The weekly quiz

Lord Norton

44021During the course of the Second World War, there were fourteen occasions when the Palace of Westminster suffered bomb damage.  On 10 May 1941, both the chamber of the Commons and Westminster Hall were on fire as a result of incendiary bombing.  Walter Elliot, an MP who was on fire-watching duty, declared ‘Let the pseudo-Gothic go.  We must save the Hall’.  The limited fire-fighting resources were deployed to the Hall and, by dousing the beams with water, the roof was saved.  The chamber of the Commons, hit by explosives as well as incendiaries, was destroyed.  The following month, the Commons moved into the chamber of the House of Lords, though on occasion both Houses sat elsewhere in London.   It was nearly a decade before MPs could move into a rebuilt chamber.

This week’s quiz questions:

1.  Where did the two Houses occasionally meet, other than in the Palace of Westminster, during the Second World War?

2. What name, other than its formal name, was given to this alternative venue?

3. When the Commons moved into the chamber of the House of Lords, where did the Lords move to in the Palace?

4. Who was the Leader of the House of Lords for the longest period (1942-45) during the Second World War?

As usual, the first two readers to supply the correct answers will be the winners.

7 comments for “The weekly quiz

  1. Robert Doyle
    07/11/2009 at 3:25 pm

    Church House

    The Churchill Club

    The Robing Room

    Baron Cecil of Essenden (Robert Arthur James Gascoyne-Cecil, more commonly known by his former courtesy title of Viscount Cranborne)

  2. Croft
    07/11/2009 at 8:20 pm

    1) Church House – Convocation Hall (Lords) and Hoare Memorial Hall (Commons) A rather helpful sites exists at

    2) Churchill Club

    3) Robing Room

    4) Lord Cranborne (sitting as did his grandson via a writ in acceleration)

  3. lordnorton
    09/11/2009 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for the two responses so far. I will leave the thread open in case anyone wishes to contribute: there is an alternative answer to Question 2.

  4. 10/11/2009 at 11:14 pm

    Well, I have to concede, I’ve been unable to find an alternative name used for Church House during the war. My search did lead me to reading an interesting Commons debate Hansard from 1945, in which MPs discussed rebuilding. (As an aside, from the number of MPs using courtesy titles, I thought at first it was a Lords debate! People complain now that MPs are unrepresentative, but back then they seemed mostly knights, baronets and sons of peers!)

  5. Croft
    11/11/2009 at 1:11 pm

    I saw some reference to the ‘annex’ but I’m not sure that was the answer.

    Jonathan: The Tory party of old, peers (Irish), sons of peers, baronets, knights of the shires and the former mayors of the great cities and industrialists. And the use of ‘noble lord’ for an MP, something we haven’t heard for a good number of years now.

  6. 13/11/2009 at 5:25 am

    It was called the Annexe.

    I cheated and found this on your site. 🙂


    Presumably because Church House became an annexe of the Palace of Westminister? Might it also be a play on ‘annexe’ as used for the seemingly endless add-ons to bills, reports, and so forth?

  7. lordnorton
    13/11/2009 at 8:20 pm

    Croft: I was indeed thinking of ‘The Annexe’, which was what Churchill dubbed it (there is a reference in ‘Chips’ Channon’s diary) and apparently if MPs asked taxi drivers to go to the annexe, they knew where to take them.

    However, I am also happy to take the Churchill Club as the answer. Hence, congratulations to Robert Doyle and Croft. You are this week’s prize winners. Especial congratulations to Croft who is now a grand prize-winner. An invitation to tea at the Lords will be on its way.

Comments are closed.