Aerial Survey of Worcester, undertaken in October 1938 (north
at top of picture, with the Cathedral clearly visible in the centre).
This survey was commissioned as part of a study for major city centre
redevelopment plans which were finally published after World War
II, in 1946. The aerial survey was carried out by Huntingdon Aerofilms
using a balloon, and was photographed to mirror the 1:6 inch Ordinance
Survey map base.
In 1938, the city centre
still retained a great deal of its medieval plan of streets and
burgage plots. Industry and housing still occupied much of the centre.
Only on the western side of the High Street, towards the river,
had slum clearance made much impression on the densely built-up
pattern. The river and canal were still busy with trade, as was
the railway, and there were few vehicles on the streets. Further
out, the suburbs were beginning to expand rapidly.
many years this survey lay forgotten, until it was rediscovered
and put on display during the late 1980's. More recently, a paper
composite copy of the survey was put on display at the Commandery
- along with the Worcester 1250 model - as part of the Y2000 Plotting
the Past, Planning the Future exhibition.
survey data comprises 166, eighteen inch square, Black & White
photographs, 15 of which have been stitched together to make the
composite image shown on this page. With the kind help of Aerofilms,
who hold the copyright to the data, the original photographs have
now been scanned and the City Council have been given the right
to use them for purposes such as this web site.
Those regular visitors to this page - who will have been previously
met by a "coming soon" message - will hopeful forgive
us for taking a while...but until recently we were without the "master"
scans - and working from a paper composite was proving too messy
and long-winded for web distribution.