Caption for top photo

"Hello Radiolympia. This is direct television from the studios at Alexandra Palace!" *

THESE were the immortal words spoken to camera by Elizabeth Cowell and received at the big Radio show at Olympia, in West London. This was amongst similar test transmissions during August 1936, prior to the beginning of regular broadcasting just a couple of months later, on 2 November 1936.

Alexandra Palace was the birthplace of scheduled public, "high" definition television broadcasting in the UK and arguably, the world.

The American Modern Mechanix magazine of May 1935, described this as, England Will Broadcast First Chain Television Programs, to "Lookers".

BBC Studios A & B are the world's oldest surviving television studios.

YET in 2007, our People’s Palace was to be sold down the river by its very guardians – the Trustee – the London Borough of Haringey. The TV studios were to be destroyed with the connivance of the local council. Here is raw uncensored opinion and information about the scandal of the attempted fire-sale of our Charitable Trust’s asset, for property development. It includes letters sent to local papers, published & unpublished.

AFTER receiving a slap-down from the High Court (2007, October 5), two and a half years went by before the council finally abandoned its 15-year-old policy of "holistic" sale (i.e. lock stock and barrel). Then there was an attempt at partial sale ("up to two-thirds") to a music operator but without governance reform. To tart the place up for a developer, the council blithely sought about a million pounds towards this goal, a further sum of cash to be burnt.

THE local council has proved itself, to everyone's satisfaction, to have been a poor steward and guardian for over 20 years. Now, the master plan (below) developed under the new CEO Duncan Wilson OBE deserves to succeed.

It would be also be a big step forward to have a Trust Board at least partly independent of Haringey Council. 'Outside' experts would be an advantage. They'd likely be more interested, committed, of integrity and offer greater continuity. Bringing independent members onto the board and freeing it from political control would be the best assurance of success, sooner.


Firoka is out for good

The Alexandra Palace Trust issued the following
press release this afternoon (19 August 2008):

The Alexandra Palace Charitable Trust has received notification from Firoka Ltd that the developer is no longer interested in being involved in the future of Alexandra Palace.

This comes after over a year of negotiations between the Trust and Developer.

Matt Cooke, Chair of Trustees, said:
'As this option for moving forward closes I am determined that we will grasp the opportunity this now gives us to explore new ways of realising our objective of securing Ally Pally's future in an exciting and sustainable way.

'I will be taking proposals to the next meeting of the Board which will be about that future and learning the lessons of recent months, years and decades. The Trustees will now focus on reviewing the various options open to them in order to ensure that the charitable objectives of public resort and recreation are maintained. We will take this opportunity to ask the difficult questions and seek realistic proposals for the Palace's future.

'During this period of negotiation we have not been idle and a tremendous amount of work has been done in reinvigorating our trading company culminating in the appointment of a new Managing Director last week. This work gives us a solid foundation for the future - a future which could be tremendously exciting for the Palace.

'Local people and beyond see pure potential in the Palace, and we have a duty to Haringey and all of London to secure and realise this tremendous asset's future.'

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