Tag Archives: Ally Pally

Meanwhile, Back at the Palace…

sketch of palace

"Ally Pally", by Kerry McFall

Post-Tower has been insane: in the last six days, we’ve moved to our new Pied-a-Terre apartment (that’s apparently French for Really Tiny) in the Crouch End part of London, where getting internet coverage involves standing in one specific corner of the room and holding the laptop above your head; we’ve discovered that just up the road is Alexandra Palace and the most incredible pub on the planet (architecturally speaking, it’s a cathedral – haven’t tried the beer yet!) ; we were surprised to see that the national Stitch and Knit exhibit was at the Palace over the weekend (quilters, picture just stumbling in to the National  Quilt Expo on a Sunday afternoon  stroll);  and Griff’s computer died and he learned the joys and terrors of buying a new computer overseas.  So given that I’m already tired of holding the laptop above my head, here is a quick sketch from the Palace, with Tower sketches to come when we have better wifi coverage.

As it is affectionately known locally, the “Ally Pally” palace was built in 1873 and burned to the ground three weeks later.  It was never meant for royalty, it was meant to be a “People’s Palace” for exhibitions, fairs, and so on.  But even so, those plucky Victorians rebuilt it immediately, and it had a very colorful if weird past, including being used as a refugee camp and internment camp in the wars, until it burned again in the 1980’s. The BBC radio tower on the right figures prominently in BBC history, and was used to block German radio signals and disrupt many bombing runs.  But my favorite part of the palace is that Rose Window, and I’ve included  the pattern that appears in its outer borders to look like it’s coming from the radio tower.  And if you watch the 2012 Olympics, you may see it on TV because the Dutch Olympic team is going to be living there during the Games!