London of Christmas Past

As Christmas creeps closer London comes alive – dazzling lights illuminate the city, Christmas shoppers throng the streets and mulled wine-fuelled revellers spill out of every pub.
London has always been a great place for getting in the Christmas spirit. These festive photos show how Christmas in London has evolved over the decades.

Covent Garden, 1920

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree. Here, two children carry home their Christmas tree after picking it out at Covent Garden market.

Today, Covent Garden is one of the most enchanting Christmas shopping spots in town – if you’re willing to brave the crowds!

St Paul’s Cathedral, 1938

A family stands enthralled in front of a glowing Christmas tree outside St Paul’s Cathedral. Two years after this photo was taken, the majestic cathedral withstood devastating air raids at Christmas time during World War II.

Thanks to its miraculous survival, families can still enjoy Christmas carol services under the iconic dome just as they’ve always done.

Oxford Street, 1939

Sandbags line the walls of Selfridges on Oxford Street during the first Christmas of World War II.

These days, you’d be more likely to find hordes of frenzied shoppers lining the renowned department store’s walls in the lead up to the big day.

Trafalgar Square, 1947

Excited crowds watch as a Norwegian Christmas tree is raised in Trafalgar Square for the very first time.

The city of Oslo has given London a Christmas tree every year since, as a token of gratitude for Britain’s support during World War II.

Today, the giant Norway spruce is decorated with 500 twinkling white lights which are lit in a ceremony at the beginning of December.

Oxford Street, 1949

Santa races a double decker bus down Oxford Street on a slightly untraditional mode of transport. One can only assume his reindeer were otherwise engaged…

With his sidecar stuffed full of toys, he wouldn’t be entirely out of place on modern day Oxford Street at Christmas time – shoppers laden with gifts are an all too familiar sight!

Oxford Street, 1962

A sparkling Christmas tree hangs high above Oxford Street as cabs and the recently introduced Routemaster buses pass by below.

Every year Europe’s busiest shopping street is adorned with what has become a legendary Christmas light display. This year sees the street garlanded with 1,778 glittering orbs inspired by falling snow.

Regent Street, 1964

Christmas lights have been a beloved feature of London’s West End since 1954. Here, resplendent reindeer gallop across the sky over Regent Street.

This year the grand shopping street has been bedecked with shimmering golden coils, cogs and sequins in a display that rivals nearby Oxford Street’s.

Carnaby Street, 1967

Mod-inspired Christmas decorations festoon Carnaby Street, London’s coolest hangout, back when the city was in full swing.

Whilst its swinging sixties heyday may have passed, Carnaby Street is now one of Soho’s jolliest spots to enjoy a Christmas drink.

 Each area of London has its unique history that’s waiting to be discovered and it’s always something we look out for when choosing an office location. We currently have a number of managed offices in Soho that are ready for you and your business.

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