The Festival of Britain was a nationwide series of events, exhibitions and festivities with a main site on the Southbank in London. It took place at a time when Britain was still feeling the effects of the Second World War, and it offered a vision of what the future could be – celebrating British industry, arts and science.
The buildings, art works, exhibitions and events for the festival were commissioned and organised by a specially created department called the Festival Office. The National Archives has the records from the Festival Office, and they include photographs of buildings under construction, posters and leaflets advertising events and exhibitions, and minutes from committee meetings. There are also some unexpected items like paint swatch cards and textile samples for uniforms.