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 It includes letters sent to local papers, published & unpublished.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


AFTER 20 years of false starts, the master plan for regeneration at AP now looks to a new dawn …

THERE's been 20 years of wasted tax money. In the last 15 years, this largely comprised misconceived attempts at sale and some of which were unlawful, downright bloody-minded and worse.

In recent times, there was an attempt to re-brand the entire seven acre building for live music, even though this has always been only a part of our Charitable Trust.

Now we have a more realistic prospect of a collection of attractions, which is what the Victorians envisaged.

Under the leadership of the new CEO, Duncan Wilson OBE, there is now a master plan worthy of serious consideration. It contains most of the elements suggested in the past but in a way that is the most realistic, credible sound and lawful way that has been proposed to date.

There's currently a public consultation that deserves public interest and support. A PDF of the master plan put out for public consultation appears on the left, under the yellow lightning flash logo.

If you'd like to download the 7 MB file to your computer: Mac: Option-Click, Windows: Right-Click. The same-sized Conservation Management Plan (Donald Insall Associates) is just below it.