Image courtesy of the Estate of Abram Games.

The Festival of Britain opened on 4th May 1951. It was intended to lift Britain out of some of its darkest days and present a bold, modern and exciting vision of better times ahead. Some of the nation’s finest creative minds worked on the Festival: artists, designers, architects, artisans, musicians and manufacturers.

Whilst the main Festival site was located on London’s South Bank, there was a host of activity all across the country. Here in the Black Country, there were pageants and exhibitions. Numerous Black Country manufacturers were featured in the South Bank exhibition and travelling exhibitions.

The Black Country Studies Centre and University of Wolverhampton’s ArtsFest Online are working together to bring you a season of events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Festival of Britain and its impact here in the Black Country.

The programme:

The events will be running May-September and are free to attend. Booking for May events is now open. More events will be added over the coming weeks.

Thursday 13th May: Dr Jane Webb, University of Wolverhampton – Introducing the Festival of Britain: Revisiting ‘A Tonic to the Nation’  BOOK NOW

Monday 17th May: Naomi Games – Abram Games and the 1951 Festival of Britain BOOK NOW

Thursday 15th July: Tom Hicks, Black Country Type – The Festival Style and Black Country Type

Thursday 22nd July: Simon Briercliffe and Dr Jenny Gilbert, Black Country Living Museum – The Festival of Britain in the Black Country: A Story in 10 Objects

Thursday 5th August: Dr Jane Webb, University of Wolverhampton – The Festival’s Design Legacy in Wolverhampton

Get a Taste of the Festival at BCLM

From 17th May, the Black Country Living Museum’s Folkes Park is hosting the Festival of the Black Country – a mini celebration of the 1951 Festival of Britain. Alongside a display of Black Country-made 1950s kitchen and homewares, there will be a cookery demonstration based on the Festival Fare cookery competition and the regional winner, Mrs Betty Morris. You can book your visit to BCLM online now.