1940's

During the Second World War, Battersea Town Hall was an Air Raid Precautions centre, site for rationing control and distributing gas masks and ration books and the lower hall was used as an air raid shelter. From August 1940 until May 1941, Germans carried out a bombing campaign that became known as the Blitz - short for blitzkrieg meaning 'lightning war'. Night after night fleets of bombers dropped tons of explosives across London and other towns throughout Britain - particularly in industrial areas. The first serious attacks on the borough started on the 7th September 1940. Battersea was a prime target with a vast network of railways, power stations and many factories involved in war work. War damage to the building was estimated at £27,719. The Shakespeare Theatre suffered considerable bomb damage too.