“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Scars of WW2 in South Kensington

If you’ve ever visited London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (commonly known as the V&A) in South Kensington, you probably went in via the main entrance on Cromwell Road. The museum also has a side façade running along Exhibition Road, but if you walked that way you were probably heading for the Science Museum, in which case you were on the other side of the road. If so you missed an astonishing sight, because that whole side of the V&A is disfigured by bomb damage that dates from World War Two – almost 80 years ago.

The museum was fortunate in that it never received a direct hit, but it bears countless small scars caused by shrapnel and debris from explosions nearby. The inscription pictured above reads:
The damage to these walls is the result of enemy bombing during the Blitz of the Second World War 1939 – 1945 and is left as a memorial to the enduring values of this great museum in a time of conflict.
The “enemy” in question was, of course, Germany – which is ironic, because the Albert in “Victoria and Albert” was a German himself. Officially known as Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Queen Victoria’s husband was born in a castle about a hundred kilometres north of Nuremberg.

Here is a wider angle shot of the area around the inscription:

The next five photographs form a sequence walking back towards Cromwell Road:

Even this telephone box appears to have suffered shrapnel damage:
For many more unusual sights in London, don’t forget to check out Random Encounters on the London Tourist Trail.

Pictures by Andrew May, October 2018.