This exhibition, like so many others, was organised by Imre Kiralfy and in his speech at the opening ceremony he pointed out that the benefits that had come to the cities of Paris and Chicago when they had held similar events.  He said he saw no reason why Nottingham should not benefit in a similar manner. Contemporary accounts of the formal opening on 5th June also remarked on the "many devotees of the camera, who made the best use of the time and opportunities to secure for themselves lasting momentoes of the event".

          The main exhibition hall, known as the Ivory Tower because of its classical Indian style of architecture, was unfortunately burnt to the ground in July 1904.  However, during the exhibition apart from housing many exhibits it was illuminated at night by countless fairy lights and was a wonderful spectacle to behold.

            Many of the amusements were similar to those found at Earls Court and other earlier exhibitions, for example, The Water Chute, over one hundred feet high and with a slide of over six hundred feet, was a very popular attraction.  It was said that the view from the top vied with the one from Nottingham Castle.  The Roller Coaster was an updated version of the Switchback Railway, but a new feature was the Electric Theatre in which in which visitors could sit and watch animated scenes of life in a Swiss Village.  Further down the Avenue the visitor came to the Maze and the Hall of Laughter.  Probably the most famous attraction at the exhibition was the 'Grotto of a Million Lights' or 'Fairy River'.  The journey was made in a canoe and was over one thousand feet long, consisting of a series of tableaux depicting such things as 'The Haunted Forest' and 'The Blue Alsatian Mountains'.


© Exhibition Study Group 2004