(LET.1)ETTERS - The Future of the Park

Published with no alterations except if the following are perceived to be problems: length, language (obscenities.. tempting but ultimately may not be appropriate), libel (we can't afford to be sued): if you wish, use the
contact form, or just e-mail us.

The order below is (hopefully) in order of having received the e-mails (or any other form of communication).

We are making a new start here, after a lull, from September 2003!

Short policy note: The Crystal Palace Campaign does not specifically endorse or condemn any particular ideas for the future of the Park. We just stick by the core principles we have always held.
Our "Peoples' Park" document was and is meant as a start point for generating ideas and puts forward a few for consideration. Everyone can have a say and perhaps your pet ideas may be followed. For now, this page will contain your views, for all to consider and be inspired, on the future of the park. ......Webmaster.



Congratulations. The Wilkinson Eyre proposal is inspired. A true London talking-point which invokes the volume of the old Palace without tramping on the hilltop. Something which can be seen from all over South London - and which is worth looking at. A stroll around the exhibitions with such extensive views as a backdrop will be a truly impressive experience. You have my vote.

And to think we might have had yet another Hollywood-and-popcorn processing plant instead...

Gordon, February 2004

I think the Wilkinson Eyre design is amazing in concept and aesthetic. I am sure that such an eye-catching and newsworthy development will be a powerful aid to attracting the kind of capital this area needs to realise and to reap its considerable potential. I think that Chris Wilkinson, as a resident of south-east London for many years, is an ideal person to design the structure and it is more than generous of him to donate his time to the project.

I am very impressed with the way that Wilkinson's design recalls the original whilst embracing innovation and new techniques and advances in construction (good to know this will also help with the funding!). The preservation of the parkland is an added bonus. I think it's a genius plan, and though I had semi-dismissed it as too expensive, the funding plan laid out here looks eminently feasible.

Fran, February 2004

Please add the following, if you haven't got them already:

Annabell Taylor: bella.taylor@blueyonder.co.uk



claire williamson <claire.williamson@lineone.net>


Todd, February 2004

High Level Railway Station

Reopen the line from Nunhead calling at Honor Oak, Lordship Lane (for Horniman Museum), Upper Sydenham to Crystal Palace. The two tunnels are still in place. I last travelled along the line in 1954 the week before closure.

Park Ideas - a wind turbine

As one of the highest spots in Greater London the top of Crystal Palace park could represent a good location for a wind turbine - not only in terms of good wind speeds but also as a visible landmark of a more environmentally sustainable city. The wind turbine could incorporate a viewing platform that would give spectacular views of London and Surrey. The turbine could provide power for the television mast and also the businesses of Upper Norwood.

In his recently published Energy Strategy, the Mayor of London has set a target for 6 large wind turbines in London. 3 of these are to be built at the Ford Dagenham plant on the Thames (one of these will have a viewing platform), but the location/s of the other 3 have not yet been determined. The scope for financial and technical support for this would be very large....C

Central government, and regional government across the UK, are developing vast strategies for developing renewable energy - it is, and will, happen. At the moment, urban renewable energy is embryonic and a large wind turbine in Crystal Palace would be a pioneering endeavour and set the standards for future industry in the same way as the technologies and industry that were exhibited in the orignial Crystal Palace. A large urban wind turbine at Crystal Palace would capture public attention in London, the UK and across Europe - and have a greater impact than the other ideas for utilising the site.

Daniel Archard, March 2004

2003 - a new start...

Lost the plot

The Crystal Palace Campaign has lost the plot. Even Richie's design was better than this. How can you now expect Bromley council to take you seriously after this?

Paul, December 2003

Art in the Park

...perhaps my suggestions might be noted and, possibly, collated with similar views. Is it not possible to extend the pleasant park just behind the bus depot so that it goes right along the parade towards the tv mast? And would it not be possible to obtain on loan from various establishments large scale sculptures? Possibly, the council might also commission from aspiring young sculptors. And might it not be possible to convert the beautiful, decorative brick, vaulted areas into, say, work areas for young artists/craftpersons. An attractive area would also encourage visitors who would also enjoy a decent coffee and a baguette etc. In short the area could become a small arts park with associated retail outlets. It might also be possible to encourage a Sunday arts market not dissimilar to that on the Bayswater Road. What is certain is that the area could be turned into a unique local amenity which might draw in others from afar.

Robert Randell, July 2003

end 2003


Dear All,

I'm not too sure which alternative suggestions have already been made regarding the development at Crystal Palace. However, if permission were granted for building a nicer, more airy building in keeping with the style of the old Crystal Palace, I think it would be nice to include an area for a craft market. I am specifically thinking of one in line with that at Greenwich since much of this old craft area has been destroyed due to the development of the tube station and the millennium dome. A village atmosphere could be maintained and at the same time a craft market would bring visitors to the area as well as encouraging local craftmasters to develop their skills on an historic site. Just as suggestion, maybe put forward before but I think this would be good. Perhaps combined with an area of health or spiritual awareness????? I am not in favour of the cinema complex idea at all! Perhaps you could let me have your comments. Thank you.

S Allen 9 October 1999

...So, I would like to add my vote for a modern Crystal Palace to house a tropical forest, exotic tropical plants, a butterfly farm, tropical fish ponds, a dinosaurama (properly dressed,of course and in native habitats), a small cinema showing wild life movies, bookshop, restaurant, coach park - and resurrected rail link!
The idea is not just to be a community attraction but to attract daytime tourists. Tourists largely use public transport to visit attractions in the London area.
Like everyone in the area, I am looking forward to your deliberations.

Good luck!

James Black

well done for getting L&R properties to agree to participate in stakeholders' forum.

i would like to say:
- i would love a cinema, new shops, new restaurants, etc within walking distance of my home (15 Alexandra Drive) but i do not want the extra traffic
- what about scaling down the plans and sorting out extra public transport - run more trains from victoria to crystal palace, run more trains from dulwich and croydon to crystal palace etc - sort out public transport FIRST before L&R opens the cinema complex

susan amos

It would be truly wonderful if a replica of the Crystal Palace were constructed on its original site on Sydenham Hill. The Palace and associated Park, as Paxton originally envisaged them, are of enormous interest to historians of city planning, architecture and landscape architecture, and to everyone fascinated by the history of World's Fairs. Paxton was the prime influence on Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. and Carvert Vaux, designers of New York City's Central Park. A faithful replica of the original Palace and Park has considerable tourist potential.
Please keep me informed of your campaign and of what there is to see if a visitor comes to Sydenham.

Ray Bromley, Professor, State University of New York at Albany


Webmasters reply - I would not normally comment on letters but Professor Bromley raises an issue about which many people feel strongly (see N.6 - The Alternative Crystal Palace). I, therefore, include a link to my letter to Professor Bromley - it, I hope , will explain a position that many people I know take and strike a chord amongst most of the Campaign's supporters:

London is the only city left in the running for the 2005 World Athletic championships, why not support the building of the new national athletics stadium in the park as a way to scuttle the multiplex. Crystal Palace would become known all over the world due to the publicity. Its worth remembering athletics stadia are used at the most for only a few weeks a year thus reducing the impending traffic nightmare to an occasional nuisance. I say look to the future and support healthy sporting prowess and denigrate decadent sloth. Let the campaign be progressive and forget about finding a retro answer to the multiplex by backing the new stadium for which funding is available.

Max Okore

It's about time that things were left alone, change is not always for the better. I was brought up in the area and would hate to see it change.

Sue 6/6/00


You are going to loose everything that 3 yrs ago we all passionately wanted i.e. stop the ghastly Ritchie multiplex. Yes I would prefer nothing! but I am in the real world and you lot [presumably the CPC. Ed] have never asked your data base their opinion on People and Places Rebuild Paxton's Palace.. You are control freaks like Bromley---SLAY THE DRAGON AND BECOME THE DRAGON print this letter-- bet you don't. Wendy Allen.

Wendy Allen 6/6/00

Letters from pupils of class 5L at Rosendale Primary School, Turney Road, London SE21 (20/06/00)

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I think that the cinema complex should not be built because it will ruin the park. There will be more traffic because there is not enough parking spaces on the arcade. The extra traffic will give the children asthma and will only get worse. There are lots of cinemas somewhere else so I don't see why they have to build it in the park.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign ,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I want to have the cinema complex because it is good for people to come and watch good films and information. It will bring in more money which can be used to build houses for the people.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign ,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I think the site is a beautiful and old. The old stairs should be repaired because they are cracking apart. This would be good use of money. The stinging nettles need to be cut down.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign ,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. If they build the huge complex we will lose a large bit of our park. Why does it need to be built in a park? Also, who said that anyone wanted this place? It will ruin our nature and wildlife and the animals will lose their homes.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign , ,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I think there should be vote of people who live and work near Crystal Palace to see if people want the development. I don't mind if it is there or not.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I think the cinema complex is a good idea but can't they put it somewhere else because there is already a leisure and plenty of other facilities at Crystal Palace.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I think that the cinema should not be built on the site of Crystal Palace because it is a very historic site and traffic increase is very unhealthy and dangerous. The new development will spoil the look of the park and is very bad for the environment.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. Crystal Palace is an old, historical site. If they build the cinema complex they will damage all the wildlife and nature on the site. If they do build it, there should be special buses going to it instead of lots of cars. If cars do park outside they should get clamped.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I'd like them to build something like it was before which got broken. I don't want to have that cinema that they want to build now because it will be too busy with people.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I don't want the cinema development to be built because this will mean all the land and trees will need to be dug up. It will cause too much traffic and trouble with parking.
Thank you,

Dear Crystal Palace Campaign,
I am a pupil at Rosendale School. I believe that we shouldn't have the arcade development because it will mean a beautiful site being ruined by an ugly building. The traffic will cause pollution which will increase asthma. The traffic and all the people inside will cause too much noise.
Yours sincerely,

A few more letters - (23/06/00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see what I see now at the old Crystal Palace site.
This is because building more things mean more traffic and that could mean more tragedy for school children.
Yours faithfully,
David Peach, Year 5L

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see the old crystal palace site stay the same because with a cinema there it will distroy the peaeful park and will make more traffic and more traffic means more accidents.children won't have anywhere to play when they visit.
Yours faithfully,
Katie Small, Year 5L

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see an arcade house at the old crystal palace site.This is because people would like to play in an arcade house(it would keep teenagers out of trouble)and if you put a cinema there it would cause more traffic and it won't be good for school children.
Yours Faithfully,
Lindsay Gibbs, Year 5L

And yet more - (5/07/00)

message: leave it as it is please
miranda (26/06/00)

message:I love Crystal Palace as it is
Milly Molly Mandy(27/06/00)

Dear Sir/ Madam,
I would like to see the same thing at the Old Crystal Palace site because it does not need anything there and it looks nice how it is.
Yours Faithfully,
Paul (27/06/00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see nothing at the Old Crystal Palace site because if they put a cinema where crystal palace was it will cause so much traffic.
Kushal Patel (29/06/00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see nothing at the old crystal palce site. This is because it has lots of space to play and have picnics.
Yours Faithfully,
Aaron Aska (29/06/00)

Dear sir/madam,
I would like to see nothing at the old crystal palace site.
This is because the traffic will be all over the place and i would prefer to have picnics in peace and quiet yours fathfully

shakti (29/06/00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like too not see too many changes at the old crystal palace site.
I would however think there should just be a sitting area.
yours faithfully,
RAJUN (29/06/00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like it to stay the same at the old Crystal Palace site.If you put a cinema or somthing in there will be to much trafic and the children won't have anywhere to play.
Yours Faithfully,

Isabelle Sayer (29/06/00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see a new bigger maze at the old Crystal Palace site.
This is because the children would like a harder maze becausethe children would like a hardermaze because the other one is to easy.
I hope you will think about this statement.
Yours Faithfully,
Polly Aitman (29/06/00)

Dear Sir /Madam,
I would like to see an adventure park at the old Crystal Palace site.
This is because if children want to go to an adventure playground they usually have to go all the way to Thorpe Park.
Yours faithfully,
Keeley Smyth (29/06/00)

We think that the 18 screen cinema complex is a very bad idea. Instead we think you should build a permanent theme park or a large "Pizza Express" restaurant (both without a car park). Without car parks people will take the bus, train etc. to relieve congestion in the area. We also think you should invest more money in the park. These things will make children enjoy themselves more than in a cinema. We will look forward to a reply.
Thank you,
Edward Henderson & James Watt (29/06/00)

I would like you to build a cinema for my friends to come and watch.
Tommy (30/06/00)

Dear sir/madam,
Iwould like to see the old crystal palace rebuilt this is because people would know how it looked like before.
Yours faithfully,
nana mindal (30/06/00)

Dear sir/madam,
I would like to see a enourmous water fountain the old crystal palace site this is beacause people can swim in it and it can be an better site.
yours faithfully,
David Hughes (30/06/00)

Yet a few more letters - (25/07/00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see a new crystal palace at the old crystal palace site. I feel that it would be nice for young people to see what people used to see.
Yours Faithfully
Antonia (10 July 00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see the old crytal palace built back up where it was,because i enjoyed it and lots of other people enjoyed it too.
yours faithfully
David Lawrence (10 July 00)

Dear sir/madam,
I am writing to complain about building houses In crystal palace park , youll ruin creatures homes and destroy nature . Children will get up to no good and muck about at night .More houses mean more noise and more traffic when Its bad enough already.
Casey (10 July 00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like you to build the old Crystal Palace where the Crystal Palace tower is now because it would be a very nice sight and the sun reflecting of the glass would look lovely.
Yours Faithfully
James W Jones (10 July 00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see the old Crystal Palace at the Crystal Palace site.This would be great to see and excellent for families to visit.
yours Faithfully
Ciara Littler (10 July 00)

Dear sir/madam,
I would like to see a theme park at the old Crystal Palace site because the whole family can enjoy themselves.
Jamie (10 July 00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see a Crystal Dome at the old Crystal site because it would be fun to see lots of things in side.
Shireen Campbell (10 July 00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I want the old Crystal Palace site to stay as it is.
Louis (10 July 00)

Dear sir/madam,
I would like to see a much bigger maze at the old crystal palace site. This is because the other maze is so small and I think this one should be more complicated and I think it will be much better.
Yours Faithfully
Dunia El-zobaidi (10 July 00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to see a Bowling place or a library at the old Crystal Place site. This is because the Library would be educational in many ways.
Yours faithfully,
Taniqua Brown (10 July 00)

Dear Sir/Madam,
Please leave the old site as it is.It is now a beautiful conservation area and should be kept as such.
Hannah Ajayi (10 July 00)


Return to letters index; Top of page; See also comments: The building, Professor Bromley reply.

11/10/99 Last updated 27/11/99; 23/03/00; 11/6/00;20/06/00;23/06/00; 05/07/00; 25/07/00;27/2/02(LS letter removed); new start September 2003.