The unusual crook in London railings has a unique and unsettling history.

Jim Wheble from BBC London News recently took to the streets where these oddly shaped railings can be found surrounding some estates in London and told passersby about why those barriers look the way they do.

So why do these railings have such bizarre curves?

Well, as Wheble explains, it is because they were not originally built to be railings at all. They were built during World War 2 to be used as stretchers.

The odd curve along the pole was designed to keep the stretchers a couple inches off the ground.

They were repurposed to be used as railings along city streets after the war.

During the BBC London News segment, Wheble focuses on a smaller segment of a fence and notes that it would have been used to carry wounded children out of rubble during the war.

When passersby were told about the original purpose of the oddly shaped fence their reaction was a suitable, “Wow.”

During the build-up to the war, experts in the United Kingdom’s government were forecasting an apocalyptic like scenarios. They commissioned thousands of stretchers to built in order to properly assist those in need.

                                                                     YouTube/BBC London

Wheble interviews Ian Kikuchi, a historian at the Imperial War Museum, who says that experts were predicting 100,000s of casualties during the first few months of the war.

Fortunately, the devastation the experts at the time were predicting did not occur. That said, the effects of the war on London were still tragic.

During World War 2 London was constantly bombarded by German air attacks. Despite the incessant bombing attacks, Germany was unable to demoralize British citizens, nor were the bombing attacks able to hamper British war production.

These railings quietly stand as a monument to the courage and resilience of Londoners during wartime.

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