Monday, December 21, 2015

A Covent Garden Christmas

* Season’s Greetings 2015 *

[Photographs taken in December 2015]
1. Christmas tree outside St Paul’s Church,
Covent Garden, London
2. Covent Garden ‘Apple Market’ barrows
(At the entrance to the former indoor fruit market)
3. The Covent Garden indoor ‘Apple Market’
(Seasonally decorated by large artificial mistletoe)
Formerly London’s fruit and vegetable market
Traders now sell antiques, collectables, art works, etc
4. Reindeer street decoration
(The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is in the background)
During WW2, London’s main fruit and vegetable market remained at Covent Garden as it had done since 1670. In 1973 the fruit and vegetable market moved to New Covent Garden at Nine Elms, S.W. London about 3 miles (c. 5 kilometres) from its original site.

Between 1973 and 1980 the original Covent Garden was redeveloped as a popular shopping, tourist, theatrical and entertainment district, as seen in the photographs above. Christmastime at Covent Garden in 2015 was rather different to Christmastime during the Second World War, especially that of December 1940 when London was being bombed on most nights. 
For additional information click on ‘Comments’ below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information
(Covent Garden)

Throughout December 2015 and early January 2016 a large, decorated Christmas tree stands outside St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden [Photograph No. 1]. A Christmas tree has been placed at this location for many years. The paved area in front of the church is often used by street entertainers who perform to the crowds of shoppers who come to the shops and stalls at Covent Garden.

The interior of the former fruit and vegetable market is now occupied by shops, cafés, pubs and a craft market known as the ‘Apple Market’ [Photograph No. 2 and Photograph No. 3]. For Christmastime 2015 there is a large Reindeer and sleigh street decoration at the entrance to Covent Garden from Russell Street [Photograph No. 4]. It reminds children of all ages, from four to ninety-four, that Father Christmas (Santa Claus) will fly overhead on Christmas Eve (24 December) and drop off gifts in every home.

Looking at the scenes in Covent Garden in December 2015 one might consider how different it was seventy-five years earlier in December 1940. While 1940 may have been the second Christmas of WW2, the people of London and other parts of Britain were being subjected to the Blitz with civilians being bombed out of their houses by the Germans.

In London, many families slept in air raid shelters, often with makeshift decorations of greenery, such as small Christmas trees, mistletoe and holly. Father Christmas may still have come on Christmas Eve but that year the presents he brought may well have been home-made.

For those who do not remember the war years, and especially Christmastime of 1940, it can be difficult to understand what it was like. Hopefully, there will never be another Christmas in London like that of Christmas 1940. Let us continue to exchange “Season’s Greetings” and let us continue to work for peace, joy and goodwill to all.

Season’s Greetings to everyone!

Christmas 1940 on the British Home Front

For further information about Christmastime 1940 on the British Home Front, click on the following link to go to the BBC History website page on the topic of Christmas 1940:
BBC History (Christmas 1940)
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Monday, 21 December, 2015  

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