Wednesday, October 30, 2013

History Corner: WW2 Stretchers as Railings

Mereton Mansions in Brookmill Road, Deptford was formerly Carrington House, a homeless hostel. The railings outside have an interesting history too - they are made from metal stretchers used by ARP (Air Raid Protection) during the Second World War.

Similar examples of this recycling can be found elsewhere in London. I spotted these on the East Dulwich Estate:

See also The Great Wen on World War 2 Railings - he mentions that there are similar railings in Harleyford Street SE11. There is an interesting discussion on flickr too with pictures from elsewhere, and some detail that confirms this is not just an urban myth. In fact here's a photo of one of the stretchers in action:

from Wartime Memories by Ruth Durrant - note the stretchers
(this picture was taken on one of the River Emergency Service boats in the Second World War,
which operated from Cherry Gardens Pier in Bermondsey)


Anonymous said...

There's a picture of the stretchers in use by ARP wardens in 'Camberwell Past' by Richard Tames.
Sadly East Dulwich Estate ones are due to be removed (all but a handful) in landscaping this/next year as they have not been maintained in recent (10?) years and most are eaten away by rust.

47bus said...

There's another set in Deptford round Rowley House (Watergate Street / Trevithick Street)

I've seen quite a few others round former LCC blocks.

Don't know if there were pre-war railings that got removed as part of the scrap metal drive.