Talk: 1938 and All That

Wednesday 5th September 2018 | 6-8pm | 54 Bell Street

Join Fergus Sutherland to mark eighty years since the Empire Exhibition of 1938 in Bellahouston Park closed its doors to its last customer. Even after all that time, it remains one of the most fondly remembered events ever held in Glasgow.  With twelve million visitors, it was also the most successful in the history of Scotland, despite the fact that it rained almost non-stop for the whole summer.

The architect, the famous Thomas Tait, shocked everyone by choosing to build what was the country’s first modern town, decades before it was to become common practice.  And it was the centrepiece of his design which still captures everyone’s imagination today, the Tower of Empire, a.k.a. Tait’s Tower.  It was 140 metres high and rose like a beacon over the metropolis, a vision of a bright, clean future for the old, black, industrial city.

But war intervened and, for the second time in thirty years, the lights went out all over Europe, destroying Tait’s futuristic vision of what Glasgow might have been.  Or did it?…


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