The Crystal Palace Foundation

It all started at a gentlemen's hairdressers owned by Eric Price at 84 Anerley Road, London, SE19 2AH.

Eric displayed on his shop walls photographs of the Crystal Palace. Two of his regular customers - Alan Watson (later Mason-Watson) and John Greatrex spoke at great length with Eric about the history of Crystal Palace so they decided to hold an exhibition on its history. The exhibition was held on 3 March 1979 in the National Sports Centre (NSC) Conference Centre. They had 24 visitors paying 10 pence each.

Spurred on by this 'success' the trio decided to hold a bigger and better exhibition later in the year. Advertisements were placed in various local society magazines inviting others to join the fledgling group. The new joiners were: E. R. Rogers MBE, Geoffrey Chipping, Jan Greatrex, Melvyn Harrison, George West, and an American student Jeff Yentz. The group would be known as the Crystal Palace Exhibition Committee (CPEC).

The exhibition took place in the now demolished Anmac building in the NSC on 28 May 1979 and during the six hours fifteen minutes of opening hosted 960 visitors paying 10 pence each making a grand profit of £207.56 pence. As a result of the insatiable enthusiasm of the volunteers and visitors, it was decided that a society should be formed celebrating the history of the Crystal Palace.

On 14 June 1979, the group met in a room above Eric's Shop to discuss the future of their small group. It was agreed after much discussion that a voluntary organisation would be formed to be known as The Crystal Palace Foundation (CPF).

The organisation was to be dedicated to preserving the history of the Crystal Palace and was formally launched in the NSC Conference Centre on 20 July 1979.

Registered as UK Charity No. 285563 on 9th November 1982

Since then, the CPF has been internationally recognised as a leading authority on the Crystal Palace. It aims to keep alive the memory of the Crystal Palace and its major role in the story and social development of Victorian and Edwardian England.

One of the aims of the CPF was to create a museum on the site.

The CPF considered that the most appropriate building was that located on Anerley Hill adjacent to the South tower base. The building was used until 1914 by the Crystal Palace School of Practical Engineering, from December 1936 by the Crystal Palace Trustees and latterly by the Greater London Council (GLC). After much negotiation with the GLC and a £25,000 grant from them to repair the roof, the CPF set out to transform the building into a museum. Over the next few years, several designs for displays were submitted to the CPF including one by a group of Dutch museum students. This was considered to be the most cost-effective, so in June 1987, the students Yvonne Ligtenberg, Ellen Loozen and Leonie Peters started work. This stage was completed in February 1988 when a photographic display was installed thanks to the generosity of many well-wishers.

Attention then focused on the archive that had been collected over the years. In 1989, backed by a grant from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, work was started to classify and catalogue the collection.

By this time the Crystal Palace Museum Trust was formed with responsibility for running the museum and managing the collection and on 17 June 1990 the first exhibition of the museum's archive went on display.

The CPF promotes research and education on both the Crystal Palace and the archaeological excavation and conservation of historic parts of Crystal Palace Park and produces a number of publications and DVDs, and organises events.

The CPF has no staff (paid or unpaid) - we are all volunteers that give our time freely. We also at present have no permanent sales or information premises.

The Crystal Palace Foundation is a member of: 
Croydon Local Studies
Exhibition Study Group
Christopher Dresser Society


1. Name
The society shall be called The Crystal Palace Foundation (hereinafter called ‘The Foundation’).

2. Aim
a. To educate the public in the history and character of the Crystal Palace and the surroundings.

b. To promote for the benefit of the public, the preservation and improvement of features of general public amenity or historic interest

In furtherance of these objects but not otherwise the Foundation shall have the following powers:

c. To establish a museum.

d. To arrange and provide for or join in arranging and providing for the holding of meetings, exhibitions, lectures, classes and seminars.

e. To publish work connected with the Crystal Palace.

3. Membership
Membership shall be open to all persons interested in the aim as indicated in the aforementioned clause 2 and who are accepted by the Committee.

4. Termination of Membership
The Committee shall have the right for good and sufficient reason to terminate the membership of any member provided that the member shall have the right to be heard by the Committee before a decision is taken.

5. Subscriptions
All members of The Foundation shall be required to pay such annual subscription as the Committee may annually determine. The Committee shall have the right to reduce or waive altogether the annual subscription where it is considered more favourable in the interests of The Foundation so to do.

Any member who is three months in arrears with subscriptions automatically ceases to be a member.

6. Officers and Members of the Committee
The Committee of the Foundation shall comprise the following:

Chairman of Committee and Trustees, history and sales - Melvyn Harrison
Vice Chairman of Committee and Trustees, park development work - Ken Lewington
Committee treasurer & Trustee - Martin Frelford
Committee secretary & Trustee - Trevor Enefer
Committee Members & Trustees Helen Enefer; Philip Emery - talks
The Committee shall have the right to elect honorary Committee members who shall not have any voting rights on the Committee. All members of not less than three months membership have the right at the next Annual General Meeting to stand for election as a Committee Member. The Committee shall have the right to co-opt members of The Foundation to the Committee as and when it deems necessary to do so.

7. General Meetings
The Annual General Meeting of The Foundation shall take place in May not later than the 31st day. At such Meetings the business to be transacted shall consist of the adoption of the Annual General Report, the Financial Statement of Accounts, the Auditor's Report, and the election of the new Committee, and, if necessary, Tellers. No other business shall be transacted unless certified as urgent by the outgoing Committee. The Committee shall have the right to convene Special or Extraordinary General Meetings provided that not less than 14 days notice is given and a written request is received by the Committee signed by not less than 20 members. Not less than seven days notice must be given of all General Meetings.

8. Voting Rights
All officers and all members of The Foundation shall be entitled to be present and take part in the discussion on any subject brought before a General Meeting and to vote at any such Meetings and they shall be entitled to vote on any question to be decided by postal ballot among the members of The Foundation.

9. Quorum
At least 3 members shall form a quorum at all General Meetings.

10. Minutes
Minutes shall be taken at all Meetings.

11. Amendments to the Constitution
This Constitution may be amended by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of the members present and entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting, or an Extraordinary Meeting called for this purpose, to whom due notice of not less than seven days of the proposed amendments shall be given. No amendments should be made to this clause, clause 2, or clause 14 without the written consent, in advance, of the Charity Commission. No amendment shall be made which would cause The Foundation to cease to be a Charity at law.

12. Committee Meetings
The Committee shall meet not less than once every two months and five members of the Committee shall form a quorum. A minimum of seven clear days notice Committee or not less than one clear day's notice in the case of an emergency meeting shall be given. Officers and Committee members shall be served with notice of the meeting at their last known address. Accidental omission to send to or non receipt of notice by any member shall not invalidate the proceedings of any meeting. Any Committee member who fails to attend without good reason or cause, three consecutive Committee meetings shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee. Voting shall take place at Committee meetings as and when necessary and all persons shall be eligible to vote except Honorary Committee members. The Chairman shall have a second or casting vote. Other Committees shall be appointed by the Committee for specific purposes if and when it deems fit.

13. Finance
All monies for or on behalf of the Foundation shall be applied to further the aims of the Foundation and for no other purposes. The Treasurer shall keep proper and accurate account of finances belonging to The Foundation. Statements of Accounts shall be presented once a quarter to the Committee meeting. A yearly report and financial statements will be presented at the Annual General Meeting and will be subject to an Independent Examination, as defined by part VI of the Charities Act 1993. No expenditure may be incurred on behalf of The Foundation without approval of the majority of the Committee. All monies raised by or on behalf of The Foundation shall be deposited in a bank account or invested in deposit account. All accounts shall be in the name of The Foundation. Any two of the Executive Officers of the Committee may sign cheques. The Treasurer will direct the bank as instructed.

14. Dissolution
If a majority of not less than two-thirds of the membership decides at any time that on the grounds of expense or otherwise it is necessary or advisable to dissolve The Foundation, it shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting of all members of The Foundation who have the power to vote. Not less than twenty one days notice of such a meeting (stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed thereat) shall be posted to all members of The Foundation. If such a decision shall be confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at such a meeting, the Committee shall have the power to dispose of any assets held by or in the name of The Foundation. Any assets remaining after the discharge of any proper debts and liabilities shall be applied towards a charitable trust or trusts having similar objects to The Crystal Palace Foundation.

15. Constitution
All members will be issued with a copy of the constitution upon request.

Adopted 1st November 1979
Amended 1st March 1980
Amended 31st August 1982
Amended 30th June 1988
Amended 28th March 2002
Amended 29th May 2003
Amended 29th April 2004
Amended 18th June 2009
Amended 18th May 2016