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London Bombed


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I am fortunate to work in a picture archive and you would be surprised at how many versions of this picture exist. Because of the location of Fleet Street, all the papers had snappers on the rooftops of their buildings photographing the nightsky. But it was the Daily Mail who got the iconic masterpiece we all know today. The Times building, Printing House Square, was bombed but the picture archive survived until some idiot decided to delete tens of thousands of glass plates in the 1960s. Many newspaper companies had their own units of Home Guard. The Times men had pikes. I kid you not. The Kemsley Group - the Daily Graphic and Daily Sketch were better equipped, and even had their own home made armoured vehicles by 1941 which I think were converted delivery vans. Completely useless, of course. But they were amazing people....God Bless them all.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Humph. I started Google Earth to verify what I was about to write here and it trashed my machine. Try again.


In 1995 I was taken on strength of the Bank of England due their error in a contract with my consultancy firm (forgot they'd have to pay 17.5% VAT on cunsultancy services, so they simply took our team on strength for the duration).


Come the beginning of May and I was redeployed to fight another fire at another mainframe site (my specialty: the BOE job was one of only two non-mainframe jobs I got in five years), a well-known credit card company in Northampton.


On my last Friday we pub-crawled round that area of London and staggered back into the bank about 3pm.


I cleared my desk and took my leave. As I walked out of the front door of the building in New Change, just the width of the road from St Paul's (see Google Earth), whose dome had filled my office window for the last three months, the doorman in the pink frock coat and black hat bade me farewell for the last time and I stepped out into the light ...


... to find a pair of WW2 AA searchlights positioned either side of the door during the short time I had been upstairs packing up. I was well impressed at the farewell, but at a loss as to what I was seeing (I had had a lot to drink).


I got home and at the end of News At Ten, Trevor Macdonald reminded us that it was the 50th anniversary of VE Day, and for the occasion, NAT had reconstructed another iconic St Paul's photo, from VE Day, of a pair of AA searchlights behind the dome lighting up the London night sky with a giant V for Victory.

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