03 April 2008

Ted Allan: The Eye, the Dome and the Expo

I never met the late Ted Allan, but I corresponded with him and worked with him for years. From 1987-1995, I was associate editor of World’s Fair magazine and he was a regular columnist. Mr. Allan was a natural and prolific writer and his submissions were always entertaining and sharply observant. After I left World’s Fair, I invited him to contribute to various publications I edited and he would always oblige with a fascinating article whenever he was asked.

Ted Allan worked on his first world expo project as an architect in 1951 and subsequently became involved in the exhibition and trade fair business nonstop, including all the major expos worldwide. He was British Commissioner General at Vancouver Expo 86, President of the Executive Commission at the BIE in Paris from 1986-1992 and BIE President 1992-1993. In ‘retirement,’ he wrote and broadcast on the subject, and continued as an advisor on expo projects.

In this article, presented just as originally published in 2000 in a quarterly magazine that I edited for TEA - only the websites have been updated - Ted Allan comments, in his unique and delightful, world-witty diplomat’s voice, on what were then two of London’s newest landmarks: the London Eye and the Millennium Dome. He follows it with a summary of world expo doings at the time (note: Shanghai landed the 2010 expo, www.shanghai-expo.com). There’s enough name-dropping and historical context here to make the reader feel like a political insider, and all the observations are still fresh and relevant today. I wish Ted Allan was here today to comment on that and a few other things. He was what I’d call a great human being.

Many thanks to TEA for giving permission to republish this article, and to Blooloop for enthusiastically taking it on. By doing so, they allow more people to appreciate Ted Allan.... [click the title link to read Ted Allan's article on Blooloop.com]