The 1948 Olympics | Behind the scenes at the Austerity Games
CHANNEL | BBC Television Service
FIRST BROADCAST | 04 June 1948
DURATION | 2 minutes 21 seconds
A former military convalescent camp is being converted and updated to provide housing for 1,500 Olympic visitors. Evidence of 'Austerity Britain' abounds as single beds are lined up in cramped dormitories and a static water tank is described as a duck pond. However, some luxuries will be provided as the camp will also have its own Post Office, bank and milk bar.
The provision of accommodation for the Olympic competitors was a politically sensitive issue, with a balance having to be struck between the need for Britain to be seen as capable of providing an adequate level of comfort for its guests and the pressure to rebuild housing for that part of its population left homeless by the war. Guards had to be posted at the Richmond Park site to prevent squatters moving in after the British Army vacated it. Camps were also prepared at RAF bases in Uxbridge and West Drayton. Between them, these three sites were expected to cater for 4,300 of the 6,000 expected guests. Female competitors were housed at three colleges in the Greater London area.
Royal Park to provide accommodation for Olympic competitors.
The art world celebrates the Olympics.
'May the weather be fine, the events well contested and may records be broken.'
TV announces a new era of comfort for crews and better pictures for viewers
Robert Jackson Robinson meets the Royal Family.
The indomitable cycling champion recalls the 1948 Olympics.
Stuart MacPherson recalls the 'Austerity Games' of 1948.
Memories of the 1948 London Games.
Remembering the gold-medal winning rower.
Exciting times for the new BBC television service.
What else is on besides the Olympics?
The faces behind the voices commentating on the Olympic Games.
Capturing the action of the London Olympics Games.
Photographs taken at the opening ceremony of the Austerity Games.
How the BBC televised the Games.
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