Taps Aff: The Mystery of What Happened After the Garden Festival


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The 1988 Garden Festival changed how the world saw Glasgow, and how it saw itself. It lives on only in people’s memories as the buildings, objects and artworks from this temporary event are gone forever – or are they?

Join Urban Prehistorian Kenny Brophy, Project Leader Lex Lamb, and Holder of the Official Garden Festival Umbrella Gordon Barr to learn how they have used crowdsourcing to build an ever growing digital record of the hundreds of pavilions, sculptures and attractions that made up the Festival.

Items and memories are scattered across the globe with stories to tell: from the large (the Coca-cola Roller Coaster, now in Kent), to the small (a Garden Festival tea-towel, now in Papua New Guinea); we’ve identified surviving artefacts that delighted visitors over that unforgettable summer, more than thirty years ago.

This free online talk will outline what we’ve learned in the last 6 months about how the 1988 Festival was put together, taken apart and spread around the world, with the help of hundreds of individual submissions and leads, with plenty hidden in plain sight closer to home.

But we still haven’t found the giant tap, sorry.