The Festival of Britain opened on 3 May 1951, 60 years ago this month. The summer-long, nationwide festival was held to demonstrate the contribution made by the British to civilisation in the arts, science and industrial design. It aimed to show a modern Britain, bouncing back after the hardships of the Second World War.
The National Archives is marking the anniversary of the festival in a variety of ways. Records in WORK 25 detail the planning and organisation of the festival and include some vibrant artwork. Our Festival of Britain podcast uses these records to explore the festival’s key themes. If you plan to visit The National Archives at Kew, drop into our on site museum to see some of the records, which will be on display until 1 July. You can also see a selection of images from WORK 25 in our image library.
Finally, we are holding a Festival of Britain promotion in our online bookshop. Discounted items include ‘Beacon for Change’, released this month to commemorate the anniversary, and ‘London in Festival Year 1951’, a DVD of films celebrating the festival.