Festival of Britain Guide, 1951

I've seen loads of these Festival of Britain guides for sale in the past, but for some reason they've always had pages or bits of pages hacked out of them. Finally though, I found this one in perfect condition.

The cover's my favourite part of the guide. It's a natural coloured, thick paper with a 4-colour print including white. White litho must have been quite unusual in the early 50's, but it looks great and really helps showcase the Festival logo - an iconic Britannia emblem designed by offical war poster artist, Abram Games (seen above on the cover).

The Festival of Britain was a national festival launched in May 1951 to promote better British design, construction and engineering, to create a national feeling of progress and to boost British moral. It was also a centenary celebration of the Great Exhibition held in 1851.

Exhibitions were held throughout the country, but the main venue was on the South Bank in London at a specially designed site developed by architect Hugh Casson and his appointed team. The team aimed to introduce the idea of urban design and showcase the principles intended to be used in the re-building of London; elevated walkways, modernist style architecture and multi-level buildings. Sadly though, only The Royal Festival Hall still remains.

Here's a plan of the South Bank Centre site:

Here's a selection of the adverts throughout the guide - the BOAC/BEA (below) is really great.

FInd out more about the festival here.


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