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TV, radio, film, Arts

The Blitz Spirit did you watch.

(27 Posts)
tanith Tue 23-Feb-21 22:18:01

Just wonder if anyone else watched? I can’t say I like Lucy Worsley but found the whole thing intriguing and was left in tears by the end.
My. family were in London throughout the war, my sisters evacuated at first but were brought back when it seemed nothing was going to happen how wrong they were. My parents spent many nights either under the kitchen table or down on the platform at Kilburn Park tube station. The program brought home what they went through.

Deedaa Tue 23-Feb-21 22:27:03

I like Lucy and this was far and away the best programme she has done. My parents were in the forces and their families were on the outskirts of London. It made me realise that if the only news they were getting was from the Daily Express (always their favourite paper) it was no wonder that they didn't have enormous sympathy for what the East End working classes went through. They were always very anti any sort of protest during the war while probably having no idea how people were living. .That poor nurse being lowered down to the crushed man! How do you ever get over something like that?

maytime2 Wed 24-Feb-21 09:39:58

I watched the programme and think that it was one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. For once I applaud the BBC for putting it on BBC1 where it might have a wider audience.
I think that this should be one of the mainstays of any future history syllabus of the war for school children.
Without spoiling it for those that have'nt watched, I knew about the difficulties faced re the Underground, but it is the first time that we really were given truthful accounts of what it was really like to face the air raids and deal with the aftermath e.g. I had not encountered dead bodies actually being shown on the screen.
If you haven't watched it I urge you to do so.

Pittcity Wed 24-Feb-21 09:45:34

A fascinating programme. The use of actors made it much more accessible than most history programmes. I wanted to know what happened to all of them after they had been through such horrific events.
I particularly liked the way that Lucy wandered through today's London with people in masks all around to juxtaposition the present with the days of the Blitz.
Highly recommended.

Gwyneth Wed 24-Feb-21 09:47:21

I like Lucy Worsley and enjoyed the programme very much. I knew that the government restricted what the press could print to encourage morale but not to the extent it did. Neither did I know that the ‘Milkman’ picture was actually set up by the photographer and his assistant. This would be a great programme for schools to watch. As Lucy stated there are always two sides to every story.

lemsip Wed 24-Feb-21 10:27:41

yes I watched it from 9pm hadn't spotted it already started at 8.30pm. Heartwrending scenes of death and destruction amongst people carrying on as best they could.
many years ago I read several
library books on mass observation during the 1939-1945 war. 5 ordinary people kept diaries that went into the archives.

Jane43 Wed 24-Feb-21 12:45:09

I will watch this today. I have seen similar programmes but this sounds particularly good. I had no idea of how much death, destruction and mutilation there was in the blitz until I read Kate Atkinson’s two novels, Life After Life and A God In Ruins, exceptional books for anybody interested in the period.

Humbertbear Wed 24-Feb-21 13:48:51

I watched it and so did my grand daughter who is studying for GCSE History. I learnt a lot from it. I had no idea that the rest of the country were kept in ignorance of what was happening. It was also very poignant for me as my uncle died in the bombing on 28 September 1940. Ironically, he was conscientious objector.

Grandma70s Wed 24-Feb-21 14:38:49

It was interesting. I was alive at the time, but only just!

I do think, though, that any programme about war should always point out that it works both ways. There was equal suffering in Germany, at ‘our’ hands. Never forget that.

M0nica Wed 24-Feb-21 15:48:05

We were a South London family, directly south of the docks, and any German plane that didn't drop his bombs because of the smoke dropped them on us before setting off home. My grandmothers house was destroyed in 1940 and she moved in with us, a local primary school was bombed in day time killing 38 children and 6 teachers. Then there were the V1s and V2s. After them my mother didn't sleep well for the rest of her life.

My family were born and brought up in Bermondsey, although we had moved out by 1939. Doing family history, not one of the houses my family lived in, in Bermodsey, between 1880 - 1935 survived the bombing.

I would recommend two books. The first is the The London County Council Bomb Damage Maps 1939-1945 , readily available from Amazon (or even your local Library and England's Hour by Vera Brittain, also available from Amazon. It is her diary on living in London and trying to travel wound the country in those two years when the fear of invasion and defeat was it its highest.

These two together, give you the full picture in a way nothing else can.

Deedaa Wed 24-Feb-21 20:34:59

Normally "re-enactments" of historical events are clunky and unconvincing. I think the difference here was that the actors were speaking the actual words of the people rather than te words that a modern day writer thought they would have used. You really forgot that you were watching actors.

trisher Wed 24-Feb-21 20:54:41

Haven't watched it and if it is another programme about how awful London had it I won't watch it. I grew up in Hull, one of the most bombed cities in UK. But the citizens of Hull didn't even get the acknowledgement and support Londoners got. Because it was located on the East coast it was a navigation point for German aircraft, So all mention of it was supressed. 95% of the housing was damaged www.wikiwand.com/en/Hull_Blitz

MayBee70 Thu 25-Feb-21 01:43:09

Just watched it. Very hard hitting wasn’t it. If I remember right the tube station in which many people died when it flooded was featured in Atonement. And the book shop that found the Keep Calm and Carry On poster was Barter Books in Alnwick.

MayBee70 Thu 25-Feb-21 12:14:38

trisher. The reason they focused on London is because they used diaries that were written by Londoners at the time. I assume that people from all over the country kept diaries: I think they said there are 12,000 of them. There was probably more archive footage of the London bombings to use so it was better to concentrate on that area. Plus there was a lot of mention of the use of tube stations. I think you’ll find it very interesting. I’m going to rewatch it tonight as I couldn’t quite take it all in last night.

Bodach Thu 25-Feb-21 12:36:23

Grandma70s

It was interesting. I was alive at the time, but only just!

I do think, though, that any programme about war should always point out that it works both ways. There was equal suffering in Germany, at ‘our’ hands. Never forget that.

In fact, by the end of the war, the German people had suffered a great deal more from aerial bombardment than we did. But never forget that it was the German people who started it.
As Churchill said at the time, quoting Hosea 8.7, "They have sown the wind; they shall reap the whirlwind".

Namsnanny Thu 25-Feb-21 12:48:04

trisher

Haven't watched it and if it is another programme about how awful London had it I won't watch it. I grew up in Hull, one of the most bombed cities in UK. But the citizens of Hull didn't even get the acknowledgement and support Londoners got. Because it was located on the East coast it was a navigation point for German aircraft, So all mention of it was supressed. 95% of the housing was damaged www.wikiwand.com/en/Hull_Blitz

trisher thank you for the link.

I think there was a complete black out of information about the bombing of other cities, for fear of giving the enemy information.

I know Bristol papers weren't allowed to mention it, to the amazement of those who suffered it.
Also they sent people to 'spy'observe the locals moral!!
Bristol was labelled as likely to harbour traitors afterwards. Just because people were overheard sharing their experiences of the bombing and wondering what the gov. was going to do to help protect them.
The police were sent to oust people sheltering in the caves nearby, (not enough shelters) because the gov. Wanted the space for the BBC to report from.

I didn't see the program, but I dont think we can judge what it was like to have to make difficult decisions quickly, under pressure. Mistakes and accidents happen.

MayBee70 Thu 25-Feb-21 14:10:26

It very much points out that the class system was instrumental in decision making.

trisher Thu 25-Feb-21 14:32:31

Watched it now. It's interesting but grim. My mum was a bus conductor she said there was a lot of black humour. They left an empty bus when a raid began and took shelter one evening, only to come back when there was a break ,and find it full of people, who had just come out of the pub, and were waiting to be taken home. They managed a short journey but there was a big crater in the road, so they just left the bus and walked to the depot but there were still people sitting in the bus.

luluaugust Fri 26-Feb-21 14:55:08

My mum went into London to work every day and if she was held up for any reason, like bombs dropping all night, got told off for being late! tanith whilst your family were under a table in the Kilburn area, mine were under a table at Kensal Green. I think Lucy had a good go at describing the horror.

M0nica Fri 26-Feb-21 16:37:57

Mine were under a table in Lewisham - towards the end, so was I. I can remember after the war ended, when I was under 5, always having an overwhelming need to hide under the table whenever I heard a plane. I didn't know why, I just had to do it.

AGAA4 Fri 26-Feb-21 16:48:29

I didn't watch the programme but my mum told me about one night when she was walking home from work and the sirens went off. It was too far for her to get home to the anderson shelter.
She froze as she heard the German planes approaching. A warden appeared and dragged her to the nearest shelter where there were many other people.
When they came out after the all clear most of the road where she had been had gone.

Funnygran Fri 26-Feb-21 17:01:57

I watched it although I’m not normally a fan of Lucy Worsley’s style of presenting. I found it very interesting. I was born in 1948 so obviously didn’t live through the war but it was very real to my parents and they talked about it quite a bit when we were children. My mum was a fire warden in the North East and her more domestic experiences were in contrast with my Dad’s who was serving abroad. I don’t know if anyone else noticed but I was struck that the nurse’s husband seemed to spend his days reading the paper while his wife went through all sorts of awful experiences!

tanith Fri 26-Feb-21 17:15:07

luluaugust 🤣🤣

PamelaJ1 Fri 26-Feb-21 18:52:10

I did watch the programme and found it very interesting.
One thing that stuck me was that spin doctors aren’t a new invention.
The similarities between how to deal with a war and how to deal with a Corona Virus was illuminating.
Why do the powers that be continue to think we don’t have a brain?

Namsnanny Fri 26-Feb-21 18:54:15

My great gran died of a heart attack whilst sheltering under the table with bombs dropping all around.

We often spoke of what her last thoughts would have been. The war was at it's worst (for civilians). Undoubtedly she would have feared what the future would bring for her gchildren, who were under the table with her.
Obviously she couldnt have known that their lives turned out well, all things considered.
Doesnt bear thinking about.