See what we did during the project

Inspired by the Subway project

Inspired by the Subway exhibition

The exhibition took place over Open House weekend 20th and 21st September.


There was a great deal of interest with 951 people visiting over the weekend and regular queues forming as the building reached capacity of 40 visitors at any one time.


The model of the High Level station by Southwark Model Railway Club proved very popular as did the video and audio clips of subway memories.


Local artists and young people held an exhibition of subway art showing the range of ways the subway can inspire people.

Photos by Veronica Barnett, James Balston and Doris Kaleja

Tour Guide Training

Sally Empson of Training Professional Guides did a brilliant job with six volunteers who all worked incredibly hard to design a tour of the subway, learn the guiding skills and swat up on the subway facts.


Upper Norwood Library hosted the training sessions and there was one afternoon of practice in the subway itself.


Here the volunteers consider the various stops on the tour and how best to present the stories and facts about the space.


Photo Jules Hussey

2nd Subway Art Workshop

During the summer holidays Inspired by the Subway held the second of 2 art workshops this time with young people from Kingswood Community Shop Art Group.


Photos by Jules Hussey

Exhibition Planning meeting

The first exhibition planning meeting was held on June 14th at Upper Norwood Joint Library.


Piles of documents and numerous interview summaries were looked through by volunteers.


A number of themes were identified which volunteers are currently working on.

1st Subway Art Workshop

During half term Inspired by the Subway held the first of 2 art workshops with young people from Anerley Town Hall Art Group.


The video was shot by Richard Gillespie

High Level Station model

On Thursday 24th April volunteers and committee members went to visit the Southwark Model Railway Club at one of their open evenings.


Despite there being no roof on the High Level Station model at that time it was still a very impressive sight. Imagine standing on the bridge at the top of Farquhar Road and being faced with the ornate and imposing station building.


The station and sidings occupied the length of Crystal Palace Parade between College Road and Farquhar Road with the turning circle extending to the Lambeth side of the bridge.


To see the model for yourself visit the Southwark Model Railway Club at their next open evening on 15th May.

For details see their website here


Subway researchers

On Saturday 11th January the Local History Archive at Upper Norwood Joint Library became a hive of activity as project volunteers met to begin researching the history of the subway.


Gillian Edom gave an engaging and accessible introduction to research before volunteers got stuck into the card index and finally the materials in the cupboards and filling cabinets.


The Local History Archive proved to be a treasure trove of useful information.


Volunteers particularly enjoyed finding back copies of Crystal Palace Matters published by The Crystal Place Foundation for their informative and fun articles relating to the subway.


Equally enlightening were newspaper cuttings reporting on Subway Superdays originally organised by The Norwood Society and The Crystal Palace Foundation.

As well as cuttings about the High Level station demolition.


As far as we could see any book or article relating to local heritage will be held in the archive somewhere.


We are very grateful to Carol and Rita at the library for making this day possible.

Five Subway volunteers took part in a Special Crystal Place Tour on Saturday 30th November 2013 to mark the 77th anniversary of the fire which destroyed the Crystal Palace.


The volunteers found the 90 minute tour very informative as being out on site really brought the history to life.


Earlier in the project the museum provided  an introductory talk, the curator Ken Kiss had prepared a presentation of materials relating specifically to the subway. This was a great starting point for the group’s research into the history.


Volunteers came away with a good sense of

railway development and the need for the High Level Station as well as how the subway would have been used by visitors to the Crystal Palace.


However, Ken did bring into question some of the descriptions of the subway that are now quoted as fact. For example, was it really built by Italian Cathedral bricklayers and was it initially for first class passengers only?


As the project progresses volunteers will continue to attend tours and events at the museum which is proving a valuable resource.

The Sparrowhawk pub in Crystal Palace has recently been home to the subway volunteers where we were warmly welcomed and well looked after by the staff.


The upstairs room provided the setting for the final oral history training session before volunteers set out with sound equipment and interviewing skills to start recording interviews.

The Upper Norwood Library has been very supportive of the project and is proving a valuable resource both in terms of archive materials and quiet space to hold training sessions.

Volunteers will kick off the New Year with a research session in the reference library lead by Gillian Edom.

Thanks to Helen Lockstone for all her work on our previous website. Thanks to John Wilson for our logo design. Current site by Gemma Pettman and Sue Giovanni

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