Thursday, 1 August 2019


Poster by Matt Bannister

Tight-rope walking, skateboarding, and indoor climbing were all on the agenda in Crystal Palace Park on Sunday 21st July, thanks to Invisible Palace, a local organisation that develops heritage and arts events for the communities of the 5 London Boroughs that converge on Crystal Palace; namely, Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham, Croydon, and Bromley.
The idea for Invisible Palace arose from attempts by various locals, including Jules Hussey and Sue Giovanni, of Friends of Crystal Palace Subway, to raise money for events to support the struggling library a few years ago. Funds were forthcoming from the National Lottery, and Bromley Borough Council, and the resulting events have had the aim of getting under represented groups involved, including the elderly and those with learning difficulties and physical disabilities.
Previous events have included a reenactment of the tradition of 'Beating the Bounds' , the research into the history of the historic Vicar's Oak, and creation of a new garden to mark this venerable tree, at the entrance to the park.
The latest event, entitled 'Defy Gravity', sought to make better use of the park's resources, and give children (and adults) a chance to participate in activities they might hitherto not have tried.Prior to the weekend's events, Invisible Palace teamed up with the local James Dixon primary school, to provide a day of physical activity in the Subway, which included learning to juggle and tight rope walk. The event received £5k from the Mayor's Young Londoner's fund, and additional funding from the Friends of the Subway.
On the Sunday, as well as all the aforementioned activities, there was also an opportunity to revisit the subway, and for the first time in many years, it was possible, after entering via the steps on the Southwark side, to walk all the way through to the courtyard, and then emerge up the steps on the Bromley side, into the park.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time once again to make this event a success, and to the following groups, who provided all the activities.

My Aerial Home
Learn to Skateboard
Mount Palace

The Subway fulfilling its proper role again.

Volunteer, Liz enthusing her audience!

My little sis!

Circus Skills 


Indoor Climbing

Elsewhere in the park that day, there were plenty of other sporting activities including a charitable 10k run, and beach volleyball.