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Fifty years on

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Residents of the Lansbury Estate, Leaside, added spice to a seminar marking the 50th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. Held at Tate Modern, 'Revisiting the Festival of Britain' was a key event in the Lansbury festival, with residents from the estate, described as the 'living architectural element of the Festival of Britain', arriving by charabanc. They were decidedly cool about the Festival Hall, however, calling it scruffy and shoddy. One preferred Tate Modern's home, the original Bankside power station, calling it 'a proper building' for its use of bricks.

There were various insights into the festival's history: its consumption of 7.4 per cent of the nation's supply of cement, displays by the Bicycle Polo Association, and plans to combat the national shortage of hotel rooms by housing visitors in the deep air-raid tunnel at Clapham South Underground Station. For the princely sum of three shillings a night there would be 'bedding supplied - and sheets for the ladies'.

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