On the 27 August 2000, I took tea with Sir Arthur Elvin on the Balcony 'tween the Wembley Towers. Or rather, I once took a Thermos to the dear old Stadium, where I would sup tea at Sir Elvin's statuette, take photographs of the doomed wonder, and flee in tears and dispair. Surely they could not destroy this wonderous work of art...
Yonder Towers striking a mean figure on the North London horizon. On closer inspection, the Towers envelope a gorgeous set of marvels, where a medieval red gate is set with a collective of honourable sporting plaques.
Looking down from the Balcony above, the effigy of Wembley's very own patron saint, Sir Arthur Elvin, who may have been in no doubt of his Stadium's future. A building built to be enjoyed for a thousand years.
In days of old when knights were bold and buildings were protected; they built this gate which was some weight and nicer than expected.
And behold the foundation stone, part of the gate arch supports, laid with some circumstance by the Grand old duke.
The red gate was flanked by some really bold tablets describing the Stadium's contribution to the Olympic Games 1948.
Then above the gate - a little cute plaque commemorating that greatest footballing event in 1966, supporting a little glistening gold trophy.
One could ascend to the balcony and enjoy views down Wembley Way. Here, above the gate, the bust of Sir Arthur, creator of the Wembley venture, but terror of the Empire Exhibition. What did he think of plans to grind his Twin Towers into the dirt? "Bad show, old boy." How could I explain?
Stand beneath those great towers, admire this sweet architecture, spend many an hour taking it all in. These were the most splendid treasures, commanding the great Wembley skyline. Brilliant brilliant babes of British heritage that they dare not ever mistreat. Splendour to savour forever. Still, I stayed with these awesome giants, afraid that nothing, even beauty, is sacred. Carved and moulded with loving detail, monument of monuments. Was this really disposable?
The attention to craft here was spectacular, just note here the celebratory crowns adorning each little lamplight. Wonderful novelties. It was the end of my audience with Sir Arthur, as I patted his head, and glided down to street level.
Together, these artifacts presented themselves in stunning magnificence.
Classical creations in an anciently regal stadium setting.
What now? Broken up? Thrown into a skip like trash? Items that
wouldnt survive a glance in a museam. This was home to them, outside the Banqueting
Hall of Deco Delirium. Not hidden away on some crook's mantelpiece.