photo credit: Jamie Balston
SPECIAL CEREMONY IN CRYSTAL PALACE SUBWAY
Supporters of the Crystal Palace subway which runs underneath Crystal Palace Parade attended a special event yesterday (Thursday).
The occasion was to mark the reinstatement of the Southwark gate on Crystal Palace Parade which leads down steps and into the historic subway which once formed part of the Crystal Palace high level station.
Friends chairman Peter Hore told people from local amenity societies and businesses and other subway supporters: “This has been a real community effort.
“The amount of help we have had from local people and local businesses has been terribly important – not just for the moral support but also for the generosity of local businesses whose support has been truly amazing.”
£6,000 had been given by individuals towards the project – among them Shaun Harrigan, who cut the ceremonial opening tape
Mr Hore thanked Ray Sacks and Peter Austin who “kept the show going” during the period after the multiplex proposals and during the Zhong Rong proposals and Pat Trembath, Sydenham Society president
Long-term support had come from the the Dulwich Society, Sydenham Society and Norwood Society.
“Without their consistent support we wouldn’t be where we are today” added Mr Hore who also thanked the “newer generation” especially Friends secretary Sue Giovanni – whose ‘What Remains’ film about the subway had filled East Dulwich Picturehouse and Anerley town hall – and Friends treasurer Jules Hussey.
“The energy and hard work and sheer dedication and persistence Sue and Jules have shown has been great.”
There were also thanks for Southwark officers for their help, to Southwark Cllr Andy Simmons (College ward); Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes and Bromley council and Crystal Palace ward Cllr Angela Wilkins, all three of whom attended the ceremony. Among others attending the ceremony were representatives of F M Conway (infrastructure services).
Helen Hayes had been a great support since being elected MP, added Mr Hore.
Support had also come from London Heritage; Crystal Palace park community projects centre, Antic pubs whose hostelries include Westow House; estate agents Martin and Co of Church Road; Andy at Bambino’s on Church Road; and Eastern Cuisine on Gipsy Hill.
Tape cutter Shaun Harrigan said: “I don’t think I was the first choice. “I just happened to be available” he joked.
OPEN HOUSE AT THE SUBWAY (17th / 18th September): Half hour entry starting 10am last entry 4:30pm
No pre-booking for visit
Numbers in the subway are limited – there may be waiting time
Access on Crystal Palace Parade near Bus Stop B
No wheelchair access
Please note: The entry for Crystal Palace Subway in the Open House Guide is incorrect
To coincide with Open House weekend (17th and 18th September) the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway will be releasing their recent documentary about the subway online so if you can’t make it to Open House you can have a tour of the subway from the comfort of your living room.
The film highlights the passion local people have for the subway and charts how their involvement has been integral to the history of the space.
Sue Giovanni’s film ‘What remains’ examines the effect that such a beautifully designed and crafted fragment of Victorian construction can have on the people that come into contact with it.
Visit the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway website on 17th September to view.
UPDATE: The Friends of Crystal Palace Subway are in discussions with Southwark council in regard to an access agreement and a timetable of small-scale activities for the subway for 2016 and 2017.
The subway is a listed site on heritage at risk register and approximately £2million pounds is needed to make it fully usable.
Further reading: CHINESE WANTED TO ACQUIRE ENTIRE TOP HALF OF CRYSTAL PALACE PARK – Bromley’s bombshell letter (20th March 2015 News From Crystal Palace website)
Process and Protest: 10-year anniversary of the Crystal Palace Campaign. The Palace magazine April 2007.
(Friends of Crystal Palace Subway website has a wealth of information on the subway’s history – Editor)