The Anonymous Widower

A Day at Crystal Palace

Yesterday, I went to see Ipswich play at Crystal Palace. I’m not a fan of South London and until the opening of the East London Line getting to Selhurst Park was never that easy. Here‘s what I said when Town lost last year. You will see that I wasn’t too impressed. 

So about midday I arrived at Highbury and Islington and took the North London Line to Dalston Kingsland before a short walk to the impressive new station on the East London Line at Dalston Junction

Dalston Junction Station

From May next year, this short walk will be avoided as a new stretch of track will connect the North and East London Lines. It will be a good thing, as the pavements are rather crowded and it involves a double-crossing of a busy main road. 

I took a Crystal Palace train at Dalston Junction, as I was going to visit the famous park at Chrystal Palace before the match.  But fans should normally take a West Croydon train to Norwood Junction for Selhurst Park, as it is closer to the stadium.

Travel on the East London Line and you’ll see what an asset to London, it will become. As we sped southwards, you get superb views pf the East of London and pass places such as the Geffrye Museum that for the serious tourist, who properly explores a city, are a must. As this museum is right on the station at Hoxton and it has a restaurant, it might actually become a popular pit stop on the line. After all with an Oystercard it’s just touch-out and touch-in, whenever you want.

The train started to get filled up at Shoreditch High Street, where there is a ten-minute walking interchange to the main London station at Liverpool Street.  Several Ipswich fans joined the train here and I’d got my posse for the expedition to the South.

The other fans had made the mistake of taking a train to Crystal Palace, rather than Norwood Junction. Interestingly, I checked Ipswich’s program for the last home game against Burnley and that gave clear instructions not to go to Crystal Palace.  But I had other motives.

Crystal Palace station is one of London’s hidden architectural gems.

East London Line Platforms at Crystal Palace

This the view that greets you as you arrive.  Many would say that most football fans are morons, but my travelling companions certainly appreciated what the saw.

The station is equally impressive outside.

Crystal Palace Station

You can’t see it in this view, but there is a glass roof that pays tribute to Joseph Paxton‘s design for the building that gave the area its name.

The Crystal Palace is no longer here now as it burned down in 1936.  It must have been some fire, as my mother told me, that they could see the flames from where they lived in North London.

A large park of the park now is taken up by the National Sports Centre, with its swimming pool, running track and training facilities.

Crystal Palace Athletics Track

Nowadays this is the only form of racing that takes place at Crystal Palace, but I can remember as a child watching motor racing from there on the television.

As to the Palace itself, all that is left is some ruined terraces and a few statues.

The Remains of the Crystal Palace

It is all very sad really ands very much echoes the feeling at that other Victorian Pleasure Palace; Alexandra Palace. But before I left, I did have a quick walk round the museum, so perhaps there is hope that this once great park, can regain its place as an important attraction with its views on a clear day all over the city.  Especially, now that it is so well connected to the rest of London by the new trains of the East London Line.

I evntually got to Selhurst Park by catching a 157 bus from outside the Park.  Due to the traffic chaos outside the ground, it was a comfortable, but slow journey delivering me with just a ten minute walk at the end.

I enjoyed the match especially as Ipswich won, but also because the away fans have now been moved to an area of the ground that gives a better view.

I returned by train from Norwood Junction to Shoreditch High Street, with the journey taking about a third of the time it took last year without the East London Line.

I must say that I enjoyed everything a lot better than last year.

August 22, 2010 - Posted by | Sport | , , ,


  1. […] avoid the short walk between the two stations. Talking to a policeman at Norwood Junction after the Crystal Palace trip, he said that people aren’t sure yet which station to use for various places.  So perhaps, […]

    Pingback by Thoughts on the East London Line « The Anonymous Widower | August 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] last week at Crystal Palace, a fellow Ipswich fan had said that he’d enjoyed a couple of trips to the town to see […]

    Pingback by Crewe « The Anonymous Widower | August 25, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] on a Bennet The last time I sat on a wooden seat in a football ground was at Crystal Palace.  That day it was without incident, but in the previous instance at Sheffield United, I got a […]

    Pingback by Sitting on a Bennet « The Anonymous Widower | February 20, 2011 | Reply

  4. […] and Clapham. But I do know that opening the East London Line to Crystal Palace prompted me to visit, as exploring the electric trains south of the Great Sewer, is something that North Londoners are […]

    Pingback by Is The New South London Line What Passengers Want? « The Anonymous Widower | December 9, 2012 | Reply

  5. […] August 2010, I wrote A Day At Crystal Palace, after a visit to Selhurst Park to see Ipswich play. I took this picture of Crystal Palace […]

    Pingback by The New Roof At Crystal Palace Station « The Anonymous Widower | December 30, 2015 | Reply

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