Battersea Park and Funfair
16mm film negative Black & White Silent c.1951 3:01
Summary: A short amateur film recording the Battersea Fun Fair in Battersea Park.
Title number: 841
LSA ID: LSA/1117
Description: The film begins with views of an automated mobile promoting the drinks company Guinness. The mobile features models of toucans and other animals alerting the audience to 'Guinness time'. A seated audience look on as the mobile goes through its mechanised routine. The film then takes in views around Battersea Park, including the Festival Pleasure Gardens featuring shots of the Main Vista, the Fountain Lake, fake paddle steamer called 'The Wonder Boat', the ponds and fountains. Children bathe their feet in the water and ducks roam around. Out on the grassed areas many people sit on the ground or in deckchairs enjoying the air, while others engage in an amateur cricket match, Toddlers plat in a paddling pool and some adults play a round of crazy golf. The park goers include black and white members of the local community.
Credits: Director: John Boon
Further information: The Guinness clock in the film was a promotional device used across the UK. It was designed by Jan Le Witt and George Him, using characters from Guinness advertisements. The 'Guinness animals' were the creation of artist John Gilroy of S.H. Benson's advertising agency. The clock was built for the Festival of Britain at Battersea Park and it was there from 1951 until 1953 (returning there again briefly in 1959). The clock performed the routine recorded here every 15 minutes.
Keywords: Fairs (entertainment); Parks
Locations: United Kingdom; England; London; Wandsworth; Battersea
Michael Howick wrote on May 9, 2020:If you ask anyone to name a park in London, they will name Hyde Park, Green Park, Richmond Park, Regents…If you ask anyone to name a park in London, they will name Hyde Park, Green Park, Richmond Park, Regents Park, no one that I asked has named Battersea Park. But it is spectacular, so why isn't it more widely recognised? I went as a child and I can remember the Funfair which I think was permanent not a travelling fair. The fountains I don't remember, the paddle steamer in the film, I don't remember. It is on my list for a visit next time I'm in London. Who can give an account of modern Battersea Park?