This Exhibition, travelling by land, will visit the following four centres during the Festival Summer:-

Manchester.ttttttttttttttttttttiCity Hall, DeansgatetttttttttttttttttttttttttttMay 5 – 26

Leeds.tttttttttttt|ttttttttttttttttiWoodhouse MoortttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttJune 23 – July 14

Birmingham.ttttttttttttttttttttBingley Hall, King Alfred Placettttttt|ttttAug. 4 – 25

Nottingham.ttttttttttttttttttttiBroad MarshtttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttSept. 15 – Oct. 6

The Exhibition, although drawing on the subject matter of the South Bank Exhibition in London is not by any means a replica of that Exhibition; it is distinct and individual in its own right. The emphasis is on Industry and Production and the story of the Skill of the British People and Resources of Britain.

Covering an area of more than 35,000 sq. feet, which is about the size of twelve tennis courts or about one-third of the size of an international football field, it is the largest transportable exhibition ever produced. Including the Façade, the show will occupy nearly 40,000 sq. feet and contain some 5,000 exhibits. Some of its unusual features include a full size theatre where a non-stop show of fashions will be displayed, an Exhibition Façade made of steel and plastic, and a complete railway carriage.

At Manchester, the Exhibition will be shown in permanent buildings where exhibitions are normally held, but at Leeds and Nottingham where there are no such buildings it will be installed in a rigid framed structure which will be specifically erected for the occasion and which will be clad with approximately 100,000 sq. feet of canvas. This structure is not by any means a normal tent. If clad with other materials – for instance metal – it would be regarded as a normal building. It will be 250 long and 160 feet wide with a 20 feet wide main entrance.


The complete Exhibition display and its collection of about 5,000 exhibits will be transported to each City in turn. The shell and the contents of this Exhibition – ranging from a full size railway Observation Coach and Gas Turbine Engines to thimbles, pins, needles – will be loaded at the Festival of Britain Stores, Langley, Bucks, and sent by road.

After its first showing at Manchester, the Exhibition will be dismantled and reloaded on to lorries for despatch to the next Centre – Leeds. As some of the exhibits are of great value, special care must be taken in loading and transport. In order to reduce the time and effort involved in dismantling, loading, transporting and erecting the Exhibition for which only 21 days have been allowed between showings, the display has been designed with the largest possible units. The whole transport operation has to be carefully organised so that units are despatched in the right order to arrive exactly when they are needed for erection. This involves, too, keeping to a strict schedule.

The Façade, which will be the first thing anyone visiting the Exhibition will see, is 120 feet long and 50 feet high and inside its structure will be 21 ex-Naval searchlights, each producing three quarters of a million candlepower. These searchlights will be directed upwards to illuminate the sky which will be given a red glow visible for miles.

Yorkshire Post advert from June 21, 1951.