This was the Future, Vol.17

typed for your pleasure on 18 October 2005, at 11.44 am

Sdtrk: ‘What’s inside a girl?’ by the Cramps

Tonight’s topic has been a familiar fixture of the London skyline for 40 years, and is an icon of London which is as iconic as London itself. (What??) Thanx to a couple of corporate buyouts, these days it’s known as the British Telecom Tower, but since I’m perennially stuck several decades in the past, we’re gonna refer to it by its original name, the Post Office Tower.

The Post Office Tower soars 250 feet above the dome of St. Paul’s and is the tallest building in Britain. It is 580 feet high and is surmounted by a 40 foot trellis mast supporting a radar aerial designed to help short range weather forecasting. [..]

Besides its strictly functional use the Tower adds to the itinerary of London’s attractions. The public can view the panorama of London from galleries near the top of the Tower. Two lifts, each travelling at 1,000 feet per minute, carry passengers to the three public observation platforms.

From its opening to the public in 1966, to 1971, the revolving upper section sported a popular restaurant called ‘topofthetower’. Could you imagine the view from there? Unfortunately, some tosser planted a bomb in the mens’ toilets in 1971, and since then, the tower has been closed to the public. But back during the Sixties, the Post Office Tower attracted hundreds of visitors, not only because of its views, but due to its unique and futuristic look. It was also prominently featured in the last half of the Lynn Redgrave/Rita Tushingham film ‘Smashing time‘ and was home to evil supercomputer WOTAN in the Hartnell-era Doctor Who story ‘The War machines‘. Where else would you store an evil supercomputer? That’s what I’m sayin’.

Tours are still available of the Post Office Tower BT Tower, but by appointment only. Certainly not the same as the days when you could playfully chase Rita Tushingham round and round within the glassy confines of topofthetower

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

This was the Future, Vol.25 on May 19th, 2006

This was the Future, Vol.37 on May 5th, 2009

7 have spoken to “This was the Future, Vol.17”

  1. quaisi writes:

    These are really interesting. I don`t think i see this type of thing anywhere else on the internets.

  2. Penda writes:

    Wow – even your dates are in the future.

    For a moment, I wondered if I’d been passed out for the last half of October.

  3. Davecat writes:

    O, poopsticks. I must’ve hit ‘Publish Post’ instead of ‘Save as Draft’ last night/this morning, cos this isn’t supposed to be up yet..

  4. Davecat writes:

    Okay, it’s really not supposed to be up yet. Upon visiting the Blogger Dashboard, it said it was still saved as a draft.

    Glad you’re enjoying it, regardless..

  5. PBShelley writes:

    Oh well, nice article nonethess 😀
    CONGRATS on breaking 10,000! I tried your little sidebar-posting thingy, but the Interweb broke ME 🙁 -I don’t see my little pearls of um… er “wisdom”, let’s call it LOL…
    Ah well…
    Nice tower tho’ 😀

    Best Regards,
    PBS & Lilykins

  6. SafeTinspector writes:

    I wish to ride this structure into space for to start a convenience store selling vaccuum packed food-stuffs.
    I’ll save a fortune on account of the free vaccuum.

    Seriously, why not re-open the restaurant?!? Where’s the fecking “stiff upper lip” I keep hearing about all the god damn time. (I’ve often wondered if kissing a Londoner would be like kissing a large-mouth Bass, what with how firm their lips are and all)

  7. Davecat writes:

    SafeT –
    I dunno, since the UK isn’t so rabidly paranoid as the States about enforcing homeland ‘security’, you’d think they would repoen topofthetower. But I think it’s more of a corporate decision from British Telecom that’s keeping that restaurant closed to the public. It makes me a downy clowny, as indicated by this emoticon —> 🙁

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