London had a busy last century, enduring coughing industrial progress and its discontents, barrages from on high and the rise of the tabloids. It can be hard, these days, to see the old city buried beneath the new one. For that sort of perspective, one must almost necessarily head to the archives.
Compiled by The Library Time Machine blog run by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library Service, the photos below are from "London Night" by John Morrison and Harold Burkedin. Shot in the 1930s, they show a time "before clean air, before the Blitz, before post-war reconstruction," according the the Royal Borough's Service.
No one calls it The Big Smoke anymore, but memories of that era remain in the grimiest corners of gothic buttresses.