Dynamo Moscow in Britain FC Dynamo Moscow

Dynamo Moscow in Britain: Behind the Photos

4:14 PMGoalChatter

by Aleks V@aleksvee

Part II in a series on the 70th anniversary of Dynamo Moscow's tour of Britain

Explore locations from Dynamo Moscow's tour of Britain in 1945 and see what those places look like today.

Bottom image: Google Maps.
1945. Dynamo Moscow players feed some pigeons in front of Trafalgar Square. One of Sir Edwin Landseer's bronze cast lions pokes his head in at the right.

While London's largest square is no longer host to a large pigeon community after a ban on feeding them was passed in 2003, the rest of the area is just as it appeared to the Dynamo 70 years ago. The building on the left is the London Drummonds branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland. It has been at its current location since 1760, and held accounts for members of the royal family, including King George III, as well as other important figures such as artist Thomas Gainsborough and potter/abolitionist Josiah Wedgwood, the grandfather of Charles Darwin. The bank is an example of neoclassical architecture, with curved and pointed pediments above its windows and pilasters in between. Behind it stands the Admiralty Arch, commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother Queen Victoria. The buildings adjacent to the Arch were previously government offices and are now being redeveloped into a luxury hotel. The archway and buildings surrounding it are another nod to the classics.

Bottom image: Google Maps.
1945. Dynamo striker Vsevolod Bobrov and his teammates feed some pigeons in London. Joining in on the action at the far right with arm extended is fellow forward Konstantin Beskov. A handful of folk clearly not associated with the team also take part.

The scene unfolds in front of London's Grand Hotel, designed by F & H Francis and James Ebenezer Saunders. It opened in 1880, and was replaced by the current Grand Buildings over a century later. The architectural style was completely retained. The Colosseum-like building has many classical elements that originated in Roman times, including the symmetrical facade, pedestrian arcade, pilasters, and Corinthian columns. Much of the area around and across from the building, including the National Gallery, is an homage to the classics.

In 1945, the lobby of the Grand Hotel featured a News Theatre, Bravington's Rings & Watches, an information center, and a Randall's store. There's also a billboard for Ivor Novello's Perchance to Dream, which opened that year at the London Hippodrome. Presented by Tom Arnold, the cast of the musical included Novello himself, who played three different roles, as well as English theater and film actress Margaret Rutherford, winner of an Oscar and a Golden Globe who was later appointed OBE and DBE. She is best known for playing Miss Jane Marple in the films based on Agatha Christie's crime novels.

Speaking of films, London's Grand Hotel makes an appearance in the 1950 movie Seven Days to Noon.

Today, the Grand Building is home to a number of business, including restaurants, a cafe, and a bookstore. The current Grand Hotel stands right across.

Bottom image: Google Maps.
1945. Soviet referee Nikolay Latyshev is surrounded by pigeons in front of a fountain at Trafalgar Square. He doesn't seem to mind, and no yellow cards are shown.

The fountain, one of two at the square, dates back to 1845 and was designed by Charles Barry. At the right is a bronze equestrian statue of King George IV, designed by Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey and unveiled two years before the fountains. At the left are a series of steps leading up to the National Gallery, a museum that houses a stunning collection of paintings from the 13th to the 20th centuries, featuring artists from Michelangelo to Monet. General admission is free.

Top image: William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images. Bottom image: Google Maps.
1945. Arsenal fans line up along the High Road leading up to White Hart Lane for the friendly against Dynamo Moscow. The pub behind them was called Charringtons, after the owners of the land on Tottenham High Road who rented the ground to the club.

Wait - what were Arsenal doing at White Hart Lane? Highbury was an ARP stronghold during WWII, so the team played their home games at the Tottenham ground. The North and South Stand were damaged when the stadium was bombed, and were thus in need of repair. Arsenal returned to Highbury in 1946.

Back to the pub. Though no longer called Charringtons, it still functioned in 2013. For the past 40 years, it was called Valentino's (Rudolph's), after the famous 1920's actor Rudolph Valentino. Since 1999, the road from the pub leading up to the stadium is called Bill Nicholson Way, in honor of the Spurs one-club man who spent a total of 36 years with the club as both a player and a manager.

Unfortunately, the pub is permanently closed and will be demolished as part of Tottenham's Northumberland Development project. The area will feature a new car park.

At the left corner of the image is the Roman Catholic Church of St Francis de Sales, built in 1895.

Bottom image: Google Maps.
1945. Ibrox Stadium is flooded by fans eager to see the match between Glasgow Rangers and Dynamo Moscow. Official attendance was 90,000.

The stadium has been home to Rangers since 1899. It was virtually unchanged in the years following the Dynamo's visit. The first major redevelopment came after the stadium disaster in 1971, when Ibrox was gradually transformed into an all-seater. New stands were added in the late 70's and early 80's, with additional extensions and repairs in the 90's. The facade with the club's crest is the same as it was in 1945, aside from the addition of a sign marking the Bill Struth Main Stand in 2006. Outside the grounds is a statue of former Glasgow Rangers defender and one-club man John Greig, part of a memorial to the victims of the Ibrox disaster. Greig also captained the Rangers team that won against Dynamo in the 1972 Cup Winners' Cup Final.

More on the 70th Anniversary of Dynamo Moscow's Tour of Britain:
Dynamo Moscow in Britain: 19 Things You Didn't Know

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