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We were pleased to be able to support Better Bankside’s reimagined modern-day Frost Fair, throughout December and January, in the initiative’s inaugural year.


Inspired by the area’s rich heritage and lively characters, Bankside has reinvented the historic Frost Fair for the 21st Century. The two-month public programme showcased augmented reality installations, a street art trail and Frost Fair-themed food, drink and workshops.


From circa 1605 to 1814, the surface of the River Thames froze over 24 times, bringing all trade on the water to a standstill. So the people of Bankside took to the ice, creating a sensational cornucopia of markets, amusement, food, drink, games and entertainment. In 1814, at the very last Frost Fair, an elephant was walked across the ice alongside Blackfriars Bridge!


Our funding supported a project by artist Alice Clarke from Art Academy, with children from Charles Dickens Primary School, to create an art piece for Union Yard Arches, as well as a series of 165 Frost Fair walking tours.


Bringing Bankside’s stories to life and celebrating its community through the area’s first coordinated winter activity since the last Frost Fair in 1814!

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