Black-outs in the Church

Blackouts proved one of the more unpleasant aspects of the war, as they often disrupted many civilian activities and caused widespread grumbling and lower morale amongst the population.

Blackout regulations were imposed on 1 September 1939, before the declaration of war.  The regulations required that all windows and doors should be covered at night with suitable material such as heavy curtains, cardboard or paint, to prevent the escape of any glimmer of light that might help enemy aircraft spot a target. 

Shops, factories and churches had particular problems with black out regulations.  Factories with large areas of glass roofing found it impossible to install temporary blackout panels and permanent methods (such as paint) lost the natural light needed for during the day light hours.  Some shops had to install double “airlock” doors to avoid light showing as customers arrived and exited, and churches found that they had to conduct services in candlelight as it was impossible to black-out their many and large windows

It was the job of the civilian ARP wardens to enforce the rules and hefty fines or court appearances were handed out to offenders .

Photo – Bromley & District Times, January 1941

For further information on Black Outs, you may find this website of interest –


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