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   xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Dec 9 12:02 AM

Dec 9th, 2017: Stretchers

The Brits knew WW II, the big one, was coming. They also knew it would be unlike anything they’d experienced.
Having witnessed the Nazis in the Spanish civil war for three years they knew air power changed everything.
Civilians were now at risk of bombing raids on cities. Pulling people from the rubble of collapsed buildings, lots of people, had to
be done quickly. To that end, the Air Raid Precautions (later: the Civil Defense Service), built stretchers for moving victims,
600,000 of them. Steel to be strong and stable but light, stackable, easy to disinfect, and to clean in case of gas attacks.

In the wake of the war, the London County Council began utilizing these surplus stretchers as railing fixtures. They are easy to spot if you know what to look for — most are black with wire mesh in the middle and curved handles originally used to carry the stretcher.

All over London, upcycled stretchers from World War II can be found on public display — not as monuments or memorials, but as everyday elements of urban infrastructure. Many housing estate fences, initially stripped for critical materials to aid the war effort, were reconstructed with stretchers suspended between vertical supports.

Estates in places like Peckham, Brixton, Deptford, Oval and East London still feature surviving stretchers. Exposed to the elements, though, many are deteriorating and some have already been taken down.


“Some local authorities have removed sets of railings in recent years due to their degradation,” explains the website of the Stretcher Railing Society. Their organization “believes that these railings are an important part of our heritage and should be preserved as an integral element in the fabric of these iconic mid-century housing estates.” They’re raising awareness and get both citizens and local governments involved in preservation efforts.
Git away from them stretchers, ya damn whippersnappers got no respect for tradition.


glatt  Saturday Dec 9 06:26 AM


I love this kind of thing.

Carruthers  Saturday Dec 9 07:28 AM

The Stretcher Railing Society

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