there are, however, rockets in this post

Via Airminded, find your local V2 rocket strike. London, Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Riyadh, and Tehran have what in common? That’s right, it’s the list of cities that have been subjected to attack from space.

Then, why not go here and look up how big a hole it made? Someone’s photographed and flickr’d a whole set of London County Council damage assessment maps.

My local strike is now a small, never-used park on one side of the street and a pretty grim council estate on the other. But damage in this corner of London was limited compared to further down the Holloway Road. Oddly, there seems to be a correlation between the degree of damage and the London Profiler crime rate; the area south of Torrington Way, which has a sky-high crime rate, was pretty much flattened. (Sadly, the LCC maps aren’t geotagged, so making up a KML overlay would be annoyingly difficult.)

Question – is it that these areas were rebuilt as council housing and filled with the poor, or that the architecture caused the crime? After all, they were hardly peachy suburbia before being destroyed. Strange, though, to think that Wernher von Braun partly decided where tonight’s post-pub kebab stabbing is likely to happen.


  1. Richard J

    Thanks for the link to the bomb damage charts – I’d always wondered if the post-war insertion on my street of SE London Edwardian terraces was to fill a bomb gap – looks like it. (And that the houses backing onto our back garden were wrecked may explain all the kitchen tile debris in it.)

  2. Tom

    My local is the original, old time Number One, in Staveley Road, Chiswick, about five hundred yards away.

    Since the bomb dropped, the area’s been rebuilt, then the local Secondary Modern was closed and replaced with mock-something yuppie housing where every other car is a BMW X5, which gives the impression that the V2 took out a whole row of houses on the south side of the street, which is untrue, although it had me fooled for a while.

    The street looks unnervingly lovely when the blossom is out, though the trees close to the site are notably newer.

    Did you mean to leave your postcode in the link, by the way? Remind me to show you the Google Earth map I made of the proposed Archway road scheme of the 80s based on the streets mentioned by Labour opponents in the Commons. It’s possible that urban motorway blight may be an alternative explanation for crime ghettos in inner cities. It’s certainly true of some areas further out where councils bought out owners and housed troublesome tenants on the basis that the houses were coming down anyway, plus of course the kind of architecture that goes up when you expect a road to go past the windows wasn’t always fit for human consumption.

  3. Hi there – you might also be interested in the map that Matt Brown from Londonist created from my maps…

    http://londonist.com/2009/01/london_v2_rocket_sitesmapped.php

    … and a cute little application that Tom Taylor made, based on Matt’s map:

    http://rocketstrikes.iamnear.net/




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