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Alexandra Palace refurbishment work uncovers venue’s hidden past

PUBLISHED: 08:59 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:00 05 June 2017

More of Alexandra Palace's past has come to light during works to pour a concrete floor at its theatre. Picture: KEITH ARMSTRONG

More of Alexandra Palace's past has come to light during works to pour a concrete floor at its theatre. Picture: KEITH ARMSTRONG

Archant

A historical treasure trove has revealed its secrets during excavations and works to restore Alexandra Palace’s Victorian Theatre.

Vials of tetanus from the First World War were among the finds. Picture: KEITH ARMSTRONGVials of tetanus from the First World War were among the finds. Picture: KEITH ARMSTRONG

Among the finds was a mound of plasterwork from a collapsed second balcony dating from the theatre’s original build in 1875 which has never before been documented.

And teams found vials of tetanus used for German, Austrian and Hungarian First World War internees buried in the walls – believed to be among the earliest examples of the medication being used.

Chief executive of Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust Louise Stewart said: “It feels like the theatre is truly rising from the ashes as we hit this major restoration milestone.”

The discoveries were announced in the week a concrete floor was poured in the theatre before its original floorboards, dating back to the 1870s, are relaid next summer.

Once the floor is complete, teams will focus on the ceiling and balcony with the re-opened theatre set to entertain audiences of 1,300 people when it reopens in 2018.

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