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Image Album - 1930s

IoE number 201123 © Mr Quiller Barrett LRPSThis selection of images will be directly relevant for:

  • KS2 History study unit 11b 'Britain since 1930'
  • KS2 History study unit 7 'Local History'
  • KS2 Geography unit 6 'Investigating our Local Area'
  • KS2 Citizenship unit 9 'Respect for Property' including section 4 'New Uses for empty buildings'.


You can use the image album in your classroom in a variety of ways:

  • The images can be dramatically displayed for whole class teaching on a whiteboard or copied onto acetates and projected on an OHP.
  • You can print out individual images or captions or copy them into a worksheet of your own design.
  • Pupils could do further research and show their findings in a presentation illustrated with these images.

For more ideas on using this image album in the classroom and a list of useful sources... click here
To find more images on this topic by using the advanced search here.
For 'How to Guides' on searching or using images here

IoE number 201088
© Students at Brentside High School

Canteen, Hoover Building, Ealing, Greater London

The 1920s and 30s was a period very much influenced by the fact that a world war had recently ended but people feared another one would break out. There was an air of wanting to live life to the full and things like music, fashion, and architecture all reflected a style that was extravagant, demonstrationg a new freedom of expression. The exhuberant Art-Deco style of this canteen complemented the main Hoover factory building beside it, in a prominent position alongside one of the main roads into central London..

IoE number 201123

© Mr Quiller Barrett LRPS

Ealing Village, Greater London

This is one of a group of five blocks of flats built in 1934 to house film stars making films at the famous Ealing Studios. It demonstrates many features of 1930s architecture; the green pantiles on the roof, the symmetrical design, the white painted exterior with decorative features picked out in contrasting colours. The whole site was designed with large areas of open space and communal facilities such as a swimming pool. It still has a rural feel despite being close to both the main railway line into Paddington station and the North Circular Road..

      © Mr Adam WatsonIoE number 355271




IoE number 428779

© Mr P J Rawson      

Telephone kiosk, Hungarton, Leicestershire; Police Public callbox, Central London.

Even street furniture was stylish. The type K6 telephone kiosk was designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, an eminent architect who also designed churches. Once familiar they were all scheduled to be replaced by a more modern design but public protest has led to over 2000 of them being listed and preserved.

In the 1930s few buildings had telephones and mobiles were still sixty years in the future. These blue phone boxes were provided to enable people to call the police and for police officers to communicate with their colleagues.

IoE number 304701

© Mr Bob Cottrell ARPS AFIAP DPAGB

Carliol House Offices, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.

These impressive city centre offices were built for the North Eastern Electric Supply Company out of Portland stone, an expensive material that was very popular at this time. During the 1930s water, gas and electricity companies were thriving as there was a boom in construction and it was becoming common practice to install these utilities, previously luxuries, in all new buildings.

IoE number

© Malcolm Shaw

Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

The 1930s saw major developmens in seaside resorts as well as in city centres. This particularly impressive hotel has many typical features. It was built of concrete and rendered brickwork, painted white, on a curved plan, facing towards the sea. The central staircase bay rises above roof level and has a tall steel framed window with three sea horses above, painted red.

There are currently plans to restore this building as part of a major regeneration of the resort.

IoE number 469848

© Dr John L. Wishlade

George and Dragon Public House and signpost, Liverpool Road, Chester.

The late 1920s and 1930s was a time when many new roads were constructed, or old ones widened, as the amount of motor traffic was increasing rapidly. Trunk roads between major towns and ring roads to carry traffic around towns were built at this time.

This public house, built around 1929-31 for the Birkenhead Brewery Company, on a prominent site along the main Liverpool Road, is an example of a Road House designed in the manner of an Elizabethan manor-house.

IoE number 204888

© Mr Peter H. Evans

Newbury Park Station bus shelter, Ilford, Essex

As the road network developed new housing estates were built, spreading away from town centres where many properties were being condemned as slums and demolished. As people began to live further away from work or family, public transport grew both in towns and over longer distance. This led to an expansion in numbers of bus stations, shelters and huge bus garages.

IoE number 422562

© Mr Douglas Fairbank LRPS

Eastcote LRT Underground Station and adjoining shops, Ruislip, Greater London

As the suburbs of London spread out, the underground tube system grew and new stations were built. This station was designed in 1936 but not opened until 1939. The architect designed everything from the platforms and ticket hall to the shops and even the clocks and signage.

IoE number 461938

© Mr Daniel Eugenio LRPS

The Beehive, Gatwick Airport, Crawley, Sussex

The changes in road and rail transport were matched by the emergence of a much newer form of travel. This combined airport terminal and control tower was built in 1934-3 and was one of the first designs to put passenger comfort as a top consideration, an indication of the growth in air travel. This building is still in use but is no longer the main terminal building!


© Mr Glyn Edmunds EFIAP,AMPA,ARPS

Portsdown Hill Road, Bedhampton Hampshire.

Large estates of 1930s semis, detached houses and council houses were being constructed on what had been the edges of towns. In addition, architects were designing very striking individual residences and small developments, often for speculative builders. This house is based on the Sunspan design, first exhibited at the 1934 Ideal Home Exhibition.

These individual buildings are found in all areas; generally listed as they were few in number as opposed to the more mass produced houses.

IoE number 217335

© Mr J J Sheridan LRPS

Former Odeon Cinema, Kings Road, Kingstanding, Birmingham.

When new estates are built the people who are going to live there need certain services; shops, schools, a church. In the 1930s the focal point of a housing development was often a cinema.

This large cinema, freestanding on a prominent corner site, was built in 1935 to serve the growing suburb of Kingstanding. It was part of the Odeon chain and, although built to an individual design, it was in their distinguishing style.

IoE number 471785

© Mr Paul Alistair Bloomer ARPS

Coronation Buildings, Mansfield Road, Carlton, Nottinghamshire

This row of seven shops was built in 1936-37. Local shops were very important in the 1930s when very few houses had refrigerators and freezers were unknown. Many shops would deliver heavy grocery orders as only richer people had cars at this time.

Many existing town centre shops had new frontages constructed in the 1930s concealing much older buildings.

IoE number 461540

© Mr A. Gude

The former Addis Factory, Ware Road, Hertford

The offices are all that are left now of this former factory built in 1935 and very typical of industrial premises built in this period alongside a major route out of the town.

Whole areas were planned so that the workforce could live in the newly built estates, close enough to walk or cycle home for lunch.

IoE number 335856

© Paul Eggleston

Bath-house and amenities block at Kiveton Park Colliery, Rotherham.

The Kiveton Park Coal Company built this block in 1938 to provide modern amenities enabling miners to bathe and change after shifts underground. The colliery companies in this region pioneered this style of Modern architecture in the 1930s, a time when the coalmining industry was both expanding and modernising.

Ideas for using these images in the classroom
  • Use these images either to introduce work on Britain in the 1930s or as revision.
  • Base local study work on an estate in your area built during the period.
    • Visit the area and see how many period features you can identify.
    • Visit your local archives to find large scale Ordnance Survey maps of the area in the 1920s - 1940s.
    • Identify possible estates and ask if they have any building plans. These may relate to the whole estate, if built by the local council, or individual streets or houses if built by commercial builders.
    • Using maps and plans identify what services were provided, shops, cinema, church, school etc and in what order.
    • Discuss what services would be provided today and why the priorities have changed.
    • Look for old photographs of slum housing before demolition and new estates under construction.
    • Use information from old local newspapers, sales brochures or town guides from the period to find out what residents thought about them and how they compared to where they used to live.
    • Alternatively you may be able to contact people still living locally who would be willing to share their memories with your pupils.
    • For more information on the sources mentioned click here .
    • Visit a website for further information by clicking on the topic housing ; cinema
  • Focus on a public building in your area dating from the 1930s.
    • Use the Images of England advanced search to identify some possibilities or to check if the building you have selected is listed.
    • Make a survey of its architectural features [click here for tips] and identify how it fits with the period and the architectural style it was it built in.
    • Using the information captions above, suggest reasons why you think it may have been built. Do some research in your local archives or on the web to see if you are correct.
    • Find out what it was used for and how it is being used today.
    • How do local people feel about it, does it hold memories for them? Suggest some ideas for how it could be used in the future.
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