excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (222 words)

excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (222 words)

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Southbank Centre Archive

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As a young architectural student, one of the first projects I worked on was the Transport Pavilion at the Festival of Britain and sited alongside the new Festival Hall under construction at that time.  I watched with awe the completion of this amazing new concert hall.  On Saturday 21st July 1951 the architectural students associations of the Polytechnic and the A.A. held a Concert and Dance at the newly completed Festival Hall to mark the end of a Congress of Architectural Students.  Supported by the RIBA, I understand final acoustic arrangements were being tested.  It was an amazing and memorable concert with contemporary composers Vaughn Williams, Walton and Britten, conducting their own music.  The various conducting styles were very interesting and a lasting memory is Vaughn Williams in a nulging dress suit obviously bought many years before and expecting buttons to fly in all directions at any moment.  When the Concert finished we all moved to the foyer where refreshments were being served and almost immediately members of the London Philharmonic took their places on a temporary bandstand and dancing commenced.  Polkas and Vienese Waltzes to start but very shortly violins were replaced with saxophones and clarinets and 50's Jazz and dance music took over.  A very memorable evening and one my wife and I hold dear, we had just got engaged.

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excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (222 words)


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