Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published July 8th 2013
Don't Let the Exhibition Centre Die
Earls Court Exhibition Centre
My first experience of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre was at the age of nine, when my parents took me and my friend to Discover Dogs. For me, it was like entering a magical puppy paradise; they had just about every breed imaginable, and my eyes lit up to the size of globes when a breeder placed a small pup in my arms.
For the next three years I went to Discover Dogs at Earls Court; the large venue was perfect for doggy dancing, fly-ball, agility courses, and best in show.
Predator, LFCC, 2006
The next time I visited Earls Court was two years later when I went to my first convention, and met one of my favourite actors, Kate Mulgrew. Since then, I have spent the last eight years going to sci-fi conventions at various venues, but Earls Court is by far the best. It provides the best floor space, is the easiest to get to by public transport, and has all the facilities you need (cafes, changing rooms, etc).
I was therefore most distressed when I discovered that it had been targeted for demolition. To begin with I thought it must be referring to some other site; surely no one would even consider tearing such a fantastic venue down. Alas, no, it was true. The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea wanted to redevelop the area with up to eight thousand residential flats.
Initially I was not too worried; I never thought the project would gain approval. But just in the last week, it has been announced that plans are going ahead, despite strong opposition from local businesses and residence. Although there are no official dates, I expect work will begin within the next two years.
Earls Court 2
But two years just when the work will start. It is estimated that the redevelopment will take twenty years to complete. And what will we end up with? Skyscraper buildings that ruin the view, flats that the average Londoner cannot afford, and the loss of a great cultural and economic hub that brought thousands of people together.
Earls Court Exhibition Centre has held concerts by stars such as The Stones, Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, George Michael, and Pink Floyd. They have also had grand scale operas, business conferences, conventions, and consumer & trade shows. If you don't want to lose the best exhibition venue in London, then there is still time to act. The easiest thing you can do is to simply sign 'Save Earls Court' petition; you can also write a protest letter, and post flyers around your area.
Earls Court has given us so much over the years, and now it needs your help. Together, let's save Earls Court.