Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Ally Pally birthplace of TV project on hold - but is there a silver lining?

The project at Ally Pally has announced they have not enough for the TV studios bit. This is being publicly admitted to local media. Sources tell me they ran out of dosh to the tune of £9m - the surveyors apparently underestimated the costs.The AP project spin is that the project still within budget and they are just, er, "rescoping" the project - to leave out the studios! But the media are getting that the studios bit was the USP of the whole thing ...

Mind you, I am not criticizing the present council which has been supportive of the restoration, unlike previous administrations (I'm thinking of you, Lord Toby Harris) which simply wished to flog AP off. No, the real villains are the philistine art-history trained English Heritage/Historic England "experts" which egged on the the costly, unnecessary and in conservation terms, vandalistic planned demolition of the converted arches which literally forms the two studio walls .. to appease some local Muswell Hill nimbies who have always hated the building, and wished to tidy away the BBC changes to some impossible Victorian appearance.

The silver lining is that there is now a bit of time to for conservatonists to try to persuade the Council/AP to rethink

Views: 957

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Perhaps they could let the Alexandra Palace Television Group back in. They will do the project for nothing, on a voluntary basis.

Had the Council given even a fraction of the cash they splashed on Ally Pally (£8m wasn't it, topped up by Lottery money?) to Hornsey Town Hall, that place would also have been an asset to the profit of the community. 

It would have allowed HTH to continue to pay it's way and offer more public facilities, rather than become a $2bn overseas property developer's property thing.

It's not just that a studio to mark the onset of the BBC, it reminds us all that just because something can be sold off, it doesn't mean it ought to be sold off. Our heritage enriches us.

I thought it was only the right wing who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing?

Our Council is right-wing, Chris.  Surely that's fairly plain by now.

Stanton Doublespeak, Alan - wanting people not to vote Labour because you don't like our left-wing Council has made no difference at all to their majority.

Councils all over the country make some good and some bad decisions and succeed and fail all the time, almost approaching the rate of the private sector. Yet you blame them as if they were markedly different from other councils.

What else can you do to further your aims?

There seems to be some inconsistency here – these posts imply that something has gone wrong and the Ally Pally project has failed. The press release issued by Alexandra Palace two days ago tells a different story, with the implication that it is a success! See copy pasted out below. Who should we believe?

Press Release
05 April, 2017

Future of Alexandra Palace secured as new cultural destination takes shape


“No longer a relic of another time but a testament to our own.”


  • Main construction works begin on the £26m restoration of the East Wing at Alexandra Palace.


  • The Victorian Theatre, hidden for more than 80 years, will be brought back to life with a capacity of up to 1,300 people.


  • The restored East Court will be a vast, inspiring public space that will showcase the amazing history of the Palace and honour the Trust’s mission to maintain the Park and Palace as a place of public resort and recreation.

  • The original BBC television studios will be re-envisioned as a dynamic media platform, telling a technology story past, present and future.


The once-in-a-lifetime project to restore Alexandra Palace to its rightful place as a major cultural and heritage asset has started in earnest as the main construction phase of East Wing restoration is now underway.

This comes after the board of Alexandra Park and Palace approved the award of the main construction contract to Wilmott Dixon Construction.

Already one of London’s biggest independent event venues and one of its most beautiful parks, with spectacular views across the city, by the end of next year the £26.7m restoration project will allow Alexandra Palace to fulfil its true potential and original mission to be a place of public resort, recreation, arts and culture.

The creation of a brand new public space in the East Court with a stunning glazed roof and a flexible learning and participation space at its core will welcome visitors and tell the Palace’s story through exhibitions from its own and partner archives. It will grant visitors access to a treasure trove of historical artefacts for the first time, including photographs and early film, which were thought lost or destroyed. The year-round learning and participation programme will also help visitors of all ages understand and enjoy the Palace’s rich history.

Meanwhile, the hidden Victorian theatre dating back to 1875 is being sensitively restored by heritage specialists arresting decades of decay. From late next year it will host a full programme with theatrical performances, cinema screenings, live comedy, music and corporate entertainment among the ideas backed by leading arts figures. The theatre will accommodate audiences of up to 1,300 but has been designed to suit smaller and more intimate performances too.


Continued work within the historic Television Studios has been taken out of the current project to ensure the overall project is delivered on time and within budget. The re-scoping of the project has received support from the main project funders Heritage Lottery Fund and Haringey Council. The Alexandra Park and Palace restoration project team are now working with the BBC and other partners to finalise the new scope for the television studios project. It will be an interactive celebration of the proud history of broadcasting and the BBC at Alexandra Palace as well an exploration of cutting edge broadcasting and technology.

Alongside the funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and Haringey Council, Alexandra Palace is building partnerships with world class organisations and inviting supporters to help realise the full potential of this project. From in kind support to naming rights and partnering with the learning and participation programme, there is a huge range of opportunities to get involved. Individuals can name a seat in theatre, and every donation over £25 will be credited on the donor board in the restored East Court – visit www.support.alexandrapalace.com

Louise Stewart, Chief Executive of Alexandra Park & Palace Charitable Trust, said:

“The public have waited so long to see this spectacular place, set high on the hill above North London, brought back to its original splendour and glory. It’s unbelievably exciting to know that by next year we will have made such a big step forward.

“The Palace has always been bold and even radical in its activities. In 1898 it hosted a replica of the Pyramids of Cairo and a recreation of the last days of Pompeii in the form of a firework spectacular. It was intended as a place where people could relax away from the rush of the city and still enjoy world-class culture and entertainment.” 

I quote the sections from the press release above.  It backs up the claim that they're not going to deliver:

>>The original BBC television studios will be re-envisioned as a dynamic media platform, telling a technology story past, present and future.

>>Continued work within the historic Television Studios has been taken out of the current project to ensure the overall project is delivered on time and within budget.

It sounds like a good outcome, a revamped palace but with the old studios left intact.

Lets hope they remember to change the batteries on the fire alarm.

Hopefully it can become an important TV studio once again as the Victorian theatre becomes the home to many regular televised events.

Birthplace of TV ? .. guffaw

The con is in the name.

Most people who think they know have been persuaded it's Ally Pally, Stephen. We have such an effective mass-media-based propaganda system that the 'truths' they manufacture are seemingly accepted almost automatically.  People don't seem to want to know that other places have valid claims, probably because those other places are not 'British'.

Our leaders have drummed into us that 'otherness' belongs to 'them'. That makes it hard for us to credit others.  Best broadcaster in the world? No, but nearly a century of the BBC might telling us that (and a lot of government-approved other stuff too, arguably born out of General Strike and 2nd World War demands) has warped our context.

Now we are more eclectic and fake news has been revealed to lurk everywhere, what to do?

The description “Birthplace of TV” has not been used here until you have. The actual words used in Ally Pally’s claim are: “The World’s First Regular High Definition Television Service was inaugurated here by the BBC on 2 November 1936”. 

While you can split hairs over the precise meaning of “high definition”, what is not in dispute is that the world’s first broadcast television service of regular programmes directly to viewers in their homes was from Ally Pally. The significance being that it was a regular service for home viewing – unlike in Germany where early television programmes were beamed to cinemas and other public viewing places, which is not television as we know it.

Funny Ally Pally should be used as a German POW camp in the First World War and later be used as a secret weapon against the German bombers in the second. Now a German beer festival continues to this day as well as this debate.

I love the story about Trent park being used to house the officers in luxury with minimal security offering them privacy as their every word was being secretly recorded inside and out. Very cunning.

Yeah, open it up again for the Spanish POWs soon.  LMAO

FPR, it's 75 years ago now.. have you got nothing else better to report.? Wonderful 'feel good about yourself' story that keeps the 'we won the war' brigade happy.. Sadly, the U.K. didn't win the peace and that's been going on for much, much longer.



© 2018   Created by Hugh.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service