Go See: 1948 London Olympics From The Times Photo Archives

By July 19, 2012 Will Carleton

photo: Jack Hill/Pool

The Times is pleased to announce that an exhibition of photographs from The Times Archive Collection will be on display at City Hall, home of the London Assembly, from 17 to 20 July 2012.

The 40 photographs have been selected from nearly 500 images covering the 1948 London Olympics in The Times Archive Collection.  Most of the photographs are unpublished and unseen and almost all have been preserved in a perfect state, providing a wonderful visual record of the last time the Olympics came to Great Britain.

The photographs cover historic moments such as King George VI’s speech at the Opening Ceremony in Wembley Arena, the torch relay and many Olympic events including: cycling, rowing, fencing and athletics. The everyday side of the ‘Austerity Games’ is also covered: behind-the-scenes preparation, close-up shots of spectators and large crowd scenes. The black and white images are striking in themselves but also capture a moment in London’s history and illustrate the contrast between the 1948 and the 2012 Olympics: home-made kits, uneven grass tracks and sponsorship by cigarette brands.

The exhibition is free and open to the public from Tuesday 17 to Friday 20 July at City Hall, The Queens’s Walk, London SE1 2AA. A free 16 page catalogue will be distributed at the exhibition.

Sue Connolly, Picture Editor of The Times said: “These rarely-seen photographs are a treasure trove for anyone interested in the contrast between the 1948 and 2012 London Olympics. It has been a privilege but a difficult task to select just 40 for the exhibition but the final collection encapsulates the spirit of those post-war Games and will inspire any enthusiasts viewing them on the eve of this year’s Games.”

View and buy prints from The Times collection here