Friday, 1 July 2011

When I was on the South Bank yesterday, I wandered into the Museum of 1951, part of the Festival of Britain celebrations and coveted this wallpaper, but wondered how quickly I'd get tired of it?
There was hardly anybody there ... well, if you didn't know it was there, you'd never find it.
But there's some wonderful black-and-white documentaries from the original Festival, including a delightful one scripted by Laurie Lee.
It made me realise what a huge thing it must have been, to see London blazing with light, and fountains playing, and for couples to be dancing outside by the river. And although, of course, I knew about the Festival of Britain, I'd never really thought about it happening right here ... where I so often stroll along, looking at the river, on my way to the Tate, or the Hayward, or the National Theatre.
I love those old films and the posh, enthusiastic voiceovers (even if it niggles a bit that everybody who isn't posh is a cor-blimey-luvaduck stereotype.)
When Laurie Lee's little boy won one of the free Festival tickets that were released in balloons, I wondered if it was in the back of Roald Dahl's mind when he came up with the idea of golden tickets to Willie Wonka's chocolate factory?


Sue said...

Maybe that's how Olympic tickets should have been allocated.

mary said...

What a good idea, Sue ... although in the film, the little boy had to run away from a scrum of other children trying to get the ticket off him.

Toffeeapple said...

That furniture is very avant garde for 1951, I would have said it dated from ten years later if you hadn't told me. Love your 'cor-blimey-luvaduck' statement.

mary said...

I think there was still a lot of it around in the 60s, Toffeeapple. But I don't think this display was necessarily 1951; it was a generic 1950s room set, put together by a magazine.

kristina said...

Oh I adore mid-century furniture and furnishings...and the voice-overs! K x

mary said...

There were some very desirable Midwinter plates, Kristina - that I certainly wouldn't tire of.