A place of long faded glory

Today probably wasn’t the best day to go exploring, but a couple of days ago I began thinking about the Crystal Palace again. Basically, I’d come across something on Facebook about next years Festival of Brexit, which got me thinking about the Great Exhibition: I wondered whether the Tories could be daft enough to try to invoke one with the other by doing something in Crystal Palace park. Wanting a trip out anyway, I decided to go take a look – it’s only a single half-hour bus ride from the end of my road. What I found, though, didn’t fill me with enthusiasm: I had more or less the same reaction that I had the last time I visited the place in 2018. While there were one or two new buildings such as a cafe (open for take-away only, so I couldn’t have a coffee) the place was still crumbling; the paths were a nightmare to roll along. I trundled past the Crystal Palace Bowl, an open-air music stage where famously Bob Marley played his last ever UK concert, now derelict and so badly in need of repair that local people refer to it as The Rusty Laptop. The park had the aura of a place of long faded glory, especially in the rain. Whatever plans there were to regenerate it seem to have come to nothing, or at least very little. It seems that not every part of London gets the same treatment when it comes to regeneration.

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