The Blitz and the V–bombs devastated people’s neighbourhoods. Once familiar streets of buildings were reduced to large piles of rubble.

The bomb damage created a strange new landscape. Many of Hackney’s terraced streets were left with gaping holes where homes once stood. Schools, libraries, religious buildings, shops and factories were blasted beyond recognition. Roads were often hit, leaving big craters and exposed gas and water mains and in the aftermath of a bombing raid the streets were covered in pieces of shrapnel, broken glass and rubble.

The devastation left neighbourhoods with many abandoned homes which were too badly damaged to live in. Bomb damage sites like this became places where children played in the rubble of the ruined buildings.

Click on the links to the left to find out how the war impacted on Hackney’s neighbourhoods...