Celebrating the Festival of Britain- Colston Hall Re-opens

Still suffering from the aftermath of the blitz of 1940-41 during WWII and a city-wide rebuilding scheme, it took a long period of negotiating with and petitioning of The Minister of Health for permission to rebuild the hall. The recovery of the national economy overruled all building of this nature and it was not until the Festival Britain, 1951, that it was decided upon the reconstruction was to go ahead.

The new Colston Hall, built by City Architect John Nelson Meredith, opened on 7th July 1951 with a ceremony performed by H.R.H. The Duke of Gloucester. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham, gave the inaugural concert.

According to the brochure produced for the opening ceremony, “an effort had been made towards a straightforward and direct architectural style embodying the free and flowing lines of contemporary architecture, combined with a subdued and dignified colour scheme”. It is often compared with the larger Royal Festival Hall in terms of acoustics and architecture.