Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A wonderful day out in London!

We promised ourselves that we would return to the Ideal Home Exhibition as this year as it was celebrating 100 years we decided to take a journey into London to visit the venue where the exhibition is held called Earls Court.
First of all I thought I would look up Earls Court in Wiki and found this description:

Earls Court is a place in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It is an inner-city district located 3.1 miles (5 km) west south-west of Charing Cross. It is home to Earls Court Exhibition Centre, one of the country's largest indoor arenas and a popular concert venue. The name is believed to come from a farm, Earl's Court Farm, visible on Greenwood's map of London dated 1827. The earl in question may have been either the Earl of Warwick or the Earl of Holland, both cited as lords of the manor of this part of London.

Useful bit of information? We read on..... I have more!!!!!

The first Ideal Home Exhibition, which opened at Olympia in London in 1908, was the brainwave of the then advertising manager of a popular tabloid, The Daily Mail who, by the way, still sponsor the show! Visitors were amazed by the variety of items on show. This was the first show which was linked with the interests and lives of women, and its success was such that it became a regular event.

Some Chinese visitors to UK admiring a kitchen

In the 1950s low unemployment and increased affluence saw people looking to upgrade houses etc. However, due to a lack of skilled tradesmen many had to research the fact that they would have to do anything themselves. Also, since in the early days, domestic servants were the norm and now housewives were increasingly having to undertake domestic duties themselves for which they had to learn new skills too. Not only what equipment was on the market but how to use them! Like a vacuum cleaner, washing machine to name a couple.

A'typical' couple toasting their good fortune!
Mother showing off her new kitchen units to Father!

The woman of the house now has to cope with the family washing too!

In the 1950s and 1960s the fitted kitchen became popular whilst dining and living rooms were restyled with radical and stylish wall storage units which had become all the rage.

An exciting new dining room!

A kit to help plan your kitchen

1970 decade saw an economic recession which meant more and more was done through DIY. People were now used to a 3 day week and so had more time on their hands to spend in the garden. For this the gardeners who owned smaller gardens than in days past where looking for small lawn mowers like the famous Flymo.
By the 1980s we had all become more environmentally aware in part due to the oil crisis which was hurting our pockets. Recycling was in its infancy and pollution higher on the every day agenda.

1980 Poster to advertise the show..... Get the Idea!

You will remember I mentioned that the original venue was at Olympia? However, in 1979 the exhibition moved to Earls Court and became increasingly attractive to women. The ideal fitted kitchen took on a 'Shaker' style look of the 1990s. During the last 10 years the impact of the show has declined but its title remains as an iconic symbol of mass consumption.

Modern tools now being demonstrated and on offer During this year's show the organisers created a show house called house of the century. This would take its visitors on a walking tour of the last 100 years' living. A time to remember.

And so, I went with my family to the show yesterday. Travelling on British Rail to Victoria and then using the Tube to Earls Court it was only a few steps before we presented our pre bought tickets and entered the show. Amusingly, there were several stands and products I remembered from about 5+ years ago which was the last time I visited the show. However, that did not stop me doing some retail therapy.... well you have to, don't you?


dianeclancy said...

Hi Precious,

This is a fantastic post!! What a great story and photos - thank you!!

~ Diane Clancy

Sixsisters said...

Great blog Pat. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

joonbeam said...

I love this post! Thank you for sharing such a wealth of information in an attractive way! Now, you ARE going to show us all what you bought, aren't you????

Love that building, too. It is reminding me of my English Sunrise series. What timing.

Alis said...

You always stun me and thrill me with your knowledge of history.
Great post Pat. Glad you had a good time.

Sale Corner!

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For regular prices check out my Etsy shop, as well as my sister shop on Etsy which also sells encaustic art

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Some samples of my present & past work to give you inspiration for that special gift!
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