Feeds

BT Tower to open for first time in 29 years

Great unhosed offered tickets to 34th floor

Boost IT visibility and business value

The BT Tower will open to the public next month for the first time in almost thirty years as part of an architecture festival.

The West End landmark will be the star of the Open House weekend, when buildings across the capital open their doors to visitors for free.

The 19 September open day is billed by BT as "absolutely a one-off". There were reports last year of a full reopening of the Tower's rotating observation floors and restaurant (formerly run by Butlins) in time for the 2012 Olympics, which the firm denied today.

The Tower was largely closed to the public in the early 1970s amid a growing security threat from the IRA*, but has continued to use it for corporate entertaining. The restaurant closed in 1980, finally restricting access to invitation-only.

Opened by Harold Wilson in 1965, and then known as the Post Office Tower, it was the tallest building in London until the NatWest Tower was opened in the City in 1981.

Despite its iconic status, and use as a location for TV shows such as The Avengers, its existence was for decades a bizarre Official Secret. The Tower was not recorded on Ordnance Survey maps because of its role as a vital relay station for microwave communications, including for air traffic control. Most of its microwave dishes are now defunct, but must remain in place following the decision to grant the BT Tower a Grade II listing in 2003.

Registration for the chance to go up the Tower opens here today. The views are spectacular. ®

*A bomb had been detonated in the toilets at the Top of the Tower restaurant in 1971, but the attack is today blamed on the Angry Brigade, a radical left wing group. There's more on their largely-forgotten campaign here.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.