I attended an online talk last night about the Festival of Britain, hosted by the Twentieth Century Society. Delivered by Geoffrey Hollis and supported by Elain Harwood, there were some fascinating photographs shown of London’s South Bank, and background information given on many of the architectural details of the structures and buildings constructed for the event.
The talk also answered something that had been puzzling me for a few years. In 2017, I came across some benches in Lincolnshire with Abram Games famous festival logo cast into their concrete sides. Unsure why they would be there, no amount of research led me to find out the background behind these. I wrote about them on Field Readings at the time.
Well, it turns out that local authorities were encouraged to celebrate the festival at the time, and that funds were made available for them to use as they saw fit. It was suggested in answer to a question I posed about these benches at the talk, that this is likely to be how they came to be. Although the Twentieth Century Society were unaware of the benches, they were able to give examples of other such public amenities funded as part of the UK wide celebrations. These included village signs in Bedfordshire, and bus shelters elsewhere.
The talk itself didn’t cover much about Abram Games because his daughter, Naomi Games, is giving a talk dedicated to her father’s work at the end of April 2021.
Having heard Naomi lecture on his work a couple of times before, I can highly recommend it. The details can be found here: £3 for C20 members, £5 for non-members. See you there.