Ally Pally 150

Ally Pally 

Badge Design: Nigel Kellaway, 2023

Category: Celebration

Badge size is 25mm diameter.

Each badge comes packed with a collectible card design.

This is a limited edition of 150 badges.

My first memory of Alexandra Palace is just being there. We must have stopped off on the way back from somewhere else and I walked around the outside of the building with my Dad.

We looked through some doors and I saw the big organ in the main hall. My Dad told me the BBC made its first broadcast from here.

Years later when I learnt to drive it was a favourite shortcut between Muswell Hill, Tufnell Park and the North Circular road. Not the quickest route but the most fun to weave round. Maybe London’s answer to LA’s Mullholland Drive.

Riding through Ally Pally on the W3 bus route can either give you the most glorious view over London or frustratingly add extra time to the journey that will make you late for something important.

In the 1980s I visited computer fairs there. These were the heady early days of the UK computer game industry when the parents of young game-makers ran the stalls.

The grownups didn’t really understand what they were selling or what their off-spring had created but it was a relief that all those hours their children had spent in their bedrooms was finally paying off.

Film fans will know it as a location for 1984’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, where Big Brother and Richard Burton persecuted John Hurt’s Winston Smith.

Top Gear fans will have seen cars banking curves inside it a few years back.

Darts fans will know it as a place to visit in fancy dress.

Parents with grown-up kids may remember the best, most eccentric play scheme in North London: the Actual Workshop. Run by an ex-pat from Kansas called Richard, it was wasted on kids. So many times I wanted to stay and be gently entertained with 16mm films in the afternoon. Or read quietly for the day in Sherlock’s sitting room. Alas it’s now extinct.