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Cannon Industrial Estate
Wembley Stadium Station. 28th April 1923. London North Eastern Railway. Initially called ‘Exhibition Station’. Built for the British Empire Exhibition only used by special trains and on a special loop, which had been provided for the event. The first time it opened was for an FA match it was still unfinished. It handled vast crowds from the start, and at the first match far more men turned up than could get in so special trains had to be laid on to take them back to Marylebone. Built in a deep cutting on a loop so the train could go round and straight back. Trains at 12 minute intervals for the exhibition. Initially it had just a platform with no shelters or anything. By 1924 and the opening of the exhibition concrete station buildings had been erected in the same style as that of the exhibition. 1925 after the exhibition closed name changed to ‘Wembley Stadium’ but still carried lots and lots of football trains. It was done up again for the 1948 Olympics. 1968 closed.
Cannon Industrial Estate around area of Wembley Exhibition Station 1923-1969
Commonwealth Way (not on AZ)
LNER railway sidings ran along the road to serve the Canada and Australia buildings.
Parkinson Cowan premises exhibition hall
Former Palace of Arts. Listed Grade II but once considered to be 'at risk'. Built for the Empire Exhibition of 1924-25 as the Palace of Arts with an attached basilica. Designed by Simpson and Ayrton. Substantially demolished, leaving only frontage to Engineers Way.
Oakington Manor Drive
The LNER had sidings which went directly into the exhibition site to bring freight into the buildings
Exhibition Goods Yard provided for the exhibition remained until 1962,
Wembley Stadium Circular Railway. The station buildings were in the art deco style which was all the rage around that time. It even had mini towers not unlike the famous ones
Third WayWembley Park
The estate had been bought by the Metropolitan Railway in 1890 and it was intended to launch it as a leisure area with the tower, which failed. Some housing built before the First World War. In January 1922 216 sold as exhibition land.
The Metropolitan Tower. Constructed as far as the first stage, a height of 155 feet, on a site now occupied by Wembley Stadium. It was intended to be higher than the Eiffel Tower and was to be the main feature of a new recreational park. Sir Edward Watkin, of Great Central Railway and Channel Tunnel fame, was one of the chief promoters. A plot 200 across in extent was purchase and in November 1889 prizes of £500 and £250 were offered. There were many entries many of which were, to put it politely obscure. Even one from Arnold Hills of the Thames Ironworks, an ardent proponent of vegetarianism, envisaged a colony of aerial vegetarians who would derive sustenance from fruit and vegetables grown in aerial gardens. His plan also included a one- twelfth size replica of the Great Pyramid of Gaza, a temple, an international and at the top of the Tower a hotel, flats which could let for a price commensurate with their altitude. The more fanatical projects need not be entertained. Sir Benjamin Baker FRS selected a design very similar to that of M. Eiffel's in Paris. Steel girders from ironworks in Manchester were delivered direct to the site by rail but in May 1894 the Tower was only completed to the first stage and work stopped at the end of the year. The Metropolitan Tower Construction Company had insufficient capital to complete their work and public opinion turned against having such a Tower in London. It stayed as it was for thirteen years. Demolition, making use of explosives, was completed in July 1907 by the Manchester firm of Aeonon and Froude. London's answer to the Eiffel tower. The tower was constructed as far as the first stage, a height of 155 feet, on a site now occupied by Wembley Stadium. It was intended to be higher than the Eiffel Tower and was to be the main feature of a new, recreational park. Sir Edward Watkin, of Great Central Railway and Channel Tunnel fame, was the chief promoter. A plot 200 acres in extent was purchased at Wembley. Steel girders from Neath Ironworks were delivered direct to the site by rail but May 1894 the Tower was only completed to the first stage. The Metropolitan Tower Construction Company had insufficient capital to complete their work. It stayed as it was for thirteen years ignominiously. Demolition, by explosives, was completed in July 1907
Stadium since replaced
Arena and swimming pool, 1934, Owen Williams, like playing cards, vast car parks
Four dome towers remains of British Empire Exhibition, like Lutyens' New Delhi, people, cup finals, 1922-3 for the British Empire Exhibition 1923 cup final, 1948 Olympics,
Empire Stadium. The first part of the British Empire Exhibition to be finished. On the site of Watkin’s tower. Largest building of its type in the world when it was built. Became the home of the cup final in 1923. It could seat 120,000. At the first match 200,000. Later converted to greyhound racing.
Palace of Industry, 1926. Black redstarts nested there, first recorded in England. The LNER had sidings, which went directly into the site.
Palace of Engineering. The LNER had sidings which went directly into the site to service railway exhibits.
Wembley Arena. Designed by Sir Owen Williams and built in 1934 for that year's Empire Games, it housed a 200 x 60 foot area covered by the then largest concrete span roof in the world but it fell out of use after the 1948 Summer Olympics. Listed grade II, it continued to house a variety of sports and music concerts and has recently been renovated as part of the major redevelopment of Wembley Stadium.