May 23 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Saturday, July 28, 2012
As the eyes of the world focus on Alexandra Palace, they might spot the remains of the last big event held at the venue – described as an eyesore and an “accident waiting to happen”.
Yesterday, Alexandra Palace welcomed the world’s media, dignitaries and the Olympic Flame.
For the next three weeks, it will be the base for the Dutch Olympic team and thousands of their supporters.
It is the perfect showcase for the Palace as it tries to raise its profile – but it is likely a few of those taking a stroll in the grounds will notice the large pile of sand sitting in the bottom car park, surrounded by cut-off poles, brackets and abandoned metal fencing.
It is the remains of Red Bull’s Empire of Dirt, an event which took place two months ago and should have been long cleared away.
It is understood posters about the BMX event originally promised to have it cleared up by the end of May – less than two weeks after the weekend event which bought thousands to the park.
The mess left behind has angered local residents. Photographer Dave Hogan, 50, of Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill, said: “Ally Pally must have been paid a buckletload of money by Red Bull to have their event there.
“They had round-the-clock security while they had this mound of earth and stuff like that, but now everybody’s gone away and the kids have kicked in the security fence and there are about 100 bits of scaffolding lying around.
“It is an accident waiting to happen. There is this slag heap that has become a danger. I thought the coal industry had finished!”
More frighteningly, Roger Hands, of Muswell Hill, has seen children throwing things, with “no warden anywhere to be seen”.
Mr Hands added: “They [Red Bull] were given deadlines [to clear it up] but it has just dragged on for the whole summer.”
Alexandra Palace chief executive Duncan Wilson apologised, adding the fence had been repaired and Red Bull are intending to move the material away “within three weeks”.