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Festival of Britain

Festival of Britain

Sixty-six years ago, you may well have been planning your visit to the Festival of Britain. If you fancied making the journey to London, you would have joined the 8.5 million visitors to the South Bank of the River Thames who encountered thirty pavilions showcasing various aspects of Britain’s life that had been constructed around the new Festival Hall.

The Festival of Britain was a celebration of Britain’s dominant position in the arts, science, technology and industry and provided visitors with the opportunity to be educated, bask in Britain’s culture and history and see the very best in modern industrial and decorative design. The government had allocated £14 million as a budget and the Deputy Prime Minister, Herbert Morrison, had appointed Gerald Barry to spearhead the project. He turned to Hugh Casson Continue reading →

Rubbish, VW & All That Gas

Antelope Chair by Ernest Race for The Festival of Britain. An era when anything seemed possible.

Antelope Chair by Ernest Race for The Festival of Britain. A time when anything seemed possible.

On 3rd May 1951, The Festival of Britain opened. Events were held all over Britain but the central attraction was undoubtedly the South Bank in London.

Here, a vast area of old warehouses and housing had been demolished to stage a showcase of British achievements in industry, science and art. It was intended to be a tonic for the nation (as Herbert Morrison put it), a cultural counterpart to the social benefits of the Welfare State and an antidote to the years of austerity Continue reading →