Houses of Parliament Letter Rack, 1941
Houses of Parliament Letter Rack, 1941
Houses of Parliament Letter Rack, 1941
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Houses of Parliament Letter Rack, 1941

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Height: 12cm (4.7in)

Stone and lead. After the Houses of Parliament were damaged by enemy action in May 1941, Stonecraft Limited of London obtained rights to work the blitzed fabric of the building into a range of useful artefacts that were sold in aid of the Red Cross & St John Fund. The present lettewr holder was designed by H. Brockhurst for Stonecraft Limited and is adorned with lead plaques featuring St. Stephen’s Tower. The promotional literature of the day announced, ‘This simple but attractive design has been in response to many requests for a small piece of stone from the Houses of Parliament which can be placed on a Radio Set to hold the Radio Times. Also makes a most useful letter rack.’

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The Commons chamber The Commons chamber destroyed in the raid

The Palace of Westminster was damaged by air raids on fourteen different occasions during the Second World War. The incendiary bombs which fell on the nights of 10 and 11 May 1941 caused the greatest damage to the Palace. The Commons Chamber was hit by bombs and the roof of Westminster Hall was set on fire. The fire service said that it would be impossible to save both, so it was decided to concentrate on saving Westminster Hall. The Commons Chamber was entirely destroyed by the fire which spread to the Members' Lobby and caused the ceiling to collapse. By the following morning, all that was left of the Chamber was a smoking shell. A small bomb struck the Clock Tower and broke all the glass on its south face, but the clock and bells were undamaged and the chimes could be broadcast as usual. The House of Lords was struck by a bomb which passed through the floor of the Chamber without exploding.