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A glimpse of Covent Garden in the 1930s


In Covent Garden, echoes of the area’s history are all around us - in the buildings, the street names, the theatres, and in the urban throng. But with the Museum of London’s Streetmuseum 2.0 iPhone app, visitors can experience a more detailed interaction with the district’s past.

Through the app you can select a destination and access old images sourced from the museum’s photographic collection and it can even recognise your location and overlay a historical image over your current view.

This composite image from the corner of Long Acre and James Street consists of a photograph by George Davison Reid from around 1930 when Covent Garden was home to a bustling, overcrowded fruit and vegetable market, melded into a contemporary view.

We can see that while the station and the streetscape remain remarkably unchanged, the clothes, transport and likelihood of stepping in horse droppings have certainly evolved. That said, while vehicles passing through Covent Garden these days may look more sophisticated, they’re probably not moving any faster.


Covent Gadren 1930 and 2014, copyright Museum of London