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The Great Smog of London (1952)

Today is the 60th anniversary of the Great Smog of 1952. I remember it well, because I was in London at the time. I was stationed at the Tower of London, where I was a new National Serviceman doing my basic training with the Royal Fusiliers.

I had a weekend leave and had gone to stay at my girl friend's flat near Regent's Park. On the Sunday evening I was returning to the Tower; the fog was so thick that I could hardly find my way to the Tube, So corrosive was the air that the brasswork on my uniform became complete tarnished and I had to work quite hard to restore it to its prescribed state of shininess.

This was the last, and probably the worst, of the 'pea-soupers' that used to afflict London. It led to the passing of the Clean Air Act, which outlawed coal fires and put an end to major smogs in London and other British cities.


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