Alexandra Palace turns down request for green mast to mark Grenfell

Campaigners Jake O'Callaghan and Joy Wallace, from Justice4Grenfell

Campaigners Jake O'Callaghan and Joy Wallace (far left), from Justice4Grenfell - Credit: Flo Allaway

A heritage campaigner says it is "extremely disappointing" that Alexandra Palace refused his request to light its mast green to mark the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Ally Pally, which previously turned green in 2018 to commemorate the Grenfell tragedy, apologised for any offence caused over its decision not to do so this year.

But Hornsey resident Jake O'Callaghan said he was “pretty disgusted” with the "very short-sighted' call, that was made by the strategic vision and projects group.  

He said it was “really offensive” that expressing solidarity with Grenfell had to “compete” with other causes and applications from different organisations.  

Ally Pally said that it has a limited number of opportunities to light the mast each year, with those prioritised ones that highlight the charity’s messages and anniversaries. 

There is no charge for lighting the mast, and “minimal cost” for the required power. 

The palace, which has suffered three fires in its near 150-year history – in 1873, 1971 and 1980 – said that its “thoughts are with everyone affected by the Grenfell tragedy on the anniversary of the fire”.

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“We recognise the devastation caused by the Grenfell fire and the impact it continues to have – we apologise for any offence caused by not lighting the Palace this year,” a palace spokesperson said.

“We have previously lit the mast green to convey our respect to people impacted by the tragedy and we remain open to lighting the mast in a similar way again in the future.”

Alexandra Palace lit green in 2018 to mark the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy

Alexandra Palace lit green in 2018 to mark the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy - Credit: Alexandra Palace

The Grenfell Tower fire claimed  72 lives from a 24-storey block in North Kensington on June 14 , 2017 

Some venues across the country and in London turned green for Grenfell on this year’s fourth anniversary, including civic buildings in Hackney and Islington.   

An ongoing inquiry into the tragedy found that the cladding fitted to the building was the “primary cause” of the fire rapidly spreading up the tower. 

Cllr Josh Dixon (Lib Dem, Alexandra) said that while gestures are “important”, action to end the “cladding scandal” – with many buildings still fitted with dangerous fire safety materials – was what “really mattered”.

“We should continue to remember those who tragically lost their lives, and to fight for change for those who are still at risk,” he said.