The Franco-British Festival 1908

For client confidentiality reasons I can’t say much about one of the projects I’m working on, but in the course of it I have learned a little about White City in London.

It got its name from the enormous amount of marble and white-painted buildings used in the Franco British Festival of 1908. Eight million people visited the festival in six months.

It was an expression of the Entente Cordiale signed in April 1904, and was a place to look at French and British produce, as well as ride an amazing prototype London eye called the flip flap. It also promoted the unsavory wonders of colonialism, and had villages full of Irish colleens, and unfortunates transplanted from Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and Senegal.

Just the other night there was an excellent item on it from it on the BBC’s Newsnight programme. A fascinating glimpse of a lost London.

By Peter Kenny

I lead a double life. Identity #1. A writer of poems, comedy plays, dark fiction and the odd libretto. Identity #2: A marketing outlier, working with London creative agencies and my own clients as a copywriter and creative consultant.

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