Crystal Palace

INTRODUCTION

This is a post about a place I visited many times in my youth, since I grew up not very far from it.

THE HISTORY

Crystal Palace was one of two stations opened to serve Crystal Palace (the other being Sydenham), when the building was moved from its original location in Hyde Park to Southeast London. The building itself was destroyed by a lightening strike in 1936, but the area still has much to commend it. In 2010 Crystal Palace station took a step up in importance when as part of the incorporation of what had been the East London Line into London Overground the New Cross Gate branch was extended south to West Croydon with a spur from Sydenham to Crystal Palace. More about the history of this station can be found here.

CRYSTAL PALACE PARK

The area where Crystal Palace once stood is now a public park, noted for its display of model dinosaurs (some of which are poorly posed as little was known of their lifestyles when they were constructed). There is a bust of Joseph Paxton, creator of Crystal Palace there as well. There are a variety of sources of further information available, including visitlondon, who have an excellent page featuring the image below, and the London Borough of Bromley’s official site, which has an excellent location map, also featured below.

The visitlondon pic.
The visitlondon pic.
The full location map, URL http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=534454&y=170658&z=0&sv=SE19%2B2BB
The full location map, URL http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=534454&y=170658&z=0&sv=SE19%2B2BB

 

Cropped to focus exclusively on the key area.
Cropped to focus exclusively on the key area.

A CRICKETING CONNECTION

In 1899 Dr W G Grace, having quarreled irretrievably with his native Gloucestershire, established the London County Cricket Club at Crystal Palace. Sadly, so entrenched were pre-existing prejudices that even with him running the show the new venture folded after a mere ten years, having had first class status only for the first five of those years.

WHERE I GREW UP IN LONDON

Earlier in the post I mentioned that I grew up not far from Crystal Palace. Here are a couple of pics obtained by way of google maps, based on my old home address that show just how close…

This shows the public transport option (and btw nine minutes for the walk down to the running track bus stop is a risible over estimate - five would be more accurate)
This shows the public transport option (and btw nine minutes for the walk down to the running track bus stop is a risible over estimate – five would be more accurate)
This one just shows the basic distance.
This one just shows the basic distance.

THE RAILWAY DETECTIVE

A fabulous series of books by Edward Marston, the first of the series which has the same title as the whole series features a dastardly plot to blow up Crystal Palace. More about this book and others in the series can be found here.

A MORE RECENT CONNECTION

To end this post, here is a picture of part of lot 602 in James and Sons‘ April Auction…

602-b