Wembley was the Mecca of Football for people the world over, and its twin towers were
a symbol recognised by sport lovers everywhere.
It was such a fantastic historical monument, worth saving for generations.
An absolute marvel of mankind. A detailed denomination of crazed complexity.
Built with care in a design loved by millions, and fronted by the most awesome
showpiece, the twin towers.
So why was this crafted creation been bookmarked for brutality? Sadly, this Grade II listed structure had been ignored by this country's governors, lambasted by the media, insulted and betrayed by its countrymen. Ultimately, authority has spared no resource in labelling the Towers as disposable, and they had successfully chiselled this into the nations psyche. So why bother listing it in the first place? What jolly jape were our masters out to perform, the day our Towers gained loving protection for all time? Listing was obviously nothing more than a sick joke. A tag, maybe for the tourists, and certainly not a guarantee of preservation. Listing would do nothing to protect Wembley from tyranny, and didnt highlight its status when big business saw the rewards in cutting her down.
Built in 1923 as the country's national stadium, it was designed, like many buildings of the time, as a proud monument rather than just a functional arena. There were many schools of architecture at work there, like the Roman colloseum style of the exterior arches and collonades, coupled with the art deco of the banqueting hall. The hall and its glorious splendour of underbuildings were sandwiched in between two massive domed towers, these being of rather unsolid construction, having a wafer thin concrete moulding cast over their skeletons. This allowed the creative design for the Twin Towers to ascend into a marvellous novelty of juxtaposed angled window and parapet configurations, compimented by an array of ornamental fixtures, including a little royal crown atop the dome supported flagpole. Splendid! It seems that the people of that age would do anything to create something really memorable, perhaps to last forever, and would never have realized how successful that design would become. It was indeed without doubt, the worlds most beautiful ground, and the symbol of the towers are still recognised the world over as the home and emblem of football.
Construction in those far off days was in record time and the ground was opened and ready for business so that 3 days later it was the stage for the 1923 FA cup final. The Stadium at that event was very soft on security and was beseiged by Londons football fraternity en masse, most of whom made it into the ground, swelling onto the pitch, which was only cleared thanks to the actions of a beconstabled beige stallion, photographs of which led to this historically classified 'White Horse' final.
Over the next few years, Wembley Stadium was a major venue for World festivities. It was the centerpiece and dominanting feature of the fabulous 1924 Fair: The British Empire Exhibition, the massive event of worldwide culture and architecture, which developed the surrounding area into a beautiful avenue of decorative facades. The hero and villian at this time was Arthur Elvin, who, whilst creating the foundations of the modern day Wembley business, simultaneously made a fortune out of scrapping the remnants of those very same beautiful facades, leaving the few that survive to this day. At least he gave us the Empire Pool (Wembley Arena) on part of that land, but the rest has wasted away in abandonment. Later, Wembley became the center of our universe for the 1948 Olympic Games. But most of all, its the football happenings that have dug a very special place for Wembley in world history. Its the heart and home of football, that much loved concept that originated in England and now plays all over the globe. Its the worlds populous that recognises the image of the Twin Towers as being footballs symbol and one of the grandest pronouncements of a beautiful package of buildings, this being Wembley Stadium.
The Wembley hosted FA Cup Finals were what football was all about, and until recently this yearly ritual was the major footballing focus on the worlds calandar, even upstaging the World Cup, unless, of course, one notes that in that marvellous year of 1966, Wembley was the setting for both trophies, and i'm afraid that the happy result of the World Cup put the importance of that day above all else. Maybe by a ratio of 4:2.
Wembley was also Londons only massive Music Concert Arena. Its seen some amazing action, most notably the primary setting for the Live Aid Event of 1985. In a relatively small country we were lucky to have an American size arena within the Capitals confines, and whenever star status demanded it, Wembley was there to facilitate the festival. Even when the Pope and his ultra cool Pope-mobile hit these shores in 1982, the Stadium was the only stage big enough to host his ceremony.
And so, to the 1990's, where it was decided that the old Wembley should be no more. Without reference to its great architecture and music and sporting history, it was deemed to be almost useless compared to various modern structures, and therefore, instead of a economic upgrade to compensate, demolition was the only thoughts in the greedy minds of money makers. The 'Venue of Legends' Closed in 2000. Greed and political wranglings delayed the bulldozers. It all seemed lost... and after another 3 years, it was. There was no funeral for a friend, just a ruthless decapitation of the Towers, and all was flat ground by March 2003, ready for a new boring design to go up. But what a loss, what a tragic loss to the world. Beautiful Wembley and its Twin Towers. Gone but not forgotten.