Events &Tickets

Tickets for all our events are now available here.


Penguin advert mock up11:30 – 12:30 PENGUIN POPULARITY  Come along to hear about the explosion of popular printing during the 1940s and see some rare examples from this period What: An expert in the field will guide participants through a brief history of the development of popular and mainstream printing in the 1940s, and why it was so important to daily life.  This period of material shortages lead to some significant developments in the techniques used and the methods applied both to publishing and printing, which will be explored in this workshop using examples from the University of Edinburgh’s rare book collection. Where: Main Library, University of Edinburgh, George Square, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ

Eventbrite - Penguin Popularity _________________________________________________________________________________________________ muspic13:00 – 4:00 SCIENCE AND SWING The 1940s was an exciting and revolutionary time for many fields of science – come and find out why with our collections! What: Developments and discoveries were made in many fields of science during the 1940s, with a number of factors influencing the work scientists did. Significant developments were made in the fields of Geology and Genetics, with a many discoveries taking place here in Edinburgh! Experts in each of these fields will briefly talk about the revolution in these fields during the 40s and will have items from the collections to illustrate these innovations. Where: Main Library, University of Edinburgh, George Square, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ

Eventbrite - Science and Swing _________________________________________________________________________________________________ jeweller making - pin 6:00-7:30 JEWELLERY OF THE 40S   Necklaces made washers, ribbon, and sink strainers? Women in the 1940s learned how to adorn themselves with all types of items found in the home. What: Attend this short class to learn about how the women of the 1940s made the most of the materials available at the time to create some unique jewellery.  Following a short talk, attendees will be invited to try out some of these techniques using some samples of everyday materials, and will be able to create their own pieces to take away. Where: St Cecilia’s Hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh,  EH1 1NQ Fee: £5

Eventbrite - Jewellery of the 1940s _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________


mend 11:00 – 12:00 MAKE DO AND MEND – DRESSMAKING AND STYLE IN THE 1940s   Learn about 1940s fashion and how people overcame the challenge of looking good with limited material and resources available.

What: The dresses and style of the 1940s have taken on an iconic status in fashion circles.  A short talk based on the style of the era will be followed by an opportunity for participants to learn some techniques and then put them to the test.  A vintage sale will follow this event where items from the era will be on sale.

Where: St Cecilia’s Hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh,  EH1 1NQ




Revel22:00-3:30 THE OBJECT OF ART IS TO GIVE LIFE A SHAPE: ECA IN THE 1940s   Take inspiration from iconic art pieces from the 1940s and create your own work with materials and techniques used in the day.

What: Hear about the experiences of art students at Edinburgh College of Art during 40s.  A short talk about the history of the college during this era will be followed by the chance to learn specific techniques from this period and then put your skills to the test in a practical session.

Where: Edinburgh College of Art 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH3 9DF

Eventbrite - The object of Art is to give life shape


1940s-hairstyles5:30-6:30 PIN UP & POUT – HAIR AND MAKE-UP OF THE 1940s The popular hair and make-up styles of the forties are brought to life in this simple ‘how-to’ workshop.

What: Ever wanted to master victory curls? Professional hair stylists, from Edinburgh based salon, Miss Dixibelle will teach you how to achieve that forties look in your own home.  Whilst the men were away at war women had to fill traditionally male roles. These roles demanded a practical hair style. These Government backed hairstyles were easy to maintain, and kept hair neat and away from the face. Visitors can bring their own hairpins and accessories to style their own hair.

Where: St Cecilia’s Hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh,  EH1 1NQ




7:00-8:00 SWING DANCE CLASS Ever wanted to learn to Lindy Hop or try to East Coast Swing? Then join us in a dance lesson provided by the Edinburgh University Swing Dance Society.

What: Swing dancing was massively popular during this era. Professional dancers will do a short performance and teach some steps before the main ball event.

Where: St Cecilia’s Hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh,  EH1 1NQ



Excelsior Ballroom sepia8:30 – 11:00 ONE LAST DANCE AT THE EXCELSIOR BALLROOM An exclusive opportunity to experience St Cecilia’s Hall transformed back into the 1940s Excelsior Ballroom. What: St Cecilia’s Hall is well known for its early music concerts, it has never before hosted this type of event. It will be a chance for visitors to engage with this local museum in an entirely new context that brings the spirit of the 1940s alive for one night only. We will transform St Cecilia’s Hall back into the Excelsior Ballroom for one last dance where guests can take a turn on the floor to live music provided by the Edinburgh University Jazz Orchestra. Where:  St Cecilia’s Hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh,  EH1 1NQ


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bloodlady11:00-11:45 CURING WHAT AILS YOU: MEDICINE IN THE 1940s Learn about the incredible advancements in medicine during the 1940s from experts in the field. What: Edinburgh has a strong medical history which will be explored with a talk by an archivist from the Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA), as the end of the 1940s brought about the birth of the NHS. Where:  St Cecilia’s Hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh,  EH1 1NQ

Eventbrite - Curing What Ails You: Medicine in the 1940s _________________________________________________________________________________________________ FenderGuitarPatentDiagram12:00-12:45 ELECTRIFYING THE GUITAR – MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN THE 1940s Learn the true history of the electric guitar – one of the most iconic and influential instruments ever invented. What: During the 1940s the first solid body for the electric guitar was created, which made the Rock and Roll movement possible.  In this talk we take a look at the development of one of the world’s most iconic musical instruments and the technology that led to a revolution. Find out how the advancement in technologies of musical instruments shaped today’s popular music. Discover how the Second World War affected musical instrument making and the music people played. Where: St Cecilia’s Hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh,  EH1 1NQ

Eventbrite - Electrifying the Guitar: Musical instruments in the 1940s _________________________________________________________________________________________________ turnhouse2:00-3:00 Winging it – Civil and Military Aviation in the 1940s  The 1940s was an important time for the development of both military and civil aviation. What: Visitors will hear from two aviation experts about two very different strands of aviation history in Edinburgh at the time. The first talk will be by on civil aviation in Edinburgh and the first commercial flights to London in the late 40s. A guest speaker from the National Museum of Flight will discuss the history from a military perspective. Where: St. Cecilia’s hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1NQ

Eventbrite - Winging it – Civil and Military Aviation in the 1940s _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Kitchen Is The Key To Victory3:00-5:00 VICTORY KITCHEN TEA PARTY  A fun family event where parents and children alike can learn about life during the 1940s in Edinburgh. What: A tea party that is fun for the whole family.  Come and taste food and drink from the 1940s. Learn about childhood during the era with children’s games, songs, storytelling, and toy making. Where: St Cecilia’s Hall, 220 Cowgate, Edinburgh,  EH1 1NQ



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