Outing to Alexandra Palace
On Thursday 29th July, the Exploring London went on an outing to Alexandra Palace. The Palace building is currently under repair so was not open. The group met at the front of the Palace outside the BBC Tower from for a tour led by local guide Julian Woodfield. Julian explained the background history of the site, including the chequered early years of Alexandra Palace, the BBC and the birth of television, the Open University, Ally Pally’s role as an internment camp in WW1, Dolly Shepherd - an early daredevil, the ‘secret’ nuclear observation bunker, the boating lake, the newly restored theatre at Ally Pally.
Here is information from one of our own members about her personal experiences of Alexandra Palace "I have a little bit of personal history to add. In 1965 my husband and I held our wedding reception in Alexandra Palace in what was then called The Edinburgh Suite. Some months later that part of the palace burned down. One of many fires it has suffered during its lifetime. The church where we were married, St Saviours Alexandra Park, is also no more. Demolished in the eighties and replaced with flats. Only the war memorial survives.
I grew up nearby and Alexandra Palace was a favourite haunt as a teenager, for the roller skating but most of all the fairground which was the place we went to hear the latest pop music in the fifties."
Here are some photos of the day:
Alexandra Palace Building
Boating lake: The boating lake doubles as source water in case of a fire Ally Pally burnt down twice in the past, 1st time 16 days after opening ! As had attracted 1,000 people a day, decision was made immediately to rebuild - funded by selling off some land for housing.
Entrance to old ‘Cold War’ underground nuclear bunker 16 x 7 x 7 feet. In event nuclear war was to be staffed by 3 volunteers for 3 weeks - tasked with phoning through radiation tests to HQ
Group Photo 1
Group Photo 2
Group with volunteer guide Julian Woodfield