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 It includes letters sent to local papers, published & unpublished.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.


AP UN Heritage Proposal

This link will take you to a downloadable PDF file, the latest version the proposal,

That the APPTB, with support from London Borough of Haringey, should apply for UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition for the South-East wing of Alexandra Palace. To include the BBC television studios, control rooms, dressing & transmitter rooms, telecine area, tower offices & transmission tower

The endorsements*:
  • The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage TICCIH, Secretary: Stuart Smith OBE
  • UN World Heritage site, the 1924 Varberg Radio Station, Sweden CEO: Dr. Lars Johansson
  • IET – Institution of Engineering and Technology, formerly the Institution of Electrical Engineers (contact: Alan Berry)
  • The Mayor of London (Boris Johnson)
  • The MP for Hornsey & Wood Green, Government Minister Lynne Featherstone
  • The MP for Tottenham and ex-Minister for Heritage, David Lammy
  • Former BBC Chairman, Gavyn Davies
  • Former BBC Chairman, Lord Michael Grade
  • Former BBC Director General, Greg Dyke
  • Broadcaster and author, Lord Melvyn Bragg
  • Culture, Media & Sport spokesman, Lord Tim-Clement Jones
  • Media Historian, Iain Logie Baird
  • AP Television Group Chair: John Thompson
  • British Heritage Television group Chair: Martin Allen
  • AP Television Society Chair: Simon Vaughan
  • Hornsey Historical Society Chair: Keith Fawkes
Please click on the link (top) for more information. Contact information contained in the pdf.

* [last updated 5 December 2011]