The National Gallery closed on 23rd August 1939 and its paintings were shipped to safety out of London. After the declaration of war in September and the closure of galleries, cinemas and theatres along with the blackout, London lost the chance for people to enjoy culture and entertainment when they needed it the most to keep up their morale.
Myra Hess, the famous pianist suggested that the National Gallery should be used as a venue for music concerts and the first concert took place on 10th October 1939. It proved popular with queues stretching around Trafalgar Square. You can find out more about the concerts here.
When Frankie and Alastair go to a concert at the National Gallery they try out the unusual flavoured sandwiches which were available in the gallery’s canteen. Each flavour was created to compliment the music – see here.