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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:24 AM

Great Smog 60 years on: 'New laws needed to clean London's air'

Sixty years ago thick smog descended on London, contributing to the deaths of an estimated 4,000 people.

The four-day "pea-souper", while worse than usual, was a familiar experience for Londoners.

Visibility was so poor buses and taxis ground to a halt, forcing commuters to hurry underground to use the Tube.

In the Isle of Dogs in east London, the fog was reported to be so thick people could not see their feet and animals dropped dead at the Smithfield Show.


That was followed by what I recall as being the last of the smogs November 1962. At midday , in Willesden NW10 , you couldn't see the front of an Anglia van from the driving seat. I was based in a tv workshop just across the road from the Ace Cafe at Stonebridge Park. One of the nights I walked from Park Royal to my girlfriend's at West Hendon NW4, faster than the traffic was moving, and later walked home to Edgware. About 7 weeks later we got hit by the winter snow across the New Year 1962/63 which lasted until March.

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