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Festival of Britain: 1951

The festival organized in 1951 on London's South Bank (a reclaimed bomb site) specifically commemorates the immensely successful Great Exhibition of exactly 100 years earlier. But it is also intended to celebrate a new postwar Britain, emerging at last from rationing and austerity. Its director tells the press that it will be 'a tonic to the nation'.

The central building in the twenty-seven acre site (and the only feature to survive today) is the Festival Hall, a large concert hall in modernist style. Other attractions are the Dome of Discovery (the main exhibition area) and the Skylon, a slim futuristic needle of steel and neon light reaching high above the festive scene.

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