My current interest in modernist design has largely been influenced by my house, which was rebuilt in 1950 following its destruction during the Blitz. Our first clue to its more unusual history was the rather large bolts that seem to be anchoring our walls to next door. The outside of our house is also slightly different to its Victorian neighbours with different brick work and nine panel sash windows which also allude to its more modern design. Intrigued to know more, one very, very rainy day last year, I trapsed all the way to the London Metropolitan Archive (LMA) to view the London County Council Bomb Damage maps. These are an amazing series of maps which chart the damage to properties throughout London in exquisite and colourful detail. They cover the entire adminstrative area of the then London County Council which is over 100 square miles. The maps are searchable online at the LMA and the physical maps themselves are available to photocopy in colour for a very small fee.
The maps show that our house was ‘Damaged Beyond Repair’ with adjacent houses being completely destroyed. It is likely that the damage was caused by Incendiaries rather than German V bombs but it does rather bring home the reality of the Blitz and its impact on people and their homes throughout London. My 60p A3 colour photocopy has now been framed and sits happily in our hallway giving all visitors a unique insight into the history of our house.