Rare colour pictures give glimpse of London life during the Blitz

The images are some of the only colour pictures of the Blitz and the war effort. Credit: TR470/Imperial War Museum.

A collection of very rare colour photographs of life in London and across the UK during the Blitz have been released to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The images are on display as in the Imperial War Museum in Manchester, as part of their Horrible Histories: Blitzed Brits, which opens tomorrow and runs until April 2016.

Two women weighing and packing bicarbonate of soda at a chemical factory run by the Ministry of Supply. Credit: TR1809/Imperial War Museum.
The bomb damaged areas around St Paul's Cathedral. Credit: TR1693/Imperial War Museum.
Mr George Beckett, a volunteer with the British Home Front, uses a power hammer to forge the handle of a file. Credit: TR2653/Imperial War Museum.
The Minister for Aircraft Production, the Rt Hon Colonel JJ Llewellyn, MP at his desk. Credit: TR 41/Imperial War Museum.
The Auxiliary Territorial Service at an Anti-aircraft gun site in December 1942, Credit: TR470/Imperial War Museum.
Lunchtime entertainment in a war workers' canteen - a view from the audience. Credit: TR 968/Imperial War Museum.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London with barrage balloons in the background, seen from Westminster Bridge. Credit: TR1114/Imperial War Museum.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill with his chiefs of staff in the garden of 10 Downing Street in May 7, 1945. Credit: TR2858/Imperial War Museum.
A messenger boy walking past the entrance to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square London. Credit: TR1946/Imperial War Museum
Two Auxiliary Territorial Service girls operate a mobile power plant on an anti-aircraft gun site at night. Credit: TR464/Imperial War Museum
A girl guide and a sea ranger selling saving stamps as part of the War Effort. Credit: TR1942/Imperial War Musuem
ATS spotter with binoculars at the anti-aircraft command post, with a 3.7 inch anti-aircraft gun in the background. Credit: TR460/Imperial War Musuem
A Civil Defence Warden inspects bomb damaged buildings in Holborn, London. Credit: TR1928/Imperial War Museum
A London messenger boy walking past a bomb site in London. Credit: TR1947/Imperial War Museum
Nelson's column with 'salute the war effort' signs. Credit: TR1696/Imperial War Museum