In 1914 a 30-acre site at the Cumberland Basin was transformed into the Bristol International Exhibition. It was an optimistic celebration of the achievements of Britain’s empire and dominions, half trade fair, half theme park with a roller-coaster ride, daily pageants and even a troupe of lions. Bristol people nicknamed it the ‘White City’. Due to run from May to October, it soon hit financial difficulty and when war was declared on August 4th 1914 the exhibition was doomed and closed. The site was acquired by the War Office as a barracks for Bristol’s volunteer soldiers and the buildings were transformed for military use. Soldiers learned how to dig trenches, practice rifle drill and eat and sleep among the surreal structures. The book is lavishly illustrated with contemporary pictures, maps and documents.