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The 1948 Olympics | Behind the scenes at the Austerity Games

About this collection

When the Olympic Games came to London in 1948, the event was visiting a city still suffering from the ravages of World War II. Rationing remained in force and many people had been left homeless, yet the bomb-cratered city rose to the challenge of hosting the world's greatest sporting occasion.

These 'Austerity Olympics' were not only the first post-war Games, but also the first Olympics in which British television played a role. This collection of programmes and photographs looks back at the Games, remembering the athletes who took part and revealing the BBC's role in televising events.

The 1948 Olympics Collection

A sign painter at the 1948 Olympic village.

News

Olympic Town at Richmond Park

BROADCAST 1948
2 MINUTES

Royal Park to provide accommodation for Olympic competitors.

Victoria and Albert Museum doorway.

News

Sport in Art Exhibition

BROADCAST 1948
2 MINUTES

The art world celebrates the Olympics.

PM Clement Attlee.

A Broadcast by the Prime Minister

Rt Hon Clement Attlee welcomes Olympic Athletes

BROADCAST 1948
4 MINUTES

'May the weather be fine, the events well contested and may records be broken.'

BBC camera in 1948.

News

Latest TV Equipment for Olympiad

BROADCAST 1948
3 MINUTES

TV announces a new era of comfort for crews and better pictures for viewers

basketball player in action.

Olympic Teams visit Buckingham Palace

RECORDED c. 1948
3 MINUTES

Robert Jackson Robinson meets the Royal Family.

Reg Harris.

PM

Reg Harris

BROADCAST 1976
5 MINUTES

The indomitable cycling champion recalls the 1948 Olympics.

Fanny Blankers-Koen.

Vintage Sporting Years

1948

BROADCAST 1985
12 MINUTES

Stuart MacPherson recalls the 'Austerity Games' of 1948.

Skyline along the Thames in London.

The Austerity Olympics

BROADCAST 1992
26 MINUTES

Memories of the 1948 London Games.

A gold medal from the 1948 Olympics.

Last Word

Bert Bushnell

BROADCAST 2010
4 MINUTES

Remembering the gold-medal winning rower.

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