How did London’s commuters get to work during the blitz? A propaganda film from 1941 says, blitz? What blitz? Everything’s normal down here.

Filmed after the start of the Blitz, ‘City Bound‘ is an exploration of the daily commute into London from the suburbs in 1941.

“Barrage balloons, steel helmets and gas masks – but little else – show the presence of war. People just carried on.”

Being made during WW2, it’s subject to the censors, and is a very upbeat view of life in London for the average commuter — and is a jolly good look back at some old footage of London trains and buses.

“3,600 train coaches; 6,400 buses; 2,700 trams and trollybuses. 8,000 workmen”

Sit back and enjoy some patriotic music, and look out for signs in tube station entrances pointing to the nearest air raid shelter, the contrails from German bombers overhead, and London’s suburbs while they were still countryside.

Of course, what you wont see on this idyllic vision of life for the average (aka, quite rich) commuter from the shires are the diversions and delays caused by overnight bombing raids.

No mention of bombed out railway tracks and bridges being hurriedly repaired.

Just “These the ordinary people of London” going about life as if the war wasn’t even happening.

Watch the 10-minute film below:

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5 comments
  1. Valerie says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the short film “City Bound” showing people travelling to work in London during the Second world War. Wonderful to see the old buses and the City of London. Both my Mum and Dad worked in London when they were single before they were called up to join the Army, so it was lovely to see how they would have travelled into work. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Mickey says:

    There is an incredible optical illusion at the 5 min 22 sec point! This is a film about people going to work – so look at the sides of the houses in the background. It seems to show a long line of bowler hatted men going to work, but it is light and shadow, combined with the shape of the end walls of the houses.

    The bus garage looked like Victoria (Gillingham Street), now long gone. Some good shots of the Victoria bus station.

    Apart from the war, were they really the good old days?

  3. Rodney Maennling says:

    Thank you Ian, for nostalgia that does touch the heart. Happy and positive news and movies were so needed then. I was seven during the Blitz, and with my family, escaped with our lives and home. Later, I travelled from Kenton into the City for school and work on the Tube and buses. The LT is embedded as part of me.
    Rodney, Vancouver Island, Canada

  4. Mark says:

    The Blitz was in response to the firebombing of German cities by the RAF.

    • Brian Smith says:

      Your history is wonky, London Blitz 1940-41
      Dresden 1945
      Hamburg 1943-45
      so if anything the other way round.

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