People’s Palace Viewing Gallery is an official thing now
The recent closure period of the People’s Palace Winter Gardens ended up having a positive result.
I found the ‘new’ Viewing Gallery that had been created at the top of the stairwell.
This really was a surprise for many reasons, not least of which being my recent fixation with the closed Winter Gardens. This meant that even though I would be standing right beside these doors when on the balcony that overlooks the garden area, I never turned to look at these doors. The balcony is just off the top floor gallery, reached via the main stairs, so I never use the internal stairway behind these doors.
As it was, I only saw the inviting ‘VIEWING GALLERY Please Enter’ sign because the garden area was unlit and in darkness, so my eye was drawn to the brightly lit stairwell area behind the doors.
I have to confess to… ‘sneaking’ into this area for some years (as in 20+), although not for some time, since I’m sure it became a dumping ground (sorry, storage area) for ladders and cleaning equipment, also some years ago, and it became awkward to get into (if my memory is wrong about this, I apologise).
Today, it is clear and clean, provided with seating, and has a number of pictures on the wall, showing the area’s past.
The seat is not as low as it looks, the image is a little bit squished due to the lack of space to take a complete pic at one go.
I did have a word with the staff about it…
They told me the gallery had been formally created over a year ago, but weren’t really sure exactly when.
They also assured it had always been ok to go up there for a look, and that the area had just been made more friendly and convenient for visitors since strangers would not be aware it was there, only locals or regular visitors would have realised the stairs went a little way past the top floor itself, and offered the opportunity of the view.
There is, as always, just one tiny problem – the bright and clean area makes taking a pic from this gallery tough, as the bright lighting makes reflections from the multi-angled windows almost impossible to avoid, as the following views show. Only one came out, and I’ve no idea how I largely avoided the reflections in that one.
Ignore the black bits, they’re just a result of creating the panorama.
Maybe best to wait for summer, or just get there earlier – these shots may not all look ‘dark’, but street/path lights are all lit, so this is late in the winter day.
Complimentary binoculars are provided too, at height for adults and children, so no need to remember them (the binos, not the children). I’ve inset the plea for care, at the base of each mounting.
Just to round of this item, here’s a view I was beginning to think I was never going to see again.
Looking back up at the balcony where I’ve been forced to take pics of the closed Winter Gardens from for months.
The Viewing Gallery is just behind the lit circular window towards the top left.
Although the clock is possibly not far off the actual time, it’s actually broken and stopped at the moment, as confirmed by looking at the relative positions of the hour and minute hands – ten to five (or is it six) never looked like that on a working clock!
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