London in the 1920s changed its mood. The lifting of war time restrictions in the early 1920s created new sorts of night-life in the West End. Entrepreneurs opened clubs, restaurants and dance halls to cater for the new crazes: jazz and dancing. The capital began to feel less traditional and more modern. 'Wireless' radio was the technological marvel of the decade.
As London lightened up at its centre, so it began to spread at its edges. Electric railways opened up new suburbs for commuting. Local councils and private house builders both redoubled their efforts to build new estates on green-field sites in outer London. Those Londoners who could afford it moved out of the unhealthy inner city.
London's population, 1921
Greater London: 7,386,755 people
Inner London: 4,484,523 people
London's economy and jobs
London's docks resumed their role as the engine of London's wealth. The volume of imports and exports rose with the opening of the King George V docks complex in 1921. In central London new office jobs were created by a new generation of British corporations and banks: ICI and British Petroleum both built large head offices in central London .
Firms continued to move out of inner city, particularly to West London. More factories were built at Park Royal and along the new arterial roads. The Firestone Tyre factory on the Great West Road, the Wrigley factory at Wembley and Lyons food processing works at Hammersmith were typical of the new generation of London's light industry They had smart modern buildings and used modern, electrically-powered automated machinery.
- 1922 first radio broadcast of the British Broadcasting Company (later, the British Broadcasting Corporation) from premises in the Strand
- 1924-5 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley
- 1926 The General Strike lasts for 10 days in May
- 1928 The Thames floods central London
- 1928 London's first automatic telephone exchange opens at Holborn
- 1922 Waterloo Station
- 1922 County Hall
- 1929 Battersea Power Station
- 1926 London's first traffic lights at Piccadilly
- 1926 southern extension of the Northern Line to Morden
What are these?
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