CRYSTAL PALACE SUBWAY OPENS TO THE PUBLIC
Hundreds of people are expected to register for a chance to visit the Crystal Palace Subway as part of the forthcoming Open House London event (20th/21st September).
Last year was the first time the stunning vaulted walkway which runs underneath Crystal Palace Parade had been opened for the London-wide cultural event; 1500 people took part in a ballot for supervised access and more than 500 people got to visit the site.
Friends of Crystal Palace Subway chairman Karl Richter said: “Last year’s visitors were hugely enthusiastic and gave us very positive feedback.
“In the interests of everyone’s safety and enjoyment, numbers do have to be limited but we hope to show an extra 260 people around the subway during Open House weekend compared to last year.”
An exhibition of audio visual material and art works will be held at the Concert Platform in Crystal Palace Park on 20th and 21st September to accompany Open House weekend.
The concert platform is in the centre of the landscaped concert bowl and is another structure rarely opened to the public.
“Entry is completely free and everyone is welcome, so those who are unsuccessful in the Open House ballot will still be able to learn more about the subway and its unusual history” say the Friends. “For those who have seen the subway, the exhibition will bring its history to life.
Sue Giovanni, project manager of Inspired by the Subway, says: “The HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund) Sharing Heritage grant could not have come at a better time with a focus on the park and its heritage over the last year.
“Working with such an enthusiastic and capable group of volunteers has been the perfect way to investigate the creative uses the local community has put the subway to since the fall of the Crystal Palace in 1936.
“The project has benefitted enormously from the variety of skills and diversity of approaches
that the volunteers have brought to it.”
60th ANNIVERSARY OF HIGH LEVEL STATION CLOSURE
Open House weekend also marks another important anniversary for Crystal Palace. On 19th September 1954, the very last train left Crystal Palace High Level Station and both the station and its subway were closed on 20th September; sixty years ago to the day of Open House 2014.
To mark the occasion The Southwark Model Railway Club have a model of the steam engine that pulled the last train and they will be running that on their impressive 32 ft model of the station and tracks in the concert platform building.
“A must see for local historians, train enthusiasts and young people of all ages” say the Friends. The concert platform building has full disabled access.
How to enter the Crystal Palace Subway Open House ballot
If you would like to be entered into the ballot for a chance to visit the subway on 20/21 September you can either email [email protected] or call 020 8133 0973 and provide the following information:
• Your name
• Email/phone number
• Number of people in your party (maximum group of 4)
• Ages of any children being accompanied by an adult
• Day/time preference i.e. Sat or Sun and morning (10-1pm) or afternoon (1-4.30pm)
The ballot closes on Sunday 31st August and successful ballot winners will be notified by Monday 8th September.
Please note that the subway has no disabled access and it not suitable for those with
mobility issues. Hard hats will need to be worn throughout the visit.
For more information on the subway and the Inspired by the Subway project, please visit
www.cpsubway.org.uk You can also follow the Friends on Twitter (@cpsubway) or find them on Facebook.