The Millennium Experience

Greenwich Meantime, London, is the home of time and also the world's official timekeeper. So what better place to have the greatest celebration of the millennium than in Greenwich and at the Dome.

The Millennium Dome

Well that's what the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) - the people running the Millennium Experience would like you to believe. But is the Experience (and in fact the 31st December 1999) going to be all that its been hyped up to be, or a massive let down.

The Dome should become yet another great London landmark and possibly used as a sports location for the proposed 2012 Olympic Games. However I think the Millennium Experience is going to disappoint.

New Milliennium Experience Company LogoIn order to raise the money to build and set up the thing, NMEC had to enlist sponsors such as BT, Sky, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, McDonald's etc. meaning the exhibition will be no more than a huge advertisement. Not only that, but it's from the mind of Peter Mandelson - the man responsible for New Labour and it's dammed victory in 1997.

From what's on display, this is an exhibition that nobody would normally go to see. However, curiosity will probably win over and it may just be a success.

Past Exhibitions

I have always viewed the Great Exhibition of 1851 at Crystal Palace, the 1924 Empire Exhibition at Wembley and the 1951 Festival of Britain on London's South Bank as things which I would love to have been alive to have seen.

It saddens me more that nearly all references to them have been removed or destroyed. The magnificent Crystal Palace destroyed by Fire in the 1930's, the Empire Exhibition pavilions replaced by office blocks (with Wembley Stadium soon to go as well) and the demolition of much of the festival of Britain buildings by the government of the time insisting the materials were needed to help rebuild after the War.

Yet, this exhibition, the first of its kind since 1951 and I'm not jumping up and down with excitement as you would have thought so. As I mentioned earlier, many people will go to see the exhibition out of curiosity and for me, that will probably be the case. Only when it's opened and people have seen it, will we know if it's any good. But I'm not holding my breath.

As for the Dome, I hope that it isn't dismantled, even after it's 25 year lifespan. It should be put to good use, such as a sports venue or exhibition centre and not used as a political tool like the Festival Buildings were in the 1950's. After all, enough money has been spent on it, and it is a great icon for the London and Britain in the 21st Century.

The Millennium Experience

Previous site content, written around the time of the Dome's completion during around 1999.

Article in Context

Whilst the Millennium Experience is widely regarded as a flop, the Millennium Dome is still with us - albeit with a sponsor and a new name - the O2.

The venue is now set to host Gymnastics and the finals of the Basketball competition during the 2012 Olympics, and host the World Gymnastics Championships in 2009.