mobile nav


Festival of Britain

Event  From /5/1951  To /9/1951

'A tonic for the Nation', The Festival was intended to cheer us all up after WW2, and incidentally to celebrate the centenary of the 1851 Great Exhibition.

All the Festival buildings on the south bank except the Royal Festival Hall have since been demolished and replaced by other buildings forming the much-loved (British irony) arts complex known as The South Bank. The Festival of Britain was a nationwide event with two other sites in London: the Pleasure Gardens in Battersea and the Live Architecture Exhibition in Poplar, originally 'Neighbourhood 9' but then renamed the 'Lansbury Estate', after George Lansbury. Diamond Geezer and Caroline's Miscellany have both done good posts about this Estate.

The Festival Pleasure Gardens were installed in the northern part of Battersea Park. These included a water-garden and a tree-walk. There was also a fun fair on the section between Central Avenue and what is now the children's zoo. The BBC has photos of many of the items.

The symbol for the Festival was designed by Abram Games, a skilled and witty graphic artist whose name crops up all through this period. Basically he drew the '50s for us.

2019: Ian Visits spotted a Festival of Britain bench in an Essex village.

2019: In the 1957 film 'The Key Man' / 'Life at Stake' (not be be confused with the 1955 film with the same two titles), at about 57 mins, two characters meet in the Thameside Restaurant under Waterloo Bridge, left over from the Festival. This nice piece of modernist architecture remained until 1962.

See other memorials in this area

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Festival of Britain

Information Commemorated at

Show all 18

Dome of Discovery

{The plaque is laid flat on the ground.} This commemorative plaque was set i...

Read More

Festival of Britain - Arts

The relief shows the Royal Festival Hall, surrounded by a violin, saxophone, ...

Read More

Festival of Britain - London Pride

London Pride. Frank Dobson CBE, RA. 1886 - 1963. Commissioned for The Festi...

Read More

Festival of Britain - N16

Festival of Britain, 1951, Award for Merit.

Read More

Festival of Britain - N7

Other similar plaques exist around the country. Those in London include: Junc...

Read More