Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Britain from the air in times gone by

Britain from the air in times gone by

A splendid series of images from The Daily Telegraph now, which highlights a project currently under way at English Heritage to digitise their extensive collection of pre-war aerial photographs - part of the Aerofilms Collection.

As you will see, these fantastic snap-shots show British landmarks and countryside from a then-new vantage point - with many aspects that today seem somehow familiar and yet at the same time have changed enormously.  In some of them we can see the beginnings of the sprawling urbanisation that is more and more prevalent nowadays and for perhaps the first time we can appreciate on a larger scale just how fresh, open and unspoilt some places once were.  Indeed one of the secondary aims of this Britain From Above project is to observe and compare building expansion and how it affects and has affected the natural surroundings over the decades.

For us it gives us the opportunity to pore over some wonderful vintage pictures, with the promise of yet more to come - 95,000 by 2014! - and think back to those pioneers of flight who instigated the idea and how amazing it must have been for people, like those in the above clip, to fly over places they had only ever seen before from ground level.  These photographs truly did (and do) give a whole new perspective on the British Isles of the 1920s, '30s and '40s.

1 comment:

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