There’s a lot to see along London’s South Bank at the moment,including Susan the wonderful urban fox! Also this week I got to visit another of London’s hidden gems – the Guildhall Art Gallery which hides a roman amphitheatre in its basement.
In 1951, Britain was trying to recover from the Second World War, London was still full of bomb sites and food rationing was still in place. So what did they do? Set up a huge festival on the South Bank and built a vision of the future which regenerated the South Bank and lifted the mood of London. 60 years on we have a summer of events to celebrate the original festival which is huge fun. The summer theme is played out by having a whole set of beach huts with things to explore inside, a beach for kids to play in and boat on a beach, an albatross which is in fact an RSPB marketing ploy and an Indian beach restaurant thanks to the fine folks at Dishoom (great Indian cafe food). A museum shows films of 1951 with all the visitors having a great day out and as I took my mum, who was actually there in 1951, we watched them in the hope of seeing her in one but sadly no. Models of the site showed the amazing ambition and vision of the time. Somewhat left field is Susan the urban fox sitting above the Hayward Gallery, a giant fox made of straw – fabulous but I have no idea why she is there, tho’ that doesn’t matter at all!
Photos: the bunting from the Festival Hall; the beach huts; the Dishoom beach restaurant:the giant albatross; the boat and the beach; a retro ice cream van; and, last but not least the wonderful Susan!