29 Majestic Historical Photos Of Britain From Above
A new book features a powerful collection of aerial photography across Britain, stretching as far back as 1919.
1. The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, Westminster, 1946.
2. Windsor Castle and St George's Chapel, Windsor, 1947.
Dating from 1919 to 2006, the collection contains one of the largest archives of aerial photographs of the UK.
3. Oxford, crowds around the Radcliffe Camera for the opening of the New Bodleian Library by King George VI, 1946.
4. Martin Hearn wing walking, 1932.
5. St Paul's Cathedral and environs, London, 1947.
6. Crowds at Sandford Park Swimming Pool, Cheltenham, 1947.
7. Crowds on Ramsgate Sands, the Royal Victoria Pavilion and Wellington Crescent, Ramsgate, 1947.
Aerofilms was founded by World War I Royal Navy aircraft navigator and photographer Francis Lewis Wills, and Claude Grahame-White, an aviation celebrity who made his first solo flight without a single lesson, was the first Briton to receive a pilot's licence and made the world's first ever night flight.
8. Construction of the final cooling tower at Walsall B Power Station, Walsall, 1950.
Claude also provided The War of the Worlds author HG Wells with his first flight.
9. The Royal Crescent and environs, Bath, 1949.
10. The Houses of Parliament, River Thames and the Festival of Britain South Bank Site, 1951.
The success of Aerofilms led to Churchill demanding that the military take over the collection at the beginning of World War II, and Aerofilms staff formed the initial core of the immensely successful Allied units which analysed aerial photography of occupied Europe and beyond.
11. Battersea Power Station, London, 1953.
12. Crowds at Trafalgar Square, St James, 1953.
Aerofilms also took aerial photographs of London - images which were later to become the basis of the mosaic at the start of EastEnders.