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Photos of Crystal Palace Park Hotel


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#1 Sasha

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 11:58 PM

Hello,
Please can someone help me, I used to work in the pub called the sportsman in crystal palace ( Don't judge me I had to earn a living) While working there I was told it was the old site for the crystal palace park hotel. The Celler below was huge I would say it streched out half the way to the round about and was told this was all part of the remains of the old hotel it was all storage area. I have been trying to find out info on this place for so long and was loosing heart till i found a photo of the old bar. Is there anybody that can help me with more info was there such a hotel, is the picture I have a fake, I would love to know I'm so intrested in the history of the Palace.
I look forward to any replys
Sasha

#2 andreas

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 09:19 AM

Hi Sasha

Yes, there certainly was a Crystal Palace Hotel on the site of the Sportsman. It opened in the 1850s and was photographed by Emile Zola - the library on Westow Hill has some copies of the book "Emile Zola - Photographer" published by the Norwood Society in 1997. Certainly an impressive building - getting on for the size of the Queen's Hotel in Church Road.

In the Second World War the hotel suffered serious bomb damage. So most of it was demolished, but part of the facade remains - if you look above the noodle bar at the end of Church Road you can see what I mean.

Hope that helps!
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#3 twinkle

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 09:27 AM

would it help by visiting the palace museum opposite the old sportsmen pub on anerley hill???? they might have some more info for you.
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#4 James

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:27 AM

You can buy the Emile Zola book from The Norwood Society for £7.95...

http://www.norwoodso....uk/books.shtml

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#5 charlie

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:39 AM

Excellent link James - I can see some additions to our collection of local history books!

#6 Sasha

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 11:33 PM

Thankyou for that information, just wondering if anybody knows of any websites i can look at pictures of it while i wait for the book

#7 cherub

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 09:36 PM

Hello Sasha,
Interesting that you worked at the Sportsman, I have been trying to get photo's of the inside of this, as I used to go dancing there in 1945, and are now trying to write a book of the Triangle of the last 100 years ,and would love to borrow the photograph that you have of the bar. You mentioned the cellars, orginally the hotel went right round into Church Road on the corner. Were the large gold mirrors still downstairs?? best wishes Cherub (Beryl Cheeseman)

#8 Sasha

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 02:18 PM

Hello Cherub,
Nice to hear from you. Sorry to disapoint but when I worked there , there was no gold mirrors. What were they used for? One Night when the pub was closed myself and a fellow collegue decided to go down there and have a look around as we had noticed how large it was for a cellar. Unfortunatly the owners of the bar only had lighting in the aread that they used so we had to take down a torch as it was pitch black. There were a number of locked and bricked up doorways which was a shame but apart from that it was all just really old pub paperwork bottles it seemed to have been used for a dumping ground for some time. It was amazing to see though all the little crevises hidden. I would love to have been able to go on further but without a key (or axe ) I just could'nt go any further. I know in recent times now the pub has been taken over by a brewry and the tiolets have been moved downstaires, so I have no idea what sort of damage they have done to the rest of the remains down there, hopfully they just bricked it all up and left it alone for someone in the future to go back to and exivate. To be honest with you to Cherub I don't think I have many photos of the old sportsman I will have a look though and post hem on the forum if I find any. Hope this helped a little. Do you have any pictures of the old hotel I could look at. Would be very gratfull, look forward to hearing from you again
Sasha

#9 Silver

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 12:50 AM

I often went to the Crystal Palace Hotel when it was run by Jim Brenan. My parents would attend dinner dances in the ballroom and us young things would be kept downstairs in the amazing kitchen. It was large with a huge wooden table around which I was often chased by Patrick Hamilton Flint! (I would have been about twelve or thirteen at the time)

The most exciting thing was that there was a dumb waiter ( a lift for meals etc which went from the kitchen up to the ground floor. It was amply big enough for a young person also. In the basement was a huge room where the ladies in their gowns could visit the loo. It was too cold to linger long and too dingy to see your make up. It had been decorated during the heyday of the Palace adn although it's previous elegance was there to see, it's grandure had long faded and it's beatiful fixtures and fittings were now stained and sad.

The most memorable thing for me about the whole building and in fact probably in the whole of Crystal Palace was the seat in this room. It was a red velvet covered love seat. It had four compartments all meeting in the centre and I always thought I should have it one day. It was not to be.

When the activists took over the pub I was so excited as I thought I would see this ballroom, the basement and my loved seat again. I was so dissapointed to find that of course the ballroom had been knocked down along with the kitchen.
The wonderful ballroom where my parents danced and I learnt to flirt had been knocked down to make way for a car show room and now when I ran to see the kitchen I was confronted by an ugly spiritless breeze block wall.

When I think of the Hotel I realise how grand and lovely the Crystal Palace was and how loved it must have been. I have some china cups and plates from the Crystal Palace Hotel and some wonderful memories. I wonder what special places the present generations will look back on.

I do have one photo of the ballroom and stage.

#10 cherub

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 07:30 PM

So much interest and information now of The Crystal Palace Hotel, would anyone like to write an article for my book?? I would like to use the photographs that you have Silver. as far as my tracing has gone I have not been able to find any.
Hope to hear from someone Cherub (Beryl Cheeseman)

#11 andreas

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 09:25 AM

Some great memories from Silver. What a shame so much has gone. Another possible source of information/photos of the ballroom is the Norwood Society - because in the 1960s they held a couple of Crystal Palace exhibitions in the ballroom (I read this in the wonderful "The Phoenix Suburb" by Alan Peacock). Look forward to seeing your book, Cherub
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#12 Silver

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 10:00 AM

The Phoenix Suburb was written by alan Warwick but you are right he was a bit of a peacock! He had a white handlebar moustache and rosy red cheeks and talked like Terry Scott (for those old enough to remember him) for those who do not, Alan talked in a wonderfully posh way. He and his wiife Joan had three children; John.Sally and Jasper. Sometimes Alan who had an impressive paunch dressed like a very colourful victorian gent and others like an ad for Jaegar. He was fanatical about all things Crystal Palace and did wonders for the area. I am proud to say that my father helped him and also wrote the update in the later Phoenix Suburb editions.

#13 Liz29

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 04:17 PM

I've just bought The Phoenix Suburb and it has a picture and info on the hotel in it.

I also just have to say that it is a BRILLIANT book! I thought all the history would be boring but it's not and Norwood sounded so beautiful and I'm finding out so much about the area.

Cannot recommend this book more :D

#14 Sasha

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 09:22 PM

that sounds like another good book must have a read of that one to

#15 Sasha

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 09:33 PM

if you can make out the small piccie on the side there that is the only piccie I have of the interior, i have been told it is the bar of the crystal palace hotel, not 100% sure though don't know if anyone can fill me in otherwise. I don't know if any of you have gone onto google and typed in crystal palace under images there are some nice photos of the crystal palace.
Sasha