September 1940.

Islington’s Evacuees

Hugh Myddelton School, Finsbury, 1939

A teacher from Hugh Myddelton School in Corporation Row, Clerkenwell, speaks to parents about evacuation from the school at the outbreak of the war. 

The evacuation of mothers, children and some disabled people began on 1 September 1939. In London, teachers took parties of children to the stations and the trains moved off once filled. Final destinations and billeting arrangements were fairly haphazard.


Evacuation from Holloway, Islington, 16 September 1939

Teachers from Holloway carry their baby while supervising the evacuation of local school children.

Teachers took an immense share of the responsibility for the care and organisation of evacuated pupils, which often disrupted their own lives. All those involved in evacuation found themselves learning how the ‘other half’ lived, sometimes a pleasant experience, sometimes a painful one.


North Islington Nursery evacuees, 1939/40

North London Islington Nursery evacuees playing and having fun outside at Ashenden, Essex.

Several large and famous country houses in Britain, including Blenheim Palace and Chatsworth House, hosted groups of evacuated nursery-aged children and their mothers. Many of these grand houses also became temporary schools. In some instances, the houses and their staff benefited from a sense of new life being brought into stately surroundings.


Tollington Park Central School evacuees, 1939

Evacuated girls from Tollington Park Central School, Islington, tending to a vegetable garden in Huntingdon. The Ministry of Agriculture encouraged civilians to grow their own fruit and vegetables to maintain a healthy diet during a time of rationing and reliance on tinned food.

So-called ‘Victory Gardens’ were cultivated in private gardens and public parks, including Highbury Fields. There were vegetable allotments in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, and King George VI even instigated vegetable gardening at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.


Highbury Park Vale School evacuees, 1939/40

Highbury Park Vale School, Islington, evacuees milking a cow in the country. Dealing with farm animals was an entirely new experience for most Islington children, many of whom would have never seen a cow before.

Additions to the school curriculum included nature studies, practical geography and local history. Upbeat articles in the press encouraged the healthy country lifestyle, and how the children were too busy with lessons, new friends and activities to be homesick.


Islington evacuees fishing, 1939/1940

Whilst away from the city, evacuees took part in many new outdoor activities, including fishing. The Holborn and Finsbury Gazette describes such a fishing trip in 1939, “The river is a big attraction and in the shallows you will find many [evacuated] youngsters, hardly ‘complete anglers’ for their equipment usually consists of a jam jar, line and a bent pin, but all very optimistic and happy.”

Throughout the war, fish was not rationed but it became increasingly scarce and more expensive to buy as the war progressed.


Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing more images from the exhibition We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front in Photographs (1939-45). Next week we’ll be exploring the theme of shelters in Islington and Finsbury during the Second World War.

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We'll Meet Again

We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front in Photographs (1939-45)

Islington Museum is delighted to present the photographic exhibition, We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front in Photographs (1939-45).

Over the coming months, we will be sharing a series of captivating images of the people and places in Islington and Finsbury during the Second World War; shedding light on the hardships endured and perseverance demonstrated by those that lived through this historic time. Each week, We’ll Meet Again will explore a key theme from topics such as evacuations, shelters, bomb damage, the Home Front and Victory in Europe. This post we introduce this exhibition and provide context to to situation faced on the Home Front between 1939-1945.

The Second World War was a conflict fought on several fronts. Not only was victory secured by the forces fighting on the front line, but also by the daily sacrifice and determination of the people they left behind on the ‘Home Front’. 

The experience between 1939 and 1945 was unique in British history. Twelve Million British families fought their own battle, including those in Islington and Finsbury, who went without all but the most basic necessities. Civilians, alongside men and women in the armed forces not posted abroad, all endured the hardships and sudden dangers in what also became know as the ‘people’s war’.

Aspects of the Home Front were common to all: rationing, the blackout and, more terrifyingly, enemy air raids and the threat of untimely death. It was to prove a long period of regulation and shortage, uncertainty, boredom, fear and anxiety, and also a time of dramatic change. Children were evacuated, men and women conscripted into the forces or directed into essential war work, homes disrupted and lives were put on hold for an indefinite duration. Those not called to the armed forces helped the country in many ways: Civil Defence, the Women’s Voluntary Service, working in munitions factories, digging for victory, raising money for the ‘war effort’, or simply making a contribution by remaining cheerful and ‘making do’.  

Timeline 1939-1945: Islington during the Second World War

With its title taken from one of the most famous songs of the war, and sung by Vera Lynn, We’ll Meet Again portrays Islington and Finsbury’s home-front experience during these six historic years. Like many parts of inner London, the area suffered badly from bombings during the Blitz from 1940-41, and as part of the V1 and V2 rocket attacks on the capital from the summer of 1944. However, in spite of increasing fatalities and an uncertain future and hardship, Islingtonians and Finsburyites on the Home Front kept ‘calm and carried on’.  

Upon the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe, Islington Museum presents a photographic exhibition to commemorate all who bravely endured life on the Home Front in Islington, Finsbury and beyond.

We’ll Meet Again is dedicated to the memory of Islington historian and resident Mary Cosh (1919-2020).


Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing images from the exhibition We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front in Photographs 1939-45. Next week we’ll be looking at the evacuations that took place from Islington and Finsbury during the Second World War.

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We'll Meet Again

Finsbury Under Attack (1939-45)

Like many parts of inner London, Finsbury suffered badly from bombings during the Blitz (1940-41) and, again later, as part of the V1 and V2 rocket attacks on the capital from the summer of 1944 onwards. Citizens lived with the threat of bombing, invasion and untimely death. However, in spite of fatalities, an uncertain future and much hardship, Finsburyites kept calm and carried on. The constant bombings were designed to break morale but conversely brought people together.

Hugh Myddelton School, Clerkenwell, 4 September 1940. The school’s pupils reading comics and playing cards in their basement shelter during an air-raid drill.

The London Blitz inflicted major damage on EC1’s historic buildings, including the Charterhouse, the Priory Church of St John and the Church of the Holy Redeemer. However, not all was ruined. The 17th-century Oak Room at New River Head was removed to safety “for the duration”.

In 1943, the parcels depot at Mount Pleasant Post Office was destroyed. It relocated to the Royal Agricultural Hall in Upper Street, where it remained until the 1970s. Sadler’s Wells Theatre in Rosebery Avenue was requisitioned in 1940 to serve as a rest centre for bombed-out local families, while the cast and company went on tour.

One of the cruellest losses of life occurred on 15 October 1940 when the deep basement shelter at Dame Alice Owen’s School in Goswell Road received a direct hit. Many families were taking refuge when damage caused to a large New River water pipe resulted in many drowning. A total of 109 people out of the 143 people in the shelter perished – rescuers took weeks to recover the casualties.

Finsbury Town Hall, Garnault Place, after 15 August 1940. A ‘downed’ German
Messerschmitt BF110 on display outside Finsbury Town Hall, as part of a ‘victory tour’ during the Battle of Britain.

The number of bombs dropped on Finsbury during the London Blitz amounted to 175 high explosive bombs and four parachute mines. In addition, further bombs landed during the ‘Baby Blitz’ of early 1944, as did the fearsome V1 and V2 Vergeltungwaffe, or ‘vengeance weapons’, rockets during 1944 and 1945.

Five days after the first V1 rocket or ‘Doodlebug’ hit London at Bow on 13 June 1944, it was Finsbury’s turn. A V1 rocket landed in Spencer Street and Wynyatt Street resulting in 13 people losing their lives, with a further 83 injured. Six more V1 and V2 strikes were to follow, culminating in the devastating V2 attack on Charterhouse Street and Smithfield Market in the morning of 8 March 1945. A huge explosion caused massive damage to the railway tunnel structure below, into which many victims fell. In all, 110 people died and 340 were injured.

Of the borough’s 9,899 houses and flats, no less than 9,015 were damaged during the war: 983 were totally demolished, another 23 virtually so, and 642 hit badly enough to force the residents to evacuate. This left more than 11 per cent of the population needing re-accommodation. Although the population more than halved, from approximately 60,000 in 1939 to 27,000 by 1945, it was estimated at the end of the war that some 5,000 new housing units were needed. In the meantime, prefabricated houses rehoused the displaced in various parts of EC1, including Farringdon Road, Gee Street, Hermes Street, Ironmonger Street and King’s Square.

Finsbury Square, 15 October 1941. Firefighters bravely tackling a fire during the Luftwaffe’s ‘Tip and Run’ raids (1941–43) that followed the Blitz.

The severe housing shortage was recognised by the new Labour government, and Finsbury Council could now realise several housing plans that had been decided in its mid-1930s’ ‘Finsbury Plan’. The borough’s rebuild ensured that housing catered for its working-class – the majority of its population. This began with the Berthold Lubetkin-designed Spa Green Estate on St John Street/Rosebery Avenue (1946-50) which embodied the promise of post-war housing: a pleasant life, well-equipped flats and careful design.

It was to be a while before the council’s fuller realisation of a better residential post-war future was accomplished by building among others: the King Square Estate (1961), the Brunswick Estate (1949- 62) and the Finsbury Estate (1967). These schemes were truly born out of the rubble and wreckage created by the ‘terror from the skies’ some quarter of a century or so earlier – a rebuilding of Finsbury in the hope that the post-war era would serve to symbolise a brighter and safer future.


Article produced for the exhibition We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front in Photographs (1935-45) by Mark Aston, Islington Local History Centre and Museum Manager. First published as The blitz spirit returns: EC1 under attack in EC1Echo (April/May 2020). With thanks to Oliver Bennett.

Categories
Mobilise! Mobilise!

Mobilise! Mobilise! exhibition now on

‘Mobilise! Mobilise! The Firefighters of Holloway’ highlights the unique perspective of Islington artist Niki Gibbs.

A local fire station is a building that we often walk past but only perhaps become aware of when a big red fire truck emerges to deal with an urgent situation. Little is known about the training, daily checks, maintenance of kit, inspections of buildings in the community, and other outreach work performed by the firefighters.

White Watch, by Niki Gibbs, on display in the ‘Mobilise! Mobilise!’ exhibition.

Drawing inspiration from photographs, Niki Gibbs worked with Holloway Fire Station on Hornsey Road, Islington, to capture its four crews going about their routine daily work. ‘Mobilise! Mobilise!’ art exhibition is the result of this intimate and insightful collaboration.

Mobilise! Mobilise! is on at Islington Museum from 1 February – 31st March 2020.

For more details, visit the website or call 020 7527 2837.

The exhibition free events programme can be found here.

Categories
1967 Up Against It

Up Against It

‘1967: Up Against It’ explores the impact of the Sexual Offences Act (1967) passed on 27 July that year, and the 50th anniversary of the deaths of the borough’s most (in)famous gay couple, Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, on 9 August.

Up Against It

Through the stories of well-known and some not so well-known gay men living in Islington before and after the act, this exhibition seeks to reflect the experience of men who could not declare their love freely and the difference the 1967 act made to them. Stories featured include those of Oscar Wilde, imprisoned at Holloway and Pentonville prisons, and record producer Joe Meek whose life, like Orton and Halliwell’s, also ended in tragic circumstances.

Collaged public library book covers created by Orton and Halliwell, a Halliwell collage and his newly acquired ‘World of Cats’ screen will be on display together for the first time. The exhibition further asks whether the sixth-month sentence the couple received for theft and malicious damage in 1962 was, as Orton asserted, “because we were queers.”

Join us for our Up Against it event on 17th October 18.00

Dates: Saturday 22 July to Saturday 21 October 2017

Opening timesMonday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10am – 5pm. Wednesday and Sunday: closed

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Beastly Islington Learning Events

Beastly Islington: Islington Museum at Moreland Chidren’s Centre

Beastly Islington: Musical Monday at Moreland Children’s Centre

Monday 31st July. Music sessions at 10am and 11am, craft drop in 10am – 12pm.

Come along to Moreland Children’s Centre for our special family music event.

Join musician Pal Rubinstein for a musical Monday. Dance to the melodies, learn new songs and join in on some old favourites, all inspired by the animals who have lived and worked in Islington.

Then get messy with our drop in animal themed crafts!

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For more info contact: rebecca.campbell-gay@Islington.gov.uk

 

Categories
Banners for Spain

Banners for Spain: fighting the Spanish Civil War in London

The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) was sparked by a military coup led by General Franco against Spain’s elected government. Britain decided on ‘non-intervention’ in the war, but people from across the world joined the International Brigades to fight the fascist-backed rebels.In Britain, an ‘Aid Spain’ movement sprang up to raise funds for food and medical supplies and to help refugees fleeing the war.

Islington Museum’s new exhibition tells the story of the Borough’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, showcasing six newly conserved banners for Aid Spain, artefacts from the Marx Memorial Library’s archives and stories of the Islington International Brigaders.

The exhibition runs from May 5th to July 8th 2017 at Islington Museum, and is complemented by a programme of free events.

 

Categories
Banners for Spain

Banners for Spain: Fighting the Spanish Civil War in London.

Spanish Civil War Exhibition poster A4 v4-page-001

Our upcoming exhibition tells the story of Islington’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War. In partnership with the Marx Memorial Library, the exhibition showcases six newly conserved banners for Aid Spain, artefacts from the archives and the stories of the Islington International Brigaders.

The exhibition is complemented by the free events programme below, offering the opportunity to learn more. Please book through Islington Museum or via our eventbrite page.

 

Events

Film: The Guernica Children

Thu 27 April 2017, 19:00 – 21:00 at the Marx Memorial Library, EC1R 0DU

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A screening of Stephen Bowles’ documentary to mark 80 years since the bombing of Guernica. With Herminio Martinez, one of the ‘Basque children’ refugees.

The film tells the story of the 4,000 Spanish children, refugees from the Civil War, who arrived in the UK in May 1937. While in Britain, they were cared for, fed and housed by the efforts of a vast voluntary organisation. Some later returned to Spain while others made Britain their home.

 

Walk: Islignton in the Spanish Civil War

6th May, 3rd June and 24th June, 11am, at Islington Museum, EC1V 4NB 

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Explore Islington stories of the Spanish Civil War and 1930’s political activisim with a local CIGA guide.

 

Talk: Britain and the Spanish Civil War

Tue 9 May 2017, 18:30 – 20:30 at Islington Museum, EC1V 4NB

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The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) had a profound influence on Britain. Some 2400 British volunteers fought in the International Brigades against Franco’s rebel forces, thousands of activists across Britain –including well-known artists and writers – campaigned and raised funds on behalf of the Spanish Republic, and almost 4000 Basque refugee children sought refuge in Britain in May 1937. However, despite this enthusiasm for the cause of the elected Spanish government, Britain’s Conservative-dominated National Government remained committed to the policy of Non-Intervention, while even the Left was divided over many issues raised by the Civil War.

This lecture will not only seek to explain why so many in Britain felt compelled to take sides on the Civil War, but also will explore some of the complexities of the conflict’s impact. Finally, it will ask whether the response to the Civil War –with such a remarkable depth of political engagement – makes this a unique episode in modern British history.

 

Workshop: Islington’s Banner for Spain

Sat 13 May 2017, 10:30 – 16:00 at Islington Museum, EC1V 4NB

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Join banner-maker Ed Hall to help make a banner about Islington’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War.

This workshop will explore the stories of Islington International Brigaders -Why did they go to Spain? What did they do there? We will then work with banner-maker Ed Hall to make a banner reflecting their experiences. The banner will go on display at Islington Museum during the Banners for Spain! exhibition.

To find out more about Ed Hall click below: http://visualarts.britishcouncil.org/watch-and-listen/artists-30496/ed-hall-banner-maker

 

Visit: The Spanish Collection

Thu 1 June 2017, 18:00 – 20:00 at Marx Memorial Library, EC1R 0DU

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Explore the Marx Memorial Library Spanish Collection with Archivist & Library Manager Meirian Jump.

Delve into the Marx Memorial Library’s unparalleled International Brigade Association archives and learn more about the Aid Spain campaign. Immerse yourself in the experiences of Brigaders fighting in Spain during the Civil War (1936-39) through photographs, diaries and artefacts from the conflict held at the library.

 

Talk: Artists for Spain

Thu 8 June 2017, 19:00 – 21:00 at Marx Memorial Library, EC1R 0DU

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Join art historian Christine Lindey as she introduces you to the Artists International Association and artistic responses to the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).

Christine Lindey has taught art history including may years as Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts, London and at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her book Art in the Cold War: from Vladivostok to Kalamazoo (1990) pioneered the comparative study of Soviet and Western art. She is a visual arts critic for the Morning Star and her fifth book- Art for All: British Socially Committed Art of the 1940s and 1950s, will be published in the Autumn 2017. The Artists International Association, from its inception in 1933 forms an important part of this book, and her talk will explain its socio-political commitment including its anti-fascist art and activities in support of the Spanish Republic.

 

We look forward to seeing you! Please book through Islington Museum. 

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Collections Islington Burning Past Exhibitions

Islington’s Burning

London has had a turbulent and fiery history! It has been burned to the ground many times over in its 2000 year history and yet the London Fire Brigade (LFB) was only formed in 1866.

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From the destruction of St. John’s Priory, Clerkenwell in 1381, the impact of the Great Fire of London, to the tragic blaze at Smithfield Market in the 1950s, ‘Islington Burning’ uncovers the story of fire fighting in the borough and commemorates 150 years since the founding of the LFB. The story is told through key objects from the London Fire Brigade Museum Collection, original material from Islington’s museum, archives and other collections from across the capital.

Here are 5 of the amazing objects on display in the exhibition:

  • The original Vestry Minute Book from St Mary’s Islington from the time of the Great Fire of London

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Islington escaped the Great Fire as the wind changed direction. However many of the 100,000 people made homeless travelled north and camped out in Moorfields and Bun Hill Fields. This vestry minute book of the time records money donated to those made destitute following the fire.

  • An insurance plate from 18 Highbury Terrace in Islington

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Many people were bankrupted by the Great Fire. Fire insurance started to fill a gap in the market and included fire insurance brigades who would put out fires in insured buildings to reduce costs. This plaque showed that X was insured so that the brigade would know a fire should be extinguished

  • An original smoke helmet from 1900 to allow firefighters to enter smoky buildings

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This was the first real attempt to ensure firefighters could breathe when in smoke-filled buildings. It would be connected via a rubber hose to a set of bellows that would be pumped by another firefighter to drive air into the helmet. A rope between the two firefighters was used to signal for more or less air, or if there was a problem. Firefighters could only go as far as the hose would allow and had to place their lives in the hands of the bellows-pumper.

  • A German incendiary bomb from World War II

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Incendiary bombs were designed to set buildings on fire. Over 500 were dropped on Islington during the war. The Fire Guards’ job was to put these bombs out as quickly as possible to prevent fires spreading and raging out of control.

  • A 2016 print out from Islington Fire Station for their next job

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Today there are two fire stations in Islington –Islington Fire Station on Upper Street and Holloway Fire Station on Hornsey Road. This print out giving orders for the mobilisation of Islington Fire Rescue Unit.

Come to see the exhibition to find out more!