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?)
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?
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!
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…