All the fun of the Festival…

So The Royal Festival Hall has featured in my life for two extremely good reasons just lately. First off, I got a call from the buyer at the South Bank Centre asking if she could place an order so Pennychoo cards should now be in the shops inside the hall itself and the one on the terrace (eeeeeeeeeeeeh!)

The Royal Festival Hall is of course where the Festival of Britain was held in 1951, hence it being a tad iconic for a retrophile like me. It was (says Wiki)
“…an attempt to give Britons a feeling of recovery and progress and to promote better-quality design in the rebuilding of British towns and cities following the war. (It) also celebrated the centenary of the 1851 Great Exhibition.”
It was described as “a tonic for the nation”.

(I can already hear the jaunty-yet-stirring string music and the cut-glass BBC announcer, can’t you?)

Official programme, just 2/6 to you

Turns out my dad went there as a young man and I didn’t find out until after he’d died. I wish I’d had a chance to ask him what he, as an eager and newly-qualfied building contractor, made of the 300 foot high steel Skylon?

Oooh, George - innit enorrrmous!?

This year marks 60 years since the 1951 Festival (as you’ll see by the all-new, updated logo complete with the inevitable sponsorship carbunkle), so how appropriate that this is the year that Wayne Hemingway moves his  Vintage festival from Goodwood to the Royal Festival Hall and the South Bank.

From July 29th – 31st, Vintage “…will celebrate musical, fashion, film, art, design and cultural lineages, from the 1920s to the 1980s, and offer a glimpse of where we go from here.”

Which brings me neatly  to the second reason that the Royal Festival Hall has featured happily in my life of late – I’ve only gone and flipping won tickets for it!! Yes, through the simple yet humiliating act of revealing (in public) my first ever record purchase, I won access for two to all three days of retro frolicks!

'I say, jolly well done you! Hip hip hurrah!' © 2010 Vintage at Goodwood

So extreme smugness all round at Pennychoo Towers just now which is only mildly tainted by being publicly ostracised for having bought Jona  Lewie’s Stop The Cavalry from Woolworths (Cannock) in December 1980…

I’m off to try and salvage my reputation – I may be some time. Until the next time, dear reader…


13 responses to “All the fun of the Festival…

  1. Bloody brilliant news Sue!!! I am delighted that Jonah’s record purchase won you those tickets. He is a friend of ours (although we know him by the name of John Lewis!) and I know he would be equally chuffed.

    I won’t tell him that you are embarrassed by the purchase though hehehe 😉

  2. I don’t believe it! You think you can be rude about Jona Lewie and be *pretty* sure that you won’t know anyone who might tell him, and then this happens!! How very embarrassing… Small world though, eh? Maybe you could tactfully tell him that at the age of 9, I thought it was the best thing I’d ever heard and it has found a new place in my heart since winning me £300 worth of tickets!? Is he still doing musical things then?

  3. PS I hope he’s never knowingly undersold…?

  4. Well well well get you! I shan’t be going, it’s a little too pricey for my pocket!

  5. Well, I think I might have managed a day but not all of it. I got the price round my neck, by the way – it’s £75 for three days, so £150 for two tickets. Still chuffed though! Bet you’re wishing you’d made embarrassing music choices in your youth now, aren’t you??

  6. His other big hit ‘You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties’ has just been made into an ad for Ikea. He is in it pouring drinks and spinning discs!!! He is a very funny man and is currently working on his new album! We haven’t seen him for years but he keeps threatening to come to Devon for a visit.

  7. Congratulations on the tickets & the card sales! You have a good memory….I can’t remember the first record I bought, but then I’m getting ancient!


  8. Thanks Jayne – and sometimes forgetting these things can be a blessing….

  9. Firstly, well done on landing the order! Secondly, well done on nabbing tickets through extreme embarrassment (although it could have been a whole lot worse!) Thirdly, Cannock? As in the Chase?

    There is probably no better way of of emulating postwar gloom than running around Cannock Chase on a wet and windy day, with a Games teacher shouting obscenities at you and the coachdriver taking you back to miserable old Tamworth insiting on playing his Johnny Mathis tapes. If ever a tonic was needed (even in the guise of a 300ft Skylon) it was then.

    Anyway -well done you!

  10. The very same, Mr Pennyworth! Am I take it from this that you are a Staffs Lad? Weirdly, we never went to the Chase with my school, despite being virtually on top of it, and despite the fact that the school (Chenet) was named after a tree! (Well, a French one…) We just got to trudge around rain-sodden playing fields with the really hard girls from the council estate trying to shatter our numb ankles with nail-spiked hockey sticks. Obscenities and Johnny Mathis on the Chase would have been a welcome diversion! You Tamworth lot, you don’t know you’re born… (Is it hats that Tamworth is known for? or is that Nuneaton…??)

  11. Ahh… yes, I must confess that I am a Tamworthian who broke out in 93 and never looked back. I am currently in hiding in Oxfordshire, pretending to find tractors and aunt sally interesting (Aunt Sally is a game by the way, and not an intensely drab female relative).
    As for hats – no. I believe Tamworth is known for ill-conceived 60s town planning and dissolution. There is a castle. It’s next to 3 high-rise flats, not far from the Ankerside Shopping Centre.
    Are you thinking Northhampton and shoes?

  12. I also think it is great that your school was named after a bottle of wine with a wonky neck.

  13. Mr P: Northampton and shoes are rarely from my mind… What the heck did they do in Nuneaton then? Fingerless gloves? Insoles? Balaclavas?

    And I’d never thought about the wonky-necked wine connection, but it does seem incredibly apt on so many levels…

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