Fireworks at the Crystal Palace?


Fred Peskett


            No, not really, these photographs are from a series found at the Midhurst Antiques Fair and show the fireworks being displayed against the backdrop of the Crystal Palace Screen at the Festival Pleasure Gardens Battersea Park in Festival Year, 1951.

            There were two areas in the Gardens that were Crystal Palace Look-alikes, the screen in the photographs and the Vauxhall Beer Garden.

            Note the great expense given to such detail as the litter bin in the vertical photograph, in reality, a battered old oil drum.

            The fireworks were displayed each night except Sundays and were provided by Joseph Wells of Dartford, Kent, James Pain & Sons Ltd of Mitcham, Surrey, Wilders Fireworks of Birmingham or Standard Fireworks Ltd from Huddersfield. Only Pain is still in the pyrotechnic business, under the name Pains, Wessex.



A photograph of fireworks at the Festival of Britain



A photograph of fireworks at the Festival of Britain



© Exhibition Study Group 2011