3 May 2011

The Festival of Britain - 60th anniversary

In the UK in 2011, the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain is being celebrated.The Festival of Britain was a national exhibition which was officially opened by King George VI in London on 3rd May 1951. The main site was on the south bank of the River Thames, but there were also exhibitions at other sites in cities around Britain. The purpose of the exhibition was to provide a "tonic for the nation" - an opportunity to celebrate and herald the regeneration of Britain following the end of the Second World War. Rejuvenation of the cities, many of which had been bombed, was needed and British design was encouraged in this process of rebuilding.

Here is the chart for the official opening, set for 12 n
oon on 3rd May 1951, in London.
The chart has a strong, solid feel. The aspect structure is Quadrangular/Fixed in motivation, reflecting the firm mission statement of the exhibition - to create a new Britain. A noon time also gives Sun conjunct Mars in Taurus on the MC - another strong and practical statement. The colour balance of 7 red: 5 green: 5 blue aspects is top heavy on red "doing" energy - not a bad thing when regeneration and new projects are called for. The relatively high number of green aspects, most of them embedded within the centre of the overall aspect structure, is indicative of the importance of new, fresh ideas and the ability to "think outside the box" in this celebration of renewal.
Most of the green aspects are located inside the Bathtub aspect pattern which sits across the chart and is pinned by Mars, Pluto, Neptune and the North Node. The Bathtub is an aspect pattern indicating thinking, mulling things over and the subsequent agitation of ideas and information. There's a lot of internal stimulation with this aspect pattern, and for an event created to stimulate new ideas and growth it's appropriate for this chart, especially when the qualities of the pinning planets are considered - Mars to get things going, Pluto to regenerate, Neptune to bring inspriation and the Moon's North Node (not a planet, but a point of growth) located in the 7th House, symbolic of the public and populace of Britain.

Now for a brief trip down memory lane. I was a young child
growing up in London in 1951. My parents took me to see the Festival of Britain and although I don't remember that much about it, I do recall the general atmosphere of excitement at the open air exhibition centre on the south bank and a few of the things I saw. The main, central exhibition hall was called the Dome of Discovery, and looking at its design and structure, it is reminiscent of the overall shaping of the chart shown above with its zig-zagging struts. It also looks a bit like a flying saucer. Standing next to it is the creation which I have the strongest memories of - the Skylon. This was unimaginably tall and impressive and I loved it!

One final thing I remember seeing and being very fascinated by was the
Guinness Clock, a weird Heath-Robinson like contraption which told the time, but had many extra features. The Sun revolved and there was an entertaining array of moving parts - wonderful stuff for children to stimulate the imagination!

For more about the Bathub and all aspect patterns used in the Huber method, visit the Astrological Psychology Association's on-line Book Shop for details of the Huber's book, Aspect Pattern Astrology and my book, Aspect Patterns in Colour.


Barbara said...

Bonjour Joyce,
Now,you have taught me something; I had only heard about the festival once. So, let there be light :)

That is very interesting to hear your memories. My father also had memories of a certain Universal expositon in the 1930's. He had the same excitement seeing this as a boy and one of his memories included seeing the protype for a new invention that we would call... televison.

Hugs x

Joyce Hopewell said...

Thanks Barbara - and you've taught me something too as I didn't know there was a Universal exposition in the 30's which heralded news of the invention of the TV!

Joyce :-)