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  • The Curator of the Organ

    1940's

    Sir George Thalban-Ball was the curator of the organ from 1934 until 1984. During the Second World War the organ had to be specially heated and wrapped in waterproof canvas to prevent deterioration and damage from bomb blasts which had shattered most of the windows.

  • First Prom Concert at the Hall

    12 July 1941

    The Queen's Hall was where the Promenade Concerts were founded by  Robert Newman and Henry Wood in 1895. With the destruction of this hall on  10 May 1941 the Proms were quickly transferred to the Royal Albert Hall,  the  first concert being 12 July 1941. The concerts started at 6.30pm and ended at  9.00pm so the audience could get home before the blackout. Note the air raid  warning at the foot of the programme; a red light was shown in the auditorium if evacuation was advisable, however few crept out, preferring to take their chances and enjoy the music.

  • War Damage

    October 1942

    The Hall suffered very little damage during the war, the story being that the Germans used its very visible shape from the air as a navigation aid. The decorative coving shown damaged here was finally replaced in 2002 as part of the Hall's restoration programme.

  • Henry Wood

    1944

    Henry Wood conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC  Symphony Orchestra at a Prom in 1944. This was the last series he  conducted, dying shortly after. Henry Wood was forever associated with the  Promenade concerts, later the BBC Proms, which he conducted for half a  century. Founded in 1895, they became known after his death as the Henry  Wood Promenade Concerts.

  • Winston Churchill

    23 November 1944

    Winston Churchill spoke at the Hall frequently over the war years, pictured is his thanksgiving celebration speech on 23 November 1944, where he spoke of America's military might and involvement in the war.

  • Stand Down party for the Home Guard

    3 December 1944

    The Hall attempted to keep open throughout the Second World War, with only brief closures during the blitz and for minor bomb damage. It was used to keep troop and public morale high, on 3 December 1944 holding a Stand Down party for the Home Guard.

  • Festival of Remembrance

    November 1946

    Their Majesties King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary photographed in the King's box, attending a Festival of Remembrance service in November 1946.

  • Organ Damage

    1949

    Organ damage being inspected by Jimmy James, the organ tuner, in 1949.

  • The cloth velarium and inner glazed dome are replaced

    1949

    In 1949 the 12,000 sq ft cloth velarium that, since the Hall was opened, had hung beneath the dome to protect and aid acoustics, together with the inner glazed dome, were replaced with an aluminium canopy.

  • The old Box Office

    1950's

    The Box Office of the Hall in the 1950's.

  • The Trapp Family

    8 October 1950

    The  Trapp Family singers with a programme of early classical works and international folk songs. The von Trapp family's life story was the basis for the film 'The Sound of Music'.

  • The three Kray brothers fight in a boxing tournament

    11 December 1951

    On 11 December 1951 the three Kray brothers - the notorious twins Reggie and Ron together with their elder brother Charlie -  fought in an international boxing tournament.

  • Alfred Hitchcock directs Doris Day in 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'

    1956

    Alfred Hitchcock directs Doris Day in the second version of his film 'The Man  Who Knew Too Much', made in 1955 and released in 1956. They are pictured in the main entrance  of the Hall; other scenes show the corridors, boxes and auditorium. Hitchcock  made an earlier black and white version also containing scenes at the Hall.

  • Malcolm Sargent

    1960's

    Malcolm Sargent, pictured here entering the Stage Door of the Hall in the  1960's from his flat in Albert Hall Mansions adjacent, where he lived from just  after the war until his death. He was chief conductor of the Proms from 1947   until 1967 when he made a brief appearance at the Last Night, dying two  weeks later.

  • Second World Congress of Man Made Fibres

    3 May 1962

    The Second World Congress of Man Made Fibres Great Gala and Ball on 3 May 1962,  with a fabulous set designed by Franco Zeffirelli, and  performances by Yehudi Menuhin and Victoria de los Angeles.

  • The Great Pop Prom

    15 September 1963

    The Great Pop Prom programme featured the  Beatles and The Rolling Stones amongst others. The Beatles also performed  on 18 April 1963 together with Dusty Springfield and Susan Maughan. The Stones appeared at the Hall on three other occasions in the 60's.

  • Allen Ginsberg at the International Poetry Incarnation

    11 June 1965

    The poet Allen Ginsberg on 11 June 1965 at the International Poetry Incarnation. A film of the event entitled Wholly Communion was made, giving  a snapshot of London in the Swinging Sixties.

  • Bob Dylan

    26 & 27 May 1966

    On 26 & 27 May 1966, Bob Dylan, in what are sometimes called his Judas concerts, forsook his folk roots in the second half to blast the audience with electronic rock versions of his own music and blues standards.

  • Duke Ellington

    19 February 1967

    On 19 February 1967 Duke Ellington, one of the greatest figures in the history of jazz, made the first of his 3 visits to the Hall, with his orchestra and son Mercer Ellington.

  • Cliff Richard in the Eurovision Song Contest

    6 April 1968

    Cliff Richard rehearsing for the  Eurovision Song Contest of  6  April 1968. It was televised in  colour for the first time. Cliff came second.