1929, London Bridge looking over the River Thames. (AP)

While life in the period drama Downton Abbey seems picturesque for the most part, London during the 1920s was less than idyllic. The 1921 coal miner’s strike sent the city into a state of emergency; the 1926 labor General Strike ended with no benefits for workers; and the River Thames flooded Central London in 1928. Even though Londoners faced daily strife, war time restrictions had been lifted with World War I ending in 1918, welcoming new advancements like the BBC transmitting its first radio broadcast in 1922 and the first traffic lights being installed at Piccadilly in 1926. This snapshot of 1920s London gives us a feel of what life was like:

1920, Winston Churchill (right) and Albert Thomas leaving 10 Downing Street. (AP)
Winston Churchill (right) and Albert Thomas leaving 10 Downing Street, 1920. (AP)
1921, Soldier in London
A volunteer of the civilian Defense Force is on duty during the coal strike, 1921. (AP)
1922, Newlyweds
Heiress Edwina Ashley and Lord Louis Mountbatten on their wedding day, 1922. (AP)
1922, Author Rudyard Kipling
Author Rudyard Kipling and his wife arrive to Westminster Abbey, 1922. (AP)
1925, fire ...
The Museum of Madame Tussaud following a disastrous fire, 1925. (AP)
1926, Bank of England
Gridlock near The Bank of England, 1926. (AP)
1926, Armored cars
Armored cars stand by at Hyde Park during the General Strike, 1926. (AP)
London General Strike 1926
Extra police are on detail outside 10 Downing Street, 1926. (AP)
1926, London Strike
Police hold off strikers, 1926. (AP)
1926, Hyde Park
Pedestrians walk by Hyde Park after its been closed to the public, 1926. (AP)
1926, Hyde Park gates
Pedestrians talk to sailors through the Hyde Park gates, 1926. (AP)
1926, London car stranded
Police help a stranded car, 1926. (AP)
1928, Mums with their babies
Mums with their children hang out on the stoop, 1928 (AP).
1928, Two caners fixing a chair.
Two caners fix a chair, 1928. (AP)
1928, Outside a pub
A couple share a pint outside of the local, 1928. (AP)
1928, Churchyard
A bastion of the Old Roman Wall in St. Giles’ Churchyard, Cripplegate, 1928. (AP)
1928, Buckingham Palace
Crowds wait for news of King George V outside Buckingham Palace, 1928. (AP)
1928, Airplane
Imperial Airways Calcutta Flying boat is moored on the River Thames, 1928. (AP)
1929, Barges and ships
Barges and ships are moored in the Pool of London, on the River Thames, 1929. (AP)
1929, London Bridge looking over the River Thames. (AP)
Pedestrians stand on the London Bridge watching boats being unloaded, 1929. (AP)
1929, Newspaper headline of imminent war.
The newspaper headline reads of imminent war, 1929. (AP)

Do you feel gritty after looking through the snapshot?

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By Brigid Brown