This picture has been taken from an unusual angle. In the words of the now much-reviled Rolf Harris, can you see what it is yet?
It is the concrete base that is unfamiliar and confuses me. I’d never noticed it before.
You can see the base on this photo which explains all.
The Post Office Tower is a familiar London landmark these days. When I am walking round Fitzrovia I look up and it’s there leaning over the top of a nearby building watching the streets below like in this picture of Fitzroy Square.
You come to a corner and it’s waiting for you at the end of a long road.
My favourite view of it may be through the gardens of Fitzroy Square.
But – like all London – it was never always there. It was opened in 1965 by Harold Wilson and Tony Benn. Here is an extract from Benn’s diary on that heady day. I love the fact that the rotating restaurant that was to occupy the top of the tower was to be run by none other than Billy Butlin:
“Tuesday 5 October 1965
Caroline (Benn’s wife) and I went off by car about 10.15 and got the Post Office Tower well before 11am for the official opening. Among the guests who came were Clem Attlee, who is the oldest and most senior Ex-postmaster general…and Sir Billy Butlin who will be running the restaurant….
… Just after 11.30 we went into the apparatus room where Mr Hamden, the Director of London Telecommunications Region introduced the ceremony and then I spoke followed by (Prime Minister) Harold (Wilson) who finished by making the inaugural telephone call to the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Then to the base of the tower where Harold Wilson unveiled the plaque commemorating the opening ceremony. We went up the tower but it was so misty we could hardly see anything at all. (Wilson’s PA) Marcia took some pictures of Harold and Mary with Caroline and me. Afterwards we went to the VIP lounge where there was a merry party and Caroline and I broke way to go to the apparatus room where all the staff and press were celebrating.”
More on the opening here
This is Wilson, Benn and Attlee opening the tower (photographer unknown):