Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fetch the engines

70 years ago tomorrow, the Crystal Palace burnt down. We were planning on going to commemorative fireworks tonight, but they start too early to get their from work. Rats.

The Crystal Palace stood in Penge Place, Sydenham for 82 years, and by the end was a bit run down anyway. Existing film footage of galas and things make it look a bit overgrown and bedraggled. And so all the more weird and exciting.

London’s second-tallest structure (after Torchwood Tower) is built on the site: the Crystal Palace transmitting station, what provides us our TV. It’s a recognisable fixture of the London skyline for miles and miles around.

The transmitter mast is approximately 6.5 times taller than the Crystal Palace was (222 metres as compared to 33, or 728 feet to 110).

So presumably you could have seen the palace from miles away too. I would love to see photos of this.


Paul Rhodes said...

The original Crystal Palace was 110 feet, but when re-erected in Sydenham it was somewhat embiggened (168ft, I think). The towers at either end were taller still.

From my new workplace next to Torchwood, I can clearly see the transmitter mast, but its base is obscured by the lie of the land, so maybe the Palace wouldn't have been very visible.

Anonymous said...

The closest I can find to a photo of the Palace from far off is this one from Bromley Recreation ground courtesy of English Heritage

Loads of other Palace pictures in their online collection too.

Anonymous said...

Simon, have you read Justin's marvellous kids range The Invisible Dectective?

They're set in the 30s and the present day. And one of the books is set at the Crystal Palace both then and now...

There's a scene where the present day gang get the bas home, I hope it was the 197, they'd go past my gaff.

0tralala said...

Ooh. Thanks, Nimbos.

Yes, Robert, I have read some of the Invisible Detective books. Was a bit weirded out by them being set down the road.

But wouldn't it have been the 312 back in them days?

Anonymous said...

It was the 312 then, yes. I got weirded out my present tense of 'I hope...' and decided to stick to the present bus number