The 1950s was a prosperous decade. Record quantities of imports and exports passed through London’s docks. The reconstruction effort was in full swing. Skilled labour was now being actively recruited from Commonwealth countries and was helping build and staff London’s new hospitals, houses and schools.
Growing affluence brought a new assertiveness to young Londoners who looked to America for models of behaviour and music. Disaffected ‘juvenile delinquents’ became a problem group, particularly in 1958 when the growing West Indian community in Notting Hill came under attack from rampaging youth gangs.
London’s population, 1951
Greater London: 8,193,921 people
Inner London: 3,347,982 people
London’s economy and jobs
Manufacturing firms flourished during the 1950s, particularly those making consumer goods such as televisions, washing machines and radios. ‘White collar’ jobs were on the increase as an office boom brought over 50,000 new jobs to London and service took a bigger share of London’s overall economy.
By the 1950s services accounted for 51% of London’s economy, manufacturing accounted for 42%. Women benefited most from the new office jobs. During the 1950s women came to outnumber men in London’s offices, for the first time ever.
1950 Stone of Destiny stolen from Westminster Abbey by Scots nationalists 1951 Festival of Britain 1952 London smog kills 4,000 Londoners from respiratory diseases 1953 The Coronation 1958 Notting Hill riots