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Report - Alexandra Palace, North London - August 2014

The_Raw

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
Alexandra Palace is a historic entertainment venue in Alexandra Park, London. It is located between Muswell Hill and Wood Green, in the north of the city. It was originally opened in 1873 but rebuilt in 1875 following a destructive fire. It was designed to serve as a public centre of recreation, education and entertainment and as north London's counterpart to The Crystal Palace in south London. Intended as "The People's Palace" and later nicknamed "Ally Pally" (allegedly by Gracie Fields), in 1936 it became the home of the world's first regular public "high-definition" television service, operated by the BBC. Alexandra Palace television station was located on the site and its radio tower is still in use. The original studios 'A' and 'B' still survive in the south-east wing with their producers' galleries and are used for exhibiting original historical television equipment. The original Victorian theatre with its stage machinery also survives. The theatre and stage structure is on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register. Alexandra Palace became a listed building in 1996, at the instigation of the Hornsey Historical Society. A planned commercial development of the building into a mixed leisure complex including a hotel, replacement ice-skating rink, cinema, ten-pin bowling alley and exhibition centre, encountered opposition from public groups and was blocked by the High Court in 2007. The Great Hall and West Hall are typically used for exhibitions, music concerts and conferences, operated by the trading arm of the charitable trust that owns the building and park on behalf of the public. There is also a pub, ice rink and palm court.

After spending the evening with mates and a few beers underground in North London I decided I fancied getting up somewhere high. The only suggestion of somewhere close by was the roof of Alexandra Palace so I set off on my own feeling determined. It took me an age to get there as it sits on top of a hill largely inaccessible by public transport, especially at that time of night. The front entrance of the building seemed to be the only bit that wasn't fenced off so I searched the perimeter fence for a way in. After getting over and into a courtyard that led to nowhere I eventually found what I was looking for, a ladder heading up towards the roof. At this point it was so late that daylight was already coming through so I knew I had to move quickly. I took some really quick roof shots and had a bit of a mooch around and eventually came across an open fire exit door that took me inside the building. This wasn't what I came for but I thought fuck it let's have a look. Next thing I knew I was in service tunnels underneath the building, I didn't go very far into them as time was ticking away but there was definitely a few avenues to explore down there. Then I found a door into the main building and as soon as I saw the grand hall I couldn't help but run in and take a few sneaky snaps as there didn't appear to be anyone around or any cameras. Having been that cheeky and got away with it so far I decided to make my escape as quickly as possible, back up to the roof and out the way I came in. Just as I was getting over the gate on the way out a woman's voice came over the intercom saying 'Hello? Is there somebody there? What are you doing?'.....seconds later I was gone like Kaiser Soze :D

Pics were mostly handheld so a bit grainy and whatever but to be honest pics were a bonus. Getting a free run around such an iconic building and having it to myself was what this was all about, I was buzzing that I got to see what I did and there's way more stuff to see in here so I'm not done with it yet.

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I had to sneak behind this balcony when making my way out as three guys were smoking outside the window at the end, might've been security but not sure, I didn't hang around to find out....
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The iconic rose window....
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Back up to the roof, these 3 shots were taken through dirty glass....
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Palm Court
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Time to make a run for it....
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LEG IT!!!! Woop Woop Woop :D

Thanks for looking :thumb
 

Oxygen Thief

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#3
Nice work, I never got up close and personal with this place, god knows why we never gave it a go.
 

The_Raw

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#9
Nice work, I never got up close and personal with this place, god knows why we never gave it a go.
I'd like to have a look in the theatre but it's under renovation now so probably gonna look like a building site

Nice ones mate, very nice :thumb

So now i know where the page 3 pics from :)short on time ? mmmmmm now we know why lol
haha ermm yes, that's what I meant when I said a quick mooch around on the roof ;)

Bet that's a kickass concert venue... Nice report! :thumb
Cheers. It's a wicked concert venue, I took part in a wall of death and the biggest circle pit I've ever seen in there a few years ago hehe :D

Nice work, TR. You're good at your lucky escapes ;)
No luck involved IM, it all comes down to precision planning ;)
 

mashley

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
Such an awesome venue, years ago (like 20 years ago)I used to service the fire alarms there, the most interesting places I went were the old BBC wing which is under the tower mast and the catacombs under the ice rink, rumour has it german POW's were held there during the war, dunno how true that is....
 

PopPunkJamie

Irregular User
28DL Full Member
#13
Nice work dude, some cracking photos. Last time I was here was for Warped Tour 2012, just before Ian Watkins got busted..... :wanker
 

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