Ignorance of the true importance of the Empire at home
stimulated the Government to encourage the British Empire Exhibition
at Wembley, then a rural area of Middlesex, seven miles from London.
For the first time the Empire was coming to Britain, instead of the
other way round. It was the largest exhibition Britain had ever held,
with a stadium for 125,000 spectators, 15 miles of streets and a huge
complex of buildings. 78 different nations, colonies and dependencies
took part. The exhibition was opened on St. George’s Day, April
23rd 1924 by King George V whose speech was relayed by the B.B.C.
On May 24th 1924 the UN issued the ‘Wembley Exhibition
(Appendix List No. 85)
which was produced as a general souvenir rather than a detailed inventory
of each area of interest. It describes the most important buildings
and their exhibits: the Palace of Engineering, the Palace of Industry
(with a coal mine and real pit ponies) the Palace of Arts; the Canada
Building, with a reproduction of the Niagara Falls, and the India Pavilion
built in the style of the Taj Mahal and the Jama Masjid. As a supplement
to the magazine there was a coloured portrait of the Prince of Wales
in polo kit painted for the ILN by John St. Helier Lander.
The coloured cover of the issue shows the Exhibition by night. A couple
in evening dress are on a balcony overlooking the lake. In the background
stands the floodlit India Pavilion. The whole design is framed by colonades
and an archway in the Indian style. A series of representative coats
of arms linked by a motif of diverse fruit runs below the title.
This is issue number 4440, vol. 164, pages 921-996, measuring 37 x 27
cm. and priced at two shillings.
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