HC Deb 28 October 1952 vol 505 cc1718-9
21. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Works if he is aware of the public concern at the lack of initiative shown in popularising this year's Battersea Festival Pleasure Gardens; whether the venture is to continue during Coronation year and if he will give an assurance that more attention will be given to the organising of spectacular crowd-drawing features with an advertising campaign worthy of the event.

Mr. Eccles

The Festival Pleasure Gardens will open again next year. I leave the business arrangements to the Board of the Company. They inform me that they spent some £35,000 on publicity during the past season. This sum must be compared with the millions spent in 1951 on the South Bank Exhibition which acted as an advertisement to the Battersea Gardens. The Board are now reviewing their publicity programme for Coronation year, and will, I know, take the hon. Member's views into account.

Mr. Dodds

But is not the Minister aware that those who know anything about publicity are amazed at the lack of showmanship in 1952 and that he really must get rid of the dead hand and instil some new life into it? Cannot the Minister, even at this late hour, tell us what are the great plans for 1953? If the management want any ideas I am prepared to supply them.

Mr. Eccles

I must thank the hon. Member. I am not an expert in publicity, but obviously he is. I will ask the Board of the Company to meet him and he can put his ideas to them if he likes.

28. Mr. F. Willey

asked the Minister of Works the future plans for the Festival Gardens and Fun Fair.

Mr. Eccles

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave yesterday to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lewes (Major Beamish).

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