1908 and 1948
Date of publication: June 2011
The first two London Olympics offer food for thought in the run-up to London 2012, with its multi-billion pound budget during a global economic recession, new sporting arenas, Olympic villages, and high-speed rail links. When Vesuvius erupted in 1906, Italy had to pull out of hosting the Games. London stepped in and delivered new stadia without any government assistance in just two years. In 1948, still recovering from the ravages of war, London hosted the Olympics again. The entire budget for the 1948 Games was £760,000, and they turned a profit of £29,000. This history of the London Olympics, which concludes with a look ahead to 2012, is a timely and fascinating chronicle of the Games of another age.
The First London Olympics: 1908
Make Do and Mend: 1948