The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Festival of Britain Study Day

Credit: John East

Festival of Britain Study Day, Sheffield

Date: Thursday 30th September 2021

Time: 10am to 5pm

Location: Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB - 10 minute walk from Sheffield Station

Led by: Andrew Jackson, C20 Trustee & National Groups Coordinator

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Festival of Britain Andrew Jackson has invited several Festival experts to Sheffield’s Victoria Hall for a day of talks celebrating the 1951 ‘tonic to the nation’. There will be an opportunity at lunchtime to view an exhibition of items from the Festival of Britain Special Collection at Sheffield Hallam University, where an inclusive lunch will be provided.

A drinks reception for delegates will take place at 5pm at Crucible Corner, opposite Victoria Hall.

Registration: 10am -10.30am at Victoria Hall

Programme of Speakers:

The Festival of Britain in Liverpool and York - Caterina Benincasa-Sharman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, where she teaches architectural history and design thinking. Her recent PhD investigated ‘Identities of Place in Liverpool and York during the 1951 Festival of Britain’.

The Festival of Britain Special Collection - Richard Bradley is Special Collections Officer at Sheffield Hallam University Library, which holds a large collection of material relating to the Festival of Britain. He contributes articles to several magazines, including a monthly feature for Derbyshire Life.

The Royal Festival Hall - Alistair Fair is Reader in Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh. Having written extensively on post-war theatre architecture in Britain, including the book Modern Playhouses, his new book on Peter Moro and Partners is to be published this September as part of the C20 Architects series.

Festival Landscaping in LondonKaren Fitzsimon is a chartered landscape architect, historian and horticulturalist conducting PhD research at the University of Westminster into British post-war designed landscapes.

Abram Games & Robert Goodden Designs for the Festival of Britain - Naomi Games and Henrietta Goodden are the daughters of two of the Festival of Britain’s most prominent designers; Games designed the famous Festival Symbol and Goodden designed the Lion and Unicorn pavilion on the South Bank. Naomi grew up watching her father work in his studio and became a graphic designer herself. Following Games’s death in 1996 she runs his considerable archive and has written six books on his work.

The Festival of Britain ‘Live’ Architecture Exhibition - Elain Harwood is a Senior Architectural Investigator with Historic England and author of Mid-Century Britain: Modern Architecture 1938-1963 to be published later this year by Batsford in association with The Twentieth Century Society.

The Festival of Britain in the East Midlands - Sophie Hollinshead is a cultural geographer who worked at the University of Nottingham for over twenty years and has been involved in a number of projects related to the Festival of Britain. We welcome her back after speaking in 2019 at the Festival of Britain Archive Afternoon.

Sponsorship in Battersea and the Guinness Festival Clock - Geoffrey Hollis lectured on the Festival of Britain for the Society earlier this year and is Clocks Advisor to the St Albans Diocese. He has a large collection of horological postcards, including several of the Guinness clock from the Festival of Britain Pleasure Gardens at Battersea.

Exhibition, lunch and book sales: there will be an opportunity to view a temporary exhibition from the Festival of Britain Special Collection at Sheffield Hallam University’s Charles Street Building (S1 2ND), a short walk from Victoria Hall. Lunch, which is included in the price, will be a ‘British Picnic’ bento box served in the large event space adjacent to the exhibition. There will also be the opportunity to purchase books written by some of the speakers and have them signed by the author at Victoria Hall.

Venue Information: Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB – 10 minute walk from Station. The Hall is a very large space (450 seats) with a good ventilation system. Face coverings are not required by the venue, however, we would encourage attendees to wear a face covering to protect others and socially distance while in the Hall.

Price: Members: £45.  Non Members: £55. Students £35.Prices are inclusive of lunch and refreshments in the morning and afternoon .


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The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244.

Above photo: Royal Festival Hall, 1964. Credit: John East.

The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.

Booking Closed

Unfortunately, booking is closed for this event and we are no longer able to accept new bookings.